RSVP and Student Information

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Students who have been scheduled to graduate for the terms listed below can expect an emailed invitation mid-March.  Once you receive your invitation, you will be required to RSVP for yourself and your guests by the RSVP deadline.

You will be invited to participate in commencement and your name will appear in the commencement booklet if you are scheduled to graduate for the summer 2019, fall 2019, spring 2020, May term 2020, or summer term 2020. If you have questions regarding when you've been scheduled to graduate, contact your advisor. 

Fall 2020 grads are invited to the Spring 2021 undergraduate commencement ceremony.  If you are graduating in fall 2020 and wish to participate in the Spring 2020 commencement ceremony please contact the CLA Student Services at 612-625-2020, or email commence@umn.edu to be placed on a waiting list. You will be notified by email mid April, with an update on whether there is space available for you to participate.

Student Speaker Applications

The College of Liberal Arts will select one student speaker for each commencement ceremony. This is a unique opportunity for a graduate to take part in the program by addressing their fellow graduates, friends, and family. Application deadline is Friday, April 3, 2020.

Applicants must:

  • Have a cumulative 3.0 GPA or higher
  • Be eligible to graduate and scheduled to complete their degree requirements by August 2020
  • Be in good standing with the university

Applications should include:

  • A cover sheet with your name, major, and contact information (phone and email)
  • Answer the following question in 500 words or less: Why do you want to be the student commencement speaker?
  • Current Resume
  • Draft of your speech. There will be time to edit and make changes if you are selected speaker. 

Speech Guidelines:

  • Speeches will be less than 4 minutes in length, or about 600 words.
  • Your speech should reflect on your experiences at the University of Minnesota and address topics that you believe will resonate with your audience.
  • When writing your proposal you may want to consider some of the advice given in the links below:

6 Secrets to Writing a Memorable Graduation Speech, Even if You’e Never Done It Before
Time: Here Are the Best Commencement Speeches of 2019
How to Write a Graduation Speech

How to Apply:

Complete applications should be emailed as a Word document to commence@umn.edu. Please use "CLA Commencement Student Speaker Selection Committee" in the subject line. CLA student representatives will review all submissions and select finalists to interview before making final decisions. All applications will be reviewed by the Office for Undergraduate Education in the College of Liberal Arts.

Faculty Invites

Each year, the Commencement Committee invites faculty members from the College of Liberal Arts to participate in commencement by being part of the faculty procession. In an effort to involve College of Liberal Arts students in the faculty invitation process, the Commencement Committee invites you to submit the names of faculty who have had an impact on you during your time at the University. It may be a professor that you had for a class, a faculty member in your major department who served as your mentor, or someone who helped to make your experience at the University a positive one.

You will have the opportunity to submit the names of faculty members you would like to extend invitations to when you RSVP for you and your guests.

Caps and Gowns

Caps and gowns, along with many other commencement items, can be purchased at GradFest, the University Bookstore in Coffman Memorial Union, or online. Caps and gowns are not required to participate in the ceremony; however, 99 percent of students choose to wear academic regalia. Business professional attire is suggested for underneath your academic robe. Please consider the weather and the amount of walking you will be doing that day.

Photos

GradImages® was the official photographer at your graduation ceremony. Your photos are available to view and order by visiting www.gradimages.com. Simply enter your Last Name, your School Name: University of Minnesota and, select the appropriate year from the dropdown menu. Once you see your name, click on the link to view your photos. If you need additional help to locate your photos, call our customer service department at 800-261-2576 or email us at giservice@gradimages.net.

Questions?

If you have additional quesitons regarding commencement, please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions