Faculty Information

Dissertation Chairs

All dissertation chairs will receive an email from the Dean of the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies and will be asked to confirm—via a registration link—that they will hood their Ph.D. candidate at Winter Commencement (WC).

A follow-up email containing the commencement schedule and hooding instructions will be sent to dissertation chairs one week prior to WC. In addition, dissertation chairs should contact their students directly regarding their plans to attend the ceremony.

For faculty guests, academic attire is encouraged but not required.

Dissertation chairs are responsible for providing their hoods, caps, and gowns. Academic attire may be purchased or rented at the Barnes and Noble bookstore located in the Michigan Union. Rental attire may be reserved Monday, October 2 through Saturday, December 2. The Barnes and Noble Bookstore cannot guarantee gown sizes or hood colors after December 10.  Rental attire should be returned by Wednesday, December 20.

For further information regarding the role of dissertation chairs, please contact the Office of University and Development Events at (734) 647-7905 or DChairRSVP@umich.edu.


During Winter Commencement, faculty volunteers serving as commencement marshals provide directions, answer questions, and escort graduates to their seats.

Every year, nearly 100 faculty from across campus assist with the various university-wide commencement ceremonies. Marshals play an important role in helping to guide the ceremony and ensuring that the program runs smoothly. If you are interested in serving as a faculty marshal, please direct your request to facultymarshals@umich.edu.