The University of Wisconsin–Madison will hold its 2021 winter commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 19, at the Kohl Center, 601 W. Dayton St.


This will mark a return to an in-person ceremony following a virtual ceremony in winter 2020 due to the pandemic. This year’s ceremony will be livestreamed at and on the UW–Madison Facebook page so that family and friends around the world can watch.


There will be 1,823 doctoral, professional, master’s, and bachelor’s students earning degrees Sunday. About 1,240 of them have indicated they plan to attend the ceremony in person.


The event will abide by all COVID-19 public health guidelines, which are subject to change at any time. Face coverings will be required for all attendees. Please consult PHMDC, the latest emergency orderCDC guidelines, and the Campus Event Guidelines under the COVID Campus Operations Response page.


All guests, family members and friends are welcome to attend in person. There is no ticketing for attendance; seating is general admission on a first-come, first-served basis. The Kohl Center seats more than 17,000 people. Anticipated attendance for commencement is around 10,000.


Keynote speaker Manu Raju, a UW–Madison alumnus and CNN’s chief congressional correspondent, will deliver the charge to graduates. Student speaker Jai Khanna, who is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, will share insights from his time at UW–Madison, including how the pandemic shaped his experiences. This year’s winter graduates are an accomplished bunch — check out some of the exceptional members of the Class of Winter 2021 here.


Sunday’s ceremony will be held regardless of weather. In the event of snow, the university will have extra crews clearing nearby sidewalks, streets, and parking lots.


shuttle and parking map is posted on the commencement website for members of the public planning to attend. Complimentary parking will be available at almost all campus parking lots. Shuttle service will be available along University Avenue and Johnson Street, stopping at all blue Metro Transit bus stops. Shuttle service runs every 10 minutes from 8 – 10:30 a.m. and again from noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday.

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