Auburn announces fall graduation plans in Jordan-Hare Stadium

Friday evening commencement ceremony to honor graduates; feature alumnus Joe Forehand
Published: September 16, 2021 | Updated: September 17, 2021
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Auburn University’s fall commencement exercises, scheduled for Dec. 10-11, once again will take place in Jordan-Hare Stadium, contingent on current health and safety guidelines and weather.

Beginning at 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 10, all graduates will attend the University Commencement featuring a keynote address by former chairman and chief executive officer of Accenture, Joe Forehand Jr. In addition to fireworks, a flyover and the formal conferral of degrees by the Board of Trustees, graduates also will receive a commemorative cord and will be seated on Pat Dye Field during the ceremony. Graduates must attend the University Commencement on Friday to pick up their name cards for the Saturday ceremonies. Families and guests of graduates are welcome to attend the University Commencement on Friday.

Beginning at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 11, the university will host separate undergraduate and graduate ceremonies at set times throughout the day. Each ceremony will include brief remarks by the dean, followed by the student processionals. All graduates will receive a copy of The Auburn Creed and pose for an official university photograph with their names displayed on the videoboard. Times for each college are available on the commencement website, and graduates must enter the stadium through the Harbert Family Recruiting Center at least 30 minutes before their scheduled ceremony time. Graduates and guests will have access to Pat Dye Field following each ceremony. All ceremonies will be live-streamed on the commencement website for those unable to attend or who have health concerns.

“Commencement is an important time where we celebrate the culmination of our students’ hard work and achievements,” President Jay Gogue said. “I look forward to congratulating all of our fall graduates during Friday’s University Commencement and welcoming them to our prestigious family of alumni.”

In preparing for the fall ceremonies, the university continues to monitor various health scenarios associated with COVID-19 as well as weather contingencies associated with the outdoor venue. Guests will be permitted to enter the stadium through gates 5-8 (Gate 9 will be open for accessibility) and a complete list of safety protocols is available on the commencement website.

The University Commencement on Friday, Dec. 10, showcases Auburn’s graduation traditions, including a keynote address delivered by Forehand, a 1971 Auburn industrial engineering graduate. An internationally recognized business executive and strategist, Forehand is the former CEO of Accenture and is credited with advancing the consulting firm’s growth. In 2000, he finalized Accenture’s split from Andersen Worldwide and successfully led its IPO and international rebranding campaign.

During his tenure as CEO, Forehand increased its revenue from $9.6 billion to $13.7 billion and added nearly 40,000 employees to its workforce. Following his retirement, Forehand continued to work as a senior advisor with corporations such as Kohlberg, Kravis and Roberts, First Data Corporation and was chairman of Aricent, a global design and engineering technology company. In addition to advisory and leadership roles at Auburn, Forehand was inducted into the Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame in 2001.

Fall graduates who need to order keepsake regalia should place orders through the Auburn University Bookstore. Early regalia orders placed by Oct. 29 can be picked up at the bookstore the week of Nov. 16-19. All other orders can be picked up during the week of final exams, Dec. 6-10. 

All graduates attending the University Commencement and participating in graduation ceremonies must wear the proper regalia.

Additional information is available on the commencement website, and information will be posted on the Auburn University commencement Facebook and Instagram accounts. For questions regarding commencement, please email commencement@auburn.edu.

Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification, life-changing outreach with Carnegie’s Community Engagement designation and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn’s commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact.