FAQs for Undergraduate Guests
Participation and Ceremony Information
Who may participate?
The May ceremonies will honor students who complete their degree requirements in May, August and December 2013. Students who completed their degree requirements in December 2012 may also participate if they have disclosed their intent with the Registrar’s Office. There is no fall ceremony for August or December graduates.
When and where are the ceremonies?
Commencement takes place on Saturday, May 18, in the Park Center Alumni Arena. Graduates have their choice of attending either the morning or afternoon ceremony:
- Bachelor’s Degree Ceremony A: 9:30 a.m.
- Bachelor’s Degree Ceremony B: 2:30 p.m.
Arena doors will open one hour prior to each ceremony. Park Center is open throughout the day.
The first opportunity for graduates to select the ceremony in which they'd like to participate and to obtain Commencement tickets is at Grad Finale™ from 8:30 a.m.-7 p.m. on Thursday, March 21 in the Corey Union Function Room. Following Grad Finale, Commencement tickets may be picked up at the College Store.
How long will the ceremony last?
The processions will begin promptly at 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. The length of the ceremony is approximately two hours.
When and where can guests be seated for the ceremonies?
Seating begins at 8:30 a.m. for the morning ceremony and 1:30 p.m. for the afternoon ceremony. All guests must have a ticket for viewing in the Arena. Guests with tickets will have the option of sitting in the bleachers along the side of the arena or on the floor of the arena in chairs. All seating with the exception of disability seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Please keep in mind that time is required to set up for the second ceremony immediately after the end of the first ceremony, thus the doors will not open any earlier than 1:30 p.m. for guests attending the 2:30 p.m. ceremony.
Will refreshments be available for guests?
Light refreshments, flowers for graduates and gift merchandise will be sold on the second floor of the Park Center outside Corey Gymnasium prior to each ceremony. Alcoholic beverages are not allowed at Commencement.
The College hosts one reception for all graduates in between the two Undergraduate Ceremonies. Light refreshments (cookies and punch) are available at the reception. Detailed information will be posted as it becomes available on the Commencement website.
An ambulance will be stationed in the northwest parking lot of the Park Center, near the overhead door to Alumni Arena.
In case of an emergency, flag a marshal, student usher or a university police officer and proceed to the nearest exit in an orderly manner.
Flowers and Commencement-Related Gifts
Flowers and Commencement-related items will be available for purchase on the second floor of the Park Center outside Corey Gymnasium from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. during both ceremonies. Flower arrangements include bouquets of half dozen and full dozen roses, as well as open presentation. Cameras, batteries, diploma frames, class rings, watercolor prints of the campus and other Commencement gift items will be available as well. The College Store, located in Neubig Hall, will also be open for additional purchases from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Faculty and staff marshals, student ushers and university police officers are available at all times for assistance and information. Faculty and staff marshals will be wearing Commencement regalia, the student ushers will be in polo shirts and khaki pants, and University Police officers will be in full uniform.
Students with family members with mobility impairments should arrange seating by contacting the Special Events Coordinator for the President's Office at 607-753-5453 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. To arrange for mobility impaired parking, contact Parking Services at 607-753-4123 or visit Van Hoesen Hall, Room C-17.
Students or guests with hearing impairments can be accommodated with special seating arrangements and the availability of on-stage sign language interpreters by contacting email@example.com.
Lost and Found
For lost and found items, contact the University Police Department, Van Hoesen Hall, Room C-17, 607-753-4123.
Official Commencement programs will be distributed at the entrances to the Park Center Alumni Arena. All eligible graduates who apply for their degree by March 1 will have their name listed in the program.
Restrooms are located on all levels of the Park Center Alumni Arena and signs will mark their locations.
Effective January 1, 2013, SUNY Cortland became a Tobacco Free Campus. Smoking is not permitted anywhere inside campus buildings or on campus grounds.
Emergency phones are located throughout the entire campus and are identified by blue lights above the phones. University police are equipped for emergency communication as well. Guests are reminded to turn off all cell phones and beepers during the ceremony.
In order to adhere to the Fire and Safety Code, every guest attending the Commencement ceremonies in the Arena must have a guest ticket. The number of tickets distributed is based upon the Fire and Safety Code, which clearly indicates the number of people we can safely accommodate in the Park Center Alumni Arena. Each student is given four guest tickets.
The first opportunity for graduates to pick up the tickets is at Grad Finale™ on Thursday, March 21. After Grad Finale, tickets may be obtained at the College Store. Students will select their ceremony when they pick-up tickets. Tickets for each ceremony are on a first-come, first-served basis.
Students will receive a total of five tickets — one student line-up ticket and four guest tickets. Students should not dispose of the student line-up ticket as they will need this ticket to enter Corey Gymnasium to participate in the Commencement ceremony.