Commencement Advisory Work Group

With a goal of creating rewarding commencement experiences for University of Oregon graduates, their families, and the campus community, the office of the president has launched a process for gathering information and creating a multi-year plan for future commencement activities. 

The 2024-2028 Commencement Advisory Work Group will solicit and collect input from a wide variety of stakeholders, including students, families, faculty and staff, on commencement factors such as timing and ceremony preferences. 

The work group members include:

  • Xcaret Bello – Associated Students of the University of Oregon
  • Brooke Cagno – Events and Scheduling Coordinator, School of Music and Dance
  • Jamie Carr – Co-chair, Parents' Leadership Council
  • Bob Choquette – UO Senate, Senior Instructor II and Graduate Coordinator, School of Planning, Public Policy and Management
  • Krista Chronister – Vice Provost of Graduate Studies
  • Renee Dorjahn – Associate Dean of Finance and Administration, Clark Honors College
  • Lisa Fortin – Director of Events and Student Recruitment, College of Education
  • Fabienne Moore – UO Senate, Associate Professor of French Romance Languages
  • Lindsey Hayward – Program Manager, Office of the Provost
  • Collette Niland – Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs, Lundquist College of Business
  • Matthew Norton – UO Senate, Associate Professor of Sociology
  • Susan Ordonez – Senior Associate Director for Alumni Engagement
  • Jordan Pridemore – Associated Students of the University of Oregon
  • Lisa Mick Shimizu – Director, Operations and Strategic Initiatives, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Sarah Rivas – Major Student Events Manager, Division of Student Life
  • Rick Schaufler – Coordinator of Student and Alumni Relations, College of Design
  • Carlyn Schreck – Assistant Vice President, Presidential Initiatives, facilitator
  • Lauren Stanfield – Assistant Vice President, Marketing and Branding, University Communications
  • Kathie Stanley – Associate Vice President and Chief of Staff, Division of Student Life
  • Wendy Westphal – Associate Director, Volunteer Engagement, University Advancement
  • Angie Whittington – Project Manager, Outreach and Events, School of Journalism and Communication

The group will submit a proposal to the president with recommendations for a five-year plan that meets the goals of commencement and preferences of key audiences, reflects the university mission, and makes the best use of and works with available resources.

    As part of its charge, the group will:

    • Research best practices
    • Define audiences
    • Conduct a survey on commencement goals, timing, and ceremonies at the department and school/college levels, and the main university ceremony
    • Determine if additional research methodologies are necessary
    • Examine internal and external resources (budget, staffing, volunteers, facilities, lodging, etc.)
    • Define objectives based on primary and secondary research and best practices
    • Develop evaluation metrics
    • Develop and review a five-year proposal
    • Forward recommendations to the president for 2024-2028 ceremonies

    The work group will operate on the following timeline:

    March 15, 2023                            Work group appointments

    Week of March 20, 2023          First work group meeting

    April 2023                                     Planning, research and survey

    May 2023                                      Draft proposal

    June 2023                                    Recommendations to president

    The goals of commencement are to formally recognize and celebrate the academic achievement of students who have successfully completed their studies and met the requirements for graduation. It serves as a rite of passage for students as they prepare to move on to the next stage of their lives, be that further education, a career, or other pursuits; and it serves as an opportunity for families, friends, faculty, and staff to join in the celebration of these students’ accomplishments.