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 (JD, DVM, and MD) degree students stand as a group at their seats and are recognized by college. This is a dignified ceremony that lasts about two hours. Academic attire is required. The university-wide Commencement ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, May 16, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Doors open at 8:00 a.m. for guest seating.
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.
University-wide Commencement ceremony guests, except infants being held, must present an admission ticket. As participants, candidates and graduates do not need an admission ticket. Free tickets for the university-wide ceremony will be available at the Illini Union Event Services Window during regular business hours. Distribution of tickets will the week following Spring Break.
Local Graduates and Candidates
All students, (except D.V.M. students), may obtain tickets at the Event Services Window in the Illini Union Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
D.V.M. students obtain tickets at their college office.
If you do not need all of your guest tickets, please return any extra to the Event Services Window in the Illini Union so that others may use them. If available, additional free tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis on May 16 at Memorial Stadium gates on the west side.
Out-of-Town Graduates and Candidates Only
If you are a student who resides more than 30 miles from campus, you may request to have your university-wide ceremony tickets sent via U.S. mail.
Out-of-Town Students Guest tickets are available for pick-up through 5:00 p.m. on May 15 at the Illini Union Event Services Window and on the morning of the ceremony from an usher at Memorial Stadium. The ticket request form deadline is 4:45 p.m. on May 6 to allow time for tickets to be mailed.
Free parking is available in the grass lots west of Memorial Stadium (weather permitting) and in Lot E-14 at the corner of First and Kirby. Guests with a handicap permit on display may park in the north State Farm Center lots. Spaces are limited an available on a first come, first served basis. For additional parking information, see the Illinois Campus Map and the Memorial Stadium Parking Map.
Shuttle Bus service will be available to transport graduates and their guests to and from the President's and Chancellor's Reception which will be held at The President's House. It is a continuous shuttle from Memorial Stadium to The President's House on Saturday, May 16 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Guests may board the shuttle at Memorial Stadium at the southwest corner of First Street and Kirby Avnenue.
University-wide Commencement Ceremony
Guests requiring special assistance, should enter Portal 1 along Kirby Avenue and enter Memorial Stadium at Gate 24. Inside the stadium, an usher will direct you to the designated accessibility seating areas. Graduates with disabilities who require special assistance to fully participate in Commencement events may contact the Committee on Commencement at (217) 333-8834 or email the Commencement Office. Please see the Disability Resources and Educational Services website for information about wheelchair rentals.
Sign language interpretation will be provided on stage as well as near Section 127 at the university-wide ceremony. Hearing-impaired students should sit as close to the stage as possible within their designated section on the field. Guests should let an usher know they need seating in Section 127 to improve visibility of the sign language interpreter. CART services will also be provided during the ceremony.
As a service to parents with small children who may become restless during the two hour Commencement, the ceremony will be televised in the West Main Hall of the stadium.
Please call the Committee on Commencement, (217) 333-8834, if additional accommodations need to be made.
For accessibility information regarding the following unit convocation venues please see below.
- Foellinger Auditorium - email Greg Burdette, Manager
- Krannert Center for the Performing Arts - email or call Patron Services at 217-333-9716
Most hotels begin taking reservations for Commencement Weekend very early and may already be filled in the Champaign-Urbana area. The Champaign County Convention and Visitors Bureau website may be able to assist with accommodations.
Personalized graduation announcements may be purchased through the Illini Union Bookstore, 809 South Wright Street, (217) 333-2050, or at http://www.herffjones.com/illinois/. Announcements are also available through local bookstores and copy shops.
Because it is not possible to process grades and prepare degree lists by Commencement weekend, diplomas will be mailed to May 2020 graduates by mid-July. Additional information can be found at http://registrar.illinois.edu/diplomas.
Diploma Mailing Address: The primary address that will be used to mail your diploma is the "Diploma Address." If the Diploma Address is unavailable, it will be mailed to the "Permanent Address." Students should check and update their "Diploma Address" at http://apps.uillinois.edu/selfservice/. If your diploma is returned to the Office of the Registrar, you will be responsible for providing a corrected address and paying for any forwarding mail charges.
Name Change: Information for instructions on changing your name to the version which will appear on your diploma and transcript can be found at http://www.registrar.uiuc.edu/changing-your-personal-information.
If you have any questions about your diploma, please call the Office of the Registrar at (217) 333-0210.
Commencement Printed Program
Due to printing deadlines your name will not appear in the printed Commencement Program if you indicate your intention to graduate after March 13, 2020.
The Program contains an unofficial list of candidates for graduation on May 16, 2020, and a list of graduates who received degrees in August 2019 and December 2019. The list of May graduates is as accurate as possible. However, because of printing deadlines, names of some degree recipients may not appear, while names of degree candidates may appear even though they have not completed their degree requirements.
Photographer at Ceremony
GradImages® will photograph graduates in regalia and be available to take headshots of graduates during cap and gown pick-up at Activities and Recreation Center (ARC). There is no sitting fee. Herff Jones will provide the gown for the photographs, students will utilize their own cap, tassel and hood. Graduates will receive a free proof via mail/email with complete ordering instructions. Orders may be placed via the website, mail, or fax. GradImages® offers 100% photo satisfaction. GradImages® will not be taking photos inside during the ceremony.
Doctoral candidates will be photographed during the Graduate College hooding ceremony by GradImages®. There is no sitting fee. Doctoral candidates will receive a free proof via mail/email with complete ordering instructions.
Guests are welcome to take photographs during the ceremony at Memorial Stadium, but will not be permitted on the field. Videotaping is permitted; however, guests must use existing lighting. The use of tripods is not allowed due to safety concerns and in consideration of other guests.
Photography arrangements vary per Convocation. Please visit your Convocation ceremony website for more information.
Graduation Day Flowers and Class T-shirts
At the university-wide Commencement ceremony, flowers and t-shirts will be available for purchase. Visit https://www.thecommencementgroup.com/uofillinoisuc/ to pre-order these gifts.