Notre Dame to confer 3,200 degrees

Author: Sue Ryan

Commencement 2023

The University of Notre Dame will confer 3,200 degrees Saturday and Sunday (May 20 and 21) during Commencement weekend activities, including the 178th University Commencement Ceremony in Notre Dame Stadium on Sunday, during which 2,141 degrees will be conferred on undergraduate students.

Nobel Peace Prize recipient Juan Manuel Santos, the president of Colombia from 2010 to 2018, will be the principal speaker and recipient of an honorary degree. Sister Rosemary Connelly, R.S.M., former executive director of Misericordia and lifelong advocate for people with developmental disabilities, will receive the 2023 Laetare (lay-TAH-ray) Medal, the oldest and most prestigious honor given to American Catholics.

Kristen Friday, a computer science and engineering major from Pittsburgh, will deliver the valedictory address, and salutatorian Miguel Coste, a neuroscience and behavior major from Tampa, Florida, will offer the invocation. 

In addition to Santos, five others will receive honorary degrees at the University Commencement Ceremony: Howard G. Adams, a leading expert on developing individuals through mentoring and strategic career and life planning; adult contemporary and contemporary Christian singer-songwriter Amy Grant; physician James “Doctor Jim” O’Connell, who has delivered health care to Boston’s homeless population for almost four decades; retired executive chairman and former chief executive officer of the PNC Financial Services Group, James E. Rohr; and Marguerite Taylor, a lifelong resident of South Bend’s Northeast Neighborhood, who was instrumental in establishing the University’s Robinson Community Learning Center and has dedicated her life to improving her hometown and building lasting relationships between the city and Notre Dame. 

Weather permitting, graduates will process into the stadium at 9 a.m. with the University Commencement Ceremony beginning at 9:30 a.m. All attendees must have a ticket for admission. 

On Saturday, 547 students will receive master’s and doctoral degrees at the Graduate School Commencement ceremony, along with 512 master’s degree students at the Mendoza College of Business ceremony and 182 at the Law School ceremony. The Commencement Mass will also be held Saturday, at 5 p.m. in Purcell Pavilion.

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, and senior stories and other features are here.

Many common items will not be allowed in the stadium during Commencement. Visit the Commencement website for a complete list of prohibited items. 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 ND Alert messages, social media and local news outlets.