Thornton Commencement

140TH COMMENCEMENT CEREMONY: Friday – May 12th, 2023

The 140th Commencement Ceremony at the University of Southern California begins with a procession at 8:30 a.m. followed by a 9:00 a.m. ceremony at Alumni Memorial Park. Individual school ceremonies will follow the main ceremony. A live stream for all ceremonies will be available on starting Friday, May 12th. No tickets are required, and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Note: USC Thornton School of Music assembly and procession section is “A.”


Following the main commencement ceremony, USC Thornton will host graduating bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral students at a ceremony in Founder’s Park at (11:00 a.m). This event is expected to last an hour and a half. This year’s commencement speaker is music educator Dr. Iris S. Levine, choral conductor and founder/artistic director of VOX Femina. 


Following the Thornton school ceremony at around 12:00 p.m., there will be a reception for the graduates and their friends and family on the south lawn of Ramo Hall (RHM).


Dr. Iris S. Levine is a leader in music academia and choral conducting. Her career’s trajectory to faculty emerita status at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona spans 32 years, starting from her position as professor of music, then department chair, dean of the College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences, interim dean of the College of Education and Integrative Studies, and advancing to interim provost and vice president of academic affairs. She is known for her contributions to Cal Poly Pomona as faculty and administrator, having led university choirs, taught courses in conducting and music education, and worked to diversify the school’s faculty and curriculum.

In addition to her extensive academic accomplishments, Dr. Levine is nationally recognized for her excellence in choral conducting. She is the founder and artistic director of VOX Femina Los Angeles, the premier women’s chorus in the city. Utilizing her expertise in women’s choral literature, Dr. Levine has led VOX Femina on an impressive 26-year history, with an unprecedented 50 commissions for women’s voices. Through extraordinary and innovative concert programming she brought VOX into prominence in the choral community by way of appearances at American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) conventions, Chorus America conferences, GALA Chorus conferences, and over 300 appearances throughout the United States, Mexico and Canada.

Dr. Levine is an active member of ACDA and a sought-after presenter at regional and national conferences. Her past posts with the association include state, regional and national repertoire & standards chair for women’s choruses.

As editor of the Iris S. Levine Treble Choral Series for Pavane Publishing, Dr. Levine wrote the chapter on “Working with the Women’s Community Choir” in the GIA publication, Conducting Women’s Choirs: Strategies for Success. She is also a contributing author of Choral Reflections: Insights from American Choral Conductor-Teachers. She is highly pursued as guest conductor, clinician and adjudicator for choral festivals throughout the country.

Dr. Levine earned her DMA degree in Choral Music from USC Thornton under the mentorship of Rod Eichenberger, James Vail and Morten Lauridsen. She received her master’s degree in Choral Conducting from Temple University, where she studied with Alan Harler, and a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of New Hampshire.

2023 HONORS CONVOCATION: Thursday – May 11th, 2023
Photo of a paper flower

Graduating students from across all departments & programs of USC Thornton are celebrated for their accomplishments at the 2023 Honors Convocation.

This year’s celebration will be held on Thursday, May 11th from 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at Town & Gown on the University Park Campus. The schedule is as follows:

9:30 a.m. – Continental breakfast on the patio

10:00 a.m. – Honors Convocation ceremony begins

12:00 p.m. – Honors Convocation ceremony ends

To reach Town & Gown on the University Park Campus, please follow these campus directions.


The university’s main commencement ceremony on Friday, May 12th, 2023 opens with a grand academic procession beginning at 8:30 a.m., followed by remarks by university leadership, the conferring of honorary degrees, addresses by the valedictorian and commencement speaker, and the formal conferring of degrees that marks the moment when members of the current graduating class officially become USC alumni.

We look forward to seeing you on this milestone occasion. Congratulations to all the members of the Class of 2023! 



If you require additional information about the Thornton School Ceremony, please contact Thornton Commencement.