What to Expect at Commencement

Group of graduates moving tassels.

General Information

Date: Sunday, May 19, 2024

Location: Alumni Arena

Morning Ceremony (Arts, Natural Sciences and Math): 9 a.m.

Afternoon Ceremony (Social Sciences and Humanities): 1 p.m.

Coordinator: Anne Mecca
Contact: (716) 645-1391 or cas-commencement@buffalo.edu

Other important information

Each ceremony is expected to be approximately 2 hours long.

Arrival Information

Please arrive to the Edward Wright Practice Facility (room 76, also known as the triple gym) in Alumni Arena an hour prior to your ceremony start time (8 a.m. for the 9 a.m. ceremony, 12 p.m. for the 1 p.m. ceremony). Please enter the arena via the Webster Road (back) entrance. Don't forget your cap, gown, hood and tassel!

Once you've arrived, please follow the steps below:

Important notes

If you do not arrive an hour prior to your ceremony start time, we cannot guarantee you will have the opportunity for a posed head shot photo.

We recommend limiting the items (purses, bags, etc) you bring with you as you will need to hold onto them for the duration of the event. 

Information for Guests

THIS IS A TICKETED CEREMONY. All guests over the age of two will need a ticket to enter the arena. Children two and under do not need a ticket.

All guest tickets are mobile-only. Please make sure your phone is charged and the brightness is turned up so we can easily scan your ticket when you arrive.

Graduating students will need to transfer the tickets they reserved to their guests. Each guest will need a mobile ticket to enter Alumni Arena. If the person accepting the ticket does not have a Ticketmaster account, they will need to make one during this process.

We recommend that guests park in the following lots
  • Stadium Lot 
  • Slee A Lot 
  • Baird A Lot

During commencement ceremonies, guests are welcome to park in any faculty/staff and student parking lots; a UB parking pass is not required. 

Guests may enter Alumni Arena via the Coventry Circle (front) entrance. Doors will open approximately an hour prior to the ceremony. All seating is general admission. 

Unfortunately, we do not have additional tickets for this ceremony. Friends and family who do not have a ticket for the ceremony are invited to view the ceremony via live simulcast online. A link to the live-stream and for technical requirement will be posted here prior to the ceremony.

Crossing the Stage

Seating for graduates is arranged alphabetically by department. Graduates may sit wherever they would like within their department. During the stage-crossing portion of the ceremony, each department name will be announced once, followed by the names of each graduate present with that department. As the graduate's name is announced, they will walk across the stage and be congratulated by the dean and degree conferrer. 

Only graduating students may participate in the graduation ceremony, including walking in the processional and crossing the stage. The University will make limited exceptions when a graduating student requires assistance for accessibility reasons. Students who need accommodations to fully participate in the ceremony should contact Anne Mecca at cas-commencement@buffalo.edu.

Safety and Security

Safety is our priority. Deliberate disruption or prevention of the peaceful and orderly conduct of classes, lectures, events, meetings and other University activities is strictly prohibited.

Upon entry to Alumni Arena, security personnel will greet students and guests and conduct a speedy inspection of all bags, purses, and containers. They may also ask you to unfasten any outerwear. Due to these security measures, please plan to arrive a few minutes early.

Please note and alert your guests that the following items are strictly prohibited on the premises:

  • Strollers
  • Bags or backpacks larger than 12"x12"x6"
  • Food and beverages
  • Weapons
  • Alcohol
  • Illicit drugs and/or related paraphernalia
  • Signs/sticks
  • Flags/banners
  • Balloons or beach balls
  • Fireworks or explosives
  • Laser objects
  • Voice amplifiers or noise makers
  • Animals (except service animals)
  • Any item that, in the judgment of venue management, may pose a safety hazard or diminish the enjoyment of the event by other guests.

Important Notice: Latex Balloons at Commencement

Please be aware that latex balloons will be present at the event. If you have a latex allergy, please take appropriate precautions to ensure your safety. We recommend informing the event organizers about your condition and carrying any necessary medications. Event organizers can assist you with reasonable accommodations.  Your well-being is our priority, and we want everyone to have a wonderful and safe experience at the event.