Spring commencement events are May 3-5

President Wintersteen congratulates a graduate

President Wendy Wintersteen congratulates a graduate during last fall's commencement. Photo by Gracen Kostelecky.

AMES, Iowa – An estimated 5,047 students are completing degrees from Iowa State this semester, and many of them will participate in graduation festivities this week. The 2018 class includes approximately 4,255 undergraduates, 516 master’s candidates, 132 doctorate recipients and 144 students who will receive Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees.

The number of anticipated graduates is about 50 fewer than last spring’s record-setting class. Large classes continue to graduate following record enrollments at Iowa State from 2007-2016.

Iowa State University President Wendy Wintersteen will provide opening remarks at all four commencement ceremonies.

Undergraduate commencement: May 5, Hilton Coliseum

For the first time, Iowa State will hold two commencement ceremonies for bachelor’s degree recipients – moving the events back inside Hilton Coliseum after a two-year experiment outdoors at Jack Trice Stadium.

A ceremony for students in the colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Business, and Liberal Arts and Sciences will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 5. The undergraduate commencement for the colleges of Design, Engineering and Human Sciences will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Graduate College commencement: May 3, Hilton Coliseum

ISU’s Graduate College ceremony honoring doctoral and master’s students remains in its Thursday evening slot at 7 p.m. in Hilton Coliseum.

Alicia Carriquiry, Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences and President’s Chair in Statistics, will address the graduates. Carriquiry also serves as director of the Center for Statistics and Applications in Forensic Evidence, based at Iowa State; and the Midwest Forensics Resource Center. She joined the Iowa State faculty in 1990. She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine for her work in measuring nutrient intake, as well as a fellow of the American Statistical Association.

Veterinary Medicine commencement: May 5, Stephens Auditorium

An anticipated 144 Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees will be awarded during the College of Veterinary Medicine’s ceremony at 12:30 p.m. Saturday in Stephens Auditorium.

Dr. Cate Dewey, professor of swine health management and epidemiology at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, will speak. Previously, Dewey was a faculty member at the University of Nebraska (1992-95) and worked in private practice. The DVM graduating class includes several dozen Nebraska residents, who spend the last two years of their program at Iowa State.

Honorary degrees

Dwight Ink


Iowa State will confer two honorary degrees Saturday to Iowa natives in recognition of their professional achievements.

Alumnus Dwight Ink of Leesburg, Virginia, holder of the first government degree (1947) from Iowa State, federal civil servant and adviser to seven U.S. presidents – Dwight Eisenhower to Ronald Reagan – will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters (in abstentia) during the morning ceremony. Faculty members from the political science department nominated Ink for the honor. Just this year, Ink, 95, published his fourth book (with co-author Kurt Thurmaier), "Getting Things Done with Courage and Conviction: Principles and Cases in Public Management."

University Professor Mack Shelley, department chair, will accept the award on Ink’s behalf and give brief remarks.

Jon Kinzenbaw


During the afternoon ceremony in Hilton, Jon Kinzenbaw – farmer, inventor, manufacturer and entrepreneur – will receive an honorary Doctor of Science and deliver brief remarks. For more than 52 years, Kinzenbaw, CEO and chairman of the board for Kinze Manufacturing Inc. in Williamsburg, has brought innovative technologies and mechanization to production agriculture, all while continuing to farm himself. In addition to its 520-employee Iowa headquarters, Kinze Manufacturing also has a second facility in Vilnius, Lithuania. Kinzenbaw holds 37 patents.

Faculty members in agricultural and biosystems engineering nominated Kinzenbaw for the honorary degree.

Other graduation events

The Lavender Graduation ceremony, honoring graduating members of Iowa State’s LGBTIQA+ community, will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Thursday in the East State Gym.

Colleges will honor their graduates at convocations and receptions Thursday through Saturday.

Livestream details

All commencement ceremonies except Veterinary Medicine will be livestreamed. Links are on the Graduation & Commencement page