University prepares for its 142nd commencement ceremony

The last walk as undergraduates

As the University of Oregon closes out another academic year, it is getting ready to bid farewell to the 5,094 students eligible to participate in the upcoming commencement ceremonies and receive their diplomas.

While some schools and colleges will have already had their department ceremonies, a bulk of the festivities will take place across campus on June 17 and 18.


Bachelor’s degrees: 4,031
Master’s degrees: 886
Doctoral degrees: 125
Law degrees: 117

Double majors: 325
Triple majors: 9

Oldest graduate: 67
Youngest graduate: 19

Monday’s celebrations will kick off with the traditional Duck Grad Parade at 8:45 a.m. Graduates and faculty members will gather in their regalia at the corner of 13th Avenue and University Street in front of the Erb Memorial Union at 8:15 a.m. before making their way east to Matthew Knight Arena for the main commencement ceremony.

“The Duck Grad Parade is the celebratory culmination of the UO graduate experience, with thousands of students participating in this final symbolic trek through the heart of campus,” said Amy Quiring, the UO’s director of major student events.

Quiring encourages UO employees to take a short break and watch the parade.

“Having 13th Avenue lined with their faculty, support staff, instructors and mentors cheering them on makes this parade a memory that our graduates will never forget,” she said.

The University Commencement Ceremony will follow at 9:30 a.m. in the arena. The keynote speaker will be UO alumnus Miguel McKelvey, co-founder and chief culture officer of WeWork, who earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the UO in 1999.

Student government President Amy Schenk, master’s degree recipient Aja Johnson and bachelor’s degree recipient Jaria Martin also will share remarks and reflections with their fellow graduates.

This year’s ceremony will also include the first honorary degree to be presented in a decade. University supporter Lorry I. Lokey is one of two native Oregonians who was unanimously approved by the UO Board of Trustees to receive the honor and will be attending commencement. The other recipient, artist and Portland native Carrie Mae Weems, has been invited to visit campus in the coming year to accept her honorary degree.

Following the ceremony, the EMU will welcome all graduates and their families to its daylong GradFest party.

The Class of 2018 hails from 59 countries, 46 states and two territories. Among the undergraduates, 335 are double majors and nine are triple majors. The most popular undergraduate major is journalism with 483 graduates, with business administration following close behind with 461.

For more information on the ceremonies, speakers and activities, visit the UO commencement website. Information about traffic and parking during commencement also is available from Around the O.