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

Senior Week: May 6th - 10th, 2024

It’s time to celebrate YOU! Join your fellow Class of 2024 peers in some exclusive trips, events, and activities. 

Please note: Many of the below trips and activities have limited capacity and will require advance registration through Carnegie Mellon Tickets. Tickets are projected to go live on Tuesday April 30th at 9am.

Due to high demand, spots on the Forbidden Places (Steam Tunnels) Tours will be allocated using a lottery system.

Some activities and trips are still being finalized; check back later for the most up to date schedule of events and ticket links. 

Schedule of Events

Monday, May 6th - Wednesday, May 8th
Senior Week Social Media Giveaway

Check out the SLICE Instagram page on Monday, May 6 to learn how to enter the prize giveaway and win some CMU Alumni apparel from the campus store!

Monday, May 6th
Senior Snapshots
11:00 A.M. - 2:00 P.M.
On-Campus: Merson Courtyard, East-West Walkway and Triangles

Explore campus and snag snazzy snapshots in your regalia with the CMU letters, the Scotty statue  and other campus landmarks. We’ll also have cornhole, spikeball and other games to enjoy with your friends. 

Monday, May 6th
Senior Snacks: Food Truck
11:30 A.M. - 1:30 P.M.
Alumni House

Enjoy a freebie for the first 150 seniors from one of Pittsburgh’s most popular food trucks. Alumni Relations staff will be onsite to provide tickets and also make sure you know how to stay connected with CMU post-graduation. Once tickets are gone, students may pay on their own, while supplies last. 
Sponsored by the Carnegie Mellon Alumni Association. 

Tuesday, May 7th
Tartan Tuesday: Senior Exclusive!
12:00 P.M. - 5:00 P.M.
Alumni House

Swing by Alumni House to spin the Tartan Wheel one last time and win some CMU apparel and prizes.

Tuesday, May 7th
Adventure Awaits! AB's Senior Sendoff
2:00 P.M. - 4:00 P.M.
The Mall/CFA Lawn

Join AB and SLICE outside on the lawn for one last adventure. Featuring a rock wall, obstacle course, inflatable slide, and make-your-own trail mix, this is one event you won’t want to miss.

Tuesday, May 7th
Senior Sips: Beer-tasting at Brew Gentlemen
5:30 P.M. - 8:30 P.M.
Brew Gentlemen Brewery

Tasty drinks, good food, and great friends - what more could you ask for? Enjoy a beer tasting, a glass or two of your favorite beer, and dinner. Bus transportation will be provided from CMU. 
Registration Required: LINK

Wednesday, May 8th
Pittsburgh Connections: Whitewater Rafting Trip
7:30 A.M. - 4:00 P.M.
Ohiopyle State Park

It’s back! One of the most popular Senior Week adventures is back again this year. Pittsburgh Connections brings you along for a full day of whitewater rafting, weather permitting. Bus transportation and lunch will be provided. 
Registration Required: LINK

Wednesday, May 8th
Senior Snacks: Love, Chartwells Make-and-Take Ice Cream Sandwiches
3:00 P.M. - 5:00 P.M.
On-Campus: Merson Courtyard, East/West Walkway

Design and enjoy your very own ice cream sandwich, courtesy of Chartwells! Enjoy your treat while playing some fun outdoor games. Plus, be sure to stop by the Alumni Association table to pick up your senior gift and also learn how to stay connected after graduation. 
Sponsored by Chartwells

Wednesday, May 8th
Forbidden Places Tour
12:00 P.M. - 1:00 P.M. & 1:00 P.M. - 2:00 P.M.

You’ve all heard rumors about the mysterious steam tunnels. Here’s your chance to take a guided tour of some of CMU’s most forbidden places! Get a once-in-a-lifetime look behind (and underneath) iconic CMU buildings.
Closed-toe shoes required. 
Spots on these tours will be allocated using a lottery. To register your interest in participating, please complete the Forbidden Places Tour Interest Form by Tuesday, April 30 at 11:59pm.

Thursday, May 9th
Pittsburgh Connections: Bouldering Trip
12:30 P.M. - 2:30 P.M.
Iron City Boulders

Try your hand (and foot!) at bouldering! Join fellow seniors for a private indoor climbing experience at Iron City Boulders. This trip includes shoe rental, Boulder 101 Lesson for new climbers, and a pass for the gym that’s good all day long. 
Participants will need to use public transportation (instructions will be provided) or provide their own transportation to the gym. 
Registration Required: LINK

Thursday, May 9th
Pittsburgh Connections: Fishing Trip
10:30 A.M. - 1:30 P.M.
North Shore Water Steps

Spend some time on the banks of Pittsburgh’s infamous rivers with a relaxing fishing trip. All experience levels welcome, from beginner fishermen to experienced anglers. Bus transportation will be provided from CMU. 

Registration Required: LINK

Thursday, May 9th
Grad Cap Decorating with SLICE!
12:00 P.M. - 2:00 P.M.
CUC Mckenna, Peter, Wright

Graduate in style! Stop by for some last minute crafting, decorating your graduation cap to show off your personality and accomplishments.
A selection of crafting materials, stickers, glue guns, and crafting tools will be provided. Please bring your own cap!

Thursday, May 9th
President’s Graduates Toast
3:30 P.M. - 4:30 P.M.
Rangos Ballroom

Register now to join us to honor the 2023-2024 graduating seniors and raise a class in celebration of this milestone and all of your accomplishments. Online registration closes on May 7. This event is for graduating bachelor's students only.

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!