Congratulations, Class of 2022!
The University of Arizona welcomed about 4,600 graduates and 36,000 guests to Arizona Stadium on May 13 for the university's 158th Commencement.
About 8,000 degrees were conferred during the event, which marked the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic that all graduates gathered in person to celebrate at the stadium. An all-virtual Commencement was held in 2020, and a series of smaller, in-person events took place in 2021.
This year was also the first time the event was held in the round, with students seated around a stage at the center of the football field and guests seated on all sides of the stadium. In recent years, Commencement took place on a stage facing the east side of the stadium.
Dante Lauretta, principal investigator of NASA's UArizona-led OSIRIS-REx asteroid return mission, delivered the Commencement address, urging graduates to "say yes" to unexpected opportunities during their careers – much like he did on his way to the helm of the United States' premier mission to collect a sample from a potentially hazardous near-Earth asteroid and bring that sample back to Earth.
"You will know in your heart when such an opportunity presents itself," said Lauretta, who is a Regents Professor of Planetary Sciences at UArizona.
"When it crosses your path, take chances, take risks and say yes to the invitations that call to you," he said.
See scenes from the 158th Commencement in the photo gallery above and watch a recording of the event on YouTube.