Campus News

WATCH Live: UK's May 2023 Commencement Ceremonies

More than 4,000 graduates will participate in UK's four ceremonies taking place May 5-6. Overall, 5,811 May degree candidates were conferred by the UK Board of Trustees last week. Photo courtesy of UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.

Watch the Friday, May 5 UK Commencement Ceremonies here:
The 9 a.m. ceremony begins at the 31:20 mark; the 2 p.m. ceremony begins at the 5:30:00 mark; and the 6 p.m. ceremony begins at the 9:29:52 mark.

Watch the Saturday, May 6 UK Commencement Ceremony here:
The ceremony begins at the 29:50 mark.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 5, 2023) — Today and tomorrow, the University of Kentucky will celebrate its newest alumni at the May 2023 Commencement Ceremonies.

More than 4,000 graduates are expected to participate across four ceremonies taking place May 5-6, in Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center. Overall 5,811 May degree candidates were conferred by the UK Board of Trustees last week. This includes 3,745 undergraduate, 1,433 graduate and 633 professional degree candidates for May 2023*.

Based on preliminary data for Spring 2023, the university will potentially be awarding more than 8,000 degrees and 1,000 certificates in the Kentucky Council and Postsecondary Education-defined 2022-23 academic year. This would be the most ever in both categories and mark the first time UK has reached the 8,000 degree threshold.

Ceremonies include:

9 a.m. Friday, May 5

2 p.m. Friday, May 5

6 p.m. Friday, May 5

9 a.m. Saturday, May 6

All four ceremonies will be livestreamed on UK’s YouTube channel, which will be accessible this weekend via the UK Commencement website and the UKNow homepage.

Following each ceremony, the UK Alumni Association will host receptions for the graduates and their families in the second floor meeting rooms at Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center. Graduates are encouraged to come and enjoy free refreshments, photo opportunities gifts and prizes. More here.

Honorary Degree

Broadcaster and media broker W. Lawrence Patrick will receive an honorary degree —the university’s highest honor — during the 9 a.m. Friday, May 5 ceremony.

A UK College of Communication and Information alumnus, Patrick will be presented with an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters. Read more here.

Student Speakers

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

The four speakers include:

  • Kate White, from Marysville, Ohio, will speak at the 9 a.m. Friday, May 5 ceremony. She is graduating with a Master’s of Social Work degree from the UK College of Social Work.
  • Matthew Williams, from Berea, Kentucky, will speak at the 2 p.m. ceremony Friday, May 5. He is graduating with a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the College of Engineering.
  • Ashton West, from Harlan, Kentucky, will speak at the 6 p.m. ceremony Friday, May 5. She is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the Gatton College of Business and Economics.
  • Kennedy Brown, from Chicago, Illinois, will speak at the 9 a.m. Saturday, May 6. She is graduating with a bachelor's degree in human health sciences from the College of Health Sciences. She is also a student in the Lewis Honors College.

Read more about the student speakers here.

Full video of each ceremony will be available after Commencement on the university’s YouTube channel,

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

For more information about UK Commencement, visit


*These numbers reflect degree candidates, not individual graduates (some graduates earn more than one degree, thereby being counted as a degree candidate multiple times). Degrees will be certified by the UK registrar, ensuring individuals have satisfactorily completed all requirements. The most up-to-date information is available through UK and Institutional Research, Analytics and Decision Support.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.