University to grant about 700 degrees in Aug. 12 ceremony

University to grant about 700 degrees in Aug. 12 ceremony

The summer commencement ceremony begins at 9:30 a.m. Aug. 12 at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Craig Chandler | University Communication
The summer commencement ceremony begins at 9:30 a.m. Aug. 12 at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln will confer about 700 degrees during the summer commencement ceremony beginning at 9:30 a.m. Aug. 12 at Pinnacle Bank Arena, 400 Pinnacle Arena Drive. Watch the live stream | Full list of graduates

Chancellor Ronnie Green will preside over the ceremony, in which undergraduate and graduate degrees will be awarded.

Harris Smith
Harris Smith

Harris Smith, director of the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film at Nebraska and executive director of the Nebraska Repertory Theatre, will deliver the commencement address. Smith is a certified teacher of stage combat through the Society of American Fight Directors and has been a board member for the University Resident Theatre Association. He has been a member of the Actor's Equity Association and the Screen Actor's Guild for more than 30 years. Smith has worked as an actor, fight director and movement coach for the Utah Shakespeare Festival, St. Louis Black Repertory, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Pacific Conservatory of Performing Arts, Nebraska Repertory Theatre, Capital Repertory and Seattle Children's Theatre, A Contemporary Theatre, Sacramento Theatre Company, Shakespeare on the Green and other national and international venues. He has also worked on a number of film and television projects, including the Oscar-nominated film "Runaway Train." Smith earned a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from Montana State University and a Master of Fine Arts in Acting from the University of Washington's School of Drama.

Roy J. Long
Roy J. Long

Roy J. Long, retired teacher and former Nebraska football player, will receive an honorary Doctor of Education. In addition to playing halfback and quarterback for the Huskers in the 1940s, the Blair native was a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity and ROTC. During World War II, he served with the 71st Infantry Division in Europe. He was part of the liberation of the Gunskirchen Lager concentration camp in Wels, Austria, in May 1945. Later that year, he was a guard for the American judges during the Nuremberg war trials. He returned to Nebraska to finish his schooling and football career, earning a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education in 1947. He earned a Master of Arts from Nebraska in 1953 and has completed 36 additional credit hours. After teaching in Fredonia, Kansas, and serving in the Korean War, he moved to Omaha, where he taught industrial arts at Omaha South High School from 1953 to 1974 and worked with special needs students from 1974 until his retirement in 1984.

No tickets are required for the commencement ceremony. The public may sit in any non-reserved seats other than on the main floor, which is set for graduates, faculty and dignitaries. Handicap seating is available on the concourse level in Sections 106, 107, 112, 114, 117 and 118. Beverage stands will be open. Open captioning for people with hearing impairment will be provided through the ribbon screens at the corners of the arena concourse level. For Pinnacle Bank Arena seating charts, click here.

Guest services and first aid will be on Level 3 at Gate 112.

Paid parking, including handicap parking, is available in Haymarket area garages operated by the city of Lincoln and on the street, although those planning to attend the ceremony should be mindful that the Historic Haymarket Farmers' Market will be in progress from 6 a.m. to noon in the immediate vicinity of Pinnacle Bank Arena and will affect traffic and parking patterns. Parking in the Red 1 Garage, 555 R St. at $3 per vehicle, can be reserved and paid in advance through the City of Lincoln website here. Pinnacle Bank Arena's north lobby entrance will not be open for commencement.

A drop-off area for mobility-restricted guests will be available on the south side of the post office building, 700 R St., directly east of Pinnacle Bank Arena, although the area is expected to be highly congested.

Parking maps are available here.

Graduating students are to check in at 8 a.m. and remain for the entire ceremony, which will conclude by about noon. Families also are encouraged to stay for the entire ceremony out of respect for all graduates and their families. The ceremony will be streamed here.