Commencement is a time for celebration, recognition and reflection. It’s a tradition that marks the intersection of the past and the future, and on Saturday, May 14 at 9 a.m. at University Arena, The Pit, approximately 3,000 students from The University of New Mexico will graduate as part of the institution’s 2022 Spring Commencement.

The commencement ceremony honors all doctoral, master’s, bachelor's and associate's degree candidates from all schools, colleges, branch campuses and degree-granting programs.

About 2,997 students are projected to receive degrees from UNM’s Albuquerque and Extended University campuses, as follows: 1,988 bachelor’s degrees, 572 master’s degrees, 133 doctorates degrees, 69 juris doctorates, 97 medical doctorates, 63 pharmacy doctorates, 63 graduate certificates and 12 education specialists. 

At UNM-Gallup, 62 associate degrees and 20 certificates are projected to be awarded; at Los Alamos, 34 associate’s degrees and 36 certificates; at Taos, 40 associate degrees and 30 certificates; and at Valencia, 75 associate degrees and 48 certificates.

An official degree count is determined following commencement.

Additionally, UNM will live-stream the ceremony 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. UNM is following the CDC guidelines regarding masking requirements based on COVID-19 community level. Masks are not currently mandated to be worn indoors, though those who feel more comfortable wearing a mask are strongly encouraged to do so.

UNM also encourages attendees to have up-to-date vaccinations, though proof of vaccination will not be required for attendance. If you are feeling ill, please stay home. The ceremony can be viewed live at or through UNM’s social media sites on Facebook or YouTube. 

Should the community level change before the event, UNM may require the use of masks. Please continue to check for any updates. For additional information about UNM’s current COVID-19 safety protocols, visit Bringing Back the Pack.

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

Event Order
Following the National Anthem, sung by UNM Vocal Performance major Cameron Smith, and the Presentation of Colors by the UNM Color Guard, UNM President Garnett S. Stokes will provide a Welcome to begin the 2022 commencement exercises. The master of ceremonies is Pamela Agoyo, director, American Indian Student Services, and special assistant to the President for American Indian Affairs.

The keynote address will be presented by UNM alumnus Mark Herman. Herman is the Chief Executive Officer of Dion’s. Born and raised in Albuquerque, Herman started working at Dion’s as a pizza maker after graduating from high school in 1987. In 1991, he graduated from The University of New Mexico with a BA in Economics. After a short stint with MassMutual, Herman accepted a general manager position with Dion’s in 1992.

Over the next 15 years, he took on various roles in the company and earned his unofficial MBA from The School of Hard Knocks. In 2006, Mark became COO and focused on developing Dion’s culture, management talent, and systems to prepare for successful growth. Herman became Chief Executive Officer in December 2013, leading the company’s strategic growth plan and financial recapitalization.

Various groups will also provide greetings as part of the ceremony including (in order):

Board of Regents’ Greeting
Randy Ko, student member, UNM Board of Regents

ASUNM Greeting
Greg Romero, president, Associated Students of The University of New Mexico (ASUNM)

GPSA Greeting
David Saavedra, president, Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA)

Keynote Address
Mark Herman, CEO of Dion’s

Recognition of Graduates with Distinction
Garnett S. Stokes, UNM President

Popejoy Dissertation Prize
Dr. Amy Thompson

Alumni Emeriti Recognition
Classes of 1970, 1971 and 1972

Remarks from Alumni Association
Mike Silva, president, UNM Alumni Association

Conferring Degrees in Course
Garnett S. Stokes, UNM President

Alma Mater
Cameron Smith, UNM Vocal Performance major

Each year, one of the special honors awarded during the commencement ceremony is the Tom L. Popejoy Dissertation Prize recognizing the highest level of academic excellence among UNM’s doctoral students. The Tom L. Popejoy Dissertation Prize was established as a permanent memorial to the late Tom L. Popejoy, president of Rhe University of New Mexico from 1948 to 1968. The award recognizes and encourages the highest level of academic excellence.

This spring, the award will be presented to Dr. Amy Thompson for her dissertation Comparative Processes of Sociopoligical Development in the Foothills of the Southern Maya Mountains.  Dr. Thompson is currently an assistant professor at the University of Texas (Austin).

For more information on UNM's 2022 Commencement, including the Spring 2022 Graduation Livestream, and stories of Inspiring Graduates visit Class of 22.