graduation celebration

2023 Spring Commencement

Saturday, April 29, 2023 at 5:30 p.m.

Hill Auditorium

Commencement Details

  • The length of the ceremony is approximately 90 minutes.
  • There is no summer commencement ceremony. Students graduating in August 2023 may choose to attend the spring Marsal School commencement ceremony or the December 2023 all-university commencement ceremony.
  • Students receiving teaching certificates are considered alumni/ae of the Marsal School and are welcome at our ceremony. We hope you will attend!
  • Graduates and guests do not need a ticket to attend the Marsal School ceremony.
  • Master’s and PhD graduating students are also invited to participate in the University Graduate Exercises (Rackham) on Friday, April 28, 2023 at Hill Auditorium.
  • All Marsal School graduating students are also invited to participate in the All-University Spring Commencement ceremony on Saturday, April 29, 2023 at the Michigan Stadium.
  • Note: Tickets are required to participate in the All-University Commencement.


Tressie McMillan Cottom

Tressie McMillan Cottom

Award-winning writer, sociologist, and cultural critic
Associate Professor, University of North Carolina School of Information and Library Science

A trenchant cultural critic, celebrated sociologist, and award-winning writer, Tressie McMillan Cottom is known for rearranging your brain in the span of a carefully-turned phrase. Her breadth is phenomenal – it moves from the racial hierarchy of beauty standards and the class codes of dressing for work to the predation of for-profit colleges and the stain of racial capitalism on our plural democracy – all while reimagining the essay form for the 21st century as she goes.

Professor Tressie McMillan Cottom’s first book, Lower Ed, captures the zeitgeist on how profit, and debt, moved from the margins of higher education to bankrupt the very heart of American meritocracy. Influential change-makers like Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren and activists like The Debt Strike Collective cite her book as important for changing the conversation about higher education. Her sharp insights do not let anyone off the hook – she argues that bad federal policy, state disinvestment, amoral narratives about meritocracy, and prestige-driven cultures of traditional higher education all share responsibility for LowerEd.

Tressie’s far-ranging intellectual interests include books, articles, magazine profiles and opinion-editorials but it is her essays that routinely shape the discourse. Tressie’s version of the essay – or Tressays, as her devout fans refer to them – is part revolutionary pamphlet, part poetic chapbook, part sociological analysis, and part call-to-arms. Her 2019 collection of essays, Thick, was a National Book Award finalist that reimagines the modern essay form. Tressays are powerful storytelling that make problems for power. Careful and poetic, Tressie explores the everyday culture of big ideas like racism, sexism, inequality, and oppression by giving us the language to live better lives.

Tressie McMillan Cottom is a professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, a 2020 MacArthur Foundation Fellow, and New York Times contributing opinion writer.

Other Graduation Ceremonies

In addition to the Marsal School's commencement, there are two other university-wide ceremonies to celebrate graduates in the spring. We've gathered information about all three ceremonies below to help students determine which ceremonies they're eligible to attend and may want to participate in with their loved ones.

Spring Graduation Celebrations
Ceremony Date & Time Doctoral Hooding Eligibility & Notes
Rackham Graduate Exercises April 28, 2023
10:00 a.m.

The following groups are eligible to attend and may participate in the ceremony:

  • Master's students with degrees officially granted in the following terms: Summer (August) 2022, Fall (December) 2022, Winter (April/May) 2023, or Summer (August) 2023
  • Doctoral candidates who complete their degree requirements by March 30, 2023
University Spring Commencement April 29, 2023
10:00 a.m.

The following groups are eligible to attend and may participate in the ceremony:

  • Undergraduate and graduate students who complete their graduation requirements in Winter (April/May) 2023 or expect to meet their requirements by Summer (August) 2023
Marsal School Commencement April 29, 2023
5:30 p.m.

The following groups are eligible to attend and may participate in the ceremony:

  • Anyone who received a degree in education or teacher certification anytime between Summer (August) 2022 and Fall (December) 2022
  • Undergraduate and master's students who expect to receive a degree in education or teacher certification in Winter (April/May 2023) or Summer (August) 2023
  • Doctoral candidates who complete their pre-oral defense by March 30, 2023 and have officially set their final oral defense date to occur by the end of the Summer (August) 2023 term

Other details:

  • The event will not be live-streamed
  • A video recording will be made available on the website shortly after the event
  • If you would like your name printed in the 2023 Commencement Booklet, RSVP no later than March 10, 2023


If you have any questions about the Marsal School's commencement ceremony, please send an email to