University of Pittsburgh
April 26, 2016

University of Pittsburgh to Hold 2016 Commencement May 1

Attendees should factor in travel delays with marathon, Liberty Bridge construction
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Patrick Gallagher will welcome graduating members of the Class of 2016, faculty, trustees, alumni, staff, and invited guests, families, and friends attending Pitt’s 2016 Commencement Convocation at 2 p.m. May 1 in the Petersen Events Center, 3719 Terrace St., Oakland.

Doors will open at noon. Backpacks, packages, or oversized purses will not be permitted. Attendees are requested to leave these items behind because on-site storage will not be available. Attendees are advised to arrive early to allow time to pass through security. The 2016 Commencement Convocation will be livestreamed on beginning at 1:30 p.m. May 1. Also, a video of the ceremony will be posted following the convocation. All in attendance are encouraged to use the hashtag #Pitt16 to share their commencement experiences on social media.

In all, Pitt will confer approximately 6,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees this year at its five campuses; Pitt-Bradford, Pitt-Greensburg, Pitt-Johnstown, and Pitt-Titusville will hold their own commencement ceremonies.

Vinton G. Cerf, one of the “fathers of the Internet” and vice president of and chief Internet evangelist for Google since October 2005, will deliver the 2016 commencement address. During his tenure from 1976-82 with the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Cerf played a key role leading the development of Internet and Internet-related packet data transport and security technologies. In 2005, President George W. Bush awarded Cerf the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award given by the United States to its citizens. Cerf received the prestigious Japan Prize in 2008, the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering in 2013, and was made an officer of the French Legion d’Honneur in 2014.

At the ceremony, the degree of Doctor of Science Honoris Causa will be conferred upon Cerf by Chancellor Gallagher, Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Patricia E. Beeson, Senior Vice Chancellor for the Health Sciences Arthur S. Levine, and Board of Trustees Chair Eva Tansky Blum.

Chief University Marshal Frank D. Wilson will open the ceremony leading a procession of members of the graduating class, faculty, staff, the Council of Deans, trustees, and administrative officers in full academic regalia; Wilson is an assistant professor of sociology and criminal justice at Pitt-Greensburg and president of the University Senate at Pitt. The University Symphonic Band, under the direction of Bradley G. Townsend, will provide music for the ceremony.

After the commencement address and the awarding of diplomas—presented by Chancellor Gallagher, Provost Beeson, and the deans of the schools and colleges— Ashley Sioux McCray will speak on behalf of the graduating class. McCray is receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from the Swanson School of Engineering. Lauren N. Ross, who is receiving a PhD in history and philosophy of science from the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, will address attendees on behalf of the graduate students. Following student remarks, S. Jeffrey Kondis (ENGR’77, BUS ’82G), president of the Pitt Alumni Association, will welcome the graduates as Pitt’s newest alumni.

Attendees should be aware of road closures due to the DICK’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon that same day. See additional details about the marathon and information regarding road closures and course maps at

In addition, attendees should be advised that construction on the Liberty Bridge could add to travel delays. More information about the project is available at