Notre Dame to confer 3,147 degrees this weekend

Author: Sue Ryan

Commencement 24 Feature

Commencement weather announcements

Due to the threat of inclement weather, the University of Notre Dame’s 174th University Commencement Ceremony on Sunday (May 19) will begin two hours earlier than scheduled, at 8 a.m., tentatively in Notre Dame Stadium.

A final decision on whether to hold the ceremony in the stadium or in Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center will be communicated at 6 a.m. Sunday via email to faculty, staff and students; on the University’s home page (; and through official University social media accounts (@NotreDame on Twitter and University of Notre Dame on Facebook).

The gates to either venue will open at 7 a.m. There will be no procession by the graduates or faculty. If the ceremony is in the stadium, graduates should enter through the north (Rockne) gate and seat themselves beginning at 7. If the ceremony moves to the Joyce Center, they can enter through any gate.

Individual diploma ceremonies also will start earlier than scheduled, at noon Sunday.

The University of Notre Dame will confer 3,147 degrees during Commencement Weekend Saturday and Sunday (May 18 and 19) on campus.

Degrees will be conferred on 2,025 undergraduate students at Notre Dame’s 174th University Commencement Ceremony on Sunday. Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the Wall Street Journal, speechwriter for President Ronald Reagan and author of five New York Times best-sellers Peggy Noonan will be the principal speaker and recipient of an honorary degree. Norman C. Francis, civil rights leader and longtime president of Xavier University in Louisiana, will receive the 2019 Laetare (lay-TAH-ray) Medal, the oldest and most prestigious honor given to American Catholics.

Sofia Carozza, a neuroscience and behavior major with a supplemental major in theology from South Bend, Indiana, will deliver the valedictory address. Salutatorian Annelise Gill-Wiehl, an environmental engineering major from St. Louis, Missouri, will deliver the invocation.

In addition to Noonan, five others will receive honorary degrees. They are Carol Corrigan, associate justice of the California Supreme Court; James Poterba, the Mitsui Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Ignacio Sánchez, longtime faculty member in the School of Medicine and president of Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile; Esther Takeuchi, distinguished professor in the departments of materials science and chemical engineering, and chemistry at Stony Brook University; and John Affleck-Graves, executive vice president who is retiring from his administration role on June 30.

On Saturday, 513 students will receive master’s and doctoral degrees at the Graduate School Commencement Ceremony, along with 387 master’s degree students at the Mendoza College of Business Ceremony and 222 at the Law School Ceremony.

Some notable Commencement weekend events are:

  • The ROTC Commissioning Ceremony, 9 a.m. Saturday, Leighton Concert Hall, DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.
  • The Graduate School Commencement Ceremony, 10 a.m. Saturday, Compton Family Ice Arena.
  • The Mendoza College of Business Graduate Business Ceremony, 10 a.m. Saturday, Purcell Pavilion, Joyce Center.
  • The Law School Ceremony, 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Hesburgh Library Reflecting Pool.
  • The Service Send-Off Ceremony, 1 p.m. Saturday, Leighton Concert Hall, DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.
  • Commencement Mass, 5 p.m. Saturday, Purcell Pavilion, Joyce Center.
  • The undergraduate college and department diploma ceremonies beginning at 2 p.m. Sunday throughout campus.

A complete schedule of events is available from the Commencement website.

The academic processional will begin at 9:30 a.m. Sunday. All attendees must have a ticket for admission. Guests can enter the stadium beginning at 8 a.m. through Gate A on the northeast side and Gate B on the southeast side.

Many common items will be prohibited from entering the stadium during Commencement. For a complete list of prohibited items, visit the Commencement website.

Contact: Sue Ryan, director of media relations, 574-631-7916,

Originally published by Sue Ryan at on May 13, 2019.