University of Southern California


2016 Baccalaureate Information

While the focal point of Commencement 2016 is the main ceremony on Friday morning, there are many activities earlier in the week. Chief among these are the Baccalaureate Ceremony and Dinner on Thursday, May 12.

Not yet updated for 2016: To RSVP for the Baccalaureate Dinner, please visit and enter code bacc2015.

Baccalaureate Ceremony

Taking place in Bovard Auditorium on Thursday, May 12, the university’s Baccalaureate Ceremony begins at 5:00 p.m. and runs about one hour. Baccalaureate is a non-denominational, inter-faith celebration open to all students and their guests.

The 2016 ceremony will include the participation of numerous university dignitaries, as well as the religious directors who work with our student groups adds luster to the occasion. The service itself features music and readings from a wide range of religious traditions, and concludes with a benediction over the graduating students.

There are no reservations necessary for the ceremony, but seating in Bovard Auditorium is available on a first-come, first-served basis, and the 1,200 available seats always fill up quickly. Students do not need to wear regalia for the ceremony.

Baccalaureate Dinner

Not yet updated for 2016: To RSVP for the Baccalaureate Dinner, please visit and enter code bacc2015.

Baccalaureate is followed by a festive dinner for graduates and their families. The dinner begins at 6:30 p.m., and hosts 1,200 students and families under an enormous canopy.

The cost is $40.00 per person, which includes tax, gratuity, and wine or other beverage. There is no limit to the number of tickets you can buy, but tables will be seated in groups of ten (i.e. if you buy eleven tickets, we will have to split your party among two adjacent tables).

Cancellations may be made at any time, but we can only offer full refunds through April 8. Cancellations made between April 11 and April 22 will be given a 50% refund. No refunds will be given for cancellations made after April 22, 2015.

The highlight of 2015’s Baccalaureate was an address given by Pico Iyer.

pico winner

Pico Iyer

An essayist for Time Magazine since 1986, Pico also publishes regularly in Harper’s, The New York Times, The New York Review of Books,and many other publications.

The author of 12 books, he is heralded as one of the world’s most important travel writers, and the Utne Reader named him one of the “100 Visionaries in the World Who Could Change Your Life”. He has spoken around the country and around the world at universities and literary festivals, and he is a Fellow at the World Economic Forum in Davos.



Click here for a list of previous Baccalaureate speakers!