College of Liberal Arts

University of Mississippi

A Quick Guide to UM’s 166th Commencement

Here’s a look at parking, services and dining to make your graduation day more enjoyable


Thousands of UM graduates, family, friends and alumni are set to gather May 11 in the Grove for the university’s 166th Commencement exercises. Photo by Thomas Graning

Thousands of UM graduates, family, friends and alumni are set to gather May 11 in the Grove for the university’s 166th Commencement exercises. Photo by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services

The University of Mississippi’s 166th Commencement exercises are set to begin at 9 a.m. May 11, as more than 5,500 prospective graduates and their loved ones will gather to hear an address by retired Maj. Gen. Augustus Leon Collins, who is also president of the university’s alumni association.

Collins, a native of Booneville, earned his Bachelor of Business Administration from UM in 1982. He enlisted in the Mississippi Army National Guard’s Company B, 1st Battalion, 198th Armor Regiment in March 1977 and served in the guard until his retirement in August 2016. He is CEO of MINACT Inc., a Jackson-based job development and career training corporation. He is the first African American to attain the rank of brigadier general in the Mississippi National Guard.

Some 3,443 May graduates, 785 December 2018 graduates and 1,341 August graduates will be among those participating in Commencement, for a grand total of more than 5,500.

The university has established a website with all the important information to make your visit to campus for Commencement as enjoyable as possible.

The university’s Commencement ceremonies are divided into two parts: the morning convocation and the individual school ceremonies.

Those not able to attend Commencement who would like to watch the ceremony can visit to view a live stream that will begin promptly at 9 a.m.

Convocation is the campuswide celebration of graduation. Students and faculty, dressed in academic regalia, sit in the Grove with the banners of the university’s respective schools and the College of Liberal Arts for a ceremony that includes university awards and the main Commencement speaker. At this ceremony, the chancellor confers authority to present diplomas to the individual schools.

At the school ceremonies, which take place throughout the day in various locations across campus, the College of Liberal Arts and individual schools present their own awards and recognize each graduate individually. It is at these ceremonies that each graduate’s name is called, and he or she is presented with a diploma cover.

In the event of inclement weather, the university will decide by 8 a.m. Saturday (May 11) on the location of the Commencement ceremony. If the event is moved, the morning Commencement ceremony will be conducted at 9:30 a.m. in The Pavilion at Ole Miss, and there will be no processional.

More information about weather contingency plans can be found here.

Here is a complete schedule for Commencement week:

Wednesday (May 8)

Noon – Red and Blue Ceremony Celebration, The Inn at Ole Miss Ballroom


Friday (May 10)

4 p.m. – Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College Ceremony, Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts

5:30 p.m. – Celebration of Achievement, Archie and Olivia Manning Athletics Performance Center

7:30 p.m. – Graduate School Doctoral Hooding Ceremony, Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts


Saturday (May 11)

9 a.m. – Convocation, The Grove; or in case of inclement weather, The Pavilion, 9:30 a.m.

11 a.m. – College of Liberal Arts Master’s Degree Ceremony, Fulton Chapel

11 a.m. – Patterson School of Accountancy, Archie and Olivia Manning Athletics Performance Center

11 a.m. – School of Applied Sciences, The Pavilion

11 a.m. – School of Business Administration, C.M. “Tad” Smith Coliseum

11 a.m. – School of Education, the Grove; inclement weather, The Pavilion, 6 p.m.

11 a.m. – School of Engineering, Lyceum Circle; inclement weather, Student Union Ballroom, 1 p.m.

11 a.m. – School of Law, the Grove; inclement weather, Archie and Olivia Manning Athletics Performance Center, 6 p.m.

11 a.m. – School of Pharmacy, Pharm.D., Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts

11 .a.m. – Croft Institute for International Studies Graduation, Croft Institute, Room 107

11 a.m. – Trent Lott Leadership Institute, Paris-Yates Chapel

1:30 p.m. – School of Pharmacy, B.S.P.S., M.S., Ph.D., Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts

3 p.m. – College of Liberal Arts, The Pavilion

3 p.m. – General Studies, Archie and Olivia Manning Athletics Performance Center

3 p.m. – School of Journalism and New Media, C.M. “Tad” Smith Coliseum

5 p.m. – ROTC Commissioning, Fulton Chapel


Parking and Transportation Options

University officials remind visitors that it is important to park as indicated when visiting campus, and carpooling is strongly encouraged. For safety reasons, parking is not permitted along roadways, sidewalks or grassy areas.

Because of faculty and platform processional into the Grove for convocation, no parking or drop-off will be available on University Avenue or the Circle. Please note that once the convocation starts, vehicle access to the Grove is limited until convocation and school ceremonies in the Grove conclude. Please visit our information booths for up-to-date parking information or visit the website at

ADA Shuttle Service 

The university’s Department of Parking and Transportation offers a limited shuttle service Saturday (May 11) to assist those with disabilities and the elderly. All guests who require assistance are asked to park at the parking garage on Hill Drive and Manning Way. For more information, call 662-915-7235 before May 11.

Emergency Medical Services

All information booths and ceremony venues will have basic first-aid kits. EMS will be staged at various locations and available for rapid response. For immediate assistance, dial 911 or call the University Police Department at 662-915-4911.

Dining Options

The Ole Miss Student Union food court will be open on Commencement day. Chick-fil-A opens at 7 a.m.; Panda Express, Qdoba, McAlister’s and Which Wich all open at 10 a.m. The food court’s restaurants all close at 2:30 p.m.

The Coulter Hall Starbucks will open at 7 a.m. for Commencement and close at noon.

The Steak-n-Shake and Raising Canes in The Pavilion both will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Grill @ 1810, Rebel Market and Marketplace, as well as the Starbucks in the J.D. Williams Library, all locations of Einstein Bros. Bagels and the POD stores on campus will be closed.

For more information, visit the official UM Commencement website.