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McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics
Commencement Ceremony Information

We are pleased to announce that McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics at UTHealth Houston School will host its Commencement Ceremony on Tuesday, May 7, 2024. McWilliams graduates who earned (or will earn) a Master of Science (MS), Doctorate in Health Informatics (DHI), or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in Summer 2023, Fall 2023, or Spring 2024 will be eligible to walk during the ceremony.

The 2024 McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics Commencement Ceremony promises to be an exciting time as we celebrate the accomplishments of our graduates. By recognizing and acknowledging the excellence of our students and faculty, we spotlight this honored tradition.

Note: This will not be a joint ceremony with other UTHealth Houston schools.

Commencement Ceremony Event Details

Tuesday, May 7, 2024
4:00 to 6:00 PM (CT)
6100 Main Street
Houston, TX 77005

Commencement Speaker

Atul Butte, MD, PhD is the Distinguished Professor and inaugural Director of the Bakar Computational Health Sciences Institute at the University of California, San Francisco and Chief Data Scientist for the University of California Health System, the eighth largest by revenue in the United States, with 20 health professional schools, 6 medical schools, 6 academic health centers, 10 hospitals, and over 1,000 care delivery sites. Dr. Butte has been continually funded by NIH for 25 years, is an inventor on 24 patents, and has authored over 300 publications, with research repeatedly featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Wired Magazine. Dr. Butte has been elected into the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), American College of Medical Informatics (ACMI), and National Academy of Medicine, and in 2013, he was recognized by the Obama Administration as a White House Champion of Change in Open Science for promoting science through publicly available data.

Dr. Butte is also a co-founder of three investor-backed data-driven companies: Personalis (IPO, 2019), providing medical genome sequencing services; Carmenta (acquired by Progenity, 2015), discovering diagnostics for pregnancy complications; and NuMedii, discovering drugs through open molecular data and artificial intelligence. Dr. Butte trained in Computer Science at Brown University, worked as a software engineer at Apple and Microsoft, received his MD at Brown University, trained in Pediatrics and Pediatric Endocrinology at Children's Hospital Boston, then received his PhD from Harvard Medical School and MIT.

Atul Butte Headshot
  • Graduation Canvas Course & Check-out/E-mail Access

    Graduating students: Please ensure all deadlines are/have been met to maintain your eligibility to participate in this year’s commencement ceremony. Students enrolled in their final term at SBMI should use, the Canvas graduation course as a resource. Please ensure you have access to the course and complete required assignments in a timely manner.

    Please continue to check your UTHealth e-mail account regularly as we communicate updates regarding this event.

    Note: Your UTHealth email account ending in will be deleted 90 days from the end of your final term of enrollment.

    If you will be transitioning within these 90 days to employee status, registering for the upcoming Summer/Fall semester, or pursuing another degree at UTHealth Houston, then your email account will remain active.

  • Regalia Orders

    Regalia Rentals/Purchases

    Official regalia must be ordered through Graduate Affairs. Note that the approved regalia items are necessary if you wish to ‘walk’ in the ceremony. To rent regalia for the ceremony, please complete the online regalia request form and make payment through the Graduate Affairs website:

    The deadline for ordering regalia is March 31, 2024. We encourage you to submit your order as early as possible. Any order received after this date will be charged a late fee of $25.

    If you prefer to purchase your regalia instead of renting regalia, please see the information on the Graduate Affairs website.

    Regalia Distribution

    Regalia will be distributed and picked up at the commencement ceremony site on the day of the event; May 7 from 2:45-3:30 PM. Please arrive early to pick up your items, get dressed and take any pictures, if you desire.

    Return of Regalia

    Students and faculty should return their regalia rental package immediately after the graduation ceremony. Unreturned regalia will be charged to you at its equivalent purchase amount.

  • Driving Directions and Parking Rates

    Stude Concert Hall is located in Alice Pratt Brown Hall on Stadium Road on the Rice University campus (6100 Main St, Houston, TX 77005).  Campus Entrance No. 8 on University Blvd. is closest to the venue (at the corner of Stockton and University Blvd).

    All attendees are asked to park in West Lot 2 and walk to the Shepherd School of Music. A parking attendant will be on hand to assist and guide guests to the building. Here is the link to the campus map for Rice University.

    • From US-59 East, take the south Main St. exit and go south.  Turn west on University Blvd.
    • From US-59 West, take the Fannin St. exit and go south.  Turn west on University Blvd.
    • From 288, take the Binz St. exit and go west.  Turn south on Main St. and then west on University Blvd. 

    An alternative campus entry - Entrance No. 18 - is located on Rice Blvd. 

    Event Parking in West Lot 2 is available for $12-$15 per vehicle. Payment is only by credit Card - cash is not an option. The Central Garage is another parking option (Garage Rates apply). Parking attendant will be available in West Lot 2 for assistance if needed.

    Map of Parking Directions
  • Travel and Lodging

    Visit Google Maps for directions to Stude Concert Hall (located in Alice Pratt Brown Hall) at Rice University.

    Lodging is available at nearby hotels to Rice University and the Texas Medical Center.

  • Commencement Ceremony & Reception

    Graduates should plan to arrive at the venue by 2:45 p.m. to ensure that they will be dressed in their regalia and lined up in the correct order. SBMI staff will be available to assist you, your family, friends, visitors, and faculty alike. Ceremony will begin promptly at 4:00 PM.

    Upon the conclusion of the commencement ceremony, please join us for a reception in the venue foyer.

    Drinks, hors d’oeuvre and desserts to be served.

  • Speaker
  • For Family & Guests

    The SBMI staff welcomes all families and guests to partake in this momentous occasion to celebrate the successful culmination of years of training for our students. Watching our students achieve this goal and celebrating it with them, their families, and their friends is a gratifying experience. We hope that you will find the ceremony enjoyable and memorable.

    Below are some general guidelines for the commencement ceremony:

      1. Doors will open approximately at 3:00 PM to allow guests time to find seating.
      2. Open seating is available to all guests, friends and family members of graduates that would like to attend. At this time, there is no cap on the number of guests our graduates can invite and tickets are not required for attendance.
      3. Photographs: There will be a professional photographer on site to take pictures of the graduates. These photos will be posted on SBMI’s Flickr account a few weeks after the commencement ceremony. You can bring your own camera for any additional photo opportunities. If you choose to take photos as the graduate walks across the stage, please take the photos in assigned designated area and then return to your seats quickly, enabling others to do the same. Our goal is to allow you to document this momentous occasion, but maintain a clear view of the stage for the rest of the audience. Please remember to respect the reverence of this memorable event for our graduates.
      4. Special guests from the university and the community will be present and will be directed by the staff to assigned seating.
      5. Staff will assist any persons needing special access.
      6. Staff will direct any disruptive individuals to a quiet location.
      7. After the ceremony, please permit the faculty and graduates to exit first during the processional.

    Immediately following the ceremony, graduates and their guests are invited to enjoy a reception at the venue.

  • Commencement 2024 Photos & Video

    There will be a professional photographer on site to take pictures of the graduates. You can bring your own camera for any additional photo opportunities at the venue.

    Day of Photos can be viewed in the McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics Flickr account. The video of the commencement ceremony is also available in SBMI’s YouTube channel.

    Thank you to all the Graduates, Faculty, Staff and Family and Guests in attendance.

Updated: 3/6/2024

Contact Information: 

Office of Academic Affairs
McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics 
(713) 500-3591
[email protected]