The University of Chicago Convocation
The University of Chicago honors a longstanding tradition by gathering as a community to confer degrees on candidates who have completed their courses of study. We call this ceremony convocation, a term denoting ritual assembly, rather than commencement or graduation. For us, this is a moment to celebrate individual achievement as well as institutional progress and continuity.
Literally a “calling together,” the University’s convocation assembles all elements of the University community: degree candidates and their families, and friends, the faculty, the deans, the officers of the University, the Trustees of the University, the provost, and the president.
The first convocation was celebrated in January 1893 under founding president William Rainey Harper. Since then the University has held at least four convocations every year. Winter Quarter, Spring Quarter, Summer Quarter, and Autumn Quarter convocations are held to mark the end of an academic quarter, while others are held to inaugurate University presidents or to commemorate significant institutional milestones.