Now that you have applied for graduation, completed your RSVP, and have your cap and gown in hand — it's time to celebrate! Learn what to expect the day of commencement by exploring the information below.
5:30 – 6:30 p.m. | Graduate check-in and name cards
Graduates will enter through Lobby 3. Family and friends will enter through Lobbies 1 and 2. There will be signs directing graduates to a designated area to pick up their name cards. Graduates MUST have a name card in order to participate in the ceremony.
6:00 p.m. | Doors open to public
Lobbies 1 and 2 will open to the public at 6 p.m. Due to increased security measures, attendees are encouraged to arrive early and well before the ceremony start time of 7 p.m.
6:30 p.m. | Instructions and line-up
Ceremony instructions and graduate line up will start promptly at 6:30 p.m. to ensure the ceremony begins on time.
7:00 p.m. | Ceremony begins
Graduate Pre-Ceremony Details
Check-In and Name Cards
There is NO rehearsal. Graduate check-in time is from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. This means you may check in as early as 5:30 p.m. and no later than 6:30 p.m. There will be a live DJ, photo opportunities, and a cap decorating table to participate in as you wait for the ceremony to begin! Graduates enter through Entrance 3 . Signs will direct graduates to a designated area to pick up their name cards. Graduates MUST have a name card in order to participate in the ceremony.
Note: Graduates will not be able to leave any personal items in the graduate line up area; please plan accordingly.
Graduate seating is not assigned. The first row is reserved for GED graduates, and the remaining rows are for our degree and certificate graduates. You will see on the map below, if you choose to sit on the right or left side in the auxiliary gym (line-up area), that is also the side you will sit on in the arena. The sections marked as yellow, will be open for guest seating.
Parking is free for both graduates and guests. Please see the map below for all available parking. There will be parking attendants on site to assist.
Because of the limitation of handicapped parking, family and friends who cannot walk a distance may be dropped off at the front of arena. Entrance 1 or 2 of the Arena have elevators available if family or friends cannot climb stairs.
Shuttles will be available to and from the Lincoln Garage from 5 – 10 p.m. the day of the ceremony.
Tickets are not required for graduates or guests. Feel free to invite as many guests as you would like!
Full regalia is required for participation in the ceremony. Regalia includes a cap, tassel, and a gown. Purchase your regalia at the CWI Bookstore beginning the last week of March. Regalia will not be available for purchase, at the arena the day of commencement.
Note: The Bookstore will close at 4 p.m. on Friday, May 10. Be sure to pick up your regalia prior to this.
Spanish-English Translation Services
We are pleased to offer Spanish-English interpretation to our commencement patrons needing access to this service. Please direct family members to Entrance 2 to check out a headset. Headsets will be available on a first come, first serve basis.
Guests should be prepared to leave a driver’s license or other photo ID to check out the headset. Their ID will be given back when the unit is returned.
Es un placer para nosotros anunciar que habrá interpretación del inglés al español para esas personas que asistan a la ceremonia de graduación y que deseen, prefieran, o necesiten acceso a este servicio. Por favor dirijan a los miembros de su familia al Lobby 2 para tomar prestados unos audífonos. Los audífonos estarán disponibles por orden de llegada.
Por favor de prepararse y dejar una licencia de manejar (conducir) u otra identificación con foto para tomar prestados los audífonos. Su identificación se les devolverá al devolver los audífonos cuando hayan terminado de usarlos.
Arrangements have been made for a professional photographer to take a picture of each graduate in a standing pose. Passport-size, color proofs will be emailed approximately one week after the ceremony. There is no obligation to purchase, and graduates will have the option of ordering several enlargement packages at reasonable prices.
Family members and friends are encouraged to remain in their seats and enjoy the ceremony. No one will be allowed to block aisles to photograph any portion of the ceremony.