Join the CU Boulder campus in honoring our newest graduates at the spring commencement ceremony on Thursday, May 10, where 8,163 degrees will be awarded. The event will feature CU Boulder alumna and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown as the speaker.
The ceremony will honor fall 2017 and 2018 spring and summer degree candidates, including 6,063 bachelor’s degrees, 1,487 master’s degrees, 199 law degrees and 414 doctoral degrees.*
Stadium gates open at 7 a.m. Guests should be in their seats by 8:15 a.m. to watch the student processional. Attendees should leave ample time for traffic, parking and security screening. City and campus roads may be congested for approximately one and a half hours before the ceremony and about an hour afterward.
The only bags allowed are bags that are clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and do not exceed 12" x 6" x 12" or one-gallon (or smaller) clear plastic food-storage-type bags. No other bags are permitted—including backpacks, diaper bags and other similar bags.
The ceremony is held outdoors regardless of weather, and attendees are encouraged to dress appropriately for Colorado’s ever-changing conditions. In the event of heavy rain or snow, an abbreviated ceremony will be held. Follow local media and alerts.colorado.edu for any weather-related delays.
Early arrival is recommended. Guests attending departmental recognition ceremonies directly following the main ceremony are encouraged to park in areas near their department ceremony. (Please review the Department Recognition Ceremonies webpage for specific locations.)
Check out the campus map for a visual of the affected areas during commencement.
CU Boulder alumna and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown will give the commencement address. Since taking office in 2015, Gov. Brown has made significant strides for Oregon’s economy, including raising the minimum wage and investing in green energy, education and public transportation. Brown is the first openly LGBTQ governor in the country. She succeeded Gov. John Kitzhaber upon his resignation and went on to win a 2016 special election.
From 2009 to 2015, she served as Oregon’s secretary of state and previously served 17 years as a state legislator. Brown earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in environmental conservation with a certificate in women’s studies from CU Boulder in 1981.
Lucile Berkeley Buchanan
Lucile Berkeley Buchanan, the first African-American woman to graduate from CU Boulder, was barred from walking across the Macky Auditorium stage to accept her degree in 1918. College of Media, Communication and Information Associate Professor Polly McLean, who wrote a book on Buchanan, will symbolically accept Buchanan's degree on stage this year.
Richard Schaden, an aeronautical engineer, aviation lawyer and entrepreneur, will be awarded the honorary degree Doctor of Humane Letters in recognition of his generosity and dedication to engineering, entrepreneurship, education and the law.
College, department ceremonies
Many departments within CU Boulder’s schools and colleges will hold events to personally recognize their graduates. Students should check with their individual departments for more information.
More than 250,000 CU Boulder alumni are part of the Forever Buffs community with access to all of the programs, events, benefits and services offered by the Alumni Association dues-free for life.
- 2,504 alumni have served in the Peace Corps
- 14 astronauts
- Byron White, Supreme Court justice
- Matt Stone; co-creator and executive producer, South Park
- Cynthia Lawrence, opera singer
- Roy Romer, Colorado governor
- Kate Brown, Oregon governor
- Mary Decker Slaney, world-class runner
- Rick Reilly, sports writer
- Billy Kidd, Olympic skier
- Roberta Ramo, first female president of the American Bar Association
- Jim Gray, television sportscaster for ESPN, CBS and NBC
- Hank Brown, U.S. senator
- David Grusin, composer
- Jeanne Jackson; CEO, Banana Republic, Walmart.com
- More notable alumni
*Note: These figures were updated May 1, 2018.