Have a question and can’t find the answer below or on the website? Email commencement@elon.edu for the quickest response. Phone coverage will be minimal during Commencement week.

When is the Class of 2023 Commencement ceremony?

The date for the 133rd Commencement Exercises is Friday, May 19, 2023. Two ceremonies for the undergraduate Class of 2023 will take place in Schar Center (542 N. Williamson Ave., Elon, N.C.).

  • 9 a.m. — Diploma ceremony for Elon College, the College of Arts and Sciences and the Dr. Jo Watts Williams School of Education
  • 2:30 p.m. — Diploma ceremony for the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business and the School of Communications

How long will each ceremony be?

Each ceremony will last approximately 2 hours and will include the keynote address given by Ashton Newhall ’98, a third-generation venture capitalist, followed by reading of names and awarding of diplomas as candidates cross the stage.

How can I confirm which ceremony I should attend?

Graduates and families may verify primary major by referring to the Graduation Candidates List. Graduates with multiple majors are assigned to the ceremony corresponding to their primary major on their degree audit (available in OnTrack). Students must attend the ceremony to which they are assigned in order to receive their diploma.

What time should I arrive at my ceremony? Where should I go?

Candidates receiving diplomas at the 9 a.m. ceremony should report to the Practice Facility in Schar Center beginning at 7:45 a.m. There will be a briefing on ceremony procedures at 8:20 a.m. Candidates receiving diplomas at the 2:30 p.m. ceremony should report to the Practice Facility in Schar Center beginning at 1:15 p.m. There will be a briefing on ceremony procedures at 1:50 p.m. Please enter the building under the canopy tent on the parking lot level near the Southwest corner of the building.

Are tickets required for guests?

All graduates confirmed to participate in May 19 Commencement must reserve guest tickets to their diploma ceremony (1 to 5 tickets for guests ages 2 and up). This includes those who may have completed studies earlier in the academic year and/or may not currently live at Elon (i.e., study abroad, remote internship, dual degree program or for other reasons), who intend to return and participate in a diploma ceremony on May 19.

Candidates will receive further e-mail instructions to reserve guest tickets between the dates of April 12 and April 17. This request period will close at 11:59 p.m. on April 17. Tickets cannot be reserved after this time. There is no charge for guest tickets.

If tickets remain, candidates will be notified how they may request one (1) additional guest ticket beginning April 19. It is expected that all tickets will be claimed no later than April 21.


Where do graduates pick up their tickets?

Candidates will pick up guest tickets at Schar Center Ticket Office from May 1-5, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Saturday, May 6, tickets can be claimed between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. for candidates who are unavailable during weekday hours, e.g. due to internships or student teaching.

Candidates are responsible for requesting, claiming and distributing tickets to the guests who will use them on May 19.

What if I have more guests who want to attend than the maximum number of tickets allowed?

Guests without tickets to Schar Center ceremonies may watch in Global Commons. Tickets are not required for viewing in Global Commons. Doors will open one hour before each ceremony. The ceremonies will also be available to livestream on personal devices at elon.edu/live.

Where should guests park?

Parking lots will open at 7:30 a.m. for Commencement guest parking. Guests are asked to park at Schar Center only for the ceremony they are attending. Please visit the Parking and Accessibility Information pages for more information.

Does Schar Center have any security regulations?

Security personnel may inspect camera bags, purses and similar items at the entrance. To ensure a family-friendly atmosphere, the following items are prohibited in Schar Center and Alumni Gym:

  • Weapons
  • Explosives
  • Artificial noisemakers
  • Laser pointers and glow sticks
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Outside food and beverage
  • Coolers
  • Large purses, bags, backpacks and duffels
  • Smoking/tobacco products
  • E-cigarettes
  • Flags on poles
  • Balloons and beach balls
  • Wrapped gifts
  • Bicycles, skateboards, hover boards, rollerblades and roller shoes
  • Pets (except recognized service animals under ADA titles II and III)
  • Camera bipods, tripods and selfie sticks
  • Folding chairs

The following items are permitted inside Schar Center:

  • Wallets and small purses
  • Diaper bags (subject to search)
  • Clear empty drinking bottle (must be empty at entrance)
  • Professional cameras (defined as cameras with detachable lenses)
  • Unwrapped gifts and flowers (glass vases not permitted)
  • Gift bags (subject to search)

Will Wi-Fi be available during the ceremonies?

Elon Wi-Fi has been optimized to provide assistive technologies for the hearing impaired and for Spanish translation. To ensure that all guests have the best experience possible, we strongly encourage the use of cellular data for all other mobile devices during the event. Assistive technology support and other requests for Wi-Fi access can be accommodated by visiting the Assisted Listening and Translation table.

Will I receive a sapling?

Saplings will be distributed to undergraduates at the conclusion of the Numen Lumen: Senior Baccalaureate Reflection event on Tuesday, May 16. Graduate-level candidates will receive their saplings after the ceremony on Wednesday, May 17 in the Koury Athletic Center concourse.

What other events will be held during Senior Week?

For a complete list of Senior Week events, visit the Commencement Schedule page.

When will Commencement ceremonies be held for graduates receiving master's degrees?

The Master of Arts in Higher Education, Master of Education, Master of Arts in Interactive Media, Master of Business Administration, Master of Science in Accounting and Master of Science in Business Analytics Commencement will take place on Wednesday, May 17 at 7 p.m. in Alumni Gymnasium in a joint ceremony. Tickets are not required for this ceremony. A livestream will also be available at elon.edu/live. See the Graduate-level Ceremonies page for more information.