Notre Dame to confer 3,180 degrees this weekend during in-person Commencement ceremony

Author: Sue Ryan

Tassel at the 2019 Notre Dame Commencement ceremony. (Photo by Matt Cashore/University of Notre Dame)

The University of Notre Dame will confer 3,180 degrees Saturday and Sunday (May 22 and 23) during in-person Commencement weekend activities on campus, including the University Commencement Ceremony in Notre Dame Stadium.

Degrees will be conferred on 2,103 undergraduate students at the 176th University Commencement Ceremony on Sunday. Marie Lynn Miranda, the Charles and Jill Fischer Provost at Notre Dame, will preside over her first Commencement and also deliver the keynote address at the Graduate School ceremony on Saturday.

Jimmy Dunne, a Notre Dame Trustee and alumnus who in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, led the recovery of his company while also providing compassionate and meaningful care to the families of the firm’s employees who lost their lives, will be the principal speaker and recipient of an honorary degree. Carla Harris, vice chairman of wealth management and senior client adviser at Morgan Stanley as well as a celebrated gospel singer, speaker and author, will receive the 2021 Laetare (lay-TAH-ray) Medal, the oldest and most prestigious honor given to American Catholics.

Madeline Owen, a neuroscience/pre-med major from Columbus, Ohio, will deliver the valedictory address. Salutatorian Alexis Waldschmidt, a biological sciences and Chinese double major from Naperville, Illinois, will offer words of welcome and thanks on behalf of the graduating class and introduce the valedictorian.

In addition to Dunne, Thomas G. Burish, the Charles and Jill Fischer Provost of Notre Dame from 2005 to 2020, also will receive an honorary degree at the University Commencement Ceremony.

Weather permitting, graduates will process into the stadium at 9 a.m. In a change from previous years, the Commencement Mass will be held in the stadium immediately prior to the University Commencement ceremony. Mass will begin at 9:30 a.m., with University President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., presiding, and will be followed by the University Commencement Ceremony at 11 a.m. There will be a 15-minute break between the Mass and ceremony. Graduates and guests attending only the University Commencement Ceremony should enter Notre Dame Stadium by 10:45 a.m. to be seated. All attendees must have a ticket for admission. Guests can enter the stadium beginning at 8 a.m. through Gates A, B, D and E.

On Saturday, 465 students will receive master’s and doctoral degrees at the Graduate School Commencement ceremony, along with 420 master’s degree students at the Mendoza College of Business ceremony and 189 at the Law School ceremony.

The Commencement Mass, University Commencement Ceremony and all diploma/hooding ceremonies will be livestreamed. A complete schedule of events is available on the Commencement website.

During the Commencement Mass, Commencement Ceremony, and college or school diploma ceremonies, masking will be optional for graduates who are vaccinated, as well as the official platform party. Notre Dame faculty, staff and families and guests of graduates must wear masks at Mass and Commencement. Distanced seating will be in effect – 3 feet apart for graduates and 6 feet apart for guests.

Many common items will not be allowed in the stadium during Commencement. For a complete list of prohibited items, visit the Commencement website. In the event of severe weather, ceremonies will be moved indoors to either the Joyce Center or the Compton Family Ice Arena. Should weather conditions necessitate a move indoors, the University will communicate changes online and via NDAlert messages, social media and local news outlets.