NORMAN – The pageantry and pomp of herald trumpets and the Kiowa Black Leggings Society as well as the Pipes and Drums of the Highlanders will usher in the University of Oklahoma’s 125th Commencement ceremony, to be held at 7 p.m. Friday, May 12, at The Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.
OU alumnus and president of Oklahoma City University Robert H. Henry will serve as OU’s 2017 Commencement speaker. Henry is a distinguished legal and foreign relations scholar, public servant and civic leader. Henry was appointed as president of OCU in 2010.
The processional of the president’s platform party, faculty and graduates to the stadium will begin at 7 p.m. Friday along the Brooks Mall area, located north of the stadium. During the pre-Commencement concert, beginning at 6:15 p.m., family and friends of graduates can view a presentation on SoonerVision of photos of OU’s graduating class members who have had their photos taken for Sooner yearbook.
Music will be provided by the University Commencement Choir. International and Native American flags representing OU’s international and Native American students and faculty will be displayed during the ceremony.
The Commencement ceremony will feature the official conferring of degrees by OU President David L. Boren. During Commencement, OU expects to confer degrees to more than 7,510 students who completed their coursework in the spring, as well as summer and December 2016 graduates. This year OU will award approximately 4,601 bachelor’s degrees, 1,689 master’s degrees, 253 doctoral degrees, 748 professional degrees and 219 college-level certificates. Also eligible to participate in the Commencement ceremony are 2,993 students who graduated in August 2016 or December 2016. The ceremony will be capped off with a gigantic fireworks display as a salute to the Classes of 2016 and 2017. Also, this year’s Commencement ceremony will be available to livestream atondemand.ou.edu.
Stadium gates will open at 5:30 p.m., and guests are asked to enter the stadium through gates 5, 6, 7, 9, 11, 12 and 13. The southern side of gate 9 is the preferred accessibility entrance for guests who need special accommodation. To obtain accessibility parking and seating passes, please contact the Graduation Office at (405) 325-0841.
The new parking facility located on Jenkins Avenue, south of The Gaylord Family—Oklahoma Memorial Stadium will be open to the public. Parking also will be available at Lloyd Noble Center, and complimentary shuttle service will run continuously from 5 p.m. until the last shuttle leaves from the stadium at 11 p.m. for those attending Commencement.
Students and their families and friends attending OU’s 2017 Commencement ceremony are asked to leave behind certain items that are prohibited because of security reasons. All who enter the stadium for Commencement are subject to search, as are all carried items.
Except for items pertaining to medical conditions or child care, all bags, backpacks, large cases for binoculars or other items, fanny packs and large purses (larger than 10-inch-by-10-inch) are prohibited. Prohibited items must be returned to the owner’s car or discarded, and any unlawful items are subject to confiscation.
Other prohibited items include:
- alcoholic and other beverages (empty water bottles will be allowed and water is available for purchase inside the stadium)
- banners and signs
- beach balls
- fanny packs
- food and beverages
- folding chairs or stools (stadium seats with armrests without pockets are allowed; stadium seats will be available for rental for $10 each)
- gift-wrapped packages
- hover boards
- ice chests, coolers and other similar containers
- laser pointers
- all noise makers (e.g., air horns, whistles)
- pets (other than service animals)
- personal heaters
- selfie sticks
Items that are allowed for Commencement and Convocations only include stadium seats as described above, baby strollers, baby seats, still photography cameras, video cameras and umbrellas.
Guests also are reminded that all OU facilities are tobacco, electronic cigarette and vaping device-free. The use of all tobacco products including but not limited to cigarettes, cigars, pipes, smokeless tobacco, electronic cigarettes and vaping devices is prohibited anywhere on the OU grounds or campus.
In the event of severe weather, Commencement will be moved to Lloyd Noble Center, 2900 S. Jenkins Ave. For additional information on Commencement and the inclement weather plan, please visitwww.ou.edu/commencement. “Inclement Weather Plan” is located under “Commencement Information” in the left submenu of the website. Confirmation of the Commencement location will be available on the website or by calling (405) 325-0841.
For the latest information on the individual college convocations and receptions, please visitwww.ou.edu/commencement or contact the Graduation Office at (405) 325-0841.