Graduates to celebrate successes at Commencement 2016 on May 8

Dressed in their caps and gowns, 273 Cornell College graduates will celebrate the end of their careers at Cornell and the beginning of the next phases of their lives during commencement on Sunday, May 8.

271 graduates received their diplomas during the 2015 Commencement ceremony.
271 graduates received their diplomas during the 2015 Commencement ceremony.

The ceremony for the class of 2016 starts at 10 a.m. and will be held, weather-permitting, outdoors on the quad bordered by South Hall, College Hall, and Norton Geology. No tickets are required. Cornell is asking all guests to be seated by 9:45 a.m.  

Commencement will feature a faculty speaker and a senior speaker. Kahn Branch ’16 was selected as the student speaker. He is graduating with a major in international relations and minors in religion and political thought. Professor of Psychology Melinda Green was selected as the faculty speaker. The graduating class nominates the speakers. Seniors, then, vote for one of the top three student nominees, while the president and dean of the college select the faculty speaker out of the top three nominees.

After commencement, each graduate receives three complimentary tickets for brunch at the Hilltop Café.

*If the commencement ceremony is moved indoors due to weather, it will be held at the Richard and Norma Small Multi-Sport Center. Doors will open at 8:30 a.m.

Commencement will be live streamed here.  

Baccalaureate will unfold from 3-4 p.m. on Saturday, May 7, at King Chapel. The college is asking guests to be seated by 2:45 p.m. This Cornell tradition features playful and meaningful words of gratitude by graduating seniors on behalf of their faculty, family, staff, and friends, as well as music played on the College’s impressive Moller organ, and inter-spiritual wisdom for the life journey which includes a message by Professor of Religion Joseph Molleur.

*Other events are also scheduled throughout the weekend.

For more information, please contact Public Relations Director Jill Hawk at 319.895.4232 or