December Commencement Elimination

Updated August 17, 2019

Student-centered sentiment ultimately informed the decision to hold one UM-Dearborn graduation ceremony beginning with this academic year. University leadership felt holding one ceremony at Crisler Center was a better venue and option to celebrate and
acknowledge four years or more of hard work and accomplishment.

In an attempt to consult widely, university leadership tarried too long before making the announcement last week to eliminate the December commencement in 2019.

For this we apologize.

University leadership has read every email and social media post related to the decision to eliminate the December commencement ceremony. Some students shared stories of hardships related to timing of the decision to eliminate the December commencement.

University leadership has modified its decision regarding the December commencement ceremony. There will be a December 2019 ceremony as planned. Moving forward, the December ceremony will be eliminated starting with December 2021.

The Registrar’s Office will communicate to eligible students this fall regarding December commencement registration.



Initial Message, August 16, 2019


What is happening with commencement?

UM-Dearborn will eliminate its December commencement ceremony. One ceremony will be held at the conclusion of the winter semester in the spring. There will not be a December commencement ceremony this year.

Why was this change made?

University administration made the decision to eliminate the December ceremony because…

  • Our students deserve a ceremony that reflects their efforts and accomplishments
  • The spring ceremony is held at Crisler Center and it is a more appropriate location for such a large and special event
  • Will allow for a fair amount of tickets for student’s guests by holding the ceremony at Crisler Center in Ann Arbor
  • Will allow for a more impactful commencement speaker (with larger audience)
  • Will hold two ceremonies in the spring - one ceremony for undergraduates and one ceremony for graduate students; will allow all four colleges to celebrate as one university
  • Will allow for opportunities to shorten the ceremony (ceremonies have been as long as three hours or more)
  • Will provide staff efficiencies and cost savings; significant costs savings will be redirected to either financial aid or student success initiatives

What can students do that were expecting to participate in the December ceremony?

The Office of the Registrar has information on its website.  Summer 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020 and Summer 2020 will all be eligible and invited to the spring 2020 commencement ceremony. All eligible students will receive a communication about registering for the spring commencement this fall.

Were any campus groups consulted before the decision was made?

Yes, the following groups were consulted regarding the decision: university leadership and deans, Faculty Senate leadership, Student Government, Alumni Society Board chair.

Office of External Relations

Administration Building (AB)
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