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Ohio State to award nearly 12,000 degrees at spring commencement

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State University will award a record 11,907 degrees to the largest graduating class in university history on Sunday, May 6. The ceremony begins at noon in Ohio Stadium. The 2018 graduating class size is the largest for the fourth consecutive year, surpassing previous records of 11,734 set in 2017, 11,235 in 2016, and 11,040 in 2015.

In addition, approximately 1,700 – or one in five – baccalaureate degree recipients are first in their family to graduate from college. Last year, approximately 1,500 were first generation college graduates.

Ohio State President Michael V. Drake will preside, and the commencement address will be given by Dr. Susan Desmond-Hellmann, CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The two student speakers are Elizabeth H. Beattey, a native of Nashport and candidate for the bachelor of science in health sciences; and Shweta Ambwani, a native of Dublin and candidate for the bachelor of science in data analytics. The entire ceremony will last 2.5 to 3 hours.

Ohio Stadium opens at 10 a.m. 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: http://commencement.osu.edu/.

The class processional leaves the French Field House and the Recreational and Physical Activity Center at 11:40 a.m. and enters Ohio Stadium at noon. Woody Hayes Drive will be closed to vehicular traffic during the procession to the stadium.

Ohio State is among the very few universities that regularly and traditionally awards diplomas at one ceremony each term of the academic year at which all colleges are represented. Graduates receive their own diploma at the ceremony, a practice rarely attempted by a university the size of Ohio State.

The university will award the honorary Doctor of Science degree to Dr. Susan Desmond-Hellmann, the commencement speaker. Distinguished Service Awards will be presented to Bobby D. Moser, who served as dean and vice president of agricultural administration for 20 years; David E. Schuller, who attended medical school at Ohio State and rose to become first director of The James and deputy director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center; and Iris S. Wolstein (in absentia), a strong advocate for the university with a passion for making Ohio State a leader in education and athletics.

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 6.