Class of 2022 Commencement follows new format after two virtual ceremonies

No students will receive diplomas on Killian Court, where OneMIT ceremony will take place

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MIT's Classes of 2020, 2021, and 2022 are all set to have commencement ceremonies on Friday, May 27 and Saturday, May 28.
Cady Boronkay–The Tech

MIT’s first in-person Commencement ceremony in three years will implement a new format first proposed in 2019 for the Class of 2020’s graduation. Taking place approximately one week earlier than previous ceremonies, the new format includes a OneMIT ceremony on Killian Court separate from advanced degree ceremonies for Master’s and Doctoral candidates and from an undergraduate ceremony on Briggs Field.

The advanced degree ceremonies will be held at various times and locations by students’ specific schools and colleges May 26.

All graduates and their guests are welcome to attend the 90-minute OneMIT ceremony on May 27 which will include an academic procession of the MIT Corporation, faculty, senior leadership, and student leaders; President L. Rafael Reif’s charge to the graduates; address by the Commencement speaker Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala MCP ’78 PhD ’81; and the turning of the Brass Rat.

Following the ceremony, undergraduates will proceed to Briggs Field to cross the stage and receive their diplomas as their names are read, and advanced degree recipients will proceed to the Johnson Athletics Center. 

Considerations for changes to the commencement format began in 2017 due to concerns over the length of previous ceremonies and inclement weather. The Class of 2019’s Commencement ceremony — when degree conferral also took place on Killian — lasted 5.5 hours for graduates, 4.5 hours for faculty, and 2–3 hours longer for guests who arrived at Killian Court early. Additionally, because tents cannot be fully set up at Killian Court, MIT would not be able to support as many guests in the event of inclement weather.

After receiving community feedback and working with the Commencement committee, the Academic Council decided to alter the structure of Commencement beginning in 2021, announcing potential changes in an October 2019 letter to the MIT community. However, due to the pandemic, the 2021 ceremony was virtual and did not adopt the new format. 

The Commencement Transition Team worked to develop a new format that allowed students to have a Killian Court experience, ensured that undergraduates could receive their diplomas as a class, and provided graduate students a school-based, more personal experience for their degree-awarding ceremonies.

Because the new format cannot allow for all students to receive their degrees on Killian Court, the team decided that all diplomas would be presented at other venues.