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Senior Convocation

The 2023 Senior Convocation event will be held on Thursday May 25 in Barton Hall from 1-2:30pm for graduating seniors.

ConvocationEvents • Senior Days • Commencement

Photo of Ken Jeong
We are thrilled to announce Ken Jeong as the Class of 2023 Senior Convocation keynote speaker!


The Senior Convocation Ceremony is a Cornell tradition that takes place during the Senior Days leading up to Commencement Weekend. Convocation is a student-led event that celebrates the accomplishments of the undergraduate graduating class. Highlights of the event include a student speaker, a student poet, student organization performances, University leadership, and an invited guest speaker.

Convocation will begin on May 25 in Barton Hall with a Pre-Convocation Celebration 11:30am-1pm. The ceremony will begin at 1pm and conclude at 2:30pm. Immediately following Convocation, Alumni Affairs & Development is hosting the Forever Cornell: Alumni Affairs Post-Convocation Celebration in Willard Straight Hall. Full details below!


Undergraduate seniors can reserve your free ticket here!


Group of students with Touchdown at Senior Convocation 2022
Touchdown at Senior Convocation!

Class of 2023 Pre-Convocation Celebration | Barton Hall | 11:30-1pm

The Senior Convocation Committee invites you to celebrate before the ceremony in Barton Hall! Class of 2023 merch, snacks, photobooths, music, and more will be at the Teagle-side entrance of Barton Hall from 11:30am-1pm. Merch and snacks are limited so come early and hang out with your friends!

2023 Convocation Ceremony | Barton Hall | 1-2:30pm

The 2023 Convocation Ceremony will take place on Thursday May 25th from 1-2:30pm in Barton Hall, with doors opening at 11:30am. Plan to arrive by 12:50pm at the latest, as we will begin offering remaining seats to "day-of" guests at that time. Senior Convocation is for undergraduate graduates part of the Class of 2023 (December '22, May '23, December '23). We will invite graduating graduate/professional students and finally current Cornell community members as space allows. 

2023 Convocation Itinerary

2023 Convocation Itinerary

11:30am: Doors open for guests (must show RSVP)

11:30am-1pm: Class of 2023 Pre-Convocation Celebration

12:45pm: pre-ceremony performance by Big Red Marching Band

1:00pm: Ceremony begins

  • Opening: Richmond Addae '23
  • Welcome: Dean Marla Love
  • Performance: BreakFree
  • Remarks: Vice President Ryan Lombardi
  • Student Spoken Word: Selam Woldai ‘23 and Rumbidzai Mangwende ‘23
  • Convocation Chair Address: Yasmin Ballew '23
  • Guest Speaker Introduction: Courtney Davis ‘23
  • Guest Speaker Address: Ken Jeong
  • Closing Performance + Alma Mater: Key Elements

2:30pm: Event ends

2:45-4:30pm: Forever Cornell: Alumni Affairs Post-Convocation Celebration at Willard Straight Hall

Convocation Guest Speaker Biography: Ken Jeong

Convocation Guest Speaker Biography: Ken Jeong

Actor, Comedian, and Producer

Known for his scene stealing abilities, actor, producer, writer and comedian Ken Jeong has established himself as one of today’s top comedic stars. Since his feature film debut playing the doctor in Knocked Up in 2007, Jeong has gone on to create memorable roles on both TV and film.

Jeong can currently be seen as a panelist on The Masked Singer, the hit show that received an Emmy nomination in the category of “Outstanding Competition Program” in 2020. Jeong is also the host and executive producer of I Can See Your Voice, as well as a panelist on The Masked Dancer. We’re calling Wednesday “Kensday.” The actor can recently be seen in Mike Meyers’ Netflix limited series The Pentaverate alongside Meyers, Keegan-Michael Key, Debi Mazar, Richard McCabe, Lydia West and Jennifer Saunders. The comedy series is about a secret society that has been working to control world events since 1347. Jeong can also recently be seen in Will Arnett’s Murderville, Netflix’s new series where Arnett and his celebrity guests improvise their way through a murder investigation without a script.

Up next, Jeong will be seen in AppleTV+’s The Afterparty alongside Elizabeth Perkins, Zach Woods, Paul Walter Hauser, Poppy Liu, Anna Konkle, Jack Whitehall and Vivian Wu, as well as returning stars Tiffany Haddish, Sam Richardson and Zoë Chao. Season 2 will revolve around a murder at a wedding, which Richardson and Chao taking on lead duties solving the crime, with Haddish back as Detective Danner.

Prior to headlining Kensday on FOX, Jeong starred on ABC’s Dr. Ken, where he was the creator, writer, and Executive Producer. He also was a series regular on the critically acclaimed NBC show Community from 2009-2015, which won the Critics' Choice Award for Best Comedy Series in 2012. In 2015, Jeong directed an ESPN 30 for 30 documentary Student Athlete, and he also starred in and produced the Sundance award-winning film Advantageous which received an Independent Spirit Award nomination.

In addition to his work on Dr. Ken and Community, the actor can be seen on TV hits such as The Office, Entourage, and Curb Your Enthusiasm. In 2008, Jeong had his first major film role opposite Paul Rudd and Seann William Scott as the villain in David Wain's Role Models. That same year he also appeared in the cult comedy hits Pineapple Express and Step Brothers. In May of 2009, Jeong appeared as the Asian-mobster “Mr. Chow” in the sleeper-hit comedy The Hangover also starring Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis, which earned Jeong an MTV Movie Award in 2010, and in which the film itself won The Golden Globe for Best Comedy/Musical and Critics' Choice Award for “Best Comedy” in 2010. The film was the highest-grossing R-rated comedy to date, with over $467 million worldwide, only to be trumped by The Hangover Part II, which grossed $581 million worldwide. Jeong reprised his iconic role in The Hangover Part III. His other film credits include Crazy Rich Asians, Pineapple Express, Step Brothers, Ride Along 2, Transformers: Dark Of The Moon, Couples Retreat, Goosebumps 2 and Tom & Jerry among a steady list of roles.

Jeong has lent his voice to a plethora of animated films and was recently heard in Netflix’s Oscar- Nominated Over The Moon, Warner Brothers’ Scoob, and Disney’s Lady And The Tramp. Jeong’s other voice over credits include The Casagrandes, Wonder Park, and My Little Pony, among a lengthy list.

In February 2019, Jeong returned to his stand-up roots for his first-ever hit Netflix comedy special, Ken Jeong: You Complete Me, Ho, which earned him a People’s Choice nomination for “The Com- edy Act of 2019.” Filmed at The Ice House Comedy Club in Pasadena, California, where Jeong first got his start in comedy, the special reflects on how he went from being a doctor to a comedy superstar. He opens up about how his wife’s courageous battle with breast cancer led to him starring in one of the biggest comedy franchises of all time, The Hangover, and more recently, Crazy Rich Asians.

Jeong’s career path started off on a different course. He earned his undergraduate degree at Duke University and went on to get his medical degree at the University of North Carolina. Jeong completed his Internal Medicine residency in New Orleans all the while developing his comedy. In 1995, Jeong won the Big Easy Laff Off. The competition, which was judged by former NBC President Brandon Tartikoff and Improv founder Budd Friedman, turned out to be his big break as Tartikoff and Friedman urged Jeong to head to Los Angeles.

Jeong dedicates his spare time to volunteering with Stand Up 2 Cancer, which is a cause very close to his heart. Ken has also been very outspoken on the rise in racism and hate crimes against the AAPI community in the last year. He is using his platform to call attention to these issues and advocate for change in hopes of having a lasting impact. He currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife and twin daughters.

Invited Guests/Attendees

Invited Guests/Attendees

Funded by the undergraduate student activities fees, the event will only be open for members of the Cornell community. Undergraduate students from the class of 2023 will have the first priority to reserve their ticket. We will then open up availability to graduate/professional students. Finally, the general student body, staff, and faculty will be able to reserve a ticket if space is available.

2023 Ticket Timeline

2023 Ticket Timeline

You must reserve your free Senior Convocation ticket via CampusGroups before joining us at the event. Students can only reserve 1 ticket for themselves.

  • Starting Wednesday April 26 at noon EST: Undergraduate students from the class of 2023 can reserve their ticket

  • Starting Wednesday May 17 at noon EST: Graduate and professional students from December 2022 and May 2023 graduations can reserve their ticket.
  • Starting Saturday May 20 at noon EST: The general student body, faculty, and staff at the Ithaca campus can reserve their ticket. 

Outside guests & livestream

Outside guests & livestream

Outside guests -- including family and the greater Ithaca community -- will not be able to reserve a ticket or attend this Cornell-only in-person event. The Senior Convocation event will be available via livestream on Cornell Video, open to all. The full ceremony will live on Cornell Video for two (2) months with a password shared with the graduating class.

 2023 Convocation Committee

2023 Convocation Committee

Each year's Convocation committee is made up of members of that year's graduating class. They work throughout their senior year to create the Convocation event.

Chair: Yasmin Ballew


  • Abegale McDermott
  • Ben Dreano
  • Catherine Higareda
  • Courtney Davis
  • Duncan Cady
  • Edom Solomon
  • Jack Zardecki
  • Jasmine Herrera
  • Nicole Overton
  • Richmond Addae
  • Salima Ali
  • Syd Breza
  • Syrielle Clement
  • Valeria Valencia
  • Zene Willoughby 

Brief History of Convocation

Brief History of Convocation

Senior Convocation began as a small program for graduating seniors hosted by the Cornell University Class Councils student organization. The mission has always been to invite an honored guest to motivate, inspire, and send off the graduating seniors as they close this chapter of their lives. Over the years, what has become the Senior Convocation ceremony has seen many different renditions.

In 2001, the senior class awarded the first Convocation Medallion to our guest speaker. This award recognizes an individual for their meaningful contributions to society, success in instilling the desire to learn, and dedication to undergraduate achievement and excellence.

In its early years, Senior Convocation was held in Barton Hall. In 2004, President William Jefferson Clinton was our speaker and the request for the event necessitated the relocation from Barton Hall to the Schoellkopf Stadium. Convocation lived at Schoellkopf Stadium during Commencement Weekend until 2019. The 2020 Convocation Speaker presented during Alumni Weekend in Fall 2021 in a special ceremony for returning members of the class of 2020. Our Class of 2021 Convocation was held virtually in a pre-recorded production. In 2022, Convocation returned to its roots for a more intimate Barton Hall student-driven event hosted during Senior Days.

Past Convocation Speakers

Past Convocation Speakers

Here are past Convocation speakers since 2000.

2022: Constance Wu, Actor, Activist

2021: Roxane Gay, Activist, Commentator, Professor, and Writer (virtual speaker)

2020: Leslie Odom Jr., Actor and Singer (virtual speaker)

2019: William Sanford Nye '77, Educator, Engineer, Comedian, Presenter, Author, & Inventor

2018: Ava Marie DuVernay, Activist, Filmmaker, and Producer

2017: Joseph R. Biden, 47th Vice President of the United States

2016: James Franco, Actor

2015: Gabrielle Giffords '96 of the U.S. House of Representatives & Mark Kelly Astronaut

2014: Ed Helms, Actor

2013: Cory Booker, 38th Mayor of Newark, NJ

2012: Michael Bloomberg, 108th Mayor of New York City, NY

2011: Rudy Giuliani, former 107th Mayor of New York City, NY

2010: Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives for the 116th Congress

2009: David Plouffe, Campaign Manager, Political Strategist

2008: Maya Angelou, Poet

2007: Soledad O'Brien, Newscaster

2006: Martin Luther King the III, Activist

2005: Wesley Clark, former General of United States Army

2004: Bill Clinton, 42nd President of the United States

2003: James Carville, Political Strategist

2002: Danny Glover, Actor, and Human Rights Activist

2001: Janet Reno '60, former U.S. Attorney General

2000: Charles E. Schumer, U.S. Senator

Forever Cornell: Alumni Affairs Post-Convocation Celebration | Willard Straight Hall | 2:45-4:30pm

Thursday, 5/25: after convocation until 4:30 pm at Willard Straight Hall

Let’s keep the party going after Convocation! Join us in Willard Straight Hall for Forever Cornell: Alumni Affairs Post-Convocation Celebration, filled with carnival food and games, bingo and Cornell trivia with prizes, music, desserts, and more! You may be graduating soon, but you are forever a Cornellian.

Questions about Senior Convocation can be directed to the Campus Activities office at