Time has flown by these last few years and graduation is right around the corner! The RC celebrates seniors in their own awesome way each year with a special commencement ceremony. Read on the find out more!

The Basics & Info for 2024 RC Graduates:

  • Who’s invited? All December 2023, May 2024, and August 2024 graduates. Friends and family are also invited and encouraged to celebrate with us! 
  • When is it? Saturday, May 4th, 2:00 pm 
  • What's the celebration? Each RC Student has 1 minute on stage to celebrate in any way they like!
  • Where does the fun happen? The Lydia Mendelssohn Theater, located in the Michigan League. A reception in EQ will follow. Click here for directions
    • Note: The University ceremony will be held earlier that same day; you and your guests may choose to attend either or both ceremonies. Click here for information about the Big House commencement.

How RC Commencement Works: 

Yes, it's true that each RC student has about 1 minute to say, do, recite, sing, act-out, whatever you want on the stage. Yes, it's true and welcome that some students pool their time and perform group skits or musical offerings. Yes, it’s also true that you needn’t feel compelled to wear a cap and/or gown.

While weather and parental sensibilities might require that you wear some sort of clothing, we don’t spend a lot of time worrying about what you wear. And finally, yes, after the ceremony, we all proceed from the Mendelssohn to EQ with bagpipe accompaniment for a reception at which all are welcome. 

Our commencement usually lasts until 4:00 or 4:30 pm, and the reception lasts another hour or so. Details about the reception to follow.

RC Commencement Timeline:

  • Grads & Guests Arrival: 1:30-1:45 pm
    • RC staff will be there to greet you!
    • We'll ask you to write your name pronunciation on a notecard to help our illustrious Master of Ceremonies, Charlie Murphy, as he announces you during the ceremony.
  • Seating and Procession: 
    • Guests will sit in the theater, the main floor and balcony are both open. 
    • Grads will join their classmates in the "Green Room" to enter the theater together.
      • No need to be alphabetized! Feel free to sit with whomever you would like - unless you're "combining your minutes" and if that's the case, be sure to sit together.
      • Bring any props, instruments, costumes, etc., with you during this time :)
    • Should your guests need assistance/direction with seating, please have them speak with one of the ushers.
  • Ceremony Begins: 2:00 pm
    • Approximate length of program/ceremony: 2 hours.
      • The RC Director and Faculty will enter first! 
      • Grads will process into the theater and take their seats in the front rows.
    • Each grad will carry their namecard on the stage with them, hand the card to Charlie Murphy, and take their place at the center microphone. After completing your one minute, exit the stage and shake hands/fist bump/elbow bump as you leave :)
  • Ceremony Ends: 4:00 pm(ish)
    • After the last grad speaks, attendees will be instructed to meet outside by the Bell Tower for pictures and mingling.
    • When you hear the bagpipes, start walking! 
  • Reception to Follow!
    • Light refreshments will be available immediately following the Commencement ceremony. The reception will be held at East Quad, simply follow the bagpipes :)

*NEW* FAQs  

  • Guest RSVPs: Please have guests, family members, friends, and enthusiastic supporters please RSVP on Eventbrite!
  • Commencement & Covid: 
    • Commencement will operate in conjunction with the current University masking policy allowing masks to be optional.   
  • Parking for the Ceremony: The Fletcher street parking structure located at 201 Fletcher Street will also be open to the public for parking at no charge. The Thayer street parking structure located at 216 S. Thayer Street will be open to the public for parking at no charge. Handicap parking is available in both structures. 
  • What can I bring?
    • At this time, LSA recommends following the guidelines posted for Michigan Stadium and other large-scale events. 

Tickets & Cords

Graduting seniors should stop by the RC Academic Services Office to pick up their grad-ticket and cords for the ceremony.

  • Tickets: Graduating seniors will receive a special commemorative graduates-only ticket for the ceremony. Family members and guests are encouraged to attend and should RSVP on Eventbrite
  • At this time, we are limiting guests to 10 per graduate, if you anticipate needing more tickets please email the RC at rescollege@umich.edu.
  • Grad Cords:  Graduate cords are available the EQ Communications Office, 1813 EQ. You can pick them up between 9:00 am - 4:00 pm.  

Questions? General questions about RC Commencement can be directed to rescollege@umich.edu.