College of Design


Ceremony: Saturday, May 14, 2016, 3:00PM, Northrop Auditorium


Tickets will be required. You will be guaranteed six tickets, and we will maintain a list of requests for additional tickets, subject to availability.


Commencement Speaker: University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler


Ceremony begins at 3; slideshow of student work starts at 2:15



We must know you are coming! In early March we will send all eligible students (students who have applied to graduate fall 2015, spring 2016, and summer 2016) an email with a link to an online survey. We need you to complete this survey so we can pronounce your name correctly as you walk across the stage and to issue tickets for your family and friends.


Here’s your Commencement checklist:

  • Complete the online survey by Friday, April 15. We need to know you are coming and how to pronounce your name. Completing the survey will put your name on the list for up to 6 tickets for family and friends. We cannot guarantee that tickets will be available for students who do not take the survey by the deadline. Students who need additional tickets may email for up to two more tickets if available. We will begin issuing additional tickets May 1.
  • Cap and Gown at Grad Fest—no hassle for your tassle!Wednesday, March 30 and Thursday, March 31.  Caps and gowns are optional, but most students going through commencement each year do wear them.
  • Ceremony details: Check in is at 2:00! Leave your valuables with family or friends—we have no safe place to put them.
  • Parking: Parking will be available in the 4th Street Ramp (4th Street & 17th Ave. SE), the Washington Ave. Ramp (Washington and Harvard), as well as a number of lots along 4th Street SE running parallel to University Avenue.
  • Directions to Northrop Auditorium
  • Seating: Open seating on the main floor and balconies. The doors to the auditorium will open at 2:15 p.m.
  • Seating arrangements for guests with special needs can be arranged by noting this on the online survey or by calling Gayle Whitney at (612) 624-4244.
  • Photographs: GradImages will attend commencement and will be taking photographs of each graduate and will send you color proofs via your U of M e-mail.The proofs will be mailed within a week of the ceremony.Family members are encouraged to relax in their seats and limit their personal picture taking to before or after the ceremony.
  • Diploma: Most students generally receive their diplomas two to three months after completing their degree requirements. Participation in the graduation ceremony does not guarantee that you have completed your degree. Be sure to contact your academic adviser if you have questions or concerns about completing your degree requirements. International students: Diplomas currently take two to three months LONGER to reach your international address. Consider ordering FedEx delivery. See for more information.
  • Recognition for Academic Achievement: If you are an undergraduate graduating with a cumulative GPA of 3.75 or above, and/OR if you are completing the honors program, please be sure note that on the online survey. Your achievement will be noted in the program. Students graduating with distinction (GPA 3.75-3.89) or high distinction (3.90 or above) will receive honors cords when checking in at commencement. Students completing Latin Honors will receive an honors medallion directly from UHP.


About our speaker: Eric Kaler


Eric Kaler Since taking office on July 1, 2011, President Eric Kaler has focused on core priorities: academic excellence, access for qualified students, diversity, stewardship of tuition and public dollars, a world-class research enterprise that aligns with the needs of the state of Minnesota and its industries, and a deep commitment to public engagement and outreach, locally and globally.


That vision has lifted the University to the nation’s eighth most active public research university, to a Top 30 global ranking, to record numbers of applicants, to more than $350 million in gifts from 78,000 donors in 2015, and to new partnerships with the State of Minnesota that has kept a lid on tuition, helped reduce student debt, and allowed students and faculty to create and build on a new “Grand Challenges” curriculum and research initiative.


Kaler’s personal commitment to excellence was rewarded in April 2014 when he was named to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies. He was elected in two categories: for his work as a chemical engineer and as a higher education administrator.


Among other activities, Kaler is a member of the Guthrie Theater Board, the co-chair of Generation Next — a community effort to help close Minnesota’s K-12 educational achievement and opportunity gaps —Chair of the Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors, and the Big Ten representative on the NCAA Division I Board of Directors.


In 2010, Kaler was elected to the National Academy of Engineering, the highest honor for a leader of that discipline and profession, andbased on distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.In 2012, then-Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano named him to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council, on which he continues to serve. In 2013, he was named a Charter Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.


Kaler received his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University in 1982. He went on to become one of the nation’s foremost experts on “complex fluids,” which have applications in drug delivery, food processing, pharmaceuticals, and manufacturing.


Before coming to the U, Kaler served from 2007 to 2011 as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, New York. Previously, he was dean of the University of Delaware’s College of Engineering. He also taught at the University of Washington. He received his undergraduate degree from the California Institute of Technology in 1978.


Kaler and his wife, Karen, have two adult sons.





The commencement recording is on YouTube here.




Contact Information

College of Design

Saint Paul Offices

32 McNeal Hall, 1985 Buford Ave, St. Paul, MN 55108

P: 612-626-9068 | F: 612-625-1922

[directions and maps]

Minneapolis Offices

101 Rapson Hall, 89 Church St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455

P: 612-626-9068 | F: 612-625-7525

[directions and maps]

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