Commencement ceremonies at Elon University are family friendly. The average Elon graduate brings about 10 guests each year. Overnight accommodations fill rapidly; advance reservations are recommended. Dress for the week's events is dressy casual and we encourage you to come prepared for warm weather.
Many people find that arriving on Thursday is a good idea. Several events may take place prior to commencement, including Baccalaureate, which is usually on Friday afternoon. On commencement day, Saturday, you are invited to have a complimentary continental breakfast around the fountain as early at 7:30 a.m. Elon will have more than 10,000 chairs under the historic Oaks in front of West dorm for the ceremony. Tickets are not required for Commencement Under the Oaks, and you are welcome to bring as many people as you wish. However, families may not reserve their seats until 7:00 a.m. on Saturday. This gives our staff time to reserve seats for graduates and faculty members, as well as time to clean and dry off the chairs for your convenience.
Parking is handled well by our security department, and those with special needs have facilities and a special seating area provided. Rest rooms are available in campus buildings.
The ceremony starts at 9:15 a.m. and will conclude before noon. Each graduate has his or her name read and personally receives his or her diploma from the University President.
The place for you to meet your student after the ceremony is at a reception hosted by his or her major field of study. Maps will be provided for you on this site and in letters sent to parents and students. There will also be signs. Many graduates choose to have family and friend gatherings at their respective residences in the Elon area. Caterers are available to assist with food. The university closes down after the ceremony site is cleaned up. Many families choose not to remain in the area on Saturday night and set out for home destinations on Saturday afternoon.
A rain plan is always on hand. Your graduate will receive 2 rain plan tickets approximately three weeks prior to graduation. In case of rain, the ceremony will be in the Koury Center and satellite TV will be elsewhere on campus.
Elon University will be capturing Commencement events on video for purchase. Learn more about the available Commencement DVDs and how to order.
Please visit the commencement Website throughout the year for news and information concerning the 2013 exercises.