Campus News

Watch Live as UK Celebrates Largest Graduating Class Ever

Sunday, May 5 ceremonies begin at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Please ensure your computer, browser or device's software is up to date.

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 3, 2019) — The University of Kentucky will honor its newest alumni today and Sunday at what will be the largest commencement in UK’s history.

The May 2019 Commencement will be held across four ceremonies Friday, May 3, and Sunday, May 5, in Rupp Arena in Lexington. Doctoral, master's and baccalaureate degree recipients will be recognized together based on their colleges.

More than 3,700 students are expected to participate in the ceremonies. Overall 3,750 undergraduate, 1,090 graduate and 523 professional degree candidates (5,363 total) have been approved by the UK Board of Trustees.

Ceremonies include:

Friday, May 3:

Sunday, May 5:

All four ceremonies will be livestreamed on UKNow.

Graduate Stories

While all graduates are celebrated for their tremendous achievements, many have particularly interesting stories to share about their lives and time at UK.

  • Megan McCormick is part of a smaller, but growing, college population — students with Down syndrome. This Sunday she will earn her four-year degree in liberal studies. Read more about McCormick.
  • Serxhane Ajeti was 7 years old when she and her family fled from the atrocities in war-torn Kosovo and started a new life in Kentucky. With a degree in nursing, Ajeti wants to help others as much as she and her family were helped along the way. Read more about Ajeti.
  • Sharon Mofield-Boswell returned to UK after 25 years to finish what she started two decades ago. The Project Graduate program made the process much easier for the working mom. Read more about Mofield-Boswell.
  • Avery Williamson, a former UK Football player, will receive his degree in integrated strategic communication. Williamson was a linebacker at UK from 2010 through 2013. He played four seasons (2014 through 2017) for the Tennessee Titans before signing with the New York Jets for the 2018 season. See more about Williamson.

Read more stories about UK's May 2019 graduates.

Honorary Degrees

Five citizens who have distinguished themselves in their careers and community work will receive honorary doctorates at the Commencement ceremonies.

  • Stephen B. Bright will receive an Honorary Doctor of Laws at the 10 a.m. Friday, May 3 ceremony.
  • Yvonne Giles will receive an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at the 10 a.m. Friday, May 3 ceremony.
  • W. James "Jim" Host will receive an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at the 10 a.m. Friday, May 3 ceremony.
  • Howard Lewis will receive an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at the 2 p.m. Sunday, May 5 ceremony.
  • Reese S. Terry Jr. will receive an Honorary Doctor of Engineering at the 2 p.m. Sunday, May 5 ceremony.

Read more about the May 2019 honorary degree recipients.

Student Speakers

In addition to UK President Eli Capilouto, a student representative will address the audience at each of the ceremonies, per UK tradition.

  • Brandon Colbert, from Louisville, is graduating with a bachelor's degree in communication from the UK College of Communication and Information. He will deliver the Commencement address at the 10 a.m. ceremony May 3.
  • Jay Winkler, from Irvine, Kentucky, is graduating with a bachelor's degree in business management from the UK Gatton College of Business and Economics. He will give the Commencement address at the 2 p.m. ceremony May 3. 
  • Noor Ali, from Pikeville, Kentucky, is graduating with a bachelor's degree in health, society and populations from the UK College of Arts and Sciences. She will give the Commencement address at the 10 a.m. ceremony May 5. 
  • Sofia Gonzalez Schuler, from Margarita Island, Venezuela, is graduating with a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the UK College of Engineering. She will give the Commencement address at the 2 p.m. ceremony May 5. 

Read more about the student speakers here.

Full video of each ceremony will be available within two weeks after Commencement on the university’s YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/universityofkentucky.

Social media users are encouraged to use the hashtag #UKgrad.

For more information about UK Commencement, visit www.uky.edu/commencement.

photo of December 2018 Commencement celebration
UK will celebrate the achievements of its newest graduating class May 3 and 5. Pete Comparoni | UK Photo.

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 two years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. The Chronicle of Higher Education judged us a “Great College to Work for,”  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 three 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.