The University-wide Commencement ceremony is one of the biggest and best celebrations on campus. Here are the top tips to prepare for the ceremony.
There will be plenty of family and friends eager to celebrate
Students come to Illinois from all 50 states and more than 100 countries. Plan ahead to arrive early and avoid crowds.
The ceremony will run from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 11. Make sure you’re seated before the ceremony starts. Students should arrive by 9 a.m. to be seated by 9:15 a.m.
Free parking will be 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.
For additional parking information, see the Illinois Campus Map and the Memorial Stadium parking map.
You’ll have a great view of Memorial Stadium
The ceremony is held in historic Memorial Stadium where graduates will be recognized as a group by college.
The Memorial Stadium clear bag policy is not in effect for this event. For your safety and enjoyment, the following items are not permitted inside the stadium:
- Large backpacks/bags
- Laser pointers
- Alcoholic beverages
There will be photo opportunities around campus
Guests are welcome to take photographs during the ceremony at Memorial Stadium. Make sure to take advantage of the following photo opportunities:
- Graduates can choose to be photographed in regalia and have a headshot taken during cap and gown pick-up times at Activities and Recreation Center (ARC). A gown will be provided for the photographs while students utilize their own cap, tassel and hood. Graduates will receive a free proof via mail/email with complete ordering instructions.
- The Alma Mater sculpture at the corner of Wright and Green will be dressed in academic attire on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of commencement week, weather permitting. See how long the lines are before you go by checking the Alma Cam.
- Other notable locations to take photos of graduates include Foellinger Auditorium, the Hellene Gateway & Alumni Center, the University of Illinois Arboretum and any of the campus quads.
Remember to stay until the end of the ceremony
At Illinois, we know how to celebrate—you won't want to miss the iconic dazzle of orange and blue confetti. At this time, graduates will also receive a commemorative Illinois class pin.
The day will be memorable
Whether you’re earning your degree or supporting a graduate’s success, commencement weekend is truly a celebration to be remembered.