Frequently Asked Questions About Commencement
Are medical personnel available?
Medical personnel will be located at the back right corner inside the Fieldhouse.
Are wheelchairs available for use?
Wheelchairs are available for guests who become ill during the commencement ceremony and to transport guests from the Fieldhouse entrance to the seating area.
Can I get into the ceremony without a ticket?
No, but if you know someone who has an extra ticket and is not using it, you may use their ticket. Anyone 3 years old and older needs a ticket to enter the Fieldhouse.
There is an viewing room set up in the Recreation Center with a live stream of the ceremony. You do not need a ticket for this room.
Can I take food or beverages into the ceremony?
No food or beverages are permitted in the O'Pake Fieldhouse.
Can I take pictures of my student before, during or after the ceremony?
You may only take pictures of your graduating student from your seat. Please be considerate of others and do not stand in front of other guests. A professional photographer from Grad Images will take pictures of graduates as they receive their diplomas from President Hawkinson and with their diplomas at the end of the exit ramp.
Can I use glitter and Mylar confetti on campus or during the commencement ceremony?
While commencement is a celebratory occasion, we ask that you please refrain from using glitter and Mylar confetti in your celebrations as it may be harmful to the environment.
How long does the ceremony last?
Each commencement ceremony is approximately 2 to 2.5 hours long.
When do doors open to the public?
Friday, May 8, 2020:
- 3:30 p.m. for the 5 p.m. Master's and Doctoral degrees in all four colleges
Saturday, May 9, 2020:
- 7:30 a.m. for the 9 a.m. Bachelor's degrees in the College of Education and the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
- 1:00 p.m. for the 2:30 p.m. Bachelor's degrees in the College of Business and the College of Visual & Performing Arts
Please note that the ceremony will start promptly at the scheduled time.
Where are the restrooms?
There is a clean 'delux' restroom trailer located outside the Fieldhouse in the E-1 parking lot. It would be a good idea to use this facility before entering the Fieldhouse. Indoor restrooms can be accessed through the doors in the back right-hand side of the Fieldhouse and through the Keystone Hall doors to the right of the Fieldhouse. There are directional signs posted in the Fieldhouse. If you need to use the restrooms once you are in the Fieldhouse, make sure you ask for a ticket at the door before you exit the Fieldhouse. You will need this ticket to re-enter the Fieldhouse.
Where can I get food and beverages?
Bottled beverages, snacks, and sandwiches are available for purchase inside the Recreation Center from 7:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. Food and beverages are not permitted inside the O'Pake Fieldhouse.
Where can I pick up my pre-ordered flowers or buy flowers?
The floral table will be located in the back left side of the Fieldhouse for you to purchase or pick up pre-ordered flowers.
Where do you go to get into the commencement ceremony?
The ceremony takes place in the O'Pake Fieldhouse.
As you exit the shuttle bus, walk on the sidewalk toward the Fieldhouse doors located to your left.
Where is the accessible seating area?
The accessible seating area is located at the right side near the back of the Fieldhouse.
Where will the students be sitting?
Graduating students will be seated in the front center aisles.
Which side of the stage do the students go to get their diplomas?
As you face the stage, the graduating students will go up the ramp to the right, walk across the stage, receive their diploma, and exit down the left side ramp.
Who can sit in the Platform Guest seating area?
Platform guest seating is for guests of the platform only. The Platform Guest seating area is located at the front left side of the stage.