The University of Louisville’s December commencement ceremony for August and December graduates will take place at 7 p.m. Dec. 17 at the downtown KFC Yum! Center. Of the approximately 2,000 students earning degrees, 800 have indicated they will take part in the ceremony.

The event will mark UofL’s first indoor commencement ceremony in two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Face masks will be required for all graduates and guests.

Lori Stewart Gonzalez, interim UofL president, will preside at the event, and College of Business outstanding student Kiana Klein will be the student speaker.

Klein, a student-athlete on the women’s soccer team who was named to the All-ACC Academic Honor Roll, is an accounting and economics double major and expects to graduate with a 4.0 grade point average. A midfielder from Lebanon, Ohio, she overcame injuries to be named assistant captain of the team. She plans to obtain her certificate in Forensic Accounting with a goal of becoming a certified public accountant.

Kiana Klein of the UofL women’s soccer team

“I hope my fellow graduates know that it is a victory to have made it through this season of our lives, a victory achieved despite unexpected circumstances and changing plans which had to be rewritten,” Klein said. “So, I encourage us all to hold close the memories we made and celebrate what we have accomplished. Keep finding the people and places who will help mold you into a masterpiece and remind you that your story is far from over.”

The ceremony will be broadcast live at

In addition to commencement at KFC Yum! Center, the UofL Graduate School will host a doctoral hooding and graduation ceremony at 2 p.m. on the same day. About 90 graduates are expected at the ceremony, which will be on Belknap Campus in the Swain Student Activities Center Ballroom, second floor.

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Janet Cappiello covers student success for the Office of Communications and Marketing. She has more than 30 years’ experience in journalism, including working for The Associated Press and magazines such as Vegetarian Times and Sustainability: The Journal of Record. She has been at UofL since 2014.