NORMAN, OKLA. – The University of Oklahoma will honor the achievements of the Class of 2023 during its 131stCommencement ceremony, to be held at 7 p.m. Friday, May 12, at The Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, 1185 Asp Ave. A time-honored tradition filled with pageantry, graduates and guests will be welcomed by the Kiowa Black Leggings Society and the Pipes and Drums of the Highlanders.
A pre-Commencement concert begins at 6:20 p.m., and the processional of the president’s platform party, faculty and doctoral graduates to the stadium begins at 7 p.m., with music provided by the University Commencement Choir and Band. Flags representing OU’s international and Native American communities will be displayed during the ceremony.
Randall Stephenson, former chairman and chief executive officer of AT&T Inc., will serve as OU’s 2023 Commencement speaker, and the university will present honorary degrees to two outstanding individuals.
The ceremony will feature the official conferring of degrees by OU President Joseph Harroz Jr. During the ceremony, OU expects to confer 10,214 degrees to students who completed their coursework during the spring 2023 semester, as well as summer and December 2022 graduates. This year, OU will award approximately 6,294 bachelor’s degrees, 2,786 master’s degrees, 336 doctoral degrees, 798 professional degrees and 31 college-level certificates.
The ceremony will conclude with a fireworks display as a salute to the Class of 2023. This year’s Commencement ceremony will also be available for livestreaming at ou.edu/commencement.
Stadium gates will open at 5:30 p.m., and guests will be seated in upper section 2-5 and 32-35. Doctoral candidates should enter the stadium through Gate 7 and master’s candidates, undergraduates and guests should enter through Gates 2, 7, 9, 11, 12 or 13. Sign language interpreting services for guests who are deaf or hard of hearing will be available in section 32, and captioning will be available on the south screen. Gate 9 is the preferred accessibility entrance for guests who need special accommodations. To obtain accessibility parking and seating passes, guests should complete this form.
Parking is available for guests and graduates in the Jenkins Avenue Parking Facility and Asp Avenue Parking Facility. Parking will also be available at the Lloyd Noble Center, 2900 S. Jenkins Ave. Shuttles from the Lloyd Noble Center to the stadium will run from 4 to 10 p.m.
Accessible parking is located immediately east of The Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium and can be accessed from Brooks Street. Commencement ushers will be available before and after the ceremony with wheelchairs and golf carts to assist guests with accessible needs. To obtain accessibility parking and seating passes, guests should complete this form.
To protect guests and graduates as they walk to the stadium, Jenkins Avenue will be closed from Brooks Street to Lindsey Avenue beginning at 3:30 p.m.
In an effort to make graduation weekend as safe as possible, the following security procedures will be in place.
All guests and graduates will pass through a security screening before entry to the graduation venue, with medical lanes for those who require alternate screening methods.
The clear bag policy is also in effect. The approved clear bag size is a maximum of 12 inches x 6 inches x 12 inches or a one-gallon clear plastic freezer bag. The policy will allow non-transparent clutch purses that are no larger than 4.5 inches by 6.5 inches. No other bags or purses, including diaper bags, will be permitted. The limit on bags is one per person. All carried-in items, including bags that are necessary for medical equipment, will be searched by security personnel prior to entering the venue.
Express lanes will be available for those who do not bring bags to the venue.
Items that are allowed for graduation ceremonies include:
Prohibited items must be returned to the owner’s car or discarded, and any unlawful items are subject to confiscation.
Guests are also reminded that all OU facilities are tobacco, electronic cigarette and vaping device-free. The use of all tobacco products including, but not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, pipes, smokeless tobacco, electronic cigarettes and vaping devices is prohibited anywhere on the OU grounds or campus.
Guests attending Commencement should be aware that pyrotechnics and flashing lights will be used at the end of the ceremony. Those with sensitivity to light or sound may want to take extra precautions. In addition, race starter pistols will be used during the Track and Field Big 12 Outdoor Championships set to take place at John Jacobs Track and Field Complex (directly east of The Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium). During the event, scheduled from approximately 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on May 12, pistol firings will be heard at the start of multiple races. OUPD has been notified of the event.
INCLEMENT WEATHER LOCATION
In the event of severe weather, Commencement will be moved to Lloyd Noble Center, 2900 S. Jenkins Ave. Doors will open at 6 p.m. and the ceremony will begin at 7:30 p.m. For additional information on Commencement and the inclement weather plan, visit ou.edu/commencement.
For more information on OU’s May graduation ceremonies, visit ou.edu/commencement or email email@example.com.
About the University of Oklahoma
Founded in 1890, the University of Oklahoma is a public research university located in Norman, Oklahoma. OU serves the educational, cultural, economic and health care needs of the state, region and nation. For more information visit ou.edu.