Need-To-Know: Ole Miss Commencement 2021 

Published 11:37 am Friday, April 30, 2021

The University of Mississippi’s 168th Commencement exercises are scheduled this weekend, when more than 5,000 prospective graduates and their friends and family will gather in Oxford to celebrate with a little “pomp and circumstance.” 

Jonathan T.M. Reckford, chief executive officer of Habitat for Humanity International, will deliver the Commencement address, set for 8 a.m. Saturday (May 1) in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. 

Reckford graduated from the University of North Carolina, where he was a Morehead Scholar. He also received a Henry Luce Scholarship, which enabled him to do marketing work for the Seoul Olympic Organizing Committee and coach the Korean rowing team in preparation for the 1988 Summer Olympics. 

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He earned his Master of Business Administration from Stanford University Graduate School of Business before spending much of his career in the for-profit sector, including executive and managerial positions at Goldman Sachs, Marriott, The Walt Disney Co., and Best Buy. While serving as executive pastor at Christ Presbyterian Church near Minneapolis, he was recruited for the CEO position at Habitat. 

Some 3,500 May 2021 graduates, more than 700 December 2020 graduates and more than 1,000 August 2021 graduates will be among those participating in Commencement. 

The university has established a website with all the important information to make your visit to campus for the ceremonies as enjoyable as possible.  

The university’s Commencement ceremonies are divided into two parts: the morning convocation and individual school ceremonies. 

Commencement ceremonies, including those for individual schools and colleges, will be livestreamed and available by clicking here. 

Convocation is the campuswide celebration of graduation. Students and faculty, dressed in academic regalia, sit with the banners of the university’s respective schools and the College of Liberal Arts for a ceremony that includes university awards and the main Commencement speaker. At this ceremony, the chancellor confers authority to present diplomas to the individual schools.  

At the school ceremonies, which take place throughout Saturday and Sunday in various locations across campus, the College of Liberal Arts and individual schools present their own awards and recognize each graduate individually. It is at these ceremonies that each graduate’s name is called, and he or she is presented with a diploma cover. 

In the case of inclement weather Saturday, morning Convocation will be canceled. 

Here is a schedule for Commencement activities: 

Friday (April 30) 

10 a.m. – School of Business Administration master’s degree ceremony, Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts 

10 a.m. – School of Education, The Pavilion at Ole Miss 

1 p.m. – College of Liberal Arts master’s degree ceremony, Ford Center 

1 p.m. – School of Pharmacy, Pavilion 

4 p.m. – Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, Pavilion 

7 p.m. – Patterson School of Accountancy master’s and Ph.D. ceremony, Pavilion  

Saturday (May 1) 

8 a.m. – Convocation, Vaught-Hemmingway Stadium; in case of inclement weather, Convocation will be cancelled. 

10 a.m. – School of Business Administration – Part 1, Pavilion; Last Name Beginning with A-K 

10 a.m. – School of Engineering – Part 1, C.M. “Tad” Smith Coliseum; Biomedical, Chemical, General and Mechanical Engineering 

1 p.m. – School of Business Administration– Part 2, Pavilion; Last Names Beginning with L-Z 

1 p.m. – School of Engineering – Part 2, Tad Smith Coliseum; Civil, Geological, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Computer Science, and Geology 

4 p.m. – Patterson School of Accountancy undergraduate, Pavilion 

4 p.m. – General Studies – Part 1, Tad Smith Coliseum 

7 p.m. – General Studies – Part 2, Tad Smith Coliseum 

7 p.m. – School of Journalism and New Media, Pavilion 

Sunday (May 2) 

8 a.m. – College of Liberal Arts undergraduate – Part I, Pavilion; Last name beginning with A-L 

11 a.m. – College of Liberal Arts undergraduate – Part II, Pavilion; Last name beginning with M-Z 

2 p.m. – School of Applied Sciences – Part I, Pavilion; HESRM (Exercise Science, Sport and Recreation, M.S. in Sport and Recreation, M.S. in Exercise Science, Ph.D. in Health and Kinesiology, M.S. in Health Promotions), Communication Sciences and Disorders, and Applied Gerontology 

5 p.m. – School of Applied Sciences – Part II, Pavilion; CJLS (Criminal Justice, Legal Studies, Master’s in Criminal Justice), Social Work (undergraduate and graduate), NHM (Dietetics and Nutrition, Hospitality Management, M.S. in Food and Nutrition Services, M.S. in Hospitality Management) 

Other 2021 Commencement Activities 

Friday, 7 p.m. – Celebration of Achievement, Tad Smith Coliseum 

Parking and Transportation Options 

University officials remind visitors that it is important to park as indicated when visiting campus, and carpooling is strongly encouraged. For safety reasons, parking is not permitted along roadways, sidewalks or grassy areas. 

The nearest parking available is west of the Pavilion and Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Graduates and visitors are encouraged to arrive early and park in the lots closest to their individual school or college ceremonies. A full parking map is available here. 

ADA Shuttle Service  

The Department of Parking and Transportation will provide ADA shuttle service from several locations around campus through the final ceremony on Sunday. The service will include some 27 golf carts varying in capacity of four, six and eight seats. Special wheelchair-accessible carts also will be available as needed. 

After final ceremonies are completed, ADA shuttle staff will determine service end time by guests’ needs at shuttle locations near the venues. Guests are encouraged to seek transport promptly after the ceremonies. 

To request transport on shuttles, guests are encouraged to visit the nearest ADA shuttle stop/tent. Shuttle stops will be tents with “ADA Shuttle Stop” signage and are near the following major ceremony venues: 

  • Tad Smith Coliseum 
  • Pavilion Parking Garage 
  • Vaught-Hemingway Stadium (7-10 a.m. Saturday) 

If a transport is required from a location not near one of the designated stops, such as the Ford Center, guests can contact the Department of Parking and Transportation at 662‐915‐7235 and request a special pickup during the following times: 

  • Friday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. 
  • Saturday, 7 a.m.-8 p.m. 
  • Sunday, 7 a.m.-8 p.m. 

Emergency Medical Services 

All information booths and ceremony venues will have basic first aid kits. EMS will be staged at various locations and available for rapid response. For immediate assistance, dial 911 or call the University Police Department at 662-915-4911. 

Dining Options 

Visitors will be able to enjoy several dining options across campus throughout Commencement week, including: 


  • Rebel Market: 7 a.m.-1:30 p.m., 3:30-8 p.m. 
  • Grill at 1810: 6:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. 
  • The Marketplace at the Residential College: 7 a.m.-2 p.m., 4-8 p.m. 
  • Blenz Bowls: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. 
  • O.D. Market at Martin/Stockard Hall: 7 a.m.-midnight 
  • O.D. Market at Crosby Hall: 9 a.m.-midnight 
  • O.D. Market at Minor Hall: 7 a.m.-midnight 
  • Starbucks in the J.D. Williams Library: 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m. 
  • Chick-fil-A: 7 a.m.-8 p.m. 
  • McAlister’s Deli: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. 
  • Which Wich: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. 
  • Qdoba: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. 
  • Panda Express: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. 
  • Freshii: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. 
  • Papa John’s: 11 a.m.-midnight 


  • Rebel Market: 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m., 5-7 p.m. 
  • Chick-fil-A: 7 a.m.-4 p.m. 
  • McAlister’s Deli: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 
  • Which Wich: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 
  • Qdoba: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 
  • Panda Express: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 


  • Rebel Market: 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m., 5-7 p.m. 
  • McAlister’s Deli: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 
  • Which Wich: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 
  • Qdoba: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 
  • Panda Express: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 

For more information, visit the official UM Commencement website.