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new cover GRM 2021


Congratulations to the College of Natural Sciences Class of 2021!

Graduate Recognition Moments & virtual convocation ceremony

Friday, May 21 & Saturday, May 22 |  Welch Hall

In recognition of graduates’ achievements, the college will hold livestreamed ceremonial moments of recognition for each graduate, with scheduling determined by major. Graduates will participate either in person or 100% online during the scheduled time, provided all of the required deadlines are met. Those participating in person will cross a small  stage, and graduates will be accompanied by two guests who may watch the stage-crossing moment; those participating remotely will have their names announced while a personalized slide is shown during the same event. All Graduate Recognition Moments will be streamed live to allow the moment to be shared with extended family and friends.  On Saturday afternoon, following recognition moments, at 4 p.m., Dean David Vanden Bout will host an online community celebration, which will feature inspiring speeches and special content especially for 2021 graduates, including videos from our Natural Sciences community.

Important Updates and FAQ

Graduate Recognition Moments will take place in Welch Hall. All official CNS communications are being sent via email to graduates’ official utexas email address on record. Graduates confirmed to participate were sent an email from Dr. Michael Drew on May 18 with final details and logistics about participating. 

Reference our Frequently Asked Questions for answers to many common questions.


Graduation Survey

Take our 2021 graduation survey. 


Schedule and Livestream Links

Scheduling is based on major. Graduates received an email message on May 18 with their specific time to participate.  Each major segment will begin with 15 minutes of special video content created exclusively for the classes of December 2020 and May 2021. Remote graduates will be recognized first, followed by stage-crossing graduates.

FRIDAY, MAY 21, 2021


Medical laboratory science, public health, textiles and apparel

Graduate Arrival: 8:30 AM
Livestream: 9:00 AM
Graduate Moments: 9:15 – 10:15 AM


Graduate Arrival: 10:00 AM
Livestream: 10:15 AM
Graduate Moments: 10:30 – 11:15 AM


Graduate Arrival: 11:00 AM
Livestream: 11:15 AM
Graduate Moments: 11:30 AM – 12: 15 PM


Graduate Arrivals: 12:00 PM and 12:45 PM
Livestream Start: 12:15 AM
Graduate Moments: 12:30 – 2:00 PM


Graduate Arrival: 1:45 PM
Livestream Start: 2:00 PM
Graduate Moments: 2:15 – 3:00 PM


Graduate Arrival: 2:45 PM
Livestream Start: 3:00 PM
Graduate Moments: 3:15 – 3:45 PM


Graduate Arrival: 3:30 PM
Livestream Start: 3:45 PM
Graduate Moments: 4:00 – 4:30 PM

SATURDAY, MAY 22, 2021



Graduate Arrival: 8:30 AM
Livestream Start: 9:00 AM
Graduate Moments: 9:15 – 10:15 AM


Graduate Arrival: 9:45 AM and 10:30 AM
Livestream Start: 10:00 AM
Graduate Moments: 10:15 – 11:30 AM


Graduate Arrival: 11:15 AM AND 12:15 PM
Livestream Start: 11:30 AM
Graduate Moments: 11:45 AM – 1:45 PM


Graduate Arrival: 1:30 PM
Livestream Start: 1:45 PM
Graduate Moments: 2:00 – 3:00 PM

SATURDAY, MAY 22, 2021


Livestream Start:  4:00 PM



Social Wall

Use #CNSGrad21 or #CNSGrad and make an appearance on our social wall.

Download Texas Science Grad Stickers & GIFs.
Add a Texas Science Grad or Texas Science Parent frame to your Facebook profile pic.




Two separate forms had to be submitted by their respective deadlines for anyone who plans to participate in 2021 CNS graduation events. All students who met the April 5th application deadline to walk or graduate this spring, or who were already approved to graduate in December 2020, received further instruction and details regarding the Graduate Recognition Moments. All those who met the April 30 registration deadline for graduate recognition moments will receive details to participate live or virtually in these moments. Due to the nature of scheduling and maintaining safety protocols, late applicants will not be able to participate.  

2020 grads (May and August) will be invited back to a university-wide event in September.


Safety Protocols

Due to COVID-19, during in-person Graduate Recognition Moments, social distance will be maintained, and face masks are encouraged.

If you are feeling unwell or showing symptoms of COVID-19, please stay home, even if you are scheduled to attend a Graduate Recognition Moment.

Graduates who are not already vaccinated are strongly encouraged to take advantage of UT’s Proactive Community Testing Program in the days leading up to commencement. Guests who are not already vaccinated are strongly encouraged to take advantage of testing through their primary care physician or a community clinic before arriving on campus.


Important Dates & Deadlines

Participants must have met the deadlines in bold to participate 

Note to graduates: The deadline to register for Graduate Recognition Moments has passed.  Multiple messages were sent via SMS text and email, beginnning on Thursday, April 22. Thank you to all who registered by the deadline. 

April 5

Deadline to apply to graduate or walk in May

April 22 *SMS text* with registration form for Graduate Recognition Moments sent to all seniors who applied or were approved to graduate by April 5 for whom CNS had a number on record
April 30

Deadline to register for CNS Graduate Recognition Moments

Deadline to purchase regalia from the University Co-Op

May 14

Deadline to submit content for remote graduates slides (Graduates received an email May 11 with links to submit personal photos and quotes)

Deadline to submit "preferred name" updates

May 18 Communication with final logistics sent to graduates who registered by the April 30 deadline
May 17 - 20 Remote grads to receive packages by mail (domestic, international packages may take longer to arrive)
May 21 & 22 CNS Graduate Recognition Moments in Welch Hall (and via livestream)
May 22 CNS Virtual Ceremony and University Ceremony at Darrell K. Royal Texas Memorial Stadium
July 16 Deadline to apply to graduate in August if you were approved to walk in May


Alumni Speakers 

Nikhil AdvaniNikhil Advani – 8 a.m. and Noon ceremonies

Dr. Nikhil Advani is Director for Climate, Communities and Wildlife for the World Wildlife Fund. Born and brought up in Kenya, he moved in 2000 to attend The University of Texas at Austin, where he went on to pursue his bachelor’s degree and Ph.D., both in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior. His thesis focused on gaining a better mechanistic understanding of species response to climate change. In 2019, he was inducted into the Hall of Honor, for University of Texas at Austin College of Natural Sciences alumni and friends, having received the college’s emerging leader award. He also serves on the college advisory council.

After completing his Ph.D. in 2012, Nikhil worked for the Nature Conservancy in Texas for a year prior to joining World Wildlife Fund in 2013. Nikhil’s role at WWF is at the intersection of communities, wildlife and the varied threats they face, from climate change to the COVID-19 pandemic. His main projects include The African Nature-Based Tourism Platform which connect funders to communities most affected by the pandemic; Climate Crowd, which helps rural communities across the globe adapt to a changing climate; a Wildlife and Climate assessment series, which researches species vulnerability to climate change and develops management plans; and the Wildlife Adaptation Innovation Fund which funds innovative, on-the-ground projects for species globally.

Nikhil has significant experience working with partners all over the world, from government agencies to small rural communities, across many different cultures. Having visited over 50 countries and all 7 continents, he has a deep passion for the varied cultures, landscapes and wildlife that exist across the globe.  

Jill Cumnock Jill Cumnock - 3:30 p.m. ceremony

Jill Cumnock joined the Ronald McDonald House Charities family in December 2010 as the Chief Executive Officer of the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas. Jill has worked in the nonprofit field her entire career. Prior to joining the team at RMHD, Jill was the Executive Director of Frisco Family Services. She has also worked for Bryan’s House as the Program Director, was a clinical therapist at Jewish Family Service and began her career as a Milieu Therapist at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas.

Jill has a bachelor’s degree in Child Development and Family Relations from The University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Science in Social Work from the University of Texas at Arlington and is a licensed marriage and family therapist. She is a graduate of Leadership Frisco and participated in the RMHC Executive Leadership Program through the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Jill is a member of the Frisco Sunrise Rotary, and she serves on the board for the Nonprofit CEO Council. Jill was the 2008 Frisco Style Magazine’s Person of the Year and has been honored as an Inspiring Woman of the Southwest by the National Council of Jewish Women.