UNL to award more than 600 degrees Aug. 13 and 14

Nebraska City News-Press

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln will confer more than 600 degrees during commencement exercises Aug. 13 and 14 at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

The arena, 400 Pinnacle Arena Drive, will host a ceremony for students earning graduate and professional degrees at 3 p.m. Aug. 13 and one for those earning bachelor’s degrees at 9 a.m. Aug. 14. Doors open to the public at 1:30 p.m. Aug. 13 and 7:30 a.m. Aug. 14.

In addition, the Class of 2020 will be celebrated during the ceremonies. All 2020 graduates were invited back to participate in the commencement exercises, and more than 700 are expected to do so. These graduates must have signed up to attend.

Walter “Ted” Carter Jr., president of the University of Nebraska system, will deliver the undergraduate commencement address. Daniel Linzell, associate dean for graduate and international programs in the College of Engineering and Leslie D. Martin Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, will speak to the graduate and professional degree earners.

Carter leads a four-campus university system that enrolls nearly 52,000 students and employs 16,000 faculty and staff on campuses in Lincoln, Omaha and Kearney, plus academic divisions and research and extension centers across the state. Since becoming president in January 2020, he has focused on the land-grant priorities of access and opportunity for students and families. Carter launched the Nebraska Promise, a financial aid program guaranteeing free tuition for low- and middle-income Nebraskans, and implemented a multi-year budget plan that included a two-year, across-the-board tuition freeze. The result was systemwide growth in enrollment, including record gains among underrepresented students.

Before joining the university system, Carter served as superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy and president of the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. A retired vice admiral with 38 years of service, he has logged more than 6,300 tactical jet flying hours and has been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Bronze Star. Carter earned a bachelor’s degree in physics and oceanography from the U.S. Naval Academy. He is also a graduate of the Navy Fighter Weapons School (Top Gun) and holds educational credentials from the Navy Nuclear Power School, Air Force Air War College, Naval War College and Armed Forces Staff College.

Linzell has been an associate dean since 2018. Before that, he chaired the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering from 2013 to 2018. His research focuses primarily on bridge engineering and force protection/structural hardening, and he teaches courses related to steel structures, bridges, structural analysis and structural health monitoring. Linzell has been elected a fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers and ASCE’s Structural Engineering Institute. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Ohio State University, and master’s and doctoral degrees in civil engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Those who are fully vaccinated from COVID-19 will not be required to wear a face mask, indoors or outdoors, on university campuses or in facilities. Those who are not fully vaccinated are expected to wear a facial covering. Social distancing is no longer required, and Pinnacle Bank Arena has been cleared for 100% capacity. If health directives change before commencement, students will be notified and updates will be posted here.

To maintain a secure environment, the arena enforces a clear-bag policy that limits the size and type of bag that may be brought into the venue. To avoid inconveniences, guests are encouraged to arrive early and travel light.

No tickets are required for the ceremonies. 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, 110, 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.  Guest services and first aid will be on Level 3 at Gate 112.

Paid parking, including handicap spaces, is available in Haymarket area garages and on the street. Pinnacle Bank Arena’s north lobby entrance will not be open for commencement.

A drop-off area for mobility-restricted guests will be available south of the arena, on R Street.

Graduating students and 2020 alumni are to check in no later than 2:30 p.m. for the graduate and professional degree ceremony and no later than 8:30 a.m. for the undergraduate ceremony. 

Graduates and 2020 alumni should enter the arena via the south lobby entrance, off R Street. 

A “Graduate Only Entrance” sign will be posted. Participants should bring their NCard, or a photo ID and NU ID number, for check-in.