2024 Commencement Schedule

Questions? Call the Office of Conferences and Special Events, at (413) 542-2845.

Friday, May 24, 2024

2:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Welcome Center and Housing Check-in for seniors and families. Alumni House (see parking map)

2:30 to 4:00 p.m

Curator Talk at the Mead

"Who stole Ukrainian art?: A Short Survey of Modernism in Ukraine"talk by Konstantin Akinsha, curator of the new Mead exhibit “The Juncture.” The short life of Ukrainian modernism reflects the tragic events of the history of Ukraine in the 20th century. As works by Ukrainian modernists were discovered decades later, they were often labeled “Russian." Ukrainian art historians are now working to reclaim Ukrainian art appropriated by Russians. This lecture will shed light on the validity of Ukrainian claims and the Russian response to them. Stirn Auditorium

5:00 p.m. 

Commencement Rehearsal. Mandatory for seniors; families need not attend. Main Quadrangle (Johnson Chapel in case of rain).

Saturday, May 25, 2024

8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Welcome Center and Housing Check-in for seniors and families. Alumni House (see parking map).

9:00 a.m.

Phi Beta Kappa Meeting. Induction ceremony for new members of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest honor society of arts and sciences. Students elected to membership in this honor society are those of the highest standing. Remarks delivered by Ilan Stavans, Lewis-Sebring Professor of Humanities and Latin American and Latino Culture. Family and friends are welcome. Stirn Auditorium 

10:00 a.m.

Baccalaureate Celebration. Seniors play a significant role in this interfaith gathering that includes music, readings, and an address. Religious and Spiritual Life staff and student leaders will offer brief blessings and reflections, and Jean Esther, Buddhist teacher and psychotherapist, will offer the Baccalaureate address. Musical selections will be performed by the Zumbyes. Johnson Chapel

11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Conversations with Honored Guests

“Casa Pueblo in Puerto Rico: A Community-Based Model of Self-Decolonization” talk by Alexis Massol González, founder (with his spouse, Tinti Deyá) of Casa Pueblo, a community-based watchdog organization in south-central Puerto Rico aimed at protecting the area’s natural resources and implementing far-reaching solutions that benefit the environment and the people who live in it. This talk will be delivered in Spanish with English translation. Kirkpatrick Lecture Hall, Science Center

“The Art and Science of the Politics of Confrontation” talk by Junius Williams '65, a nationally recognized attorney, musician and educator who has been at the forefront of the civil and human rights movements in the U.S. for decades. Pruyne Lecture Hall, Fayerweather Hall

12:30 to 2:00 p.m.

Luncheon for seniors, families, faculty, and staff. If there is inclement weather, additional seating will be available in Valentine Dining Hall. Valentine Quadrangle 

1:00 p.m.

Sigma Xi Meeting. Induction ceremony for new members of The Scientific Research Society. Lewis-Sebring Dining Commons, Valentine Dining Hall

1:00 to 6:30 p.m.

Departmental Events. See the 2024 Departmental Events schedule for times and information for specific academic departments.

2:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Conversations with Honored Guests

“Life Lessons from Asian American Studies” talk by Elaine Kim, a pioneer and professor emerita in the field of Asian American and Asian diaspora studies in the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Pruyne Lecture Hall, Fayerweather Hall

“Free People Read Freely” talk by Lauren Groff '01, three-time National Book Award finalist and the New York Times-bestselling author of the novels The Monsters of Templeton, Arcadia, Fates and Furies, Matrix and The Vaster Wilds, and the celebrated short story collections Delicate Edible Birds and Florida. Johnson Chapel

3:15 to 4:15 p.m.

Conversations with Honored Guests

“Mathemalchemy: how intrepid souls created an installation celebrating the joy, creativity and beauty of mathematics” talk by Ingrid Daubechies, The James B. Duke Distinguished Professor of Mathematics and Electrical and Computer Engineering at Duke University, renowned for her research on wavelets and their use in separating a signal from surrounding noise or random data, as well as her work constructing wavelets, which contributed to the development of computers. Kirkpatrick Lecture Hall, Science Center

"Look Down, Now Look Up: Music as a Map" talk by Jason Moran, Jazz pianist, composer and multimedia performance artist Jason Moran is the artistic director for jazz at the Kennedy Center and a member of the faculty of the New England Conservatory of Music. Arms Music Center

4:30 to 6:00 p.m.

President’s Garden Reception. President Michael A. Elliott ’92 hosts a gathering for seniors, families, faculty, and staff. President’s House

8:00 p.m.

Choral Society Concert. The Choral Society includes the Glee Club and the Concert Choir, directed by Arianne Abela. The performance will feature music from all over the world as well as traditional Amherst songs. The Choral Society performs their annual Commencement Concert to honor our graduating class. This concert is free. General seating. Doors open 30-minutes before the concert. Buckley Recital Hall, Arms Music Center

Sunday, May 26, 2024

8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Welcome Center Open. Alumni House (see parking map).

10:00 a.m.

The 203rd Commencement. Addresses by President Michael A. Elliott ’92 and Taha Zafar Ahmad ’24. Presentation of Honorary Degrees and the Phebe and Zephaniah Swift Moore Teaching Awards. 
Main Quadrangle (livestreamed at Amherst.edu/go/webcast)

12:30 to 2:00 p.m.

Luncheon for seniors, families, faculty, and staff. In the event of inclement weather, additional seating will be available in Valentine Dining Hall. Valentine Quadrangle

Note: Barring severe weather, Commencement is held outdoors on the Main Quadrangle, a shaded green space in the center of campus with ample seating. Tickets are required only if Commencement is moved indoors. Due to occupancy limitations, each graduating student is limited to two ticketed guests, should the ceremony be moved indoors. Ticketed guests will be seated in the indoor venue, and remaining family and friends will have the opportunity to watch a livestream of the event from multiple locations on campus. Indoor tickets are distributed to graduates during Commencement weekend. To learn the location of Sunday’s Commencement ceremony, call (413) 542-INFO (4636) or go to Amherst.edu/commencement after 8 a.m. on Sunday.