The University of Alaska Fairbanks honored the Class of 2023 during its 101st commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 6, at 1 p.m. at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks.
Commencement ceremony checklist and timeline
- Apply to graduate by Feb. 1, 2023
Apply early! After Feb. 1, the fee rises to $80. March 1 is the final deadline.
- Check your account balance
Check your UAOnline account to ensure your account balance has been paid in full, including your UAF graduation fee. Unpaid balances can prevent access to your diplomas, transcripts and grades.
- Attend a commencement Q&A session on Jan. 26, 2023
Graduation Services will host a Q&A session at UAF Community and Technical College from 4-6 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023. This is your chance to learn about commencement ceremonies.
- Nominate a student speaker by March 3, 2023
Apply to be a student speaker at commencement by March 3, 2023. You can also nominate a student commencement speaker.
- Purchase regalia and invitations by March 25, 2023
Graduates should order caps, gowns, tassels by March 25 and have them mailed to their current address to ensure arrival before the event. To order, visit the Josten's website or call the UAF Bookstore at 907-474-6898 for information about commencement regalia.
- RSVP and confirm by April 15, 2023
Students who apply for graduation need to also confirm attendance at the ceremony via RSVP. To RSVP for commencement and to ensure a reader card is ready for you at the ceremony, contact Degree Services at 907-474-7500 or email@example.com. Seating is set by the number of students who have indicated they will be there, so students must confirm attendance. The event will also be streamed live. Diplomas will be mailed to graduates a few weeks after the ceremony.
- Attend the Grad Bash on May 5, 2023
Graduates and alumni are invited to attend a celebration at The Pub Friday May 5, 2023. Must be 21+ to attend.
- Arrive early on May 6, 2023
Students should arrive an hour prior to the start of the ceremony on Saturday, May 6, 2023. See Carlson Center seating map (PDF).
What to do after commencement
If you graduated last August or December, you should have already received your diploma. If you are a spring graduate, you will receive an email notification with instructions for electronically claiming your diploma. Your diploma notification will be sent to the email address you have marked as "preferred" in UAOnline. Verify or update your preferred email address, mailing address and cell phone number on the Personal Information tab in UAOnline.
Please pay your bills, because you won't get your diploma until you do. (The same thing goes for keeping a university key that's been issued to you.) Check your financial status at UAOnline or with the Bursar's Office before you leave campus so you don't get caught by surprise. However, you can still participate in the commencement ceremony even if your university debt has not been settled.
Looking for jobs or internships? Log into UAF's career platform Handshake with your UA single sign-on (You already have an account, you just need to activate it!) and get access to over 7,000 employers across the U.S. and Alaska and hundreds of job openings. If you need more guidance, Career Services is here to help UAF alumni with everything from resume editing to interview prep.
Commencement 2023 will start at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 6, at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks. We all will celebrate together in one student-centered ceremony this year. We expect the ceremony to last about 2 ½ hours.
Graduation refers to the completion of the requirements for your program and your degree being recorded to your official transcript. Commencement is the event where the completion of your degree is celebrated and acknowledged.
There will not be any tickets this year. Seating is open to the public. Arriving early will ensure guests locate preferred seating.
Yes. The ceremony will be streamed on Facebook and YouTube. Live captioning will be provided.
Students receive a diploma cover during the commencement. Diplomas will be mailed to graduates a few weeks after the ceremony.
Grad Images will take professional photos as graduates cross the stage. Photos are available for purchase, and proofs and package options will be sent to the student following the ceremony. The family photo area will also be available for quick photos of graduates as they exit the stage.
Additional details will be posted soon. Please contact the UAF Bookstore at 907-474-6898 if you have questions.
All students are expected to wear the appropriate academic regalia, which is a black robe, mortarboard and tassel. Students receiving master’s or doctoral degrees also should wear academic hoods. To celebrate and honor their heritage, Alaska Native and other Indigenous degree candidates are welcome to wear or incorporate traditional regalia in graduation attire. Active-duty military and veteran graduates are welcome to wear their dress uniforms instead of the black robe and mortarboard.
If you are graduating from UA Southeast or UA Anchorage, you’ll need to contact your home campus to order your regalia.
Services that may be available include assisted-hearing devices and American Sign Language interpreters. The best place to see the interpreters is on the east side of the building. Wheelchairs will be available to assist guests to their seats if necessary.
Please park in the lot behind the Carlson Center and walk to the front. Proceed up the stairs on either the left or right side of the building. The front ground-level doors have been reserved for the stage party and for those who may need specific accommodations or the elevator.
Doors open at noon. Please arrive early to locate and line up with your college.
The doors open at noon. They’ll need to park behind the Carlson Center and proceed to the other side of the building and enter through the stairs on the southeast or southwest. Those needing special accommodations, or wheelchair access, can enter through the front ground-level doors.
Depends on the honors.
- Cum laude, magna and summa, cords will be handed out at commencement. If you think you should have received one, check with a staff member.
- Red sashes for Alaska Native and Native American graduates can be found at the information desk.
- Community and Technical College sashes will be given out beforehand.
Veteran, LGBTQ+ and first generation students, please see the information desk at
the second floor’s southwestern entrance. All other departmental cords are given out
by the respective departments prior to commencement.
- Red sashes signify Alaska Native and Native American graduates.
- Blue sashes signify Community and Technical College students.
- Red, white and blue honor cords pay tribute to active-duty service members, veterans and Gold Star families of the U. S. armed forces.
- Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society graduates wear either a white stole with an orange logo or an orange and white cord.
- Beta Gamma Sigma business honor society graduates wear a blue and gold stole.
- Student-athletes wear a blue sash with the Alaska Nanooks logo.
- International students may wear a sash recognizing their home country.
- Graduates who are the first in their family to earn a baccalaureate degree wear teal cords.
- Graduates who identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community wear rainbow cords.
Please leave all items with family and friends. There is no secure area for personal items. Staff and volunteers will not be able to hold anything for students. Students should not bring personal items on the floor. Children are not allowed on the floor.
There will be no food sales within the building during commencement. A cupcake reception will take place in the Arthur Buswell Pioneer Room immediately following the ceremony.
On the first floor, bathrooms are located just west of the main entrance, near the Arthur Buswell Pioneer Room. There are restrooms on the west and east sides of the second floor.
There are water fountains near the restrooms on the first and second floors. Staff will provide water at stations on each side of the upstairs area.