Seating & Safety

Commencement 2015

Public Seating

While the picturesque setting around the Tower creates a unique venue for Commencement, unfortunately, it does not provide for unlimited seating for guests attending the University-wide Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 23rd.

To be sure you know what to expect and have full information, please read the following carefully regarding public seating for guests:

1. Public seating is limited and will be available on a first come, first served basis.

2. The seating area will be open to guests at 5 p.m. For the safety of guests, and to allow for final preparations by workers within the seating area, no one will be allowed to enter the seating area prior to 5 p.m.

3. All guests will be required to enter public seating areas through a bag check-point. Please see information below regarding this important safety procedure.

3. Given the demands for seating, guests will not be allowed to “save” seats.

4. To maintain safe paths of travel for emergency vehicles and allow orderly egress from the site in the event of an emergency, once the seating area reaches capacity, as determined by fire marshal and event staff, no one will be allowed to enter.

Standing in the aisles will not be allowed. Guests will also not be allowed to stand in the street on University Avenue, 21st Street or Inner Campus Drive.

5. Once the seating area is full and closed, guests will be directed to adjacent indoor air-conditioned viewing locations where a live video broadcast can be viewed in comfort. Event staff will assist in directing guests to the nearest indoor viewing location.

In addition, an outdoor viewing area on the East Mall will be made available. Although the location does not offer a direct view of the stage, the program will be broadcast on a screen set up at the location. The view from the lawn offers a direct line of sight for the lighting effects on the Tower and of course, the Fireworks. Chairs will not be provided at the East Mall viewing area.

Guests attending Commencement activities are asked to assist in maintaining a Tobacco-Free environment on campus. Use of tobacco is not allowed on the university campus.

Littlefield Fountain Photography Schedule

One of the most iconic backgrounds for graduate and family photos at Commencement is the area in front of the Littlefield Fountain. As the marshaling area for graduates attending the University-wide ceremony, it is also one of the most congested areas.

Those wishing to take photos in front of the Littlefield Fountain should plan to do so before 7 p.m. or immediately following the ceremony (at approximately 10 p.m.). Beginning at 7 p.m. the area immediately in front of the Littlefield fountain will be closed to allow for clear passageway for the procession. It will remain closed through the end of the fireworks to allow safe passage for any emergency personnel and/or vehicles needing access.

University-wide Ceremony Security Procedures

To assist with making your visit to campus safe and enjoyable, please note the following safety procedures are in place:

Public Seating for the University-Wide Commencement ceremony on the Main, East and South Malls will be open at 5:00 p.m.

For your safety, the following items are NOT allowed in the seating area:

• Backpacks
• Tote Bags
• Bags Larger than 12 Inches (in any dimension)
• Pets (except service dogs)
• Alcoholic Beverages
• Coolers
• Lawn Chairs
• Picnic Baskets
• Strollers
• Umbrellas

Security officers will search all bags before attendees will be permitted to enter. Those with prohibited items will be turned away.

Thank you for your cooperation.




For additional information regarding security procedures for the College/School Convocations please see the following page: College, School and Departmental Convocations Security.