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Posted on Thu, Apr 29, 2010 : 3:30 p.m.

Tickets for President Obama's commencement speech are gone

By Erica Hobbs

If you were hoping to get your hands on a ticket to hear President Barack Obama speak Saturday, you're out of luck.

Tickets have officially run out - and there are no plans to release any to the general public on Friday.

Union Tickets.JPG

Tickets were snapped up today by U-M faculty, students and alumni.

Erica Hobbs |

Heather Gray, the manager of the Michigan Union Ticket Office, said tickets ran out about 3 p.m. today. She said the ticket office released about 10,000 tickets today, which went to those affiliated with the university.

Michelle Pate, U-M’s director of University and Development Events, said students turned out in record numbers to get tickets this week.

"In recent years, average participation in commencement has included 3,500 graduates,” she said in a press release. “This year nearly 8,500 who are eligible to graduate claimed their tickets."

University spokesperson Kelly Cunningham said an estimated 80,000 to 85,000 tickets were given out this week.

She said it was hard to pinpoint the breakdown of the distribution. Undergraduate students received up to eight tickets each and graduate students got up to four.

Cunningham said undergraduate students generally make up 80 percent of those picking up commencement tickets. Representatives from the U-M Alumni Association who were distributing student tickets said most students were taking close to their full allotment.

The ticket office was scheduled to distribute any remaining tickets to the general public starting at 9 a.m. Friday. But a representative from U-M's News Service office confirmed tickets were out, and said no further tickets will be released.

The graduation ceremony will be broadcast nationally on the Big Ten Network and locally on the Michigan Channel (Comcast Channel 22). A live streaming video will also be available on the Big Ten Network.

Commencement starts at 11 a.m. Saturday at Michigan Stadium.

Erica Hobbs is a reporter for Reach her at 734-623-2537 or via e-mail at


Concerned Citizen

Fri, Apr 30, 2010 : 12:44 a.m.

P.S.: Re the "General Public" issue:... :-), at Thursday's pick-up, each person showing their ID was allowed two tickets,...I'm bettin' many of 'em will be bringin' along a member of the "General Public", :-)!

Concerned Citizen

Fri, Apr 30, 2010 : 12:36 a.m.

(Just a note of clarification,:-):) The "undergraduate students" who were able to get the first round of advance tickets were those "undergraduate students" who are actually qualified to participate in this ceremony,... those classified as "graduating"... That left the majority of undergraduate students not yet with tickets. If they wished to attend, they then, either needed to get tickets from friends who were graduating or to pick up tickets during Thursday's pick-up. The same was true for graduate students (students persuing advanced degrees) who are not yet at the point of "graduating". * Public media sources, in their "ticket information" leading up to distribution, did not make these distinctions clear and they are obviously important factors in why the demand exceeded supply.

Jimmy Olsen

Thu, Apr 29, 2010 : 10:05 p.m.

suki... try Craigs List - there are many, many tickets for sale there. I guess everyone in line wasn't there to hear the president, always a profit to be made!!


Thu, Apr 29, 2010 : 8:49 p.m.

Tom - Umbrellas will not be permitted in the stadium, so wear your rain poncho. Arrive early (gates open at 6:30am) and leave the purses, backpacks, etc. at home. A2cents, I'm sure the UM is disappointed having run out of tickets for the general public. It was the longest line I'd ever seen in my life this morning. I'm not surprised they were gone by the end of the day.


Thu, Apr 29, 2010 : 8:31 p.m.

I am disappointed that the uom has no room for the general public at their event. It then adds insult to injury by providing even less parking than usual. Neighbors will suffer traffic snarls, delays and considerable inconvenience. May it rain buckets...


Thu, Apr 29, 2010 : 4:48 p.m.

Thanks for posting this update. I was thinking of getting up early to get in line for a ticket. I'm disappointed but would have been even more so if I'd also made the trip tomorrow for nothing!

Tom Joad

Thu, Apr 29, 2010 : 4:21 p.m.

Gonna be a real soaker Saturday morning. Make sure you bring an umbrella and wear your rubbers