The University of Arizona Global Campus (UAGC) Class of 2022 has a lot to celebrate! For two years, UAGC has hosted commencements virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After much anticipation, the University will hold its first-ever in-person commencement ceremony since taking on its new name in December, 2019. You can find all the details for the event here.

On Sunday, May 22, nearly 1,500 graduates and 7,000 guests will convene to celebrate graduation at McKale Memorial Center in Tucson, Arizona – home of the University of Arizona Athletics and Wildcats. It is an incredibly exciting time for graduates and the University, and the entire UAGC community is ready to honor the Spring Class of 2022 in style. 

University leadership is thrilled to provide graduates with a memorable experience and has been preparing for this momentous occasion for several months. 

“Returning to in-person commencement this May is something we have been looking forward to,” says Ashley Kirwan, Director of Student Affairs for UAGC. “We are so excited to see our students and celebrate their tremendous accomplishments!” 

The UAGC Spring 2022 graduates have endured a lot to make it to the finish line, and this ceremony marks your amazing journey to finishing your college degree.

“This is all about celebrating your achievements, your sacrifices, and the incredibly hard work you’ve put into finishing college,” says Katie Scheie, UAGC Chief Operating Officer. “Our graduates represent our legacy, and we can’t wait to see what you do!” 

To help you stay organized and get your creative juices flowing ahead of the ceremony, the University created a Commencement Checklist that serves as a guideline, provides some ideas on how to get festive and in the spirit, and ensures you can enjoy a stress-free celebration whether in-person or from afar. Read on for details about the UAGC Spring 2022 Commencement.

UAGC Spring 2022 Commencement Schedule

To help make this an event to remember, there are a number of “experiences” planned for the weekend-long celebration. Be sure to RSVP to the Facebook event pages for the Saturday and Sunday events to stay in-the-know leading up to the ceremony. Then, continue reading for more details about commencement.

Date: Saturday, May 21
Time: 9 am MST (Local Arizona Time)
Location: Marriott University Park, 880 East 2nd Street, Tucson, AZ 85719

Enjoy a day with your fellow graduates at UAGC! This free, fun-filled day will be packed with plenty to do for the entire family. Attendance is optional for these events, but why miss all the fun? This will be a great way to see your peers and instructors in-person and celebrate your major milestone.

Highlights of the day include:

  • Honor societies meet and greet
  • Faculty meet and greet
  • Hooding ceremony
  • Photos with the President
  • Graduation cap decorating
  • Kids’ fun zone
  • Military appreciation event
  • More to come!

Look for details in the official Commencement Newsletter coming your way soon.

Date: Sunday, May 22
Time: 7 am MST
Location: McKale Memorial Center, 1721 East Enke Drive, Tucson, AZ 85721

Let the ceremony begin! Congratulations to the UAGC Spring 2022 graduating class. We are so proud of your accomplishments and can’t wait to see what you achieve next. On Sunday, May 22, we will recognize the completion of your degree program in a commencement ceremony, marking the end of one journey, and the beginning of another.

Check-in begins at 7 am MST and the procession/ceremony begins at 9 am MST with a conclusion at 2 pm. Here are some additional highlights and important things to know about your big day:

Anthem Singer – Hear the winner of the UAGC National Anthem contest (a fellow alum) sing at the opening of the commencement.

Special UAGC Dignitaries – UAGC President Paul Pastorek, members of the UAGC Board of Directors, and other University leaders will speak and recognize graduates from the Honors programs, CHAMPS Peer Mentoring, and the Doctoral programs, then present the Class of 2022 and confer the degrees.

Keynote speech – Hear from Frederick Drew Gregory, a former NASA astronaut and NASA deputy administrator. Retired as a colonel in the U.S. Air Force, he is a highly decorated veteran with extensive experience as an astronaut, test pilot, and manager of flight safety programs and launch support operations. He was selected as an astronaut in January 1978 and logged 455 hours in space: as pilot for the Orbiter Challenger (STS-51B) in 1985; as spacecraft commander aboard Discovery (STS-33) in 1989; and as spacecraft commander aboard Atlantis (STS-44) in 1991.

Virtual photo booth/GIF station – Choose a frame to snap a fun picture in our virtual photo booth or create a fun GIF video. Immediately share with your family and friends. The booths will be active on Commencement Sunday. The link to the booth will be posted on the commencement website.

StageClips – All graduates will receive a short personal recognition StageClip video that can be viewed, downloaded, and shared to social media after the ceremony! Links from StageClip are coming that will allow you to personalize your video by uploading a photo, adding a short, written message (150 characters or less, including spaces), and/or a video of up to 10 seconds. The name in the program and for StageClip is populated from your student record. Please review the formatting of your name now. If a change/edit is required, email [email protected]

Safety policies – Please note that as of this blog, visitors are required to wear a mask at all times while in McKale Memorial Center. University of Arizona campus guidance requires the use of surgical or higher-grade face masks be worn. Masks will be available upon request. Additionally, the venue has a clear bag or no bag policy. 

Parking – Parking will be free on the day of the event. Beginning at 6:30 am on Sunday, May 22, the Cherry Avenue Garage, on East Enke Drive and Cherry Avenue, will open for graduates and guests to park.

How to Watch Commencement from Home

Because the University is a global campus, it’s common for graduates to celebrate their greatest achievement from a distance. Past commencement ceremonies have been streamed online for graduates who were unable to travel to the in-person event, and those who have stayed at home have gotten creative in their commencement planning.

The UAGC 2022 Commencement ceremony can be viewed here:

For those celebrating graduation at home, there will be some fun giveaways. Be sure to RSVP to the Facebook event and check back for opportunities to win some special UAGC swag leading up to and during the commencement ceremony.

Follow some of these additional tips below on how to make the most of your at-home commencement celebrations:

1. Background decorations are a must!
If you’re someone who goes all out for the holidays, you already know a thing or two about decorations. This is one of those occasions where it’s perfectly acceptable to make the celebration all about you, so choose any room you like and give it a makeover with signs, streamers, or anything that puts a smile on your face.

If you’re inviting friends or family to join you, encourage them to bring signs of their own. You could even kick it up a notch and have shirts made up with your face on them, with large lettering that says, “Congratulations!” Get more information on the UAGC colors in our checklist. 

2. Decorate your cap (in-person or at home)
Those who are attending the ceremony in-person will have a chance to make their mortar board their own due the celebration on Saturday. But they aren’t the only graduates who should be able to have all the fun! Join in and personalize your graduation cap.

3. Send Evites and announcements to friends and family
If your loved ones aren’t traveling to your home for commencement, you can still make a plan to get everyone together for your big day. Send an Evite or virtual graduation announcement with commencement ceremony details.

4. Host your commencement watch party online
Zoom and BlueJeans are among the video conferencing tools that have gained a global audience of users during the pandemic, but there are other options out there! Do your research and find one that best suits your needs.

5. Create a congratulatory video montage
Students are adept at forming friendships within the online classroom. One way to celebrate your collective accomplishments is to gather congratulatory video messages from each other and create a montage. You could be the person who kicks things off by creating a video congratulating one classmate, and then ask them to “pay it forward” by creating their own video for another UAGC grad. 

6. Make a graduation story
If you’re not shy about sharing your personal achievements on social media, you can create a “story” for commencement. Start by taking videos and photos of the decoration process, then let your followers watch as you chronicle every moment of the big day. Don’t forget to include your “thank yous” (like an award ceremony acceptance speech) and talk about all the people in your support system who have helped you get through college. 

7. Take lots of photos!
Whether you’re attending commencement in-person or celebrating at home, don’t forget to take lots of pictures. Need some tips? Check out this blog for some great advice on snapping the best graduation photos! And be sure to share them on your social profiles — or with us on the Facebook event page — using #UAGCgrad22.

8. Cookies and cake
That’s it. Eat cookies and cake on your graduation celebration day! An advantage of celebrating at home is that you can reward yourself with treats. Know a friend or relative who has baking talents? Ask them to contribute a dessert to the party. Check out some of these delicious UAGC-inspired commencement recipes you can create in advance. Enjoy, and share leftovers with neighbors or others who will be proud of you.  

Congratulations, UAGC graduates!

One last thing: don’t forget to take a moment to celebrate yourself. Graduating from college is one of life’s most significant achievements, placing you firmly on the path to becoming a lifelong learner. Share your accomplishments with the hashtag #UAGCgrad22 and enjoy your success!

Visit for details on traveling to Tucson, for local hotel information, and much more. Wondering what to do or where to eat while you are in Tucson for the weekend? has everything you need to know to make your stay in Tucson a great one. If you have any questions or concerns, email [email protected].

Congratulations, UAGC graduates! We’ll see you in Tucson in May!


Written by UAGC Staff

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