Commencement on the Quad ’20

Syracuse University’s 2020 Commencement exercises will be held on the fabled Shaw Quadrangle. For our students graduating in 2020 and their families, this means they will experience a milestone one-of-a-kind ceremony. On any fall or spring day, the Quad is abuzz with energy and activity. For decades, it has served as the heartbeat of our community, and on May 10, 2020, the energy will be more palpable than ever.

Commencement Ceremony

Commencement is the all-University ceremony that will be held Sunday, May 10, 2020, beginning at 9:30 a.m. and ending approximately at noon. The severe weather plan may call for a start time as early as 8:30 a.m. or as late as 2 p.m. Please plan your day accordingly. Syracuse University Chancellor and President Kent Syverud ceremoniously confers degrees at Commencement.

Syracuse University schools and colleges host celebratory Convocations on the Thursday, Friday or Saturday before Commencement to individually recognize degree candidates and to present special awards. Convocations are followed by receptions, where students and families have the opportunity to mingle with deans, faculty and fellow students. The Convocation schedule, as well as Commencement weekend schedule of events, is provided below for your reference. Contact your home department for information on events hosted within individual school and college departments.

Graduates will also receive information on the special opportunity for graduates to bid an appropriate farewell to the Dome—before it closes its doors in the spring.

Convocations and Commencement Weekend Schedule

Commencement on the Quad

The Quad Commencement plan includes both floor and tiered seating to accommodate graduates and their  guests.  Seating for graduates and guests will be similar to the traditional Commencement or Convocation events. The seating will accommodate the same number of guests and participants as we see annually for Commencement ceremonies held in the Dome.  Students will process and sit with their respective schools and colleges. Guests will be seated separately. Regalia will be worn by all event participants. Designated accessible seating will be available. A designated viewing area is available for those who need to access CART and ASL services.  For your safety and the safety of all event attendees, and consistent with University procedures, the event floor plan will not be made available.

Commencement Planning

To assist prospective graduates in their planning, links to various resources and tools can be found here:

Additional information will be available on the Commencement app, which will be live on or before December 15, 2019.

Weather Plan

The Commencement ceremony start could be delayed to account for threatening  weather moving through the area. Participants and their guests would be notified of any schedule changes via the contact information provided during the Commencement Registration process and the app.

In the event that the ceremony needs to be moved indoors as a result of severe weather (lightening and/or high winds), the Commencement ceremony would be held in  Manley Field House. We will apply a model used by many of our peer institutions (such as University of Notre Dame, Clemson University and Georgetown University) and offer two identical and consecutive Commencement ceremonies to accommodate all guests. The ceremonies would be identical with the exception of only recognizing those schools and colleges in attendance. Graduate student candidates would be recognized at their respective ceremonies. These events would be pre-assigned and an unlimited number of admission passes would be available to each graduate through the Commencement Registration process. Admission passes will be distributed in conjunction with regalia pickup in early May. More details and information will follow. In the event of a change in ceremony location, transportation would be provided from main campus to Manley Field House.

    • 9:30-11:30 a.m. Ceremony 1 Participating  schools and colleges: College of Arts and Sciences, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Whitman School of Management and University College.
    • 1-3 p.m. Ceremony 2 – Participating  schools and colleges: School of Architecture, College of Engineering and Computer Science, School of Education, Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics, School of Information Studies, College of Law and College of Visual and Performing Arts.

Admission to alternate ceremonies is not available to ensure all scheduled guests can be accommodated.

Commencement on the Quad ’20 Q&A

Q:  What kind of services are available for participants and guests?

All event services you would expect to find at a Syracuse University event will be provided, including but not limited to; parking, Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART), American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation and accessibility services. Seating for graduates and guests will be similar to the traditional Commencement or Convocation events.  Designated accessible seating will be available. A designated viewing area is available for those who need to access CART and ASL services. In addition, multiple auditoriums will offer a live feed of the ceremony (with CART and ASL services for those guests in need of these services)  for those who wish to view the ceremony indoors, regardless of the weather.

Q: Is there unlimited seating? 

Yes, unlimited seating will be available to graduates and their guests as part of the Quad Commencement ceremony. In addition, multiple auditoriums will offer live feed and CART and ASL services for those guests who wish to view the ceremony indoors, regardless of the weather. In the event of a severe weather scenario, graduates and their guests will attend Commencement at an alternate time and location. These events will have unlimited seating for the pre-assigned location and time for individual school and college graduates and their guests. Admission passes will grant you access to the alternate event location.

Q: Is a live stream available for this event?

Yes, we will live stream the Commencement exercises. The live stream will also be available in multiple auditoriums on campus for guests who wish to observe the ceremony indoors.

Q: In the event of a weather delay, how will event participants and guests be notified?

Participants in Commencement 2020 must complete the Commencement Registration in order to participate in Commencement and Convocation exercises. Any communications or changes to event logistics will be shared via the contact information provided during the registration process and through the Commencement app, which will be live on or before December 15, 2019.