Ceremony Logistics

Here you will find information on what to expect before, during and after the commencement ceremony.

Venue Information

Venue Information can be found by clicking by visiting the venue's website.

Travel & Parking Information

For specific and individualized arrangements ranging from travel to restaurants to lodging to site-seeing, click here.

Parking will be available in all of the parking lots across campus, including all faculty, staff, and student lots. Parking lots closest to Center for the Arts include, but are not limited to, Lake LaSalle Lot (behind the CFA building), Alumni Lot, Arena Lot, Slee, and Baird Lots. The University’s general commencement ceremony will also be taking place concurrently at Alumni Arena.  Please be sure to arrive with plenty of time to find parking. Handicap parking will be available.

Special Assistance

If you or one of your guests needs special arrangements for either the ceremony or the reception, please contact Rebecca Donoghue, Commencement Coordinator, as soon as possible.  If you or a family member in need of sign language interpreter, the Commencement Coordinator must be advised no later than Friday, May 5th to ensure that we can book one to be there that day. This would include also include wheelchair or other physically accessible seating so appropriate arrangements may be made. Ushers will assist guests with these needs. One guest may sit with the guest needing accessible seating. All guests will still require a ticket.


The doors to the Main Stage Theatre will open at 2:00 p.m. All guests must have their tickets to be seated in the Main Stage Theatre. They are advised to be seated by 2:45 p.m. to see the Academic Procession.

Where do I go?

The student check-in room is located in the Drama Theatre in the basement of Center for the Arts.

What time should I arrive?

Graduates should arrive at the Center for the Arts and report to the Drama Theatre no later than 1:15 p.m. Keep in mind that the it is all Commencement weekend and other ceremonies will be ending in the Center for the Arts and Alumni Arena just prior to the Law School Commencement, so be sure to arrive with plenty of time to find parking. When graduates arrive, they must check in with the Registrar and pick up their name card. You must retain the name card for presentation to the Director of Special Events, for announcement of your name by the Vice Dean of Academic Affairs as you walk across the stage. Please double check the phonetic spelling that you provided on your Commencement Registration Form.

What do I bring?

Please bring your pressed academic attire. Please do not bring any personal belongings to the Robing Area in the Drama Theatre. There is nowhere to store your belongings before or during the ceremony. You will not be permitted to store anything below your seat in the Mainstage Theatre. Please give your guests your handbag, coat, or umbrella.

When will I process?

The academic procession will begin promptly at 2:45 p.m. The Commencement Ceremony will begin promptly at 3:00 p.m. Please advise friends and family members who will be attending so that they have assembled in the theatre in time to see you process in with your class!

What will happen when it is time for me to go on the stage for my name to be called and receive my diploma?

LL.M. & J.D. Students will enter the stage from the left. Please hold your name card in your right hand and your hood in your left hand. Please make that all the clasps and fasteners on your hood are unbuttoned. At the top of the steps please hand your name card to the Director of Special Events, Amy Atkinson and wait for her to direct you to a hooder on the stage. When receiving your hood, please turn and face the audience so that your hood can be placed over your head. If you are very tall, please bend down so that the hooders will be able to place your hood over your head. There will be event photographers at the ceremony who will capture this moment. After you have been hooded, proceed across the stage to Dean Gardner. The Dean will congratulate you and present you with an envelope. After receiving your envelope, please move across the front of the stage to the steps and return to your original seat in the auditorium. Be seated as soon as you return so as not to obstruct the view of those seated around you.

The Recessional

The platform party will exit using the stairs. Then beginning with row "A", graduates will stand one row at a time and follow. To avoid congestion, move away from the exits as quickly as possible into the atrium area. The audience will remain seated until after the Recessional.

The Reception

We invite our graduates and their families to join us for a reception immediately following the ceremony in the Center for the Arts Atrium.