Commencement Information

General Commencement Information

The Department of Communication's May Commencement ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 20, 2017 at 6:30 pm in the Rekord Armory.  Graduates are asked to report to the basement of the Armory at 5:30 pm to check-in and line up for the ceremony.  Doors will open for guests at 6:00 pm. The ceremony is expected to last about two hours.  

Tickets will be required for the Communication Departmental ceremony.  Each graduate will be limited to 6 guests.  Ticket distribution will take place at the following times in SKN 2111: 

Monday 5/1- Thursday 5/4 from 12:30-3:00 pm

Transportation and Parking

Parking on campus is limited and guests are encouraged to consider traveling to College Park via Metro. Free shuttles run frequently from the College Park Metro Station. Parking is free and available in any lot or parking garage on campus. However, the best parking is available in the Regents Drive Garage. See the campus parking map for location. Additional parking information can be found on the University's main commencement website.


Disabled guests and/or families with baby strollers needing to avoid stairs can enter the Armory through the rear (accessible) entrance adjacent to the Main Administration Building.  There are a limited number of handicapped parking spots available outside of the Armory which will be available on a first come, first serve basis. Guests will need a state issued handicapped placard to park in these spaces. There will also be a drop-off area outside of the Armory where guests can drive up to the rear (accessible) entrance of the Armory in order to drop off anyone who requires physical assistance.

Commencement Speaker

Ambassador Dennis Ross is counselor and William Davidson Distinguished Fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He served two years as special assistant to President Obama and National Security Council senior director for the Central Region, and a year as special advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. For more than twelve years, Ambassador Ross played a leading role in shaping U.S. involvement in the Middle East peace process and dealing directly with the parties in negotiations. A highly skilled diplomat, Ambassador Ross was U.S. point man on the peace process in both the George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations. Ambassador Ross was awarded the Presidential Medal for Distinguished Federal Civilian Service by President Clinton, and Secretaries Baker and Albright presented him with the State Department's highest award.
Prior to his service as special Middle East coordinator under President Clinton, Ambassador Ross served as director of the State Department's Policy Planning Staff in the first Bush administration. In that capacity, he played a prominent role in U.S. policy toward the former Soviet Union, the unification of Germany and its integration into NATO, arms control negotiations, and the 1991 Gulf War coalition.  During the Reagan administration, he served as director of Near East and South Asian affairs on the National Security Council staff and deputy director of the Pentagon's Office of Net Assessment. 
A 1970 graduate of UCLA, Ambassador Ross wrote his doctoral dissertation on Soviet decision making, and from 1984 to 1986 served as executive director of the Berkeley-Stanford program on Soviet International Behavior. He received UCLA's highest medal and has been named UCLA alumnus of the year. He has also received honorary doctorates from Brandeis, Amherst, Jewish Theological Seminary, and Syracuse University. Ambassador Ross was named a 2016-2017 senior fellow by Yale University's Jackson Institute for Global Affairs.
Ross is the author of several influential books on the peace process, most recently Doomed to Succeed: The U.S.-Israel Relationship from Truman to Obama (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, October 2015). 

Past Commencement Speakers

  • Mr. Joshua Wood, JD, Loyola University School of Law
  • Mr. Chad Steele, Vice President of Public Relations, Baltimore Ravens
  • Mr. Steven Drake, Steven Drake Associates, LLC (speech)
  • Dr. Lindsay F. Hayes, Redpath Writing
  • Mr. Andrew J. Sherman, Partner, Jones Day (speech)
  • Ms. Cary Hatch, CEO, MDB Communications (speech)
  • The Honorable Anthony Brown, Lt. Governor of Maryland
  • Mr. David Marianiss, author and journalist
  • Dr. William "Brit" Kirwan, chancellor, University of Maryland system
  • The Honorable Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Lt. Governor of Maryland
  • Mr. Charles Moose, chief of police, Montgomery County, Maryland
  • The Honorable Donna Edwards, U.S. Representative, MD-4

Main Campus Ceremony

For information on the main campus ceremony, please see the University’s commencement page: