May 2024 ceremony 

This Convocation is fully dedicated to chemistry graduates, bachelor's, master's, and PhD degree candidates. Each graduate in attendance will be recognized individually and will receive a diploma cover. Several departmental awards will be announced during the ceremony.


List of May 2024 graduates: Chemistry at Illinois Class of 2024 | Chemistry at Illinois
Watch the May 12, 2024, ceremony: Convocation video

Photo of Alma Mater statue dressed in orange and blue graduation cap and gown.

Date and Time

Sunday, May 12, 2024
2:00 pm (doors open at 1:00 pm)
Tryon Festival Theatre (map)
Krannert Center for the Performing Arts
Convocation program

The Convocation ceremony will be livestreamed at this link:
Livestream for Convocation


Graduates, go to this link to Register Now for the May 2024 event. Contact Heather Schulze with any questions at 217-244-9875,


Tryon Festival Theatre in the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts (map)

Please note that the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts (KCPA) prohibits the following items inside the theatre: food, drinks, tripods, monopods, balloons, confetti, noisemakers, signs, air horns, baby carriers, and strollers. If you bring any of these items, you will be required to check these items at the Patron Services counter in the lobby before entering the theater.


A reception for all Department of Chemistry graduates and their families and friends will be held at the Illini Union, room 314, immediately following the ceremony.

May 2024 Convocation Speaker 

Alumnus H.N. Cheng (PhD, '74 Gutowsky)
Head shot of H.N. Cheng on a dark background

H. N. Cheng (BS, UCLA; PhD, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) retired in May 2022 from Southern Regional Research Center (SRRC) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture in New Orleans. Currently, he serves as a collaborator at SRRC, where he continues his research activities in several projects.

He has authored or co-authored over 315 scientific papers, 26 patent publications, 26 professional articles, edited or co-edited 25 books, and organized or co-organized over 45 symposia since 2000. In his research, he has made significant advances in developing green chemistry methodologies pertaining to agro-based materials and using agricultural materials and byproducts to produce eco-friendly and sustainable products. He has also contributed to new developments in polymer NMR, polymer reactions, and biocatalysis.

He is active in the American Chemical Society (ACS), having served in many leadership roles. He has completed a three-year term in the ACS presidential succession (2020-2022), including ACS President in 2021. His Presidential theme was “Growth, Collaboration, and Advocacy”, whereby he advocated for innovation, disciplinary growth, sustainability, digitization, industrial engagement and entrepreneurship. He also helped organize events, symposia, and webinars to benefit ACS members and the chemistry enterprise. Recognition of his scientific contributions includes ACS Fellow (2009), POLY Fellow (2010), AGFD Fellow (2018), Herty Medal (2022), Spencer Award (2022), and SRRC Outstanding Scientist of the Year (2014, 2019). Recognition of his professional contributions includes ACS Volunteer Service Award (2016), Outstanding Contributor to Cultural Diversity at SRRC (2011, 2017), Special Service Awards given by ACS Polymer Chemistry Division (2005, 2015, 2020), and Tillmans-Skolnick Award given by ACS Delaware Section (2006).

Convocation Tickets

Tickets will be required at the Chemistry Convocation Ceremony. There is a six-ticket initial limit for graduates. Tickets will be available for pick up in 109 Noyes Lab from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1-4 p.m. on these dates:

  • Wednesday, April 24
  • Monday, April 29
  • Thursday, May 2

Additional tickets may be available on a first-come, first-serve basis on May 2 (Reading Day). If you will not be on campus to pick up your tickets, please contact Heather Schulze by email at and your tickets will be held to be picked up backstage of KCPA when you check in.

Caps and Gowns

Graduates and candidates must order academic attire online at this website.


Please note that the Department of Chemistry does not provide a photographer for our ceremony. Our ceremony is informal in nature and there will be ample time for family and friends to photograph their graduate.


Please see the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts website for more information on accessibility options and contact them at least two weeks in advance if you require any accommodations to attend.


There is parking at Krannert Center, but spaces are very limited. Street parking may be available, but you should allow ample time to find parking in the area. Some university lots, including a large lot across Illinois Street on the north side of Krannert Center, may be open and available, but check the signs to see when permits are enforced. The lot north of Krannert Center is free for the public on weekends and evenings but may fill up quickly due to the influx of traffic for Commencement weekend.

Additional Information

The Department of Chemistry participates in the Illinois campuswide Commencement ceremony.  For more information on Commencement at Memorial Stadium please visit the main Commencement website.

The Graduate College invites all Graduate Students to participate in their Doctoral Hooding Celebration.  For more information, please visit their website.


Watch a recording of the May 14, 2023, Convocation ceremony.