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Students at Commencement at Kleinhan's Music Hall.

Join us for our Commencement Celebration this May with a little singing, a dash of Bills Mafia, and moments of inspiration. Come together as we celebrate the amazing achievements of our students.

Hear the inspiring words of university leaders, invited speakers, and your fellow students as we celebrate how far our students have come and how much we are honored by their accomplishments. Watch graduates walk across the stage at Highmark Stadium through our Youtube.


Date: Sunday, May 16, 2021 at 5:30 PM
Location: Highmark Stadium

Mask Protocol: Every person in attendance is required to wear a mask
Testing Protocol: Each person in attendance requires:

  • A negative test within 72 hours before event or;
  • Proof of full vaccination 2 weeks before event

Learn more about testing, vaccination proof, and COVID-19 policies in our Rules & Directions page

Tickets: 5 tickets per student. 

Speaker Shari McDonough ’16

Shari McDonough '16

Shari McDonough has spent more than 30 years helping organizations in Western New York reach their goals. A passionate and motivated leader, her career demonstrates her dedication to causes that help others, whether in healthcare, community service, or the arts.

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McDonough is currently chief executive officer of both the Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo, serving more than 3,000 inner-city youth each year at 11 clubhouses in Buffalo, and the Western New York Collaborative of Boys & Girls Clubs, which coordinates the efforts of 12 different nonprofit organizations throughout the region to provide academic support and high-quality after-school and summer services to those who need them most.

Prior to her position at the Boys and Girls Club, McDonough served in executive positions at Catholic Health, one of D’Youville’s partners in our new Health Professions Hub. As executive director for the St. Joseph Hospital Foundation and then, the Kenmore Mercy Foundation, she led successful campaigns to build and equip new Emergency Departments at each hospital.

During her tenure at Catholic Health, McDonough decided to pursue a dream she had held for many years – to receive her college degree. She chose D’Youville for this journey, enrolling in the Advance program for adults to study business management and somehow managing to attend school for three years, full-time at night, while also working full-time during the day. Not only that, but she held a 4.0 average for the majority of the program and received the OWL Award – for “Older, Wiser Learners” – in recognition of her academic success.

Other Western New York institutions which have benefited from McDonough’s leadership include the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Aquarium of Niagara, March of Dimes, and American Heart Association. At this year’s Commencement, we recognize Shari McDonough for her commitment to her community, her visionary leadership, and her dedication to serving others.

Graduating Students

Check your eligibility, review degree requirements, submit your application to graduate, and learn about the academic verification process.

Prepare to Graduate

Contact Us

Questions about Commencement? 


Celebration Week Events

Date Event Information
Monday, May 10

Sips n Strokes
Relax and unwind with painting and drinks as well as a full dessert bar! 

Register for Sips N Strokes

Tuesday, May 11

Caps n Taps
Join us down at Dobson Field for our Caps-n-Taps event! Bring your caps down to decorate them, enjoy fun and food by Resurgence Brewery!

Register for Caps N Taps

Wednesday, May 12

Axes n Eats
Come enjoy some Axe throwing by Hatchets and Hops, beverages by Resurgence Brewing, and a BBQ cookout!

Register for Axes N Eats

Thursday, May 13

White Party
Join us for this years White Party at the new Health Hub with food, beverages, dancing, and tours of the Hub!

Register for White Party

Friday, May 14

Party on the Miss Buffalo!
Enjoy dinner, drinks, and dancing on the Miss Buffalo! Please prepare to dress accordingly as the boat leaves the dock at 6:00pm and the temperature will drop as the sun sets.  

Register for Miss Buffalo

Saturday, May 15

The Morning After Brunch
Join us for our final event of Celebration week before your big day! Come enjoy a breakfast in the Dining Commons featuring food and mimosa bar.

Register for Morning After Brunch