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2015 Commencement Ceremonies 

Graduate Commencement
Friday, May 16, 2014, at 7 p.m. in the Park Center Alumni Arena

Undergraduate Commencement
Saturday, May 17, 2014, at 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.* in the SUNY Cortland Stadium Complex

* New in 2014! Students will select their ceremony online this year.

In order to participate in Commencement you must purchase a diploma cover through our online ticketing process. You will only have access to this site if you have applied for graduation. Please have a credit card ready.

You should have received a detailed checklist outlining the steps to purchase your diploma cover and all items you must purchase in order to participate in Commencement. 

The diploma cover is linked to your Student Line-Up Ticket (which you must bring with you the day of Commencement). The diploma cover will be handed to you as you walk across the stage.

Please note: Guest tickets are not required for admission into the Graduate Commencement ceremony. You will only need to bring your Student Line-Up Ticket with you. 

Safety Inspections

SUNY Cortland cares about the safety of its new graduates and their families. As a precaution, backpacks and other items may be inspected before visitors enter the Alumni Arena or the Stadium Complex for Commencement ceremonies. The College appreciates your cooperation in making this a safe and memorable event.

Additional Information regarding Commencement at the SUNY Cortland Stadium Complex


  • You will NOT receive four additional tickets. Each ticket will now admit two guests instead of one, so no additional tickets are needed to double the number of your guests. Your tickets will register the new value when they are scanned as your guests enter the Main Gate at the Stadium Complex.
  • You MUST stay in the ceremony that you selected. If you have a Student Line-Up ticket for Ceremony A, then Ceremony A is your ceremony. If you have a Student Line-Up ticket for Ceremony B, then that is your ceremony. There will be no exceptions. Your Student Line-Up tickets will be scanned as you enter the Visitors Gate. 
  • If you have more than eight guests in attendance, those guests should be directed to the Park Center Alumni Arena where a live feed of Commencement will be shown. 
  • If you have not secured your tickets yet, please be sure to secure them as soon as possible.


  • Please be in attendance for rehearsal at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, May 16. Please report to the home stands at the Stadium Complex.
  • Students who qualify for an honors distinction based on their grade point averages will receive their honors tassels at rehearsal. Qualifying students who are not able to attend rehearsal will receive honors tassels the day of Commencement.


  • The ceremony will be held outside, rain or shine.
  • Ponchos will only be provided to all seniors, but ONLY if it rains.  Your guests will need to wear appropriate rain attire. Please be aware that umbrellas will not be allowed into the stadium. 
  • Be sure to bring sunscreen for a hot day!

Special Assistance

  • Special Assistance Seating/Parking (handicap, etc.) is still available at the stadium. If you haven’t already done so, please fill out the following link to get you or your guest(s) all set:
  • If you have a guest who is hearing impaired or is in need of a sign language interpreter, please contact Kaitlyn Boyes, 607-753-5453. 
  • You will receive an email message with information pertaining to seating and parking one week prior to Commencement.  

Commencement Day

  • Students will enter at the Visitors Gate.
  • Ceremony A students should plan to arrive at the check-in tent at 8 a.m.  Ceremony B students should plan to arrive at the tent at 1 p.m. 
  • Please be sure to leave your personal belongings (purses, etc.) with your guests.
  • Commencement will last approximately two and a half hours.
  • Guest seating will still be done on a first come, first served basis. The Stadium Complex will open one hour prior to Commencement (8:30 a.m. for Ceremony A; 1:30 p.m. for Ceremony B).
  • Be sure to wear comfortable shoes. You will be walking up and down bleachers. 
  • Guests are encouraged to park in the large student lot in front of and next to Park Center. The lots are accessible through the campus entrance on Tompkins Street. University Police Department officers will be available throughout the lower side of campus to direct guests to parking. Buses will be running a loop to the Stadium Complex. 
  • The reception from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. will be located in the Lusk Field House.
  • A live video feed from the Commencement ceremonies will be available at the following link for those who are not able to attend:

Any questions? Please email the Special Events Office or call 607-753-5453/607-753-2377. We are looking forward to seeing you and your guests at Commencement.

A Message from the President

Congratulations! You are a member of the largest commencement class in SUNY Cortland history.

To celebrate that distinction – a reflection of your hard work and the College’s strong retention rate – both of the May 17 undergraduate commencement ceremonies will be held outside in the SUNY Cortland Stadium Complex.

Thank you, for helping us make history. And while we are breaking records, I should mention that the College is also anticipating record numbers of friends and family members cheering our 2014 graduates on.  That’s because we are doubling the number of guests that will be admitted with each ticket. This two-for-one opportunity means that, although all participating students were originally limited to four guest passes, you will now be able to bring eight guests. Family members, neighbors or childhood friends who were disappointed they couldn’t come will now be able to attend the ceremony you originally signed up for.

Since the two ceremonies will be outdoors, we will all be watching the weather forecasts as the day approaches, so new graduates and their guests can dress appropriately. For guests who would find outdoor bleacher seating difficult, there will be an indoor option inside the Park Center Alumni Arena where the ceremony will be shown live on a large video screen.

Most other aspects of commencement will remain unchanged. That includes the need for students to participate in the ceremony they have already selected. If you are signed up for the afternoon ceremony, that is still the ceremony you must attend. 

The record number of students who will march at Commencement illustrates both SUNY Cortland’s popularity and its growing retention and graduation rates – measurements of student success that reflect how many of a college’s students return after their first year and complete their degrees. SUNY Cortland’s nearly 70 percent, six-year graduation rate is the highest of any comprehensive college in the 64-campus SUNY system.

College graduation is always an exciting time, and you should be proud of all that you have accomplished. Thank you for your dedication to your education, and I look forward to wishing you well as you enter the next ambitious phase of your life.

All the best,

Erik J. Bitterbaum
President, SUNY Cortland

Other Information

Dates for future ceremonies (2015-17) are available on the Future Ceremony Dates page.

Please note all Undergraduate Commencement tickets will be scanned at the door. The unique bar code on this ticket allows only one entry to the event. The first copy of an E-Ticket (if there are multiple copies made) to arrive at the event will gain entry after scanning and validation. Other copies of this ticket will be denied entry. You should handle this E-Ticket as you would any other valuable or cash.  Please be very cautious if someone offers to sell you this document. it has no official resale value and may be an unauthorized copy. 

Undergraduate Commencement 

Saturday, May 17, 2014, at 9:30 a.m. and
2:30 p.m. in the SUNY Cortland Stadium Complex

More information for:

Graduate Commencement

Friday, May 16, 2014, at 7 p.m. in the Park Center Alumni Arena

More information for: