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Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony

Friday, April 26, 2024 

12:30 p.m.

PPG Paints Arena

NOTE: This ceremony is for undergraduate students. If you are receiving a graduate degree, please visit Graduate Degree Hooding Ceremony for information.

Keynote Speaker, Daryl Fields, M.D., Ph.D.

Pictured is Daryl Fields.

Dr. Daryl Fields is a neurosurgery resident at the University of Pittsburgh and directs a neural restorative laboratory focused on developing innovative approaches to treating paralysis in humans. Prior to moving to Pittsburgh Dr. Fields held several leadership positions as a firefighter captain and medic. In addition, he spent several years as a neural rehab personal trainer, assisting clients with debilitating neuromuscular disorders. These experiences have inspired his research and clinical passion in caring for patients with debilitating neural diseases. 

Dr. Fields’ research has been supported by the National Institute of Health and National Science Foundation in addition to private organizations that include the National Football League, Pittsburgh Steelers, Merck Pharmaceuticals and Live Like Lou Foundation.

Dr. Fields received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Saint John’s University (Collegeville, MN) prior to attaining M.D. and Ph.D. doctorates from the University of Wisconsin (Madison, WI). He is a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. 

Dr. Fields is passionate about leadership development for undergraduate students, community engagement/service, and performance arts. Dr. Fields was recently named a trustee of Point Park. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote about his new role. 

Student Speaker, Anna King Skeels

Anna King Skeels, who will graduate with a B.F.A. in Theatre Arts, will be the student speaker. As a 2020 high school graduate, Skeels and the rest of the graduating class will be celebrating their first in-person graduation ceremony. Skeels' speech highlights the collective experience of University students: "We are not meant to bear the entirety of our struggles on our own. We are meant to share them with our friends, with our families, and take on portions of theirs for ourselves."

Hazel Carr Leroy, Ph.D., who taught Skells, says of the student speaker, "Anna lives a life that is marked by welcoming everyone to have a seat at the table — inviting everyone to be seen and heard."

Skells was selected from a group of student speaker applicants who met strict GPA requirements and auditioned before a panel of judges.


Important Details for Graduates

Students who have completed or who are registered to complete all degree requirements by the end of fall 2023 and spring 2024 semesters are permitted to participate in the commencement ceremony. Students who are in good academic standing and who can finish their degree requirements by summer 2024, according to a plan that has been reviewed and approved by their respective dean, are also permitted to participate in the commencement ceremony.  

Important: Students must submit an application for graduation with the Office of the University Registrar by the appropriate deadline to be recognized in the commencement program.

  1. Apply for graduation on PointWeb the semester before you intend to walk. You must declare your intent to graduate with the Registar's Office so they may confirm you have met the requirements. Read their webpage for details. Questions? Contact Brian Eisiminger at or 412-392-3866.
  2. RSVP to attend Commencement by April 15. Please note, this is a separate step. You must inform the University of your plan to attend the ceremony.
  3. Order your cap & gown. You must purchase your cap and gown and bring it to Commencement. The University will not have additional regalia available. You have multiple opportunities to order:
    • Graduation Fair in late February
    • Purchase it online — If you would like it shipped to the bookstore for pick-up, the deadline is March 17, 2024. If you would like to have it shipped directly to your address, the deadline is March 27, 2024.


  • Doors open by 11:30 a.m.
  • Students report to line-up — 12 p.m.
  • Ceremony —12:30 p.m.

The ceremony is expected to last roughly 2 hours.

Tuesday, February 20, 2024, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in LH Ballroom

Wednesday, February 21, 2024, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in LH Ballroom

Please join us for this excellent opportunity to get all of your graduation questions answered. Complimentary graduation announcements and undergraduate honor cords will be distributed, and caps, gowns and class rings will be available for sale. Representatives from the Office of Alumni Relations, Office of the University Registrar, University Advising Center, Conference and Event Services and the Bookstore will be present to guide you through the graduation process.

Pick up your 10 complimentary announcements at the Graduation Fair in late February. If you need additional announcements, class rings or diploma frames they can be purchased online at Herff Jones.


To qualify to wear honors cords in the commencement ceremony, you must have a 3.5 GPA at the end of fall semester. If you qualify, your honors cords will be distributed at the Graduation Fair. If you are unable to attend Graduation Fair, you can get your cords in the Registrar's Office on the 9th floor of Thayer Hall. 
Arrangements have been made with a professional photographer to take pictures of each graduate as he or she receives the diploma cover. You will be contacted by GradTrak Graduate Images via mail and email directly if you are interested in purchasing. There is no obligation to purchase.

Questions regarding your academic eligibility to graduate and the state of your application:

Questions regarding your financial eligibility to graduate and the state of your student account:

Questions regarding your RSVP to attend the Commencement Ceremony:

General Questions about the venue or program:




Important Details for Graduates, Family and Guests

Parking is available in the PPG Paints Arena North/South Lot as well as the PPG Paints Arena Garage for a fee.
Reserved accessible parking is available in a number of lots near PPG Paints Arena. Designated spaces are available for vehicles displaying a current state-issued disability placard or license plate. These reserved accessible spaces are filled on a first-come, first-served basis, so please plan accordingly. Additionally, accessible parking is available in the parking garage attached to PPG Paints Arena.

From the NORTH
Via 79S or 28S:
Take 279S to 579S, follow signs to PPG Paints Arena (Veterans/Liberty Bridge), take PPG Paints Arena/6th Avenue exit, turn left at light to PPG Paints Arena.

From the SOUTH
Take 79N to 376 Business toward Pittsburgh, through Ft. Pitt Tunnel, bear right (toward Monroeville) and take first exit on left (Grant Street) to 7th Avenue, turn right to PPG Paints Arena.

From the EAST
Take 22W to 376W (Monroeville), through Squirrel Hill Tunnel, take Grant Street exit to 7th Avenue, turn right to PPG Paints Arena.

From the WEST
Take Route 22E to 376 Business, through Ft. Pitt Tunnel, bear right (toward Monroeville) and take first exit on left (Grant Street) to 7th Avenue, turn right to PPG Paints Arena.

Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Family and friends are NOT required to have a ticket. The main entrance is the HIGHMARK gate and guest seating begins at approximately 11:30 a.m. Please note the Verizon gate will be closed.
Accessible seating is available on all seating levels of PPG Paints Arena.  PPG Paints Arena has a limited number of wheel chairs available and will be used to escort individuals in need. This service is on a first-come, first-served basis. It is strongly recommended those who have limitations bring their own wheel chair.

The ceremony will be close captioned for those who are hearing impaired. When you RSVP to attend the ceremony, please indicate other special accommodations you may require.
We strongly recommend checking the PennDOT website for any construction and traffic detours prior to leaving for the ceremony.
To assist you with your travel to our city, please visit the Visit Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership websites. These sites will provide you with vital information about the city, such as upcoming events, featured attractions, hotel information, dining options, etc.

Congratulations, Graduates!