January-April 2023Vol.XXXV No. 3

Planning for Commencement 2023

James Poterba

MIT introduced a new format for Commencement last year. Rather than awarding all degrees at a single marathon event on Killian Court, the practice prior to the 2020 and 2021 online ceremonies, the 2022 celebration involved three components: a OneMIT Ceremony for all degree candidates, the Undergraduate Degree Ceremony, and a series of Advanced Degree Ceremonies for the students in each School and the College. This format, which spanned two days, was generally well received. There were several lessons learned from the 2022 experience, however, and we have tried to incorporate them in planning for this year’s festivities.  

Commencement 2023 will follow the same basic format as last year, but events will take place over three days instead of two and the OneMIT Ceremony will be on Thursday afternoon rather than Friday morning. These changes are designed to reduce conflicts for graduates and faculty who would like to attend multiple ceremonies.

Activities will begin on Wednesday afternoon, May 31, with the Advanced Degree Ceremony for the School of Science and the combined ceremony for the School of Engineering and the College of Computing. On Thursday morning, June 1, there will be Advanced Degree Ceremonies for the Schools of Architecture and Planning; Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences; and several programs within the Sloan School of Management. On Thursday afternoon, the OneMIT Ceremony, featuring the address by Commencement speaker Mark Rober, President Kornbluth’s charge to the graduates, and the traditional turning of the class ring, will take place on Killian Court. Finally, the festivities will conclude on Friday, June 2, with the Undergraduate Degree Ceremony at 10 am on Killian Court and two ceremonies for Sloan advanced degree programs.

I hope that you will make every effort to participate in one or more of the Commencement events, which celebrate important life milestones for our graduates. Our students are thrilled when they see their instructors sharing in their joy and accomplishment.

You should have already received an email invitation to participate in Commencement. This year, it is possible to register and order regalia on your mobile device via a new section of the MIT Atlas app. Detailed instructions are included in the invitation email. The deadline for ordering regalia is Wednesday, April 19.

I welcome your feedback as we continue to refine the new format and look forward to seeing you at one or more ceremonies.