Carnegie Mellon University

Celebrating Our Seniors

SLICE and the Alumni Association partner throughout the year to help to shape the final academic year before a student’s graduation, celebrate the achievement of becoming a senior and a CMU graduate, and get students excited about becoming alumni. The goals of the program are to:

  • Celebrate the triumph of reaching senior year
  • Build social networks among seniors
  • Instill a sense of unity and community among the senior class
  • Encourage a strong institutional affinity
  • Urge active engagement in the 100K+ alumni network
  • Expand students’ experiences within the city of Pittsburgh

Student Commencement Speaker Selection Process

Call for Student Commencement Speakers

Each year, Carnegie Mellon University chooses one student to represent their graduating class at the campus-wide Commencement ceremony in May. The selected student speaker is given the unique opportunity to speak directly to their classmates, staff, faculty members, families, and other guests with an address of their own creation.

Last year's student speaker was Prithu Pareek, who was selected to represent the graduating undergraduate and graduate Class of 2023.

Selection Process: 

o   Students interested in applying to be the student commencement speaker should complete the online application. The application consists of reflective questions, an overview and draft of the speech, a copy of the applicant's resume, and a letter of recommendation from a staff or faculty member.

o   A selection committee consisting of faculty, staff, and students reviews all applications and interviews candidates. Applicants are judged on how well they represent the ideals and values of Carnegie Mellon University.

o   Both undergraduate and graduate students are eligible to apply for the speaker position, provided they are in good standing with the university and that they are graduating (or graduated) in one of the following months: December 2023, May 2024, August 2024.

o   The student speaker is required to work with a coach to revise and refine their speech from the time of the selection through the graduation ceremony.

Senior Portraits

Scheduling your Senior Portrait Session

Look out for an email from Lauren Studios to schedule your in-person senior portrait! 2023-2024 dates for Senior Portraits are listed below. Photos will be taken in room CUC 303 (3rd floor of the Cohon University Center).

  • September 11-15, 2023
  • September 18-22, 2023
  • September 25-29, 2023
  • November 6-10, 2023
  • November 13-17, 2023
  • January 22-26, 2024
  • January 29 - February 2, 2024
  • February 5-9, 2024
  • February 12-16, 2024
  • February 19-23, 2024
  1. Check your CMU email inbox for a message from to retrieve your Client ID.
  2. Visit
  3. Create an account by clicking the orange tab
  4. Enter your Client ID and last name
  5. Follow the prompt to schedule your photo session

If you are unable to locate your Client ID, contact

Lauren Studios will also be printing a Senior Photobook that will include senior portraits. SLICE will be including photos from your Orientation, Spring Carnival over the years, Graduation Ceremony, and other notable student life pictures. You will be able to order your Senior Photobook directly with Lauren Studios. Photobooks will be shipped early Fall 2023 (please have these mailed to your permanent address, not CMU/Pittsburgh).

Celebrating all Seniors! Mark your calendars for a fun-filled week of senior-exclusive events, activities, and experiences before Commencement. More information will be made available in Spring 2024

Retiring "The Thistle" Yearbook & Senior Portraits

In consideration of trends around the country related to the physical printing of yearbooks and the continued evolution of technology as a more sustainable form of communication and archive, CMU student leaders made the difficult decision to sunset The Thistle physical yearbook. CMU will continue to celebrate its graduating classes in a myriad of other ways by CMU departments, colleges, and university communications, as well as seek out new and innovative ways to commemorate CMU’s classes.

Graduating students leave long lasting impressions and impacts on campus, and CMU is grateful and better for their investment in the university community. Celebrating their work and cataloging it for historical purposes is an important responsibility. The Office of Student Leadership, Involvement, and Civic Engagement (SLICE) will continue to highlight and celebrate graduating students through long-standing and important traditions including:

Additionally, moving forward, SLICE will offer the opportunity for undergraduate seniors to have their professional portraits taken and be included in a photobook, which will be available for purchase through Lauren Studios.

Once campus life returns to a more typical year, The Tartan student newspaper hopes to return to printing a dedicated Commencement issue, featuring highlights of the graduating class throughout the four years leading up to that year’s ceremony.

For questions about this transition or the photobook, please email If you have ideas about how to celebrate our graduating students, please send them to

Senior Week: May 2024

Senior Resources

Whether you're looking for academic support, career advice, an alumni community, or ways to socialize with your peers, the University has many different valuable resources that can be helpful. 

Start off with some tips on making the most out of your senior year and goals to finish strong from your Tepper Academic Advisors!