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Ohio State to award more than 12,000 degrees at spring commencement – another new record

Graduating class is largest ever for the fifth consecutive year

The Ohio State University will award a record 12,213 degrees and certificates to the largest graduating class in university history on Sunday, May 5. The ceremony begins at noon in Ohio Stadium. The 2019 graduating class size is the largest for the fifth consecutive year, surpassing previous records of 11,907 in 2018,11,734 in 2017, 11,235 in 2016 and 11,040 in 2015.

Graduates receiving their bachelor’s and master’s degrees – and who purchased their gowns from Barnes & Noble – will march in sustainable caps and gowns. The store identified a vendor to provide gowns that are made from material consisting of 100% recycled plastic bottles. After commencement, graduates who don’t want to keep their gowns can drop them off at Barnes & Noble’s Gateway location for recycling again.

Ohio State President Michael V. Drake will preside, and the commencement address will be given by Fareed Zakaria, host of Fareed Zakaria GPS (Global Public Square) for CNN Worldwide and columnist for The Washington Post. The two student speakers are Nick Frankowski, a native of Cincinnati and candidate for the bachelor of science in economics; and Melissa Martinez-Cuen, a native of Paulding and candidate for the bachelor of science in early childhood education. The entire ceremony will last 2.5 to 3 hours.

Ohio Stadium opens at 10 a.m. on Sunday. No tickets are required. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Large handbags (bigger than 14” by 14” by 4”) are among the prohibited items. For more information, see commencement.osu.edu.

The class processionals leave French Field House and the Recreational and Physical Activity Center at 11:40 a.m. and enter Ohio Stadium at noon. Guests should be in their seats by 11:45 a.m. since access to certain areas will be restricted until after the processional has concluded. Woody Hayes Drive will be closed to vehicular traffic during the procession to the stadium.

The university will award the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree to Fareed Zakaria, the commencement speaker. Distinguished Service Awards will be presented to George W. Acock (BS ‘63, architecture), founder and president of Acock Associates Architects and credited with the renovations of Pomerene Hall, Thompson Library and Sullivant Hall; Linda Kass (MA ’78), former university trustee, author and owner of Gramercy Books in Bexley; and William T. “Ted” McDaniel Jr., professor emeritus of music and African American and African Studies and specialist in jazz history, jazz performance and African American music.

Family members and friends who are unable to attend the ceremony may watch a live video stream of the ceremony beginning at noon on May 5.