2019 English Department Spring Commencement Information

DATE: Sunday, May 19th 2019
TIME: 2:00pm
LOCATION: Greek Theatre
GATES OPEN: 1:00pm*
COMMENCEMENT SPEAKER:  Hon. Susan M. Breall, Judge of the Superior Court of California
RECEPTION: Campanile Esplanade

* Please note: For the first time, the Greek Theater is mandating the use of metal detectors for the English Department ceremony; this means everyone entering the gates (graduates, guests, faculty, and staff) will need to go through the machines. We anticipate that this will increase the time it will take to get in to the theater, and we strongly suggest getting to the theater as early as possible to ensure you can make it through in time to be seated by the time the ceremony starts at 2pm. Gates will open no later than 1pm this year. 

To purchase tickets, please visit thCal Performances website.

The English Department does not have a rehearsal for Commencement. Please familiarize yourself with the following ceremony details in advance so your commencement can run smoothly. Thank you for your assistance.

Eligibility for Participation: All graduating students in the academic year 2018-2019 may attend this Spring's Commencement ceremony. This includes all Fall 2018, Spring 2019, and Summer 2019 graduates.

Students who plan to graduate in Fall 2019 and would like to participate in this ceremony must meet with the Undergraduate Advisor between April 1st and April 30th.

Degree List: Please contact the College of Letters and Science if you have any questions regarding delaring candidacy.

Honors: Honors in English cannot be granted without the successful completion of the Honors Course, English H195A/B.

All students graduating with honors in the English major may purchase Honors Cords to wear at the commencement ceremony. The Gift & Apparel section of the ASUC will have a list of all students in English H195B, Spring '19 as eligible for purchasing an Honors Cord.

No distinction is made during the commencement ceremony between honors students and non-honors students. Honors are marked in the commencement program.

Undergraduates: To participate in the English Department's Commencement, and to have your name printed in the program, should have RSVP'd by completing the Registration Form, between April 1, 2019 and April 30, 2019. The link to the Registration Form can be found highlighted near the top of this page starting April 1st.  If you don't register before the 4/30/19 deadline but would still like to participate, please contact Katie Schramm (kschramm@berkeley.edu).

You are welcome to check or edit your registration until April 30th using the registration form link above.

Graduating Ph.D. students, or those who have already graduated, and intend to participate in the English Department’s commencement, students should have RSVP'd by completing the Registration Form, between April 1, 2019 and April 30, 2019. If you don't register before the 4/30/19 deadline but would still like to participate, please contact Ken Mahru (kenmahru@berkeley.edu).

Admission to the ceremony will be by ticket only.  Each attendee must have a ticket to be admitted to commencement, including children.  Graduates dressed in cap and gown do not need tickets.

Graduating students who have registered to participate in Commencement will be given two (2) free tickets which may be obtained from the English Department Office (Wheeler 319) starting May 1st. The office is open from 10-12 and 1-4, Monday through Friday.

Please note that the tickets must be picked up during regular business hours: 10 AM-12pm and 1-4 PM Monday through Friday.

Additional Tickets: You, your family, and friends may purchase an unlimited number of additional tickets at $12 ($10 with a $2 service fee) each.  Tickets for the commencement are available through Cal Performances.



We urge you to support the Cal Student Store at 2495 Bancroft Way by placing your regalia orders through them as well as by attending the “myGrad” event “MyGrad” event on April 4th, 5th, and 6th in Lower Sproul.

Graduation products are available online at calstudentstore.berkeley.edu.  You will find a "My Grad" link at the top of the page.

Personalized announcements may be also be ordered from the Cal Student Store using the link above.

If you have any questions concerning regalia, call 510.229.4703.

If you are interested in delivering a student speech at the English Department's Commencement ceremony this year, please submit a proposed speech between April 1st and 30th to 319 Wheeler Hall, in the black drop box. Submissions must be typed, double-spaced, and no longer than four pages.


A banner that says: Click here to register your email and get $5 off orders of $25 or more.

GradImages is the official commencement photographer for our department. Your proofs will be ready to view online as soon as 48 hours of the ceremony. In order to notify you when your images are available, GradImages sends emails and mails paper proofs, along with optional text message notifications. Your information is never shared and privacy is guaranteed. Pre-registering is simply a way to make sure your contact information is up-to-date with GradImages, so they can provide your complimentary proofs as quickly as possible. Although there's never any obligation to order, you'll save $5 off any order of $25 or more for your participation. To pre-register for your commencement proofs, please visit https://www.gradimages.com/Preregistration/Register?ClientID=1034&OccasionRef=130156

The English Department does not handle diplomas. The scroll you will receive at the commencement ceremony will commemorate all Commencement exercises of the Departments, Schools, and Colleges of the Berkeley Campus of the University of California.

Diplomas are generally available about four months after your graduation date from the Office of the Registrar (120 Sproul Hall, 643-7490), or you can have it mailed to you. For more information, please visit the Office of the Registrar.

If you need proof of completing your degree before the Registrar has processed your diploma, you may obtain a Certificate of Completion from them. More information regarding the Certificate of Completion is available on the Registrar's web site.

Lodging: For local hotel suggestions, check the Visit Berkeley website at http://www.visitberkeley.com/stay.

Venue: To locate the Greek Theatre and the Campanile (Sather Tower), on the Berkeley Campus, please visit http://berkeley.edu/map/maps/large_map.html.

For directions to, and a photo of the Greek Theatre, please visit http://calperformances.org/visit/venues/greek.php

Seating in the Greek Theatre is plentiful and is available on a first-come first-serve basis.

A large outdoor facility, the Greek Theatre offers no protection from the elements, so you may want to recommend that your guests be prepared to protect themselves from the sun as well as the cold and rain. For current information, be sure to check the weather forecast on the day of Commencement. Some items to consider bringing are as follows: a cushion to sit on, an umbrella, sunblock, visor/hat, water, jacket/coat.

Greek Theater events, including Commencement, are rain or shine.

Since seating at the Greek Theatre and walking to the Campanile Esplanade will be on a relatively steep, and at times uneven incline, walking shoes are suggested for safety as well as comfort.

Parking is difficult to find in the area. A long walk will be required from the car to the theatre. We urge you to drop off those who may have difficulty walking the distance.  For more information, please go to the Parking and Transportation website at http://pt.berkeley.edu/special-events/commencement-ceremonies

For wheelchair accessibility to the Greek Theatre, please use the ramps at the main entrance to the theatre or at the South Gate. There will be designated wheelchair seating inside the Greek Theatre. Restrooms are available to accommodate wheelchairs.

Disabled parking is available for purchase next to the Greek Theatre in the Bowles Parking Lot.

Additional accessibility concerns may be addressed to Disability Access Specialist Ben Perez in the Disabled Students Program.  http://access.berkeley.edu/index.html

UNIVERSITY-WIDE SPRING AND FALL CEREMONIES: Students who complete their degree in the fall may choose to attend the December Commencement in place of, or in addition to the Spring English Department Commencement. There is also a spring commencement for those who complete their degree requirements in the spring.

For more information regarding the University-wide Commencement, you may
1) Contact University Relations at 510-642-1212, or
2) Visit their website at https://commencement.berkeley.edu/

Career Destinations Survey

Every year the Career Center asks seniors and recent graduates about what they're doing after they graduate, whether they are working, going to graduate school or pursuing other interests. Your answers will remain confidential.


Information for the Day of Commencement

DATE: Saturday, May 19th 2019
TIME: 2:00pm
LOCATION: Greek Theater
GATES OPEN: 1:00pm


All participants should be backstage by 1:30 PM to wait for the processional to begin. Please form lines on both sides of the stage. Undergraduates will process from both the north and south.  You do not have to stand in any particular order.  Please inform friends and family that they may not enter the backstage area.

This year, we are being required to have metal detectors for our event; every person entering the theater will need to go through them. Please leave extra time for you and your family/friends/guests to get through the metal detectors. We are recommending to get there as early as possible. 

Ph.D. candidates should give their hood to the person chosen to do their hooding no later than 1:45 PM. Please open your hood to make it as large as possible so it will fit over your mortarboard/cap.

At 2:00 PM, Pomp and Circumstance will be played, signaling the start of the processional. 

Faculty will enter the stage from the south end of the theatre (the side closest to International House), and proceed to the chairs on that side of the stage.

Ph.D. candidates will enter the stage from the the north end of the theatre (the side closest to the front entrance of the Greek Theatre), and proceed to the chairs on that side of the stage.

Undergraduates will leave the backstage area in two lines, one from each side of the stage; if you see that the line that you're in is longer than the other line, move over to that side to even out the numbers.

Walk down the ramp to the seating in the cordoned off area at the very bottom of the theatre's orchestra pit; please refer to the photo of the Greek Theatre for visual guidance. Department volunteers will be there to direct you. If you are the first person to enter your row move all the way to the far end of that row. Please keep these lines moving.

Program: Following the Welcoming Address, Presentation of the Departmental Citation/Mark Schorer Prize, the Valedictory Address, the Commencement Address, and Certificates Commemorating the Commencement will take place. At this point in time, guided by staff members, graduates will walk up to the backstage area and line up in preparation to to receive their scrolls.

Name cards: Have your name cards in hand.
a) One side of the card will allow you to provide contact information for the event photographer to contact you and/or your family regarding your photos.
b) The other side will serve as your reader card, so clearly write your name here.
c) If (and only if) you know that English professors at Berkeley usually have trouble pronouncing your name, write your name a second time below the first, as follows: 1) If pronouncing your name correctly is simply a matter of putting the stress on the correct syllable(s), rewrite your name putting the stressed syllable(s) in capital letters. 2) If you worry that the aforementioned will not suffice, rewrite your name using phonetic syllables AND capital letters for stress. 3) If you are still concerned, e-mail the name-reader during the week prior to Commencement.
d) You will hand your card to the name-reader at the podium, the name-reader will call out your name as you cross the stage to receive your scroll. The name-reader will then give your card to the photographer.

The name-reader will arrive at Commencement about 30 minutes early to check name-cards. Minor issues of pronunciation can be resolved at that time.

All participants will remain standing until the last undergraduate has reached his/her seat.

Following the processional, the Chair will deliver a welcome address. This will be followed by the presentation of the Departmental Citation/Mark Schorer Prize. the Valedictory address, the Commencement Speaker, and lastly, the


Ph.D.s will be awarded first. As your name and dissertation title are read, please cross the stage to the person you selected to hood you; please bend slightly to allow him/her to get the hood over your head. You will then pose for a photograph. Two additional photos will be taken as you exit the stage on the south side.  You should then walk around the backstage and return to your seat.

Each row of undergraduates, guided by a staff member, will get up and proceed backstage north and wait in line for their turn to have their name read and cross the stage.   Each undergraduate will walk toward centerstage, hand their name-reader card to the name-reader, then continue as their name is being read to the center of the stage where they will shake hands with the faculty member who will present the scroll.  Please stop to shake hands and have your picture taken.  Two additional photos will be taken as you exit the stage on the south side.  Following your photographs, each undergraduate should proceed backstage, walk down the ramp, and return to the seating in the theatre's orchestra pit.

Please do not stay on the stage to wait for your family to take a picture, as there are other participants who need to cross the stage.

Once all names have been read, the Chair will make some closing remarks.

A recessional will lead all participants out of the Greek Theatre, cross Piedmont Avenue, and walk down through the East Gate to the Campanile Esplande for refreshments. You will stand and leave the Greek Theatre by rows, exiting past both sides of the stage. Please ask your family to meet you outside the Greek Theatre or at the Campanile Esplanade.

This ceremony should last approximately 2 hours.