In 2020, Lobos stayed home for health and safety concerns. In 2021, the Pack is Back as The University of New Mexico honors graduates of both classes during its Fall 2021 commencement ceremonies scheduled Thursday, Dec. 16 and Friday, Dec. 17 at University Arena, The Pit.

All graduates from the Class of 2020 as well all prospective graduates of Fall 2021 have been invited to participate. Because of the size of the classes, there will be two commencement ceremonies.

  • The ceremony for all Class of 2020 & 2021 graduate students is Thursday, Dec. 16, 6 p.m.
  • The ceremony for all Class of 2020 & 2021 undergraduate students is Friday, Dec. 17, 6 p.m.

The graduate commencement ceremony honors all doctoral and master’s students, while the undergraduate ceremony will honor all students receiving bachelor’s and associate’s degrees. Both ceremonies will honor graduates from all schools, colleges and degree-granting programs.

This fall, about 1,455 students* are projected to receive degrees from UNM’s Albuquerque and Extended University campuses, as follows: 1020 bachelor’s degrees, 310 master’s degrees, 53 doctorates, 8 juris doctorates, 19 medical doctorates and 45 graduate certificates. 

At UNM-Gallup, 70 associate degrees and 25 certificates are projected to be awarded; at Los Alamos, 20 associate degrees; at Taos, 10 associate degrees and 17 certificates; and at Valencia, 25 associate degrees and 29 certificates.

An official degree count is determined following commencement.

Additionally, UNM will live-stream both ceremonies on its Facebook and YouTube pages, and on

Covid-19 Safety Protocols
As the University community gathers to celebrate the graduates, the health and safety of all students and guests is UNM’s highest priority. As part of that commitment to health and safety, all attendees over 2 years of age will be required to wear masks, while attendees over 12 years of age will be required to provide proof of either full COVID-19 vaccination or a recent negative test.

For more information, see Vaccination Policy or visit The Pack is Back | The University of New Mexico for more information.

Graduate Ceremony - Thursday, Dec. 16, 6 p.m.
At the graduate commencement ceremony, vocalist, Grace Weaver will sing the national anthem and the alma mater. Weaver is a graduate student at UNM studying Vocal Performance and Music Theory. She grew up in Portland, Ore., graduated from Oregon State University in 2017 with a double major in Music: Vocal Performance as well as Speech Communication. From 2018-2020, she was awarded the vocal area graduate teaching assistantship. She currently holds the musicology assistantship, and next spring she will be singing Nancy in the UNM production of Albert Herring. In her free time, Weaver enjoys cooking and hiking in the Sandia Mountains.

The graduate keynote speaker will feature Molly Whitt. Raised in Edgewood, N.M. where she spent most of her childhood barefoot and dodging cactus, Whitt graduated from the UNM School of Medicine with an M.D. in May 2020. Currently, Dr. Whitt is a second-year psychiatry resident with UNM’s Department of Psychiatry and serves as the Resident Fellow Member Representative to the Psychiatric Medical Association of New Mexico. She also attended the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology where she received a B.S. in Environmental Science with an emphasis in Biology. After graduation, she worked at New Day Safe Home for children and adolescents and developed a passion for helping youth improve their mental health. She spends downtime with her family and their collective pack of dogs and catching up on young adult fiction, which she claims is to keep in tune with her young patients.

UNM President Garnett S. Stokes will welcome attendees and present the recognition of graduates with honors and distinction, and the tassel ceremony. Other individuals presenting remarks include Jack Fortner, member, UNM Board of Regents, David Saavedra, president, Graduate and Professional Student Association and president of the Alumni Association Mike Silva.

Undergraduate Ceremony - Friday, Dec. 17, 6 p.m.
At the undergraduate commencement ceremony, vocalist, Megan Garcia will sing the national anthem and the alma mater. A fourth-year senior from Albuquerque pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree with a concentration in Vocal Performance, Garcia has been involved in several choirs and has sung with the Las Cantates and Concert Choir at UNM. She has been involved in UNM’s Opera program in productions of The Pirates of Penzance, Dido and Aeneas, and The Three Feathers. She gave her junior recital in the Spring of 2021 and will give her senior recital next semester (Spring 2022). Garcia plans to continue singing after graduating and possibly attain a career as a professional choral singer.

The undergraduate keynote speaker features Grant Atencio, a UNM alumni from the Class of 2020 who graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Community Health Education. In addition to giving the keynote address, Atencio is also walking across the stage to celebrate his bachelor’s degree. He is currently pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree at UNM.

Adjusting to new surroundings is nothing new for UNM graduate Grant Atencio. His dad’s military career took the family across the United States to Hawaii, Georgia, Texas, Arizona and Colorado, just to name a few. New schools, new friends, new cities, and new cultures came with every move. Originally from Ohkay (Okay) Owingeh (Oh-wing-gay) Pueblo in Northern New Mexico, Atencio says there have been times when he had to choose between pursuing higher education or traditional values – and he’s learned to do both; but not without some hardship along the way. Moving around so much made him more culturally appreciative and he gained great insight from friends of many racial and ethnic backgrounds.

UNM President Garnett S. Stokes will welcome attendees and present the recognition of graduates with honors and distinction, conferring of degrees in course and the tassel ceremony. She will also recognize UNM's Honorary Degree recipient, Judy Zanotti, who has a distinguished career and years of service to the Albuquerque community. an advocate for special education, Zanotti is most recognized for her work on behalf of individuals with disabilities. She is credited with helping lead the historic effort to compel New Mexico to comply with the federal law, Education for All Handicapped Children Act (PL 94-142, 1975), which required public schools to provide a free and appropriate public education to students with disabilities.

Other individuals presenting remarks include William Payne, member, UNM Board of Regents, Greg Romero, president, Associated Students of The University of New Mexico and Mike Silva, president of the UNM Alumni Association.

In addition to the main commencement, individual colleges, school and departments will host specific graduation ceremonies. For a complete schedule for the ceremonies, department or school/college convocations, as well as additional commencement information, visit Fall 2021 Graduation Ceremonies.

 * An official degree count is determined following commencement.