Hundreds of UC Merced graduates, their friends and familes will pack the Merced Theatre in downtown Merced this weekend as fall commencement ceremonies are celebrated. There are 427 Bobcats set to participate.
The pomp and circumstance begin at 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 15, with the Graduate Division Commencement Ceremony.
Undergraduate ceremonies will follow Saturday, Dec. 16. Graduates from the School of Natural Sciences and the School of Engineering will be celebrated in the first ceremony of the day at 9 a.m. A ceremony for students from the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts will be held at noon.
Keith Alley will be the keynote speaker at the ceremony for Graduate Division students. Alley was recruited to UC Merced as a founding faculty member in the School of Natural Sciences and as the vice chancellor for research and dean of graduate studies. He served as interim vice chancellor for administration and executive vice chancellor and provost from 2006 until his retirement in 2012.
Ted Mitchell will address undergraduate students at both Saturday ceremonies. Since 2017, Mitchell has been president of the American Council on Education (ACE) - the major coordinating body for the nation's colleges and universities that creates policies and practices for higher education learners across the country. From 2014 to 2017, Mitchell served under President Barack Obama as the United States Undersecretary of Education, responsible for initiatives that focused on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, minority-serving institutions and federal student aid.
Friday, Dec. 15, 6 p.m.
School of Engineering and School of Natural Sciences
Saturday, Dec. 16, 9 a.m.
School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts
Saturday, Dec. 16, noon
Tickets have been distributed to graduating students and are required for admission to the commencement ceremonies. Free parking will be available at multiple lots in the downtown area.
Those who won't be able to celebrate graduates in person can watch a livestream on the university's commencement webpage .