Media Advisory

UF spring 2019 commencements scheduled for Friday, Saturday

April 30, 2019

WHAT: The University of Florida’s 2019 spring commencement ceremonies

WHEN/WHERE: UF's university-wide commencement ceremonies are scheduled for Friday, May 3 (doctoral), and Saturday, May 4 (master’s and undergraduate). The doctoral ceremony is in Exactech Arena at the Stephen O'Connell Center from 1:30 to 4 p.m. The master’s, specialist’s and undergraduate students' ceremony is in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium from 9 to 11 a.m. Individual college ceremonies begin May 2 and conclude June 22. Commencement schedule details are available at

WHAT’S NEW: A new tradition called Senior Sendoff is scheduled for Thursday, May 2 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Gator Walk Village on the north side of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Sponsored by UF Student Government, the event will include live music, free food and carnival games. More information is available at

In addition, commencement information is now available on the free GatorWay app. Schedules, maps, weather updates, parking information and more are available in the UF Graduation Guide on the app.

ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND: More than 7,000 UF students have ordered regalia for this weekend’s graduation celebrations. The faculty speaker at Friday’s doctoral commencement is Scott Powers, Distinguished Professor and the UAA Endowed Professor in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology in the College of Health and Human Performance.

The speaker for Saturday’s ceremony will be bestselling author and literacy advocate James Patterson, who has sold more than 375 million books worldwide. Patterson will receive an honorary doctor of education degree. The student speaker at Saturday’s ceremony is Paige Fitzpatrick, who will earn her master’s degree in education from the UF College of Education this weekend. She’s a recipient of the James Patterson Teacher Education Scholarship and plans to become an elementary school teacher and a school-wide reading coach.

Also during Friday’s doctoral ceremony, George H. Starke Jr., who was the first African-American student to attend UF in 1958, will be recognized with an honorary doctor of laws degree, and epidemiologist William Foege, who helped eradicate smallpox in the late 1970s, will receive an honorary doctor of science degree.

Note regarding Saturday’s ceremony: Members of the news media will need a credential and must wear a commencement robe (provided on site) to attend commencement. Media check-in for Saturday’s ceremony will be open from 8 to 8:30 a.m. inside the elevator lobby on the north side of the Skybox Tower near Gate 3. (Signage above the lobby door reads “Media/Disabled Seating Deck Entrance.”) Media who wish to gain access to the sidelines must pick up credentials and a robe, go through security and be in place by 8:45 a.m. To request credentials, contact Steve Orlando, interim director of communications, at or 352-846-3903.