May 23, 2024
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Everything You Need to Know About Commencement 2024

As my final year at Binghamton quickly comes to a close, there is one day that I find myself in constant preparation for: Commencement. Graduating is surreal, and is the end of an arc of a significant part of my life, but I also know it’s the beginning of a new, exciting stage. To commemorate both endings and beginnings, I wanted to make sure that I didn’t miss a single thing when it came to the big day. So I went ahead and did a deep dive into everything that you and your guests need to know to be prepared for Commencement 2024.

When it takes place

Students smiling at graduation

Commencement 2024 will take place May 9-11. For a more detailed schedule, check out the schedule of events.

What to expect

Throughout the nine ceremonies that will be held during Commencement weekend, over 4,500 students will participate, with each graduate crossing the stage. Ceremonies are expected to last between 1.5 and 2 hours. For a breakdown of each ceremony, click here. There are going to be some amazing students speaking at each ceremony!

What to wear


All graduates participating in a Commencement ceremony must wear a cap, gown, tassel, and stole or hood (depending on the degree received). Make sure to hang up your gown and other attire so you can start getting the wrinkles out. The dress code technically allows for you to wear anything under your gown, but it is recommended to dress up for this important occasion. Popular attire colors include light colors like white, pink, gold and a staple color like black. For any questions, contact or call 607-777-2745.

When to get there

Union clock tower

Graduates should arrive one hour before their ceremony to check in. For those attending Events Center ceremonies, you will enter on the east side at floor level. A map can be found here. Anderson Center ceremonies will go through the main entrance and follow signs to the Chamber Hall to check in.

Guests should plan to arrive one hour before each ceremony (no earlier). Doors will open 45 minutes prior to ceremony start time.


Events Center Parking

Parking will be available only one hour before each ceremony. Eligible parking lots will be marked on the day of the ceremony. University Police and parking attendants will be present to direct traffic and direct you to where you need to be. Before you go, make sure to have the campus map on hand for reference. For those who require accessible parking or drop-off, visit the Accessibility Planning webpage for information.


Harpur Graduation

Make sure that your guests have their tickets (printed or on their phone) before you leave for your ceremony. Only students can claim tickets and distribute them to guests. The number of tickets you receive is based on the number of students attending the ceremony. For more information on tickets, go to the Commencement Ticket webpage. If you have people that would like to watch the ceremony but do not have a ticket, all ceremonies will be livestreamed on the Binghamton University YouTube channel.

Day of ceremony checklist

Watson COmm

1. Wear your cap, gown, stole, tassel and any cords that you’ve received.

2. Bring your name card with you. (Harpur grads only— all others will receive a name card when they check in.)

3. Do not bring purses, bags or any large personal items with you, as there will not be a designated place to leave them and you may not return to the same seat after you cross the stage.

4. Bring your phone for pictures!

5. Make sure your guests have their tickets before you head off to the student check-in area.

Arrival to Commencement

Watson Communications

Make sure your guests have their tickets before you go to the Student Check-in area. In the Student Check-in area, check in at the tables to receive your name card (if you didn’t already pick it up). If you have your name card, go directly to the line-up area behind the flag/sign of the major/department you will be walking with. There will be volunteers to help you line up behind the correct group. If you wish to sit with a friend, that person must stand either ahead of you or behind you in the same line as the two lines split during the processional.

Crossing the stage

As you approach the stage, you will scan your name card, putting you in the queue for your name and major(s) to appear onscreen. You will also receive your diploma cover. As you go up the stairs of the stage, hand your name card to the name reader located at the podium on your right. When crossing the stage, you will stop momentarily for a group picture with President Stenger and the dean from your school. After the photo, continue across the stage, down the stairs and then proceed to a final picture stop before returning to the seating area.


Watson commencement

Be sure to get your graduation photos after your ceremony. Visit to view and purchase custom photo products like prints, plaques, specialty gifts and more. If have any questions or concerns regarding your photos, call 800-261-2576, or email


Watson commencement livestream

If you can’t make a Commencement ceremony in person, no worries! All of the ceremonies will be livestreamed (and available to watch later) on the University’s YouTube channel.


Watson Communications graduation

Six to eight weeks after the end of your final semester, you will receive your diploma in the mail at the address Binghamton University has on file, so make sure that is up to date!

Although all the preparation may seem daunting, remember to celebrate your achievements. As scary as it seems to walk the stage, it’s actually hard to mess up. The staff that help corral students have been doing this for many years and will help direct you in case any issue arises. Have fun these last few weeks, check off anything remaining on your Binghamton bucket list, and don’t forget about any final exams or assignments. You’re almost there!

For more information on Commencement, visit

Lauren Woodring is an intern for the Office of Media and Public Relations, and a senior double majoring in English and psychology. She’s looking forward to starting her career after graduation, and she can be found playing board games with friends, earning her cat’s love with treats and writing poetry in her spare time.

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