Commencement is a special time for the university community. Whether a student, faculty member, family member or friend, graduation is an important event that marks a momentous occasion in the lives of our graduates and the entire university community. The Kent Campus holds Commencement ceremonies at the conclusion of the Spring, Summer and Fall terms.

2017 University-wide Commencement Speaker Octavia Spencer

Octavia Spencer

A veteran character actress and one of Hollywood’s most sought-after talents, Octavia Spencer has become a familiar fixture on both the silver screen and episodic television. Her critically acclaimed performance as Minny in DreamWork’s feature film The Help won her the 2012 Academy Award, BAFTA Award, Golden Globe Award, SAG Award and Broadcast Film Critic’s Choice Award among numerous other accolades.

Read More About Octavia Spencer

Spring 2017 Commencement

Kent State University Commencement ceremonies are among the most important traditions in the life of our university community. For the first time, Kent State University will add a university-wide ceremony for the 256th Commencement Exercises on Saturday, May 13, 2017.

This approach will enable us to honor all graduates from our eight-campus system in one ceremony – a tangible manifestation of our “One University” vision. Whether a student is receiving an associate, bachelor’s, master’s or a doctoral degree from any one of our eight campuses, all students and their families will celebrate the occasion in one location and one grand ceremony at Dix Stadium.

The universitywide ceremony will be held in addition to the college ceremonies currently hosted each spring at the Regional and Kent campuses. At these college and Regional Campus ceremonies, students will continue to have the opportunity to be personally recognized as they cross the graduation stage.

Please be sure to check back in early spring for more information!

Questions? Contact the Office of University Ceremonies at

Advanced D​egree Commencement Ceremony
Speaker: Sandra Volpe, '89, Senior Vice President of Strategic Planning, Communications and Contractor Relations, FedEx Ground
Presentation of Doctoral, Master's and Educational Specialist Degrees 
Individual Student Recognition, Graduation Walk and Ph.D. Hooding
Field House
May 12, 2017
6 p.m.

University Commencement
Speaker: Octavia Spencer, Academy Award-winning Actress and Author

University-wide Ceremony to Honor all Kent State University Graduates
For all Campuses and all Degrees 
Dix Stadium 
May 13, 2017
10 a.m.

Kent Campus College Ceremonies
Presentation of Baccalaureate Degrees 
Individual Student Recognition and Graduation Walk 
May 13, 2017

  • Field House - 2 p.m.
    Speaker: Martin Hilovsky, '77, '81, CEO of Enviroscience
    Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology
    Arts and Sciences
    Communication and Information
    School of Digital Sciences
  • Memorial Athletic & Convocation Center - 3 p.m.
    Speaker: Dennis Cuneo, '73, J.D., former Senior Vice President, Toyota North America
    Business Administration
    Education, Health and Human Services
    Public Health
  • Student Recreation & Wellness Center - 3 p.m.
    Speaker: Christine Havice, Ph.D., Retired School of Art Director, KSU
    Architecture and Environmental Design
    The Arts
  • Kent Student Center Ballroom - 3 p.m.
    Speaker: Rebecca M. Patton, '80, Past President, American Nurses Association