Iowa State will graduate more than 4,600 students this spring


Editor's note: This story was updated May 26 to correct a systems error in the estimated number of graduating students.


Four female students in graduation garb sit on the ISU wall

Friends and graduates-to-be (l-r) Nora Sullivan, Claire Waletzki, Maddy Lakomek and Lizzy Cabitt are all smiles as friend Meagan Jones takes their photo Tuesday afternoon at the ISU wall on central campus. Photo by Christopher Gannon.

More than 4,600 students are completing degrees at Iowa State this spring, and many of them will participate in one of five commencement ceremonies on May 11-13. All of the ceremonies will be held in-person and also livestreamed on the university registrar's YouTube channel for those unable to be on campus.

An estimated 466 master's and 119 doctoral candidates will be honored during the Graduate College ceremony Thursday, May 11 (7 p.m., Hilton Coliseum). Kevin Schalinske, Morrill Professor in the department of food science and human nutrition and an active member of the graduate faculty since 1999, will address the graduates. He received the university's Margaret Ellen White Award in 2019, which recognizes exemplary mentoring of graduate students.

The College of Veterinary Medicine will honor its 156 Doctor of Veterinary Medicine candidates on Friday, May 12 (1 p.m., Stephens Auditorium). Dr. Ruby Perry, dean of the Tuskegee University (Alabama) College of Veterinary Medicine and professor of radiology, will be the featured speaker. Perry's visit concludes the Iowa State college's centennial celebration of Dr. Frederick Douglass Patterson, who earned DVM and master's degrees from Iowa State and served as Tuskegee's third president (1935-53). Patterson, founder of the United Negro College Fund, also founded Tuskegee's School of Veterinary Medicine, which remains the only veterinary medical program at a Historically Black College or University.

The university will hold three undergraduate commencement ceremonies for an estimated 3,940 bachelor's degree recipients Saturday in Hilton Coliseum, honoring graduates from two colleges at each:

  • 9 a.m., Agriculture and Life Sciences, Business
  • 2 p.m., Design, Engineering
  • 7 p.m., Human Sciences, Liberal Arts and Sciences

Two of the speakers at the undergraduate ceremonies are receiving honorary degrees from Iowa State.

At the morning ceremony, Temple Grandin, Distinguished Professor of animal sciences at Colorado State University, Fort Collins; animal welfare pioneer and activist for people with autism, will receive a Doctor of Science. Iowa State is honoring Grandin for an outstanding career in humane animal handling, animal welfare and related facilities design, and using her experience living with autism to influence her understanding of animal behavior.

At the evening ceremony, Trudy Huskamp Peterson, a 1967 alumna (English, history, speech communications) and first woman archivist of the United States, will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters for her advocacy in maintaining and preserving archives that involve the human rights of individuals around the world and her commitment to publicly sharing, in documents, as much of the nation's heritage as possible. She authors a monthly newsletter on archives and human rights.

Mechanical engineering alumnus Jahmy Hindman, who serves as chief technology officer at Deere & Co., Moline, Illinois, will address the audience at the afternoon ceremony. Hindman joined the Deere company in 1996 as a test engineer, and has served in other leadership roles, including global manager for architectures, systems and modules; and general manager and engineering manager at Deere's construction equipment factory in Tianjin, China.

More celebrations

The six undergraduate colleges also will honor their graduating students at their own convocations and receptions scheduled for Friday or for Saturday morning.

  • Agriculture and Life Sciences, 9 a.m. Friday, Hilton Coliseum
  • Human Sciences, 1 p.m. Friday, Hilton Coliseum
  • Business, 4 p.m. Friday, Hilton Coliseum
  • Liberal Arts and Sciences, 7 p.m. Friday, Hilton Coliseum
  • Design, 9 a.m. Saturday, Stephens Auditorium
  • Engineering, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. start times Saturday, by department, various locations (software engineering, 5:30 p.m. Friday, Troxel Hall)

Parking for graduation guests

Due to ongoing construction of CYTown, some parking lots located between Hilton Coliseum and Jack Trice Stadium are unavailable graduation weekend. Additional parking is designated for graduation visitors: Lots east and south of Jack Trice Stadium and lots east and north of the Maple Willow Larch residence complex. Graduation guests who park at the residence complex are asked to cross Lincoln Way at the pedestrian walkway, not in the middle of the block. All graduates and guests are encouraged to arrive early to find parking, and carpooling is encouraged.

Handicap parking is available in the lot directly south of Hilton, C2.