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In-person College Commencement Ceremonies

What you need to know about parking, entering the stadium, public health protocols, and more.

Here's what you need to know for attending in-person commencement ceremonies.

Gates will open one hour before the ceremony start time. Grads and guests are asked not to arrive more than one hour prior to the ceremony start time. 

Details about where to park and what is not permitted inside the stadium can be found online. The clear bag policy is in effect. 

Tickets will be scanned upon arrival and there is no re-entry once you enter. 

Graduates should enter through the southwest tunnel between gates 2 and 3. Graduates should have their regalia unzipped for the security check and ticket ready to be scanned. Students arriving later than 15 minutes after the ceremony begins will not be permitted to enter. 

Graduates will need to pick up a card and pencil as they enter the field and fill-out the card when they get to their seats. The card is for their name to be read. If they include their contact information Grad Images will contact them about receiving their complimentary photo.

Graduates will be seated on the field and guests will be seated in the stands. 

Guests will enter through Gates 2, or 3. Guests will be directed to seats once they have entered the stadium. Gate 2 is available for people with mobility issues and has an elevator.

Graduates and guests are allowed to bring their own sealed, bottled drink (no alcoholic beverages). Water will be available for purchase throughout the stadium; no food is allowed. Restrooms are available on both sides of the field toward the South End Zone.

Graduates should fill seats from the front to the back. There will be no procession. Graduates should arrive with who they want to sit near. Seats will be 6 feet apart with no center aisle. Volunteers will direct students to their seats.

Guests will be seated in groups no larger than four throughout the stadium. Seats will be marked and those seated together must remain 10 feet from other guests. Seating will be available in the east and west stands.

Sit in groups up to four on bleacher spaces marked with an X. Maintain 10 feet distancing between you and other groups.
Sit in groups up to four on bleacher spaces marked with an X. Maintain 10 feet distancing between you and other groups.

Students will find a seat when they arrive. There will be no procession. There will be a short program, a video, and the opportunity for students in attendance to hear their names called and walk across the stage. Ceremonies are expected to last less than two hours. 

Masks are required at all times, distancing must be maintained, and gathering is not permitted. Hand sanitizing stations will be placed throughout the stadium. The stadium will also be cleaned between ceremonies. 

Even though masking guidelines on campus have eased, they are still required at commencement because ceremonies must follow the governor’s commencement guidelines.

Ceremonies are rain or shine. If there is hazardous weather in the area ceremonies may need to be delayed or cancelled. Cancelled ceremonies will not be rescheduled. Weather updates will be shared through the commencement website, social media, and the Hokie Ready app.