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Penn Dental Medicine Class of 2024 Commencement

Monday, May 20, 2024

Irvine Auditorium
3401 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA

The following information is for graduating students and their families for this special day of celebration.


Penn Dental Medicine’s commencement ceremony will take place on Monday, May 20th, at 1 pm in Irvine Auditorium (3401 Spruce St). The ceremony will last for approximately an hour and a half. A light reception will take place after the ceremony back at Penn Dental Medicine.

Doors for Class of 2024 graduates will open at 12:00 pm. Please use the 34th Street door. A sign will be located outside the door for graduates and faculty. Doors will close at 1 pm sharp; anyone (including ticket holders) arriving after 1 pm will not be allowed to process as it will disrupt the process.

Graduates do not need tickets. Regalia will serve as the ticket to enter.

Any children over the age of 35 months will need a ticket. Please bring a copy (or photo) of the child’s birth certificate or identification with their birth date to be checked at the door. Children under 35 months will need to sit on someone’s lap.

The ceremony will be live-streamed and recorded. The live-stream link will be available the week before the ceremony.

For this year’s commencement speaker, we are pleased to welcome Rear Admiral (retired) Dr. Timothy L. Ricks, a clinician who has devoted his career to public service.

Dr. Ricks held federal service roles for over 35 years, including military service and more than 23 years as a clinician and administrator with the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS). He was the 20th Chief Dental Officer of the USPHS and served as Assistant Surgeon General from 2018 to 2022. He currently holds various roles with the Indian Health Service (IHS), including the IHS representative to the Healthy People 2030 Oral Health Workgroup, Continuing Dental Education Coordinator, Expanded Function Dental Assistant Coordinator, IHS National Oral Health Surveillance Coordinator, and National Oral Health Promotion/Disease Prevention Coordinator.

Among numerous accolades throughout his career, Dr. Ricks received the 2021 ADA Distinguished Service Award, the 2022 HDA Distinguished Service Award, the 2022 NDA Distinguished Service Award, the 2021 Diverse Dental Society President’s Award, the Global Summits Institute 2020 Global Leader of the Year Award, and the USPHS Distinguished Service and Meritorious Service Medals, among other international, national, and USPHS awards and recognitions. He is a board-certified Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Public Health, a Santa Fe Senior Scholar, and a Fellow of the International College of Dentists, the American College of Dentists, and the Pierre Fauchard Academy.

Doors for guests will open at 12:30 pm. Guests should use the Spruce Street door. There will be signs and ushers available to direct people. Doors will close at 1 pm sharp; anyone (including ticket holders) arriving after 1 pm will not be allowed to process as it will disrupt the process.

Tickets will be available for pick up the week before graduation. We will NOT replace tickets (no exceptions). Each student will be granted and given a packet of six tickets.

Please contact Debra Mancinelli (roused@upenn.edu) with any accessibility needs. We will not be able to provide wheelchairs; however, wheelchair accessible entrance will be available.

Graduates and their families will be welcomed back at the School immediately following the ceremony for light refreshments, additional photo opportunities, and self-guided tours.

We strongly encourage families to consider plans for dinner reservations as restaurants around the city fill up quickly. Events typically wrap up by 5 PM.

Parking on campus can be tricky given the University’s urban setting and the volume of visitors during Commencement Weekend.

  • Limited metered street parking is available. Most meters take both cash and credit cards. Maximum time limit per payment is 2 – 3 hours depending on location.
  • Parking facilities are available, including: 38th and Walnut Street (please use 38th Street entrance); 34th and Chestnut Street; Penn Tower Hotel (34th and Civic Center Boulevard); Sheraton Hotel (36th and Chestnut Streets); South Street and Convention Avenue; 32nd and Walnut Street; 40th and Walnut Street. View the interactive campus map here»

Here are additional resources to help you plan your trip: