Two commencements will honor 2022 and 2020 graduates

Commencement ceremonies this year will not only honor 2022 graduates, but also those from 2020 who had to forgo an in-person ceremony because of the pandemic.

No tickets are required for family and friends attending either University-wide ceremony. Open seating is available at the Petersen Events Center. Masks are optional and vaccinations are not required for guests.

Both commencement ceremonies will be live-streamed for students and guests who are unable to attend. 

2022 ceremonies


  • Information on all undergraduate and graduate ceremonies can be found at

  • Read more about the commencement speakers on Pittwire.

The in-person University-wide commencement ceremony for all undergraduate student candidates from August and December 2021 and April 2022 will be at 2 p.m. May 1 at the Petersen Events Center. 

The two and a half hour ceremony will include graduates crossing the stage and having their names announced.

Louis Riddick, former Pitt and NFL football player and now an analyst for ESPN’s Monday Night Football, will give the commencement address. During his time at Pitt, Riddick was a four-year letterman, two-time Academic All-American and team captain his senior season. He graduated in 1991 with a degree in economics from the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences.

Riddick also will receive an honorary Doctor of Arts and Letters degree for distinguished service in the field of sports analysis and broadcasting.

School-based ceremonies for undergraduate and graduate students will held throughout the week and later into May for the professional schools. Find a full list of ceremonies here.

One wrinkle for those attending the May 1 ceremony is the Pittsburgh Marathon, which will begin at 7 a.m. that day. Runners will come through Oakland during the second leg of the race, which means there will be road closures and parking restrictions.

Towing will begin late Saturday evening, while road closures will begin early Sunday morning in the following areas:

  • Forbes Avenue, between Craft and Craig streets

  • Craig Street between Forbes and Fifth avenues

  • Fifth Avenue between Craig and Aiken streets

Look for more details about parking and road closures as the event draws closer. See a map of the race course on the marathon’s website.

2020 ceremony

The University will welcome back all undergraduate and graduate school members of the Class of 2020 (August 2019, December 2019 and April 2020) who wish to attend to a ceremony at 4 p.m. April 30 at Petersen Events Center.

Mary Ellen Callahan, co-chair of Pitt’s Board of Trustees and currently chief of staff for the deputy secretary of  the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, will be the featured speaker at the event. She also will receive an honorary Doctor of Law degree for distinguished service in the field of law during the ceremony. She received her Bachelor of Philosophy in Political Science and Russian/Eastern European Studies in 1990 from Pitt’s Honors College.

The Class of 2020 will have the opportunity to cross the stage and have their name announced at University-wide ceremony. Those who have attained a doctoral degree will be hooded as they cross the stage.

Honorary degrees announced

Three more honorary degrees will be given out during commencement week.

  • U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-Illinois) will receive an honorary Doctor of Nursing degree for distinguished service in the field of policy during the 2022 undergraduate ceremony.

  • Thaddeus Mosley (A&S, ’50) will receive an honorary Doctor of Arts and Letters degree for distinguished service in the field of sculpture during the 2022 undergraduate ceremony.

  • Georges C. Benjamin (Pharm, ’40) will receive an honorary Doctor of Public Health degree for distinguished service in the field of public health, at 5 p.m. May 1 in the Carnegie Music Hall as part of the 2022 School of Public Health commencement.

— Susan Jones


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