Record number of graduates will receive Iowa State degrees this weekend

Commencement at Jack Trice Stadium

Graduates process during last spring's undergraduate commencement ceremony at Jack Trice Stadium. File photo by Christopher Gannon.

AMES, Iowa – Here come the seniors – and the sun – ready for Iowa State’s undergraduate commencement ceremony this Saturday, May 6, at Jack Trice Stadium. It’s the second year the celebration will be held outdoors at the university’s largest venue.

Iowa State’s spring 2017 graduating class is another record-breaker: an estimated 5,093 candidates (4,322 bachelor’s, 497 master’s and 133 doctoral candidates; and 141 veterinary medicine graduates).

Undergraduate commencement details

The ceremony will begin at 1:30 p.m.; doors will open at 11:30 a.m. Enter the stadium through gates 1 (northeast side), 3 (south side) and 5 (northwest side).

Seating will be in the lower bowl of the stadium from sections 9 through 33. Guests are welcome to bring stadium chairs or seat cushions. Graduates will be seated on the field, and the stage will face south.

A full range of concessions will be available for sale in the southeast and southwest corners of the stadium.


Free public parking is available in most of the lots surrounding Jack Trice Stadium, with the following exceptions:

  • Lot S2 will be reserved for platform officials and dignitaries.
  • Lot S3 is reserved for handicap permit holders and persons with disabilities, and is at capacity. The deadline for reserving a space in this lot has passed. (However, people may be dropped off at Gate 3 on the south side of the stadium. In addition, there is a public elevator on this side, and two golf carts will be available to transport guests up the hill.)
  • Lot 85W will be reserved for working staff.

Ceremony speaker

Dennis Muilenburg


Dennis Muilenburg, chairman, president and CEO, The Boeing Company, will address the undergraduates. Muilenburg received a bachelor of science in aerospace engineering (1986) from Iowa State. He also holds a master’s degree in aeronautics and astronautics from the University of Washington. Muilenburg will receive an honorary Doctor of Science degree for "outstanding contributions to the advancement of science and technology, particularly in the field of aerospace engineering."

Livestream video will be shown at Stephens Auditorium and online at

Information for graduates

Candidates participating in the undergraduate commencement ceremony should report to their line-up areas at Jack Trice Stadium no later than noon on Saturday. Complete details


The National Weather Service predicts sun and a high temperature of 68 degrees for Saturday.

In the event of inclement weather, ceremonies will be moved to Hilton Coliseum. Each graduate scheduled to participate in the ceremony will receive four tickets to distribute to family and friends. These tickets will be required only if the event is moved to Hilton due to weather. Tickets must be picked up at University Book Store before Friday, May 5, at 6 p.m.

Graduate College commencement

Catherine Kling


Iowa State’s Graduate College will honor approximately 497 master’s and 133 doctoral candidates during a ceremony on Thursday, May 4, at 7:30 p.m. at Hilton Coliseum. Catherine Kling, Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor of Economics, President’s Chair of Environmental Economics and director of the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development, will address the graduates. Kling was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2015. The ceremony will be livestreamed on the registrar’s website.


College of Veterinary Medicine commencement

Dr. Morgan McArthur


The College of Veterinary Medicine will confer Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees on a projected 141 candidates on Saturday, May 6 (noon, Stephens Auditorium). The guest speaker is 1983 alumnus Dr. Morgan McArthur, DVM, who works as an agriculture and community resource development educator for the University of Wisconsin extension system.

More graduation events

Graduating members of Iowa State’s LGBTIQA+ community will be recognized during the Lavender Graduation on Thursday, May 4, from 3 to 5 p.m. in State Gym’s east gymnasium.

From Thursday afternoon through Saturday morning, Iowa State’s colleges will honor graduating students at convocations and receptions