Skip to content

Instructions for guests attending Commencement

Please note: This page is for the main University Commencement ceremony. For information about a departmental event, see the departmental convocation pages.

  • Doors open at , and the ceremony starts promptly at . Parking and seating are first-come first-serve, so early arrival is encouraged, and you should strive to arrive no later than .
  • Guests should park in the large parking lot to the east, across University Blvd from the arena. For more information see the parking information page.
  • Guests enter through the building's main entrance, at the northeast corner.
  • Comfortable shoes are encouraged. The arena concourse and stairs are concrete, and there are no elevators that serve the bleacher seating areas.
  • Remain in the venue through the full ceremony. As a courtesy to and out of respect for all graduates, the graduate and their family should remain at the ceremony until it concludes.

Prohibited items

  • University Arena will be enforcing the Athletics Program's Clear Bag Policy. Please read the linked policy carefully, as you will not be allowed in the building with any bags that are not compliant.
  • No glass items or containers are allowed due to safety concerns.
  • Helium balloons are not allowed in the building, as they can become lodged in the ventilation system if released.

Accessibility and safety

  • ADA seating for guests is available on the ground floor of the arena. There are no elevators to the bleachers or arena floor, and the only available seating for guests unable to negotiate stairs is the ground floor.
  • Signed Language interpreters are positioned on stage throughought the ceremony and video monitors on The Pit ground floor will display them.
  • The event livestream available on the homepage of this site includes both Signed Language interpretation and captions.
  • First Aid is located on the Southeast corner of the Arena's ground floor.
  • EMS and Police/Security are housed in the building's command post at the Northwest corner of the ground floor.


  • Please refrain from flash photography during the ceremony
  • Guests are not allowed on the arena floor at any time
  • Professional photographers will be at the event, and their photos will be available for purchase a few weeks after the ceremony. Guests are encouraged to stay in their seats and enjoy the show.

After the ceremony

  • It is suggested that graduating students and families and guests pre-plan a meeting location for themselves after the ceremony, to alleviate congestion while exiting the arena.
  • Guests are not allowed on the arena floor even after the ceremony ends, as workers will begin dismantling the stage and removing event supplies immediately after the ceremony ends.