Celebrating Achievement at Commencement

April 26, 2024

Dear students, faculty and staff,

As we approach the end of another academic year, we are filled with excitement and pride for the Class of 2024. Commencement offers our students the chance to celebrate a significant milestone in years of hard work and achievement, and for their loved ones, it offers the opportunity to commemorate the transition from one chapter of life to the next.

Our ceremonies for undergraduates hold an even greater significance this year since so many of them missed their high school commencement celebrations due to the pandemic. For them, this ceremony is a confirmation of their determination and a testament to their perseverance. We are looking forward to honoring them with a joyous and celebratory event. 

As we have seen in many places on campus this year, students at the University of Michigan frequently engage in protest; this week a group set up tents on the Diag. Given events around the nation and world, our commencement ceremonies, too, will likely be the site of various student expressions, including possible demonstrations. 

We respect and uphold the principles of free expression, and also recognize that no one is entitled to disrupt university activities. Our long-standing policies, specifically Freedom of Speech and Artistic Expression – Standard Practice Guide 601.01 and the Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities, make clear that interfering with speakers and events is not protected speech and is a violation of university policy. 

As we look ahead to next week, we offer each of our students a hearty congratulations. And we ask everyone to remember the strength that comes from our diversity, to reaffirm our commitment to one another, and to foster a respectful environment for all.


Laurie K. McCauley
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

Martino Harmon
Vice President for Student Life