Everything Binghamton Students Need to Know About Commencement

Posted by Samantha Schoenfeld on May 12, 2017

With Commencement rapidly approaching, most seniors are focused on finishing up classes, decorating graduation caps, taking Insta-worthy graduation photos and bursting into tears spontaneously (or maybe that's just me). However, as Commencement becomes more of a reality, you may realize that you have some unanswered questions about the weekend's events. I'm here to answer some of those questions that you've been too busy/emotional to think about.

Which ceremony am I in?

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There are three days of Commencement activities, with eight different ceremonies. Double-check this schedule to prevent awkwardly showing up to the wrong ceremony:

Friday, May 19

3:30 p.m. - Graduate ceremony (all doctoral candidates, Harpur/SOM/Watson master's candidates)

Saturday, May 20

8 a.m. - Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science
11:30 a.m. - College of Community and Public Affairs/Graduate School of Education (bachelor's and master's)
3 p.m. - School of Management
6 p.m. - Decker School of Nursing (bachelor's and master's)

Sunday, May 21

Check the Harpur Spring Ceremonies to determine your ceremony.

8:30 a.m. - Harpur 1
Noon - Harpur 2
3:30 p.m. - Harpur 3

What's the deal with parking?

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Parking is free during Commencement weekend! There will be a drop-off area available at the main entrance of the Events Center, but guests may park anywhere on campus. Remember, if you are not in the first ceremony of the day, arriving extra early will only make it more difficult to find a spot, as guests from the previous ceremony will still be on campus.

All guests who arrive in vehicles with either a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) provided handicapped hang-tag permit or a handicapped license plate will be directed to reserved handicapped parking directly in front of the Events Center (Lot F). A Binghamton University handicapped permit is not required.

Additionally, for overflow parking and to help alleviate traffic congestion onto the Parkway, we have opened the parking garage, free of charge, beginning at 3 p.m. Friday, May 20, until 9 p.m. Sunday, May 22!

When should my guests arrive?

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Doors will open approximately one hour prior to the ceremony. Guest do not need to arrive any earlier than this, no matter how much they love you. The Events Center ​has ample handicapped seating, and volunteers/ushers will be able to assist those who need help to their seats.

When should I arrive and where do I go?

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Arrive at the Events Center 35-40 minutes prior to your ceremony (with your cap and gown, of course). Enter the Events Center through the east entrance, toward the back. There will be signs and volunteers directing you to where you need to be. See this map for details.

What happens once I get there?

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Check in at the appropriate table and claim your name card. Then, proceed to the student line-up area and find your school/department flag to stand behind.

If you want to sit next to a friend, make sure you stand in front of or behind your friend in line – not next to him/her. Although, keep in mind you may be split up based on row availability and seating charts. Doctoral students, line up behind your advisor.

When you arrive at your seat, do not sit down until instructed to do so.

What do I do during the ceremony?

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As you cross the stage, hand your name card to the reader, then shake hands with the president and your dean. At the end of the ceremony, the stage will leave first, then the marshals, then students, from front to back.

The ceremony should last approximately two hours.

Will the ceremonies be live streamed?

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All ceremonies will be broadcast live. Livestreams will begin 30 minutes prior to each ceremony and can be viewed via our YouTube channel.

Will there be professional photos taken during the ceremony?

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Yes! Commencement Photos, Inc. will be on site taking photographs as you cross the stage, as well as candid photos during and after the ceremony. For more information, visit the photography information page.

Where do I meet my guests after my ceremony?

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After the ceremony ends, arrange to meet your guests outside, in front of the Events Center. To make things easier, and to avoid commotion, you should decide on a meeting spot beforehand. Photographers will be outside to catch your candid celebrations!

Samantha Schoenfeld is a senior from Commack, N.Y., with an individualized major in integrated marketing communications. She is a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Pi and the Binghamton University Marketing Association. She loves traveling, Broadway and popcorn.

Have questions, comments or concerns about the blog? Email us at social@binghamton.edu.