Saturday, May 27, 2023 - 11:00 am
students, family, friends, faculty, staff

201 Van Ness Avenue San Francisco, CA 94102

Commencement celebrates a pharmacy student’s completion of the PharmD degree program, providing a special moment in the presence of family and friends to reflect upon their previous years and look ahead to their future careers.

All event details are subject to change in response to pandemic conditions. This page was last updated on November 15, 2022, and will be updated as new information becomes available.

Tickets and seating

Tickets will become available via Eventbrite in the coming months. There will be no charge to enter. A ticket will be required for every guest, and you can order as many as you need.

Guests unable to adhere to the terms outlined when registering will be refused admission.

Graduating students do not need a ticket and will receive information from the Office of Student and Curricular Affairs (OSACA) about their check-in process.

Celebratory and decorative items

We understand that guests may want to bring celebratory or decorative items to commencement to celebrate their graduate. Per venue guidelines, balloons, bullhorns, and airhorns are not allowed. Signage is allowed but may only be put up momentarily as your graduate crosses the stage to allow other audience members to view their graduate. We ask that you refrain from putting leis and flower arrangements around your graduate until after the ceremony to ease the hooding process.

Arriving to the venue

For transportation options aside from ride sharing services, there are two nearby parking garages for attendees driving to the venue and public transportation options. For parking options near the venue, you may park at the Civic Center Plaza Garage or the Performing Arts Garage. Rates vary throughout the day. MUNI lines serving Davies Symphony Hall include #5, 21, 47, and 49. Underground MUNI metro and the F Streetcar line stop nearby at Market Street and Van Ness Avenue. BART lines serve the nearby Civic Center station at Market and Eighth Streets. For more information on Bay Area public transportation options and trip planning for the entire San Francisco Bay Area, please visit or by dialing 511.

Commencement speaker


Sara Kenkare-Mitra, PhD

Our speaker is Sara Kenkare-Mitra, PhD. Sara is President and Head of R&D at Alector, a clinical-stage biotechnology company pioneering immuno-neurology, a novel therapeutic approach for the treatment of neurodegeneration. In this role, she is accountable for the strategic and operational leadership of all aspects of the Research and Clinical development portfolios. Prior to that, Sara spent 24 years at Genentech, where she held various scientific and leadership roles leading up to Senior Vice President of Development Sciences, a translational sciences organization that spanned R&D at Genentech. In this role, she was responsible for ensuring the successful translation of promising molecule-discoveries from Research into and through Clinical Development. Additionally, over the last decade, her team at Genentech were primary drivers of the personalization of treatments through innovative biomarkers, diagnostics, and personalized dosing regimens in R&D at Genentech and Roche.

Sara also had a significant impact on the development of several biologics and small molecules leading to Genentech's key product approvals including Avastin®, Tarceva®, Lucentis®, Xolair®, Erivedge®, Perjetta®, Kadcyla®, Venetoclax®, Cobimetinib®, Esbriet®, Hemlibra®, Alecensa®, Ocrevus®, Tecentriq® and Polivy®. In addition, more than 100 Investigational New Drug applications (with potential to treat a multitude of diseases in particular cancers) were filed by her organization with US and ex-US regulatory agencies. Sara also holds adjunct faculty positions at UCSF in the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences and the University of the Pacific in Stockton.

Sara was elected to the Institute of Medicine, National Academy (NAM) in 2014 and to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) fellow in 2019. She also was chosen as one of the 150 Most Influential Business Women by San Francisco Business Times in 2011 and one of the 150 top alumni of UCSF in 2015, as well as was recognized as a UCSF Distinguished Alumni 2018, Fiercest Women in Life Sciences 2018, and was the recipient of the AAPS Alice E. Till Award for Advancement of Women in Science in 2021. Sara has also been widely recognized at Genentech, not only for her excellence in leadership and mentorship, but also for her passionate commitment to the health care industry as a whole. Sara also served on the board of directors of the Genentech Foundation, a U.S.-based private charitable foundation and on the board of the Association for Women in Science (AWIS).

In addition, Sara is a passionate advocate for STEM education, women in science, and the cause of people with developmental disabilities.

Questions? Accommodations?

Contact Student Affairs Coordinator Julia Shefcik, MFA ([email protected]) with questions and to request accommodations for this event. Please submit your accommodation requests by May 1, 2023 to ensure proper arrangements can be made.