GPS Commencement

Commencement 2019

GPS Commencement

Date: Sunday, June 16, 2019
Time: 1:30 p.m.
Location: RIMAC Arena, UC San Diego
Open to: Invited Guests, Students, Alumni (No ticket required)

All Campus Commencement (Optional)

Date: Saturday, June 15, 2019
Time: 9-11 a.m.
Location: RIMAC Field, UC San Diego
Open to: Graduating Students and Guests (tickets required for students only)
For information:

Please visit this website again for updated information on the GPS commencement. If you have specific questions that are not addressed on this page, please email Jerry Pang.

All Campus Commencement

Attendance is optional.

Date: Saturday, June 15, 2019
Time: 9-11 a.m.
Location: RIMAC Field, UC San Diego
Open to: Graduating Students and Guests (tickets required for students only)

Keynote address by Madeleine K. Albright.

During this campuswide celebration, UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla will officially confer degrees by academic division upon graduates gathered as one student body on RIMAC Field. 

Learn more at

GPS Commencement Speaker

Kathleen StephensAmbassador (retired) Kathleen Stephens

Ambassador (retired) Kathleen Stephens assumed leadership of Korea Economic Institute (KEI) as President and CEO in September 2018. Ambassador Stephens was a career diplomat in the United States Foreign Service, 1978-2015. She was U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea 2008-2011, the first woman and first Korean-speaker to serve in that position. Other overseas assignments included postings to China, former Yugoslavia, Portugal, Northern Ireland, where she was U.S. Consul General in Belfast during the negotiations culminating in the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, and India, where she was U.S. Charge ‘d Affaires (2014-2015).

Ambassador Stephens also served in a number of policy positions in Washington at the Department of State and the White House. These included acting Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs (2012), Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs (2005-2007), Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs (2003-2005), and National Security Council Director for European Affairs at the Clinton White House.

Korea has been a leit motif of Ambassador Stephens’ life and career since she served in rural Korea as a Peace Corps volunteer and trainer, 1975-1977. She was in Korea 1983-1989, first as a political officer at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul reporting on Korea’s domestic political and human rights scene, and later leading the U.S. Consulate in Busan.  

Stephens was William J. Perry Fellow for Korea at Stanford University’s Shorenstein Asia Pacific Research Center, 2015-2018. She has also been Endowed Chair Professor for Language and Diplomacy at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul, and Senior State Department Fellow at Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy.  She is a Mansfield Foundation Distinguished Fellow, Pacific Century Institute board chairman, a trustee for The Asia Foundation, and on the board of The Korea Society. She is a member of the American Academy of Diplomacy and the Council on Foreign Relations.

Ambassador Stephens is a recipient of numerous U.S. government awards including the Presidential Meritorious Service Award (2009) and Linguist of the Year (2010). She holds the Kwanghwa Medal of Diplomatic Merit, the Sejong Cultural Award, the Korean-American Friendship Association Award, the Outstanding Achievement Award from the American Chamber of Commerce in Seoul, the Korea YWCA Special Prize for Leadership, and was Hangul Goodwill Ambassador as well as Korea National Museum Goodwill Ambassador. She holds honorary doctoral degrees from the University of Maryland and Chungnam National University.

Stephens was an undergraduate at Prescott College, University of Hong Kong and Oxford University, and holds a BA Honors from Prescott.  She holds a Master’s degree from Harvard University’s Kennedy School. She has one son, an engineer with his own company in San Francisco.

Student Information

Mandatory Graduation Workshop
During the workshops graduates will be given an overview of the commencement ceremony, a review of the graduation checklist, register with Alumni Relations and complete graduation paperwork. Failure to attend and correctly process paperwork may result in delayed conferral of a degree.

Date: April 2, 2019
Time: 2-3:20 p.m.
Location: Classroom 3201

Makeup Session: 
Date: April 3, 2019
Time: 12:30-1:50 p.m.
Location: Classroom 3201

Ordering Regalia Instructions
Graduates must order their regalia online via the UC San Diego Bookstore Graduation Central portal by May. Graduates must pick up their regalia at the bookstore by June. Failure to order and pick up your regalia will disqualify you from walking in the commencement ceremony.

Students are required to wear appropriate attire to participate in commencement 
In addition to the required graduation regalia, graduates are encouraged to wear lightweight, professional dress under their robes. Graduates may wear leis and cultural apparel. Dean’s Fellows also wear honor cords, which are provided prior to the ceremony by Student Affairs. After the ceremony, graduates will keep their hood, cap and tassel, but must return the gown to the designated spot. Dean's Fellows also keep their honor cords.

Foreign Guests
Please contact Student Affairs if you need a letter regarding the visit of guests from outside of the U.S. To prepare the letter, Student Affairs will need the legal names of your guests, their relation to you, their birthdate and country of residence. Please inform us if you need a printed version of the letter.

Commencement Photos
Guests are asked to refrain from approaching the stage during the commencement ceremony. Professional photographers will be at commencement to take your photos throughout the ceremony. Photos will be available online for purchase after the ceremony.

The ceremonial certificate you receive at commencement is not a diploma. Degrees take approximately four to six months after graduation to process. Your diploma will be sent to the permanent address you have listed on TritonLink. Please check that this is accurate. If you do not receive your diploma within six months, please contact Academic Records at 858-534-3144. Contact Student Affairs if you need verification of your graduate status before the issuance of your diploma. 

You may log into your “Academic History” within TritonLink to print an unofficial copy of your transcript. To order an official transcript, follow the instructions on the Office of the Registrar website.

Visitor Information

UC San Diego has several websites for visitor information on directionshotels and more. We recommend making hotel reservations early if you are planning to stay in the La Jolla/UTC area. Undergraduate commencements are the same weekend and hotels near campus fill up quickly.

Graduation Merchandise and Flowers
Graduation merchandise can be purchased through the UC San Diego bookstore and tents located throughout Ridge Walk and in front of the RIMAC gym.

Leis and bouquets will be sold at commencement. Students and guests are encouraged to preorder for pickup before the ceremony so they can wear their leis onstage and in pictures. Order directly from Graduation Day Flowers.


Sunday, June 16
Commencement parking will be in effect all day. No parking pass is required.

Students should plan to arrive early as parking is provided on a first-come, first-served basis. Students need to be checked in at the RIMAC gym by 12 p.m.

Parking for commencement is free, but we recommend allowing extra time for expected heavy traffic. Plan to arrive early as parking is provided on a first-come first-served basis. Parking for commencement is free, but heavy traffic is expected. There will be heavy signage for your reference and parking attendants on campus to provide direction to the commencement.

Guest Accommodations

Sign language interpreters will be provided during the commencement ceremony. For any accommodation requests, please contact Jerry Pang no later than May 24th.

Wheelchair/ Medical Rentals
Should any of your visitors require a wheelchair, please contact Jerry by May 10th. For all other medical rentals contact Eric's Medical Supply Inc. at 619-298-9640. You must contact them in advance for commencement.

Accessible Parking
Additional information will be released closer to commencement.