University of Cincinnati Readies for Record-Setting Commencement

The spring 2014


at the University of Cincinnati is one for the record books.

The university will award 6,381 degrees to 6,272 students

(some students earn more than one degree) at the end of April 2014, with undergraduate ceremonies set for

Saturday, April 26

, and ceremonies for graduate students set for Friday, April 25.

Those numbers represent the largest spring-term graduating class and Commencement ceremony in UC’s history.

In Commencements of the past, high points included 5,411 graduates in June 1974 and about 5,500 degrees conferred in June 1999. More recently, in the June 2012 spring Commencement, 5,521 students applied for graduation. Last spring of 2013 saw 6,258 students apply for graduation.

In the last several years, rising enrollment and rising retention are a part of rising graduation rates at UC. For instance, in fall 2013, UC’s total enrollment stood at a record-setting 42,656, capping several years where enrollment stood above 40,000. In addition, student retention has been steadily climbing at UC. For instance, first- to-second-year retention rates have increased from 77 percent to 85 percent over the last 10 years. Over that same period, graduation rates increased nearly 16 percent. Other factors in larger graduations include more distance-learning options on the graduate level as well as UC's conversion to the semester system in 2012.

UC will celebrate undergraduate Commencement ceremonies at

9 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 26

, in Fifth Third Arena, with President Santa J. Ono leading these Saturday ceremonies. A 10 a.m., Friday, April 25, ceremony is set for graduate students, also in Fifth Third Arena, and will be led by Robert Zierolf, vice provost and dean of The Graduate School.

  • Commencement speaker for Saturday’s ceremonies will be UC alumna Tebelelo Mazile Seretse, Botswana’s ambassador to the United States, and honorary degree recipients will be Kroger Board of Directors Chairman Dave Dillon and UC alumnus and top trial lawyer Billy Martin of Washington, D.C.

  • Tickets are required for the Saturday, April 26, undergraduate ceremonies in Fifth Third Arena. No tickets are required for the Friday, April 25, ceremony for graduate students.

  • Garage parking on UC’s campus will be free all day both Friday, April 25, and Saturday, April 26.

Because of the expected size of the Saturday ceremonies,

three overflow spaces

will be provided that day to allow those without tickets to watch Commencement on large screens in

Again, no tickets are required for these overflow spaces.

The ceremonies will also be

web cast online


Doors will open at 7:30 a.m. for the 9 a.m. undergraduate Commencement ceremony on April 26

. Colleges represented in that morning ceremony are the Carl H. Lindner College of Business; College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services; College of Engineering and Applied Science; College of Nursing; and the College-Conservatory of Music.

Doors will open at 12:30 p.m. for the 2 p.m. undergraduate Commencement ceremony on April 26

. Colleges represented in the afternoon ceremony are UC Blue Ash College; Clermont College; College of Allied Health Sciences; College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning; and the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences.

  • MEET some of the 2014 grads and read their first-person accounts.

  • MEET the undergraduate Presidential Leadership Medal of Excellence winners.

  • SEE more about the Tyehimba Celebration set for 7 p.m., Friday, April 25.

  • SEE more about the UC Air Force (April 27) and Army ROTC (April 25) commissioning ceremonies for spring graduates.

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