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What time do I need to be on campus and where do I go?

Graduate students should report to the first floor of the Administration Building no later than 11:45 p.m. on Saturday, May 16 for seating card pick-up and line-up. If the ceremony moves indoors, graduates should instead report to the O’Malley Center atrium.

Undergraduates should report to the first floor of the Administration Building no later than 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, May 17 for seating card pick-up and line-up.

What is the rain plan?

An announcement to the campus community, graduates, parents, faculty, and staff will go out on Friday, May 15, 2020 after administrators evaluate the weekend forecast. The ceremonies will be outdoors even if light rain and cool temperatures are predicted.  Graduates and guests should dress appropriately. Umbrellas are not permitted.

What time should guests arrive?

Seating on Hamlin Quad is on a first come, first serve basis. Tickets are not needed. Some guests arrive as early as two hours before the ceremony. Please tell your guests to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony.

Please advise your guests not to come to campus until shortly before the doors for your ceremony open.

What can keep me from graduating?

There are a few things that can keep any student from receiving a diploma, participating in the ceremony, and receiving a transcript.

Ineligibility includes the following: failure to complete all academic requirements as specified by the student’s respective dean’s office; failure to pay any balance that is owed to JCU; finally, any fines and/or overdue books not returned to the library by May 1, 2020.

How do I get my cap and gown?

If you have not ordered or picked-up a cap and gown, contact as soon as possible.

Does JCU have graduation announcements?

Students and parents can order announcements through Jostens. Students can also watch for Jostens representatives who will be on campus throughout the spring semester to answer questions concerning announcements and rings.

What is the dress code for graduation?

Be sure to dress appropriately for the weather. This is May in Cleveland. It could be cool that day and the ground may be wet. Most female students wear a light-weight dress or skirt/pants and top. Most male students usually wear cotton trousers, shirt and tie.

Where should my guests park?

JCUPD and volunteers will be on hand to direct guests. Reserved handicapped parking will be available for those with a valid handicap permit. There will be a drop off area available for those with limited mobility but no handicap permit. Guests can also park on the streets around campus. University Heights will not ticket the limited parking zones around campus. As always, no parking is permitted in fire lanes. John Carroll guests may not park at Gesu as the parish will be holding their regular Sunday masses.

What about handicapped parking and access?

Handicapped parking will be available, and JCUPD will be on hand to direct those proper handicap vehicle identification. There will also be a drop-off area between Grasselli Library and the Dolan Science Center.

The areas of the Quadrangle with the easiest access for handicapped guests will be the outside of the rows of seats. Some of these areas will have a hard covering on the ground which will help provide easier access to the Quad. The center aisle needs to be clear for the procession. If you have questions concerning a handicapped family member and/or access questions, please contact Garry Homany at

Will there be sign language interpreters?

Yes, there will be sign language interpreters at the Commencement ceremonies.

How will I know where to sit?

When graduates arrive on campus, they will pick up a seating card assignment then be staged in their rows for the ceremony. Graduates must retain that seating card and sit in their assigned seat.

How long will the ceremony last?

The graduate ceremony should be about 75 minutes. The undergraduate ceremony will be approximately two hours.

Will I get my diploma during the ceremony?

You will receive a diploma case when your name is called and your walk across the stage. If you completed your coursework in December 2018, please return that case to the designated bins after crossing the stage. If you are finishing courses this summer, keep your case because your diploma will be mailed to you in August.

Graduates who completed coursework in May 2019 will be able to pick up their diplomas in the Muldoon Atrium in the Dolan Science Center (or Intramural Gym for rain plan) after their respective ceremonies. If you cannot pick up your diploma after the ceremony, it will be mailed to you.

Do I need to stay for the whole ceremony?

Yes, all graduates are expected to stay for the entire Commencement Ceremony. Diplomas will not be available until after the ceremony is concluded.

Will there be food available during the ceremony?

Einstein’s Bagels will be open in the Ground Floor of the Administration Building during the ceremony. For the undergraduate ceremony on Sunday, a bagels, coffee, and juice will be provided for graduates.

Alcohol is not permitted at Commencement and will be confiscated.

Can guests take pictures and/or video of the ceremony?

Guests will not be able to take pictures or videos in the area nearest the stage. Grad Images will take professional photos of graduates as each is presented with their diploma. Information on how to access and purchase those photos will be forwarded to all students and their families after commencement. If you have any questions, please contact Grad Images customer service at (800) 424-3686 or through their website

I want to make dinner reservations or plan a party. Where can I find restaurant information?

A good resource for planning a party following commencement is

What if I cannot attend the ceremony?

If you cannot attend the ceremony, notify the Commencement Coordinator at as soon as possible.