Each May, Brown University confers honorary, graduate, medical, and undergraduate degrees on Commencement day, the culmination of a campus-wide weekend celebration. It is a time of great ceremony, pageantry, and rejoicing, much of it representing traditions that are centuries old. This year's activities will also be part of the University's ongoing celebration of Brown's 250th Anniversary, so there will be even more reasons to celebrate!
Alumni are an integral part of this celebration. During the 20th century, members of Brown's alumni classes began to hold their five-year reunions to coincide with Commencement Weekend. Today more than 4,000 alumni and their families return to College Hill each year for a series of events over Alumni Reunion Weekend capped by the Commencement procession on Sunday morning.
Prominent in the procession are the President and members of the Corporation, the University's governing body, who are joined by faculty, graduating students of all levels, and alumni.
The University Ceremony, held on the College Green at midday, includes representatives of all degree recipients and is open to families and the general public. Honorary degrees are conferred at this ceremony. Individual diplomas are distributed at the Graduate School Ceremony and the Warren Alpert Medical School Ceremony, both held before the University Ceremony, and, for undergraduates, at departmental diploma ceremonies following the University Ceremony.
Commencement 2015 will take place on Sunday, May 24, 2015.