Stanford to honor and celebrate graduates at 126th Commencement

By Kathleen J. Sullivan

Stanford will honor graduates during the June 15-19 Commencement Weekend with festivities galore, beginning with Senior Dinner on the Quad on Thursday and ending with a performance by the Stanford Chamber Chorale in Memorial Church on Sunday afternoon.

Wacky Walk

Stanford Commencement ceremonies lead off each year with the traditional Wacky Walk in Stanford Stadium. (Image credit: Stanford University)

The main event, the 126th Commencement ceremony, will take place from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, June 18, in Stanford Stadium. Baccalaureate, a multi-faith gathering led by students, will take place from 10 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 17, in the Main Quad.

This year, Stanford will award 1,703 bachelor’s degrees, 2,437 master’s degrees and 1,058 doctoral degrees, according to preliminary numbers released late last week.

Mariano-Florentino “Tino” Cuéllar, associate justice of the Supreme Court of California and a Stanford alumnus, will give the Commencement address.

Cuéllar, a naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in Mexico, earned a bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, from Harvard in 1993, a J.D. from Yale in 1997, and a doctorate in political science from Stanford in 2000. He joined the Stanford faculty in 2001, and from 2013 to 2015 served as director of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, where he supervised 12 research centers and programs.

During the Commencement ceremony, three members of the Stanford faculty, two members of the staff and three students will receive 2017 Cuthbertson, Dinkelspiel and Gores Awards.

The ceremony will be webcast live. Recordings will be available on Stanford iTunes and Stanford YouTube following the event. A link to those recordings will be added to the Commencement website when they are available.

Following the Commencement ceremony, departments and programs will host individual diploma ceremonies in locations across campus both outdoors – groves, lawns and plazas – and indoors, including Memorial Church, Maples Pavilion and the Hewlett Teaching Center.

For a quick overview of the weekend’s highlights, find a downloadable brochure here.

Marian Wright Edelman, the founder and president of the Children’s Defense Fund, will give the Baccalaureate address on Saturday morning.

Graduating senior Emma Coleman will give the student address at Baccalaureate, an event for students and their families and friends. Coleman, who is from Chicago, is earning a bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity.

During Commencement Weekend, various campus organizations host special celebrations for graduating students and their guests, including graduation dinners, receptions and an organ concert in Memorial Church. President Marc Tessier-Lavigne and his wife, Mary Hynes, will host a reception for graduates and their guests in the gardens of Hoover House.

Stanford will host an Undergraduate Medals Ceremony on Saturday for students who have won awards for their honors theses, including the Golden Medal for Excellence in the Humanities and in the Creative Arts, the Firestone Medal for Excellence in Undergraduate Research, and the Kennedy Thesis Prize.

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