Graduates celebrate during the 2023 commencement ceremony.
University News

UMass Amherst Set to Celebrate the Class of 2024 with Four Days of Festivities

Four days of special events are on tap as the UMass Amherst community will celebrate the Class of 2024 with a series of Commencement and senior recognition ceremonies through Sunday, May 19.

Highlighting the festivities will be Friday’s Graduate Commencement for all doctoral, master’s and education specialist degree candidates, followed by the 154th UMass Amherst Undergraduate Commencement ceremony on Saturday, where the university will confer degrees to approximately 6,800 undergraduate students at an anticipated gathering of more than 20,000. Both ceremonies start at 10 a.m. at McGuirk Alumni Stadium.

Sophia He and Jarrel De Matas
Sophia He and Jarrel De Matas

Sophia He, a linguistics major from Fremont, California, who plans to pursue advanced degrees, and Jarrel De Matas, of Couva, Trinidad, who is graduating with a doctorate in English and explores the culture of Caribbean science and speculative fiction, will serve as student speakers at Undergraduate and Graduate Commencement, respectively.

UMass Amherst will also confer three honorary degrees and recognize two accomplished alumnae at Undergraduate Commencement. Entrepreneur Paul Manning, philanthropist Earl Stafford and conductor Jason Fettig will be bestowed honorary degrees, while media executive Michelle Cardinal and community leader Denise Hurst will receive Distinguished Achievement Awards.

The university will also honor the exemplary achievements, initiative and leadership of 10 of its most talented and accomplished undergraduates with the 21st Century Leaders Award at Undergraduate Commencement. Chosen in recognition of their strong academic records and exemplary achievements, the winners of the $1,000 award from the UMass Amherst Alumni Association further distinguished themselves through intellectual accomplishments and will be recognized for the prestige and honor they bring to UMass Amherst, both as undergraduates and as alumni joining the larger community.

Paola Pimentel Furlanetto, Elif Savas and RoseAnn Elaine Vik
Paola Pimentel Furlanetto, Elif Savas and RoseAnn Elaine Vik

At the Graduate Commencement ceremony, doctoral student Paola Pimentel Furlanetto will be honored with the Commitment to Diversity Award and graduate students Elif Savas and RoseAnn Elaine Vik will be recognized for their exceptional work in teaching with Distinguished Teaching Awards.

At 3 p.m. Saturday, the Stockbridge School of Agriculture will conduct its Associate Degree Commencement in Bowker Auditorium.

Senior Recognition Ceremonies, where undergraduates will have their names called and cross the stage, begin Thursday evening and will take place throughout Commencement Weekend.

Full details about Commencement Weekend, including the complete schedule of festivities, can be found on the Commencement website at

For those unable to attend the Undergraduate or Graduate Commencement ceremonies in-person, livestreams for each event will also be available on the Commencement site.

Throughout the weekend the public is advised to plan ahead for heavy traffic, delays and some street closures around campus.

2024 Commencement wordmark

Your complete resource for everything you need to know about university’s celebrations for the Class of 2024