For the first time in three years, CU Boulder will honor its newest graduates in person at the spring commencement ceremony at Folsom Field on Thursday, May 5, where more than 9,000 degrees will be awarded. The event will feature CU Boulder alumnus and award-winning journalist and Washington correspondent for NBC News Tom Costello as the speaker.
The ceremony will honor fall 2021 and 2022 spring and summer degree candidates, including an estimated 6,873 bachelor’s degrees, 1,514 master’s degrees, 189 law degrees, 160 MBAs and 392 doctoral degrees.
The ceremony will include:
- Remarks by Chancellor Philip DiStefano.
- A congratulatory message from CU President Todd Saliman.
- The commencement speaker address by Tom Costello, NBC News correspondent.
- The Senior Class Council address.
- The traditional senior class celebratory video.
- A presentation of the Chancellor’s Recognition Awards and Outstanding Graduates.
- The conferral of degrees.
- A welcome to the Forever Buffs family.
- A reading of the Norlin Charge by the University of Colorado Board of Regents.
- A performance of the Alma Mater.
Stadium gates open at 7 a.m. Guests should be in their seats by 8:15 a.m. to watch the student procession. Attendees should leave ample time for traffic, parking and security screening. City and campus roads may be congested for approximately 90 minutes before the ceremony and about an hour afterward.
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 alumnus Tom Costello, an award-winning journalist and Washington correspondent for NBC News will give the commencement address.
Costello, who grew up in Centennial, Colorado, and graduated from CU Boulder with a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism in 1987, spent six years at 9News in Denver. As an Emmy award-winning NBC News correspondent based in Washington, D.C., he now reports daily across all NBC News and MSNBC platforms, including TODAY, NBC Nightly News, MSNBC and NBC News Now.
As a journalist, Costello has covered a range of topics, from the billionaire space race and the European financial markets to the death of Princess Diana; the two fatal crashes of Boeing’s 737-MAX and subsequent investigations; the shoot-down of a Ukrainian jetliner over Tehran; and the search for Malaysia Airlines flight 370. He was instrumental in covering the “Miracle on the Hudson” passenger jet landing in 2009, for which NBC News was honored with a national Emmy Award.
Meet the commencement marshal
A professor in CU Boulder’s Department of Theatre & Dance, Bud Coleman is no stranger to having a leading role. Trained as an actor and dancer, he has performed in front of large audiences. But, he says, there’s something magical about leading a ceremony that brings such joy to all in attendance. Learn more about what it's like to lead the ceremony, and get background on some of the commencement traditions, including the mace and academic hoods.
College, department ceremonies
Many departments within CU Boulder’s schools and colleges will hold events May 5–8 to personally recognize their graduates. Students should check with their individual departments for more information.
Cap and gown info
All students are required to wear regalia to participate in the spring 2022 commencement ceremony.
- Undergraduates purchase regalia from the CU Book Store either in store or online.
- Master’s and doctoral students buy regalia online from Jostens. Although the deadline for ordering online has passed, Jostens will have limited quantities of regalia available at the Balch Fieldhouse during the week of finals.
Honorary degrees, Distinguished Service Award, University Medal
Juan Espinosa will be awarded the honorary degree Doctor of Humane Letters in recognition of his half-century relating the Colorado Chicano Movement through words and images.
Linda Hogan will be awarded the honorary degree Doctor of Humane Letters in recognition of her literary achievements and compassion for the natural world.
Ryan Haygood will be awarded the Distinguished Service Award for his dedication to social justice and leadership in the preservation of democracy.
Michael Leeds, will be awarded the University Medal for his commitment to the success and strength of the University of Colorado.
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.
- 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.
- Tom Costello, award-winning journalist and Washington correspondent for NBC News.
- Rick Reilly, sports writer.
- Savannah Sellers, correspondent for NBC News and MSNBC.
- 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.