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2014 University of Michigan School of Public Health Graduation

Congratulations, Class of 2014!

Graduation Checklist

Your School of Public Health graduation ceremony will take place at 3:00 p.m. on May 1 at Hill Auditorium.
The information on this website is essential to your successful participation.

Graduation Kick-Off, March 17: Required for all graduating students

Graduation Kick-Off will occur on Monday, March 17, 2014, 2:30-4:00 p.m. in the Community Room.
At this event you can:

  • RSVP for the Graduation Reception
  • Request assistance for students and guests with disabilities
  • Order academic attire, class ring, and graduation announcements
  • Verify the phonetic spelling of your name and record it on tape for the name readers' assistance at the graduation program

You are not required to be in attendance the entire time. You may stop by any time between 2:30pm and 4:00pm.

Questions? Please email

Graduation Speaker: Dr. Richard Besser, ABC News' Chief Health and Medical Editor

Dr. Richard Besser, M.D.Richard Besser, M.D., is ABC News' Chief Health and Medical Editor. In this role, he provides medical analysis and commentary for all ABC News broadcasts and platforms, including "World News with Diane Sawyer," "Good Morning America," and "Nightline." In 2011, he led ABC's global health coverage, "Be the Change: Save a Life," reporting on health issues from seven different countries.

Dr. Besser came to ABC News in 2009 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where he served as Acting Director for the CDC from January to June 2009, during which time he led the CDC's response to the H1N1 influenza pandemic. He also served as director of the Coordinating Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response. In that role, he was responsible for all of the CDC's public health emergency preparedness and emergency response activities.

The author and coauthor hundreds of presentations, abstracts, chapters, editorials and publications, Dr. Besser has received many awards for his work in public health and volunteer service, including the Surgeon General's Medallion, and the Dean's Medal from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. His investigative reporting into umbilical cord blood banking was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2011. In 2012 he received an Overseas Press Club award as part of ABC’s coverage of global maternal health issues and two Peabody Awards as part of ABC News’ coverage of hurricane Sandy and Robin Roberts’ health journey. Read Dr. Besser's full bio.



All School of Public Health students who will have completed their degree requirements before or during Fall 2013, Winter 2014, or Summer 2014 terms are welcome to participate in both the School of Public Health Graduation ceremony and the University-wide Spring Commencement ceremony. Students receiving a Ph.D. or M.S. degree may also be eligible to participate in the University Graduate Exercises (Rackham; refer to link for eligibility).

All graduates must officially apply for graduation. Do this as soon as possible by visiting Wolverine Access.

Graduation Event Logistics
School of Public Health Graduation Hill Auditorium May 1, 2014, 3:00 p.m.
University Graduate Exercises (Rackham) Hill Auditorium May 2, 2014, 10:00 a.m.
All-University Spring Commencement
Speaker: TBA
Michigan Stadium May 3, 2014, 10:00 a.m.

Graduation Tickets for Guests

Graduation tickets are NOT required for guests attending SPH graduation. However, guests are required to RSVP to attend the SPH graduation reception. Please register the number of guests in your party that will be attending the reception.

Notes for International Students

Family members who are not the children or spouse of the F-1 student or J-1 exchange visitor must apply for a B-1/B-2 visitor visa to gain entry into the U.S. Family members from certain countries may be eligible to travel to the U.S. to visit for stays of up to 90 days without obtaining a B-1/B-2 visa through the U.S. Department of State Visa Waiver Program.

The University of Michigan will provide a letter of invitation to assist graduates whose parents need to apply for a visa in order to attend their student's commencement ceremony. The letter can be requested by sending an email to

The email should include:

  • graduate's name
  • graduate's local mailing address
  • graduate's gender
  • graduate's degree being earned
  • graduate's school or college
  • date(s) of ceremony(ies) in which the graduate plans to participate (Example: School of Public Health ceremony on May 1, 2014; University Graduate Exercises on May 2, 2014; Spring Commencement ceremony on May 3, 2014)
  • names of parents (please specify relationship next to parent's name, Example: mother, father)

The letter from the University will be mailed to the graduate, who can then forward it to the parents for use in documenting their visa request. Please allow three weeks to receive the letter.


  • Master Degree Graduates: Diplomas for Winter Term 2014 graduates will be mailed by the end of July to the address you specified on your diploma application. Diplomas for Summer graduates will be mailed in early November.
  • Doctoral Degree Recipients: Ph.D. graduates attending the University Graduate Exercises will receive their diplomas at the program. Those who do not attend the University Graduate Exercises may pick up their diplomas at the Office of the Registrar, Diploma Department in the LSA Building at 500 State Street during regular business hours in the week prior to, and the week after commencement. You must call 734-763-9066 in advance. Diplomas not picked up during that time will be mailed to the address you specified on your diploma card.


Standard printed announcements may be ordered at the Graduation Kick-Off (see Kickoff above). They may also be purchased at the Barnes and Noble @ University of Michigan Bookstore, 734-995-8877, at 530 South State Street. Personalized announcements take up to two weeks to print.


Hotel arrangements for your guests should be made as soon as possible. Please visit the SPH website for a listing of accommodations, as well as information on directions, airport, and other transportation.

Academic Attire


Graduates participating in any University of Michigan graduation ceremonies must wear academic attire. Such attire can be purchased or rented (doctoral only) at Graduation Kick-Off or the Spring Grad Fair (see below). Graduates may also order their academic attire at the Barnes and Noble @ University of Michigan Bookstore, 734-995-8877, at 530 South State Street. Store hours are 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday-Friday, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday.

  • Master Degree Graduates: If you do not purchase your academic attire at the Kick-Off, you may do so at the Barnes and Noble @ University of Michigan Bookstore. The purchase price for cap, gown, hood, and tassel is approximately $75.
  • Doctoral Degree Recipients: If you do not register for rental of your academic attire at the Kick-Off, you may do so at the Barnes and Noble @ University of Michigan Bookstore. Cap, gown, and hood rental is approximately $67. You may also purchase doctoral attire, and you should place your order at least seven weeks before it is needed. The cost of doctoral attire begins at approximately $850.

Hood Colors:

To ensure that you purchase or rent the correct hood, please note your hood color:

M.H.S.A. public health salmon
M.P.H. public health salmon
M.H.I. health informatics silver-gray*
M.S. science gold
Ph.D.   blue
Dr.P.H. public health salmon
*available for purchase at Ulrich's bookstore

Graduation Day


Graduates should assemble in their academic attire, in the lower level of Hill Auditorium. Upon arriving at Hill please enter via the EAST entrance (Ingalls Mall entrance) and go directly to the registration tables in the lower level to pick up your name card and to complete a card for the photographer. You will hand these cards to the marshal on stage when receiving your recognition. From there you will be directed to the appropriate location to prepare for the processional line-up.

For the procession, graduates will line up by degree earned. In the auditorium, graduates will sit next to individuals of the same degree. SPH staff will assist you in lining up for the procession and with seating. The procession into the auditorium will begin promptly at 3:00 p.m.

Please do not bring any valuables to graduation. There is no safe place to store them.

Families and Guests

Hill Auditorium will open to guests at 2:15 p.m. Guests should enter through the front doors and be seated by 2:45 p.m. Seating for graduation is general seating. Please encourage your guests to arrive early for a good seat. Guests are requested to remain seated throughout the program. For guests with disabilities, please see the next section.

Students and Guests with Disabilities

The University of Michigan wants to ensure that all graduates, candidates, and guests can participate fully in graduation. The following arrangements are made in cooperation with the Accessibility Task Force of the Council for Disability Concerns.

If your guest(s) have mobility limitations (wheelchair, walker, etc.) please plan to have them arrive by 2:00 p.m. so that they can be seated before we open the doors to the general public. By entering Hill Auditorium from the WEST entrance (off Thayer) you will be nearest the ramps into the auditorium. Ushers will be available to assist in locating wheelchair-accessible seating and restrooms for guests. Please contact (734) 764-5425 if you have any questions regarding your guests’ needs. A sign language interpreter will be present.

All requests for special arrangements should be made by March 31, 2014.


All graduates, their family and their friends are invited to attend the School of Public Health graduation reception to be held on Ingalls Mall (adjacent to Hill Auditorium) immediately following the ceremony. An RSVP is required to attend the reception.


A photographer will take a color photo of each graduate as he or she is recognized on stage. Graduates will receive a free color proof. There is no obligation to buy reprints.

Timeline for Graduation Day at Hill Auditorium
1:45 p.m. PhD's arrive for review
2:00 p.m.
Graduates arrive, visit the registration tables and are directed to the processional staging area.
2:15 - 2:45 p.m.
Guests arrive, are seated in the auditorium.
2:45 p.m. Graduates line up to begin the procession.
3:00 p.m. Graduation begins promptly with procession of graduating students.
Although there is no way to predict the exact end time of the ceremony, 5:00 p.m. should be a reasonable approximation and most guests typically leave the reception by 5:45 p.m.


Public parking will be available in the UM parking structures on Thayer and Fletcher Streets. These are the closest structures to Hill Auditorium and they provide handicapped parking. (The UM Parking Office will suspend enforcement for the Thayer and Fletcher street parking structure/lots for graduates and their guests. The gates to the Thayer, Fletcher and Palmer Blue area will be opened at 1 p.m. on Thursday for graduation attendees. Please avoid any specialty parking spaces such as the reserved spots for UM vehicles only. If a parking attendant is at the gate, please tell them you are attending UM SPH Graduation.) Parking spaces are provided on a first come, first served basis so there is no guarantee that you will find parking in these two lots. Please reference the parking diagram for all parking options near Hill Auditorium (PDF). For a complete listing of all city and campus parking please visit:

Important Contact Information
  (Area code 734) for general info 764-5425
Barnes and Noble @ University of Michigan Bookstore
Academic Attire Rental/Sales
University Commencement Hotline 647-6037
University Graduate Exercisese 615-0520
Campus Information Centerse 764-4636
Diploma and Transcript Officee 763-9066