Student Information

Participating in Senior Celebration

For more information on graduation
and diplomas, please visit the
One Stop Student Services site.

Seniors that have applied to graduate for the summer 2016 and fall 2016 terms will be invited to attend both the 2016 Senior Celebration in December, and the 2017 Commencement on Sunday, May 14, 2017. The invitations for Senior Celebration will be sent in mid to late October.  Please note that invitations to attend the spring 2017 Commencement will be emailed in March 2017.

Please apply to graduate by the Graduation Deadline. If you miss the deadline, please contact your advisor so they can assist you in the late degree application process.  Once you receive your invitation, you will be able to RSVP for yourself and your guests.

More information about the 2017 Commencement this spring may be found online at the Commencement site.

Student Speaker Applications

The College of Liberal Arts will select one student speaker for each Senior Celebration reception. This is a unique opportunity for a graduate to take part in the program by addressing his or her fellow graduates, friends, and family. The application deadline has been extended to Tuesday, November 22, 2016.

Applicants must:

  • Be in good standing with the university
  • Be eligible to graduate and scheduled to complete their degree requirements by December 2016

Applications should include:

  • A cover sheet with your name, major, and contact information (phone and email)
  • A speech proposal of about 1-2 pages. The proposal should briefly address why you want to be the student speaker, but the majority of it should focus on the topic of your speech.
  • Current Resume

Complete applications should be emailed as a Word document to CLA Student Programs at Please use "CLA Senior Celebration Student Speaker Selection Committee" in the subject line. All applications will be reviewed by the office of the CLA Assistant Dean of Student Services. Contact Paul Spangle (612-625-3846, with questions.

Speeches will be less than 4 minutes in length, or about 600 words. They should reflect on your experiences at the University of Minnesota and address topics that you believe will resonate with your audience. Student representatives will review all submissions and select finalists to interview before making final decisions.

Arrival & Check In Process

The Senior Celebration will take place in Memorial Hall located on the ground floor of the McNamara Center. The graduate check in tables will be located inside of Memorial Hall near the entrance to the Heritage Gallery. Event staff and signs will direct you to the check in location upon arrival. Please note: all graduates need to check in, but your guests do not. During check in, graduates will receive details about the event, along with a nametag, a diploma cover, and a photo card. Graduates should fill out the photo card upon arrival so it will be available to give to the photographer after their photo is taken.


Photographers will be at the Senior Celebration taking candid photos of graduates and guests. Please fill out the photo card upon arrival, so that it will be ready to give to the photographer. After the celebration, proofs of the photos will be sent to the contact information filled out on photo card.

Suggested Attire

Suggested attire for the Senior Celebration is dressy casual. Caps and gown are NOT required for this event. There will be a coat room available to all guests to store their winter attire during the reception.

Faculty Invites

College of Liberal Arts faculty members will be invited to attend the Senior Celebration. Students will also have the opportunity to extend invitations to specific faculty members when they RSVP online for the Senior Celebration.