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Welcome Families, Graduates, and Guests!

Planning Your Weekend
Navigating This Website

Students: review student information page

Welcome! We are excited to have you visit Ithaca and the beautiful Cornell campus for Cornell University's 2018 Commencement Weekend on May 25, 26, and 27.

An invited guest will speak at Senior Convocation on Saturday, the day before graduation. The university president delivers the Commencement address on Sunday morning at the University Commencement Ceremony. In addition to the university ceremony, several recognition ceremonies and receptions are planned within the colleges for their graduates and families to attend. These college events take place Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

There are no admission tickets into Schoellkopf Stadium for the University Commencement Ceremony on Sunday morning and there is no limit to the number of guests who may attend the university ceremony.

We are pleased to offer accessible seating and parking for guests, including those with limited mobility or stamina challenges.

Please explore the links to the left for details about how to get here, where to stay, where to eat, where to park, and events happening throughout the weekend.

To help you plan your weekend, we have prepared a checklist (posted in February) for students and families. The document contains links to help navigate through the Commencement website as well.

Here are a few tips to make your weekend more enjoyable:

  • Be prepared for weather (sunblock, umbrella, etc.). The ceremony will remain outdoors even in normal rain, and the stadium is not covered.
  • We're planning to hold the main ceremony outdoors at Schoellkopf Stadium, where there are no admission tickets and no guest limit.
  • Family & friends not traveling to Ithaca may join the celebration via livestream, rain or shine!
  • Dress per your comfort level (business-casual is common) or for the event you plan to attend following Commencement.
  • Wear comfortable walking shoes! Bring bandaids for blisters.
  • Consider extra camera batteries.
  • Bring activities for young children to do quietly in their seats.
  • In addition to University Commencement, you and your graduate will also attend a college or department event. Many of those events take place immediately following University Commencement on Sunday, and others are held on Friday or Saturday. If the student's college/department does not have an event on Sunday afternoon, then you'll be finished with events when the university ceremony ends at noon on Sunday. In that case, you may want to remain seated for another 20 minutes while crowds are exiting the stadium to get their next event. Relax, let the stadium clear out, visit with family, take pictures, and then enjoy a more leisurely exit once crowds have left.
  • Make arrangements for mobility-impaired family members, as vehicles cannot just unload passengers at the stadium.
  • Please consider bringing a wheelchair or transport chair for the comfort and safety of elderly guests. If they don't usually use a wheelchair, they likely won't need to use one inside the stadium. However, it's important to consider how they will get to other weekend events not held in the stadium. Walking to a college event from the stadium or other bus stop may be too strenuous for some, as the walking distance could cover a full block or two. If that's a concern, consider bringing a wheelchair or transport chair to use when needed. If you're bringing a mobility device, you'll need to request our Option 1 Yellow Plan for appropriate seating & parking access. Elderly guests may find our Yellow Plan more comfortable anyway (no buses, no stairs, and chairs not bleachers). They don't need to be in a wheelchair in order to request/use our special arrangements.
  • Visit our maps page for seating diagrams, bus routes, college event locations, and more.
  • No alcohol, glass bottles, or pets at Schoellkopf Stadium.
  • Make sure ALL family/guests know the graduate's college AND department.
  • Weekend events are usually finished by 3:30pm Sunday, and campus roads re-open at 4:00pm.
  • Graduates must return cap & gown on campus by 5:00pm Sunday.
  • Diplomas are mailed to graduates in June.

For any questions, please visit A-Z Site Index, FAQ, and Contact List. After visiting these pages, if you are unable to find an answer to your question, please contact us.

Enjoy the festive weekend!

Planning Your Weekend

To help plan your travel schedule and weekend itinerary, we have posted weekend events (as we are informed of them). Because colleges, departments and student groups plan their own events for Commencement Weekend, there is no one-size-fits-all itinerary that we can post for students or families. Please visit our Weekend Schedule page for help with planning your weekend.

Students before Commencement

Navigating This Website



Contact Information

Commencement Office
B13 Day Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853
(607) 255-9541
Contact Us