Campus News

UK to Honor May 2021, 2020 Graduates This Weekend

photo of UK December 2019 Commencement Ceremony.
UK December 2019 Commencement Ceremony. Pete Comparoni | UK Photo.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 10, 2021) — This weekend, the University of Kentucky will honor its May 2021 and all 2020 graduates at the May 2021 UK Commencement Ceremonies. Around 4,400 graduates registered to participate across 10 ceremonies May 14-16.

More than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate degree candidates are eligible for May 2021 degree conferral.

All ceremonies will be livestreamed on the university's YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/IiGmgAyStYo. This link will also be accessible via the UKNow homepage beginning Friday.

In the interest of health and safety, multiple ceremonies were scheduled to limit seating, ensuring proper physical distancing can be implemented. Masks are required for all graduates and their guests who attend. All seating is reserved and graduates were required to secure complimentary tickets for up to four guests prior to May 7.

The ceremony schedule is as follows:

Ceremony 1

9 a.m. Friday, May 14

  • College of Education
  • College of Medicine

Ceremony 2

Noon Friday, May 14

  • College of Fine Arts
  • College of Public Health
  • College of Social Work
  • College of Pharmacy

Ceremony 3

3 p.m. Friday, May 14

  • College of Nursing
  • College of Health Sciences
  • College of Design

Ceremony 4

6 p.m. Friday, May 14

  • College of Engineering

Ceremony 5

9 a.m. Saturday, May 15

  • College of Arts and Sciences 1

Ceremony 6

Noon Saturday, May 15

  • College of Arts and Sciences 2

Ceremony 7

3 p.m. Saturday, May 15

  • Gatton College of Business and Economics 1

Ceremony 8

6 p.m. Saturday, May 15

  • Gatton College of Business and Economics 2

Ceremony 9

9 a.m. Sunday, May 16

  • College of Communication and Information
  • Martin School of Public Policy and Administration and Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce 

Ceremony 10

Noon Sunday, May 16

  • College of Agriculture, Food and Environment

Honorary degrees The Board of Trustees has approved honorary degrees for four citizens who have distinguished themselves in their careers and community service. The recipients are W. Harry Clarke, F. Joseph Halcomb III, Deirdre Lyons and Carl F. Pollard. 

Honorary degrees will be presented at the following ceremonies:

  • W. Harry Clarke: noon Friday, May 14
  • F. Joseph Halcomb: 6 p.m. Friday, May 14
  • Deirdre Lyons: noon Sunday, May 16

Pollard, who is unable to attend this weekend’s ceremonies, will be honored at a later date.

Student speakers In addition to UK President Eli Capilouto, a student representative will give a pre-recorded address at the ceremonies. The speakers include:

  • Sy Bridenbaugh, from Richmond, Kentucky, will speak at the 9 a.m. and noon ceremonies Friday, May 14. He is graduating with a doctoral degree in educational policy studies and evaluation from the UK College of Education.
  • Lauren Sammons, from Gurnee, Illinois, will speak at the 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. ceremonies Friday, May 14. She is graduating with a bachelor's degree in clinical leadership and management in the College of Health Sciences, with minors in Spanish and health advocacy.
  • Bilal Shaikh, from Louisville, Kentucky, will speak at the 9 a.m. and noon ceremonies Saturday, May 15. He is graduating with a bachelor's degree in political science from the UK College of Arts and Sciences. He is also a student in the Lewis Honors College.
  • Abbi Woodcock, from Bowling Green, Kentucky, will speak at the 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. ceremonies Saturday, May 15. She is graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics from the UK Gatton College of Business and Economics. She is also a student in the Lewis Honors College.
  • Cameron French, from Wolfe County, Kentucky, will speak at the 9 a.m. and noon ceremonies Sunday, May 16. He is graduating with a bachelor's degree in community leadership and development from the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment with a minor in political science.

For more information, visit https://commencement.uky.edu/ or contact commencement@uky.edu.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.