More than 12,000 set to graduate May 12-16 at spring commencement

Arizona State University commencement

Arizona State University has announced U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will address nearly 9,000 undergraduate students* at the spring 2014 undergraduate ceremony, May 14 on the Tempe campus.

More than 12,000 total ASU undergraduate and graduate students will have degrees conferred, with the graduate commencement ceremony scheduled for 10:30 a.m., May 12, in Wells Fargo Arena.

The undergraduate commencement ceremony will be at 7:30 p.m., May 14, on Frank Kush Field, in Sun Devil Stadium.

America’s top educator, Duncan was named to his cabinet position by President Barack Obama, and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in January 2009. Prior to his appointment, Duncan served as the CEO of Chicago Public Schools for more than seven years, becoming the longest-serving, big-city education superintendent in the country. He ran the Ariel Education Initiative, focused on advancing educational opportunities in economically disadvantaged areas from 1991 to 1998.

Duncan has served on the boards of numerous education and community organizations, including Chicago Cares, Golden Apple Foundation, Jobs for America’s Graduates and Junior Achievement. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University and has served on the Board of Overseers for Harvard College and the Visiting Committees for the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Duncan also played professional basketball in Australia from 1987 to 1991, where he worked with children who were wards of the state.

Additionally, ASU will award honorary degrees to Pamela Matson, Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, and Joseph E. Stiglitz for their trailblazing contributions in their respective fields.

Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, will receive the Doctor of Humane Letters honoris causa for championing education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields, emphasizing minority participation and performance.

Hrabowski, president of the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), was recently named by President Obama to chair the newly created President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans and serves as a consultant to the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the National Academies, and universities and school systems nationally.

Pamela Matson will receive the Doctor of Science honoris causa for her pioneering work in environmental science.

A professor at Stanford University, Matson has authored more than 175 publications addressing a range of environment and sustainability issues, and has been awarded the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship in recognition of the significance of her work.

Joseph E. Stiglitz will receive the Doctor of Science honoris causa for his contributions to the field of economics.

A University Professor of Columbia University, Stiglitz is is a Nobel Prize-winning economist who is credited with creating a new branch of economics, called “the economics of information.” Stiglitz has authored numerous books and publications, including his recent work “The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers Our Future,” which has won prestigious journalism and literary awards. He recently became a member of France’s Legion of Honor.

Graduation highlights:

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences on the Tempe campus will graduate 2,474 undergraduate students and 293 graduate students, who will be earning a total of 3,786 degrees.

The College of Nursing and Health Innovation will proudly graduate 190 undergraduate and 83 graduate students, while the College of Health Solutions will say goodbye to 658 undergraduate and 80 graduate students.

The W. P. Carey School of Business will graduate than 1,300 undergraduate students and 900 graduate students this spring.

The New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences on ASU's West campus will be graduating 511 students this spring, while the College of Technology and Innovation on ASU's Polytechnic campus will be sending out 320 proud undergraduate and graduate students into the world.

The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, located at ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus, will graduate 267 budding journalists.

The Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering will say goodbye to more than 1,400 undergraduate and graduate students.

The School of Letters and Sciences will graduate 650 undergraduate and graduate students, who have completed degrees based on the Downtown Phoenix campus, the Polytechnic campus, the Tempe campus, and through a pioneering partnership at Eastern Arizona College.

Free parking will be available throughout the Tempe campus, except for metered spaces and residence hall lots. Parking information for commencement and convocation ceremonies can be found here:

For more information regarding graduation ceremonies, visit

*A prior version of this story cited an estimated total of more than 10,000 undergraduate students graduating this semester. That estimate has been updated.