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Ceremonies & Events

The Language We Use to Celebrate Our Graduates

  • Commencement is the-all Northwestern ceremony where the graduating class is commemorated as a whole. During the ceremony, student, faculty and guest speakers will address graduates and their families.
  • Convocations at Northwestern are hosted by individual schools. Students are recognized at their school’s convocation ceremony.
  • Celebrations are events surrounding Commencement and Convocations that seek to recognize the plurality of identities graduates hold.

Class of 2023 - Events For Prospective Graduates

religious life staff speaking

Baccalaureate Service

Date To Be Determined for 2023

The University President Morton Schapiro and the University Chaplain invite graduates, their families, and guests to attend Baccalaureate, an interfaith service incorporating the many traditions of the University.

March Back Through the Arch

Date To Be Determined for 2023

Just as March Through the Arch was a symbolic start to your Northwestern career, March Back Through the Arch is the bookend. Meet at Deering Meadow to march the reverse of the original path with your friends and classmates.

seniors march back through the arch
President Schapiro with family

President’s Reception

Date To Be Determined for 2023

You and your guests are invited to join University President Morton Schapiro for a celebration honoring all of the year’s graduates.

The 165th Annual Commencement

June 12, 2022

The 165th Annual Commencement will be held at Ryan Field stadium, 1501 Central Street. Guests and viewers will be able to tune into the livestream at the Commencement home page on the day of the event.

Graduates sitting and looking ahead
rotc during commencement

Reserve Officer’s Training Corps Convocations

Date To Be Determined for 2023

The NROTC mission is to develop future officers mentally, morally, and physically, and to instill in them the highest ideals of duty, loyalty, and the core values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment in order to commission college graduates as Naval officers.

FGLI Stoles & Grad Gift

Student Enrichment Services is excited to celebrate Class of 2023 graduates. All undergraduate students who identify as first-generation, lower-income, and/or undocumented/DACA will receive a FGLI graduation gift. Undergraduate students who identify as first-generation college students will also receive a First-Gen stole. Please note that if you choose to purchase your First- Get stole elsewhere, Student Enrichment Service will not reimburse you.  

Questions? Email enrichment@northwestern.edu 

FGLI-identifying student in cap-and-gown
students in front of sign

Northwestern Hillel Graduation Celebration

Date To Be Determined for 2023

Please join us for the Northwestern Hillel Open House celebrating the graduates of the Class of 2023!

If you have questions, please contact hillel@u.northwestern.edu.

MSA End-of-Year Celebrations

Every year, Multicultural Student Affairs (MSA) hosts a series of End-of-Year Celebrations to celebrate the accomplishments of our students.

Please visit the MSA End-of-Year Celebrations page for more information.

JubilAsian Senior Send-Off

Date To Be Determined for 2023

JubilAsian is an annual MSA event that celebrates the Asian, Pacific Islander, and Desi American (APIDA) community on campus as part of May’s APIDA Heritage Month. For JubilAsian 2023, we are piloting our first-ever Senior Send-off video in order to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of Northwestern's graduates of Asian, Pacific Islander, and/or Desi descent. All students who participate will receive an "APIDA NU Grad" stole.  

APIDA-identifying students playing at JubilAsian

Native American and Indigenous Community Celebration

Date To Be Determined for 2023

The Native American and Indigenous Community Celebration is an annual event co-hosted by Multicultural Student Affairs and the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion (OIDI) that celebrates the yearly contributions of Native and Indigenous graduates, students, faculty, staff, and community members. All students who participate will receive a white stole with purple and maple and oak leaves appliquéd by hand. 

Lavender Graduation

Date To Be Determined for 2023

Lavender Graduation is an annual celebration hosted by Multicultural Student Affairs that celebrates the achievements of graduating students in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA) community from Northwestern University. All students who participate will receive a rainbow or trans stole.

students at Lavender Graduation
A black-identifying student stands in front of a Black Lives Matter banner in cap and gown.

The JOY: Journey of Our Years – Northwestern's Black Congratulatory

Date To Be Determined for 2023

The Journey of Our Years, or the JOY, is an annual celebration hosted by Multicultural Student Affairs to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of Northwestern's Black graduates. All students who participate will receive a Kente stole. 

Latinx Congratulatory

Date To Be Determined for 2023

The Latinx Congratulatory is an annual celebration hosted by Multicultural Student Affairs to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of Northwestern's Latinx graduates. All students who participate will receive a Sun stole. 

students at Latinx