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Posted on Fri, May 3, 2013 : 5:58 a.m.

University of Michigan 2013 spring commencement: Here's what you need to know

By Kellie Woodhouse


University of Michigan's commencement ceremony takes place Saturday. file photo

If you find that downtown restaurants are especially crowded Friday and Saturday, it's because it's that time of year again: Graduation at the University of Michigan.

We've compiled all the details you need to know for Saturday's commencement ceremony, whether you're walking across the stage or going to watch someone who is.

Where: Michigan Stadium

When: The main ceremony will take place from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday; graduates will start entering the stadium at 8:45 a.m.; gates open at 8 a.m.

Watching from home: The ceremony will be live streamed online.

Tickets: They've already been distributed. Everyone older than 2 needs one.

Keynote speaker: Twitter CEO Dick Costolo.

Honorary degree recipients: Costolo; William Brehm, a higher education advocate and donor to U-M; Suzanne Farrell, a ballet dancer; Rosabeth Kanter, a business leadership expert and former editor of the Harvard Business Review; and David McCullough, an author and historian.

Social media: U-M is suggesting people use the hashtag #MGoGrad when talking about graduation and related festivities on Twitter. Select tweets during the ceremony will be displayed on the Michigan Stadium scoreboard.

Where to park: Free parking is available in all U-M parking structures and lots Friday through Sunday. Parking at Pioneer High School will be available for a fee.

How to get there: If you have to park far away, are downtown or staying at certain hotels, the university is offering free shuttles to the stadium Saturday morning. Shuttle services are available beginning at 7:45 a.m.

What if it rains: Doesn't matter, the event will take place at Michigan Stadium rain or shine. If there's very bad weather, it could be shortened or canceled all together. Luckily, weather reports aren't predicting a high chance of rain Saturday.

Expected turnout: Approximately 5,000 graduates. In past years there's been a turnout of about 40,000 family and friends. A total of 5,900 undergraduates and 4,400 graduate students are expected to receive their degrees this spring, according to U-M figures. However, not all will participate in this weekend's ceremonies.

What’s not allowed inside: No purses, bags, wristlets, cases, umbrellas, flags, signs, balloons, balls, food, alcohol, coolers, camera tripods, chairbacks, strollers, pets or weapons.

What is allowed inside: Binoculars without cases, cellphones, hand-held video cameras without cases, blankets, rain apparel and seat cushions.

College-specific ceremonies: These will be taking place throughout Friday and Saturday —a few occurred Thursday— and next weekend. For dates and times, check the university's commencement website.

Kellie Woodhouse covers higher education for Reach her at or 734-623-4602 and follow her on twitter.


Dirty Mouth

Sat, May 4, 2013 : 1:05 p.m.

Congratulations! I think the most memorable keynote speaker was Dennis Rodman back in 1991. Truly perspiring!


Fri, May 3, 2013 : 5:09 p.m.

I enjoy when the students leave town and the summer is quiet. I also enjoy when the students come back to school, refreshed, in September. Ann Arbor is a great city that goes through a rejuvenation every year.


Fri, May 3, 2013 : 9:39 p.m.

A lot of energy returns to Ann Arbor Labor Day weekend when the students return and move in, but the summer months are very peaceful.

music to my ear

Fri, May 3, 2013 : 3:08 p.m.

all I need to know is dont go there if you dont have to busy, busy congrats to all who graduated, you deserve it you worked for it good luck.


Fri, May 3, 2013 : 3:02 p.m.

I leave my alma mater town every commencement weekend. When they invite the liberal nothings to speak and receive honorary degrees - it is simply insulting. Good luck to all the graduates. Hopefully most of you will make us proud out there in the REAL world, that of which you have not known for the past four years. Go Blue.


Fri, May 3, 2013 : 9:37 p.m.

Nice to know that not all U of M grads are staunch Liberals. Sounds like we are diversified. As for leaving town, it would be to avoid the day long congestion and anyone can tune out Liberal blather if so desired.


Fri, May 3, 2013 : 2:55 p.m.

I hope that Costolo will be limited to 140 characters. Selling an honorary degree to the founder of something so anti-intellectual is a new low for UM. I will miss the students, however, unlike one unkind poster--after all, this is a university town, like it or not. But like the sun, they will be back!


Fri, May 3, 2013 : 4:56 p.m.

I have nothing against communication, but Twitter has debased such communication, simplifying everything to a much too basic level. Most "twits" are just that, meaningless emotive replacements for communication. The issue is not communication, but what is communicated and the telegraphic limitations of size invite triviality. Of course, some people have found it useful for positive things, but all in all it is a horrible excuse for wasting time. But then I actually have nothing against searching in a library ... if that makes me pompous, let it be. I do use Google on a daily basis, as well as libraries, but that has nothing to do with the issue of Twitter. As for "anti-intellectual," --well, if a university is not "intellectual" it should pack up everything and only leave the business school and the football team and be done with it. I suppose I should not make such jokes, given the orientation of the present administration ...


Fri, May 3, 2013 : 3:30 p.m.

Yeah why would something like Twitter, that has been linked to the Arab spring or allowing information to go global in a matter of seconds be considered something intellectual. I suppose in your world Google was anti-intellectual because you didn't have to search at the library anymore. it is people like you who are against he democratization of information and allowing people to COMMUNICATE freely that is the problem with the world today. Please explain the founder of any other business is less "anti-intellectual" Pompous


Fri, May 3, 2013 : 1:19 p.m.

After this weekend they'll all be gone. I'm literally counting the minutes.


Fri, May 3, 2013 : 9:31 p.m.

Even way back when I was an undergrad student, I loved staying in Ann Arbor during the summer. I agree with GoNavy but to a lesser extent. Hard to believe another school year is ending. The next 90 days or so will be much more relaxing around town.


Fri, May 3, 2013 : 8:58 p.m.

I look forward to going to Dominicks when the students are gone. Less crowded and I don't feel like a geezer, since many of the other customers are closer to my age during the summer.


Fri, May 3, 2013 : 6:20 p.m.

I agree GoNavy...I love the energy and all the things UM adds, but I'm excited to have parking back and fewer store lines, even just for the summer. Literally!


Fri, May 3, 2013 : 6:05 p.m.

@DBH: Literally, "literally." Is there another way in which one should use the word? PS This post helped me melt one minute off the clock.


Fri, May 3, 2013 : 3:10 p.m.

Literally? Really?! If so, you currently have too much time on your hands. Literally.


Fri, May 3, 2013 : 11:01 a.m.

Congratulations Evan on your CS degree!


Fri, May 3, 2013 : 1:20 p.m.

Hopefully he found a good job.