Family and Guests



University-wide Commencement Ceremony Description

The university-wide Commencement ceremony is the official University of Illinois academic ceremony at which the Chancellor presides and the President confers degrees. Doctoral degree candidates are invited to attend but will not be hooded at the event; Doctoral, Bachelor's, Master's and Professional (J.D., D.V.M., and M.D.) degree students stand as a group at their seats and are recognized by college. This is a dignified ceremony and lasts about two hours. This ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 11, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Memorial Stadium.

Convocation Ceremony Description

Another activity in which you may choose to participate is the convocation sponsored by your college, school, or department. At most convocations, undergraduate and graduate students are individually recognized, which is not possible at the larger university-wide Commencement ceremony. However, degrees are not conferred at a Convocation, and usually the dean or department head presides. Convocations are designed to complement the university-wide Commencement ceremony and are scheduled so as not to conflict with the university-wide Commencement ceremony. If you plan to participate in your Convocation, please follow the instructions sent from your unit.


Inclement Weather Plan

The university-wide Commencement ceremony held on Saturday, May 11 will take place rain or shine. However, if the weather is unsafe, the ceremony will be cancelled or shortened depending on the weather forecast. Unsafe weather includes high winds and lightning strikes within eight miles of Memorial Stadium. The Commencement Office works closely with members of the University's safety team and local meteorologists in making the determination to cancel or shorten Commencement.

Should inclement weather occur, a cancellation notification will be sent out via social media, the University of Illinois website, the University's text messaging system (Illini-Alert), and to local media. All unit Convocation Ceremonies at the University will still take place at their regularly scheduled times. A list of unit Convocation Ceremonies is available at

Rain Information

Graduates: Graduates will not be allowed to bring umbrellas on the field. Ponchos will be distributed upon entering the stadium. There is no umbrella storage, please leave umbrellas with your guests.

Guests: Guests will be allowed to bring umbrellas into the stadium. Guests should be prepared to wait to enter the stadium as bags are checked. While umbrellas are allowed, rain suits or ponchos are highly recommended instead as umbrellas will impede the view of other guests.

Please remember, Illinois weather in May can change quickly. Please check the weather forecast and dress appropriately so you can celebrate the day comfortably with your graduate.

For updates, follow Commencement on twitter #ILLINOIS2019

To receive Illini-Alert messages visit for instructions


Campus Photo Opportunities

The Alma Mater sculpture at the corner of Wright and Green Streets will be dressed in academic attire on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of Commencement week, weather permitting. Visit the Alma cam to verify when the sculpture has been dressed.

The Division of Facilities and Services provides this Photo Map PDF of celebrated photo locations for taking pictures of your degree candidates.


Commemorative Class of 2019 T-shirt and Commencement Flowers

Skip the hassle of bringing flowers with you - purchase flowers for your graduate at Memorial Stadium, State Farm Center, and Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. You can purchase and reserve products ahead of time here, so they will be available for pick-up at Commencement!


Don't forget, Commencement is on Mother's Day weekend. You can order flowers to honor them also.


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