Media Advisory

All graduating seniors to be honored at Convocation this Friday

Contact: Yasmin Anwar, Media Relations
(510) 643-7944

20 May 2009

ATTENTION: Higher education and general assignment reporters, photo and TV news assignment desks


The University of California, Berkeley's 2009 Commencement Convocation, a colorful ceremony honoring all graduating seniors. This year's keynote speaker is self-made entrepreneur Chris Gardner, whose book, "The Pursuit of Happyness," inspired the 2006 movie of the same name, starring actor Will Smith and his son, Jayden.

Other speakers will include Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau and top graduating senior Emma Shaw Crane, who will receive the University Medal for her academic excellence, research on race, gender and political economy, and work with political prisoners, migrant workers and underprivileged high school students.


The Greek Theatre, UC Berkeley. The amphitheatre is on Gayley Road near Memorial Stadium on the north side of campus.


This Friday, May 22, 2-3:30 p.m. Gates open at 1 p.m.


Hundreds of students in their caps and gowns, along with faculty members in colorful regalia, will process into the theater to "Pomp and Circumstance." No diplomas are issued at convocation, but graduates each will receive a bear pin as they march from the side of the stage to their seats. More than 6,000 tickets have been sold for the event.


Seats will be set aside for print and broadcast reporters, as the event is only open to graduating seniors and their guests. A very limited number of parking spaces for credentialed media has been set aside in the Bowles Hall parking lot next to the amphitheater's South Gate, which is the media entrance to the theater. To R.S.V.P. and/or to reserve a parking space, contact Yasmin Anwar at (510) 643-7944 or before noon tomorrow (Thurday, May, 21). Broadcast media can contact Roxanne Makasdjian at (510) 642-6051. For a complete listing of UC Berkeley commencement speakers and details about departmental graduation ceremonies through May 31, visit:

For more information about University Medalist Emma Shaw Crane, visit: