Ceremony: Saturday, May 12, 2018, 3:00 p.m.,
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. You can watch our live stream of Commencement on YouTube.

Commencement Speakers

Nancy Skolos and Thomas Wedell

A husband and wife team, Nancy Skolos and Thomas Wedell work to diminish the boundaries between graphic design and photography—creating collaged three-dimensional images influenced by cubism, technology, and architecture. The pair’s work came into its own in the 80s when the developing high technology industry opened up opportunities for making the invisible visible. Skolos and Wedell’s surreal photographic concepts combined with rational typographic structures gave voice to abstract concepts such ‘software.’ A 1993 Eye Magazine feature on the studio labeled their attitude “techno-cubist.” Over the span of their career, their approach has evolved and their client base has expanded, but their passion for experimentation with photography and design has remained the foundation of their vision.

Skolos and Wedell have authored two books: Type, Image, Message, and Graphic Design Process.

Their work has received numerous awards including gold, silver, and bronze prizes in the Warsaw, Lahti, and Toyama Poster Biennials and Triennials. They have been widely published and exhibited, with posters included in the graphic design collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, the Library of Congress, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Israel Museum, and the Museum für Gestaltung. Skolos is an elected member of the Alliance Graphique Internationale and a Boston AIGA Fellow. They have both been awarded the AIGA Medal. Nancy is a former dean of architecture and design at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Skolos and Wedell both teach graphic design at RISD and consider teaching to be as vital as practice. They are in the midst of renovating a house built by the modernist designer, Ira Rakatansky, which has significance in the architectural history of Providence.

You can read more about Nancy Skolos and Thomas Wedell on their website, and you can see more information about the Ira Rakatansky house online.

We must know you are coming!

The online survey to RSVP for commencement and receive tickets is now closed. If you missed the April 1 deadline and want to participate, please visit McNeal Hall Room 12 or Rapson Hall Room 107 to ask for a "Late RSVP for Commencement" form. While we will do our best to accommodate late ticket requests, we cannot guarantee tickets.

Commencement FAQs

Where do I pick up my cap and gown?

GradFest was Wednesday, March 21 and Thursday, March 22. While caps and gowns are optional, most students going through commencement each year do wear them. If you missed GradFest, you can still get your cap and gown at the University Bookstore in Coffman Memorial Union.

When and where do I check in for commencement?

Check in is at 2:00 PM! Leave your valuables with family or friends—we have no safe place to put them. After processing into the auditorium, students will be seated on the ground floor in the center sections. We expect the ceremony to end by 5 and will be followed by a reception in the Northrop Lobby and Northrop Plaza.

Where do I park?

Parking will be available on the East Bank 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. Please note that there will be a Minnesota United FC game taking place at TCF Bank Stadium during the commencement ceremony, which may impact parking. Campus maps are available.

How do I get to Northrop Auditorium?

Northrop Auditorium is located on the Twin Cities’s East Bank Campus.The official address is: 84 Church Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455. Find it on the campus map.

Where can my family and friends sit?

Open seating is available on the main floor and balconies. The doors to the auditorium will open at 2:15 PM and seating is on a first come, first served basis.

To arrange seating for guests with special needs please contact the Northrop ticket office at 612-624-2345.

Can I take photographs during the ceremony?

GradImages will attend the commencement ceremony and will be taking photographs of each graduate. They will send you color proofs via your U of M email and, if you decide to purchase copies of your photo,he 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.

When will I receive my 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 advisor 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 using FedEx delivery. See OneStop for more information.

How will academic achievements be recognized?

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 you receive in March. 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.