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.

Dissertation chairs are responsible for providing their own attacdemic attire (hoods, caps, and gowns).  Academic attire may be rented (free of charge) at the Barnes and Noble bookstore located on North Campus. The deadline for ordering attire is Wednesday, November 27, 2019.

For further information regarding the role of dissertation chairs, please contact the Office of University and Development Events at (734) 647-7900 or DChairRSVP@umich.edu.

If you are a graduate and your dissertation chair is unable to participate in Winter Commencement, a faculty marshal will hood you on stage.  If you would like to have Rackham invite an alternate faculty to hood you, please send an email to rackhamgraduation@umich.edu for more information.


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.

Faculty Guests
Faculty Guests are encouraged, but not required, to wear academic attire.