Tips and guidelines for enjoying Commencement 2021 in Schar Center

Elon will hold three in-person Commencement ceremonies on Friday, May 21, in Schar Center. Here are a few important tips and guidelines to keep in mind on the big day.

Elon is just one day away from celebrating the achievements of the Class of 2021. Soon, seniors will walk across the stage and receive their diplomas and ceremonial oak saplings, marking the end of their journeys as Elon undergraduates.

As friends, family and supporters make their way to campus for the three in-person Undergraduate Commencement ceremonies on Friday, here are a few tips and guidelines to make the graduation experience enjoyable for the entire Elon community.

Commencement Ceremonies 

Undergraduate Commencement will be held in three in-person ceremonies in Schar Center and will run approximately 90 minutes each.

Ceremony #1 – 9 a.m.

Doors open at 8:15 a.m.

  • Graduates of the Love School of Business

Ceremony #2 – 1 p.m.

Doors open at 12:15 p.m.

  • Graduates of Elon College, the College of Arts & Sciences, with degrees in:
    • Arts & Humanities
  • Graduates of the School of Communications
  • Graduates of the School of Education 

Ceremony #3 – 5 p.m.

Doors open at 4:15 p.m.

  • Graduates of Elon College, the College of Arts & Sciences,with degrees in:
    • Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Sciences
    • Engineering
    • Natural and Social Sciences

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

Parking & Schar Center Entry

Parking lots will open at 8 a.m. for Commencement guest parking. The 2021 Undergraduate parking and Schar Center entrance map can be viewed below:

2021 Undergraduate Commencement parking map

Guests are asked to park at Schar Center only for the ceremony they are attending. After the first and second ceremonies, parking is needed for guests arriving for the next ceremony. No tailgating or full-day parking will be permitted.

Accessible parking at Schar Center is first-come, first-served. In the event that the accessible parking areas fill, passenger drop-off will be used, and drivers will be directed to the nearest space. An accessible ramp is located at the east and west guest entrances. Guests who need assistance to reach the entrances and within Schar Center should bring a personal mobility device. There could be a walk of 100-200 feet or more to the entrance.

Schar Center Seating

In Schar Center, accessible seating is located on the concourse level. The event (stage) level of Schar Center will be closed for all guest seating. All areas of the event (stage) level will be secured for candidate check-in, ceremony staging and for the entire run of each ceremony. Find your seating area below:

Schar Center seating chart.

Ticketing & Remote Viewing Options

Each senior has been allotted two guest tickets for the in-person ceremonies at Schar Center. Those without guest tickets may watch the ceremonies online (on or off campus) at or may gather, wearing a mask and physically distanced, in the following locations:

  • Great Hall in the Global Neighborhood Commons
  • Alumni Gymnasium in Koury Athletic Center

Vaccination Status and Wearing of Masks

All graduates and guests are strongly encouraged to be fully vaccinated prior to attending Commencement ceremonies. This will provide the greatest degree of protection for everyone.

Students who have not received vaccines by that time will be required to continue weekly testing, and all guests are strongly encouraged to be tested before coming to campus.

During Commencement Week events:

  • Masks are required inside all buildings at Elon and at all indoor Commencement events.
  • Those who are vaccinated may remove masks outdoors.
  • Graduates at all Commencement ceremonies may remove their masks as they cross the stage, accept their diplomas and have their photograph taken by the professional photographer. They should put their masks back on when returning to their seats.
  • Commencement speakers may remove their masks at the microphone.
  • Because many people are not yet vaccinated or have health considerations, please be respectful of physical distancing and understand there are many reasons individuals choose to continue to wear masks outdoors and in other situations.


Security officers will conduct bag checks when guests arrive at Schar Center. Items not allowed include:

  • Weapons
  • Explosives
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Artificial noisemakers
  • Food and beverages
  • Smoking/tobacco products including e-cigarettes
  • Umbrellas
  • Containers or coolers
  • Flags on poles
  • Bicycles, skateboards or rollerblades
  • Family pets

Hearing Assistance/Language Interpreting

Elon Commencement is equipped with a limited number of hearing assistance devices and Spanish interpretation devices that are available on a first-come, first-served arrangement. Headsets may be picked up at the table at the East Entrance (near Section 101).

Please email or call the Office of Cultural & Special Programs (336-278-2641) at your first opportunity for information on these services.

More Information

For more information about Friday’s Commencement ceremonies, visit the Elon 2021 Commencement website.