UM’s 165th Commencement Set this Weekend

Acclaimed historian, biographer Walter Isaacson to speak Saturday morning

The University of Mississippi’s 165th Commencement will take place Saturday, May 12. Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi will present degrees to some 5,000 students Saturday (May 12) at its 165th Commencement. The ceremony, set for 9 a.m. in the Grove, features renowned historian and biographer Walter Isaacson as speaker.

Isaacson, who also was head of both CNN and Time magazine, is a professor of history at Tulane University in New Orleans, where he grew up. He’s also a graduate of Harvard College and Pembroke College of Oxford University, in Oxford, England, where he was a Rhodes scholar. In 2003, Isaacson became president and CEO of the Aspen Institute, a nonpartisan educational and policy studies institute based in Washington, D.C. 

The morning convocation is expected to be attended by about 3,000 degree candidates in academic regalia. Seating for 15,000 will be set up in the Grove for visitors and families and is filled on a first-come basis.

Ceremonies for the individual schools will follow at various locations throughout the day.

In case of rain, the main ceremony will be moved to 9:30 a.m. at The Pavilion at Ole Miss.

If the weather is threatening, a decision on moving the ceremony indoors will be made by 8 a.m. Saturday and announced via a RebAlert text message, Twitter, a banner on the UM website and a blast email to students, faculty and staff. A recorded message also will be available at 662-915-1040 and signs will be posted on the Grove stage.

For complete details about Commencement, visit The site features information about parking, transportation and dining options for graduates, visitors, faculty and staff.

Those not able to attend Commencement who would like to watch the ceremony can visit to view a live stream that will begin promptly at 9 a.m.

Here are more details about Commencement weekend.

Full Schedule of Commencement Events

Friday (May 11)

4 p.m. – Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College Ceremony, Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts (tickets required, contact the Dean’s Office)

5:30 p.m. – Celebration of Achievement, Manning Center

7:30 p.m. – Graduate School doctoral hooding ceremony, Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts

Saturday (May 12)

9 a.m. – Convocation, the Grove

Inclement Weather – 9:30 a.m., The Pavilion

11 a.m. – College of Liberal Arts master’s degree ceremony, Fulton Chapel

School of Law – the Grove
Inclement Weather – 6 p.m., Manning Center

School of Engineering – Lyceum Circle
Inclement Weather – 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., Student Union Ballroom (Contact the Dean’s office for individual department ceremony times.)

School of Education – the Grove
Inclement Weather – 6 p.m., The Pavilion

School of Business Administration – C. M. “Tad” Smith Coliseum

Patterson School of Accountancy – Manning Center

School of Applied Sciences – The Pavilion

School of Pharmacy – Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts

3 p.m. – College of Liberal Arts – The Pavilion

Meek School of Journalism and New Media – C. M. “Tad” Smith Coliseum

General Studies – Manning Center

Parking and Transportation

It is recommended that guests park in the lots designated for the school or college ceremony they will be attending after convocation concludes. For more details and a full list of these designated parking areas can be found at

No parking or drop-off will be available on University Avenue or the Circle. Note that once the morning convocation starts, vehicle access to the Grove is limited until convocation and school ceremonies in the Grove conclude.

For safety reasons, parking is not permitted along roadways, sidewalks or grassy areas.

Faculty and staff who are on campus Saturday are urged to park near their buildings and walk to the Grove. Additional faculty and staff parking will be available in the Women’s Terrace lot and the lot behind Crosby Hall.

NCAA Tennis Tournament

Those planning to attend Commencement are reminded that the Ole Miss women’s tennis team will host the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament on Friday and Saturday at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center. The tennis center is located between Magnolia Drive and Fraternity Row, and tournament attendance is expected to affect parking in this area of campus.

Ole Miss faces Missouri State at 3 p.m. Friday, while Syracuse and Wichita State will kick off the weekend at noon Friday. The winners meet at 2 p.m. Saturday.

ADA Information

A shuttle service will be available primarily for those with special needs, not the general public. All guests who require assistance should park in the garage attached to The Pavilion on Hill Drive. Wheelchairs, if needed, must be provided by families.

The university has identified ADA/handicap parking areas for both the morning Grove convocation and each of the college/school ceremonies.

To request information prior to Saturday, call 662-915-7235.

Emergency Medical Services

EMS will be available at the UPD area of the Welcome Center on University Avenue for Commencement and the remainder of the day. All information booths and ceremony venues will have basic first-aid kits. For immediate assistance, dial 911.

Information Booths

Information booths staffed by UM employees will be located in key areas around campus on Saturday. At each location, volunteers may assist visitors with ADA shuttle inquiries, driving directions and any other questions they may have about Commencement.

Each booth will have campus maps, complimentary water and general first-aid supplies. Information booths will be at the following locations:

  1. Entrance to the parking garage on Hill Drive *Designated for ADA parking, all those requiring assistance should park here.7 a.m.-3 p.m.
  2. Welcome Center on University Avenue by the Grove (the official University Police Department EMS station) 7 a.m.-noon
  3. South side of Olivia and Archie Manning Athletics Performance Center 7 a.m.-3 p.m.
  4. Intersection of West Road and Fraternity Row 7 a.m.-3 p.m.
  5. Student Union Drive/Rebel Drive intersection 7 a.m.-noon
  6. University Avenue/University Place 7 a.m.-noon


Ole Miss Student Union

Chick-fil-A 7 a.m.-3 p.m.

Panda Express 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Which Wich 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Qdoba 7 a.m.-3 p.m.

McAlister’s 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Coulter Hall

Starbucks 7 a.m.-1 p.m.

The Pavilion

Steak ‘n Shake 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Raising Cane’s 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Closed on Saturday

Grill @ 1810

Rebel Market


Starbucks (J.D. Williams Library)

Einstein’s (All locations)

POD (All locations)