One year after a global pandemic forced Stony Brook University’s commencement celebration to be held virtually, more than 7,700 graduates will be honored at multiple in-person ceremonies — with guests in attendance — for the 61st annual commencement May 19-21.
Ten individual ceremonies will be hosted by the university’s schools and colleges, with all but one of them held at the traditional location, LaValle Stadium.
The first ceremony at LaValle Stadium will take place Wednesday, May 19 at 9 am, with additional ceremonies at 12:30 pm and 4 pm; on Thursday, May 20 at 8 am, 11:30 am, 3 pm and 7 pm; and Friday, May 21 at 9 am and 12:30 pm. The School of Dental Medicine will hold its ceremony on the Staller Center steps May 19 at 1:30 pm.
All of the ceremonies will be held rain or shine, and all ceremonies will be livestreamed and recorded. Participants and attendees will follow all current health and safety guidelines. Guests will also be required to provide proof of recent COVID-19 testing or vaccination before being allowed in the stadium.
This year’s commencement celebration will feature the second-largest graduating class in Stony Brook University history, with the most bachelor’s degrees awarded in a year. The university will confer an estimated 4,645 bachelor’s degrees, 2,260 master’s degrees, 600 doctoral and professional degrees and 275 certificates. The Class of 2021 includes graduates from 66 different countries and 36 states, ranging in age from 19-69.
Stony Brook University President Maurie McInnis will address graduates at her first May commencement since taking office last summer, and will speak at each of the 10 ceremonies over three days. She delivered the address at the December commencement ceremony on Dec. 18, 2020, which was held virtually.
This year’s commencement student speaker is Kiara Arias ’21, director of Diversity and Inclusion Affairs for Undergraduate Student Government.
Arias, from Staten Island, New York, is graduating with a degree in political science as well as minors in journalism and media arts. A highly engaged and trusted student leader at Stony Brook, Arias served as a resident assistant, and a digital journalism teaching assistant. She has also completed marketing and communications internships and served on several university committees focused on student engagement.
Asna Jamal, President of the Undergraduate Student Government, will present the Senior Class Gift: several thousand dollars from the Student Giving Campaign, which will support the Stony Brook Fund for Excellence, General Scholarships, the Student Emergency Fund, Student Life, the Staller Center and other areas.
Visit the Commencement website for more information, including the complete schedule of ceremonies, how to get tickets and information on testing and entry requirements.