University of Minnesota Duluth

UMD's 2012 Baccalaureate Ceremony.

UMD Expands to Two Undergraduate Commencements

Pao Lor has a large family and they all want to come to commencement: brothers and sisters and their spouses, nieces, nephews, his mom and dad, and his grandmother.
Nathan Mekonnen said he wants everyone to come to his commencement, "I’m happy I don’t have to go through the process of picking and choosing who in my family gets to come and who doesn't."

UMD's graduation celebration will now be bigger and better because UMD has expanded to two undergraduate commencement ceremonies. The university has anticipated the change because, almost each year for more than a decade, the graduating class has been getting consecutively larger.

One of the problems with the old method of one commencement was the limit on tickets. While the tickets have always been free, UMD could only distribute a few to each student. Even with the move to the larger Amsoil Arena in 2011, the number of guest tickets per graduate had been whittled down to four.

Tickets are not required for any of the 2013 commencement programs./p>

About 750 students will participate at each of the two undergraduate commencements, instead of approximately 1,400 students all in one event.


Pao Lor, a senior from St. Paul, Minn., majoring in criminology, appreciates the change. "My brothers and sisters and their spouses want to come," he said. "I want my grandmother, my mom, and my dad to stay the weekend and see Duluth." He's got nieces and nephews coming too.

Nathan Mekonnen, a senior from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, majoring in chemistry, is thankful for the change in the commencement ceremony. “I have a big family here in the states and will have around 12 family members that will be attending graduation,” he said. Mekonnen confesses that if he had to pick who could come, he would have probably just let his family make the choices. “I’m happy I don’t have to go through the process of picking and choosing who in my family gets to come, and who doesn't."


At the 10 am Baccalaureate Ceremony, graduates from the Labovitz School of Business and Economics (LSBE) and the Swenson College of Science and Engineering (SCSE) will have their commencement.

At the 3 pm Baccalaureate Ceremony, graduates from the College of Education and Human Service Professions (CEHSP), the School of Fine Arts (SFA) and the College of Liberal Arts (CLA) will have their commencement. 

Graduate School commencement will be held at 7 pm Thursday, May 16, in the UMD Romano Gymnasium, as it has been for many years.

More information about commencement can be found here

Story by Cheryl Reitan and Korin Olgaard

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