Taylor Kopf, an Ohio University Class of 2013 graduate, hugs her uncle Jeff Gill outside the Convocation Center. This year's graduation ceremonies are scheduled for May 2 and 3.

Taylor Kopf, an Ohio University Class of 2013 graduate, hugs her uncle Jeff Gill outside the Convocation Center. This year's graduation ceremonies are scheduled for May 2 and 3.

Photographer: Samantha Owens/Ohio University

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OHIO Commencement plans announced

About 4,200 students are participating in the graduate and undergraduate commencement ceremonies Friday, May 2, and Saturday, May 3 in the Convocation Center, located on the West Green of Ohio University’s Athens campus.

The graduate commencement ceremony will take place at 9:30 a.m. on May 2 for both master's and doctoral degrees. Undergraduate ceremonies will take place at 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. on May 3.

Commencement for graduates of the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, May 10, in Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium.

For the safety and security of those attending commencement, all bags and packages entering the Convocation Center before and during the ceremonies will be subject to inspection. This includes, but is not limited to purses, backpacks, camera bags and diaper bags. These are precautionary measures, and are not in response to a specific threat. 

Zero-waste event

This year’s commencement will be a zero-waste event, with approximately 22 waste stations set up around the Convocation Center complete with compost and recycling options.

“We encourage attendees to be intentional about not bringing in ‘trash’ like candy wrappers, chip bags, plastic forks, etc. to the event,” explained Alexandra Slaymaker, a student who worked with Event Services to make this year’s Commencement a zero-waste event.

The zero-waste effort is organized by Event Services and the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs and is designed to help achieve benchmarks outlined in the University’s Sustainability and Climate Action Plans.

Commencement programs will be made from recycled content and will include information about zero-waste efforts. A guidebook app will be available for download and will include parking information, a seating chart for colleges and graduates, a PDF version of the commencement program, information on cap and gown pickup times, limited mobility information and a schedule of events.

“These efforts will greatly reduce long-term printing costs and waste generated from Commencement ceremonies while educating graduates, students, community members and family members about the importance of responsible waste management,” Slaymaker said.

Undergraduate ceremonies

Undergraduate degrees will be for the following colleges:

The morning ceremony is for graduates of the:

Scripps College of Communication
College of Business
Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ College of Engineering and Technology
University College and Regional Higher Education
College of Fine Arts

The afternoon ceremony is for graduates of the:

Honors Tutorial College
Center for International Studies
College of Arts and Sciences
Gladys W. and David H. Patton College of Education
College of Health Sciences and Professions

**NOTE: There is no recessional for undergraduate ceremonies; graduates will depart the Convocation Center after their name has been read.

Instructions and tips for graduates

Preselect a location outside the Convocation Center to meet your family and guests.

Assemble in the Convocation Center garage by 8:45 a.m. for morning ceremonies on Friday and Saturday and by 1:15 p.m. for the Saturday afternoon ceremony.

For undergraduates, signs will be placed throughout the garage area indicating each college's location. Candidates will form a single line behind the appropriate sign. Candidates also will receive a name card in the garage area which they must keep with them until they are called to the platform for recognition. Graduates will exit the Convocation Center once their name has been read.

Pick up preprinted (or fill out) a name card from a staff person at the respective college table in the Convocation Center garage to keep until called to the platform for recognition.

Turn cell phones off, to silent or vibrate.

Instructions and tips for parents and other visitors

All dark green and purple lots will be open to commencement parking. Signs will be posted and Ohio University Police will assist with traffic and parking. A map is available showing all parking lots on the Athens campus for students participating in Commencement Exercises, and their family and friends.

Handicap Parking is located in Lot 128 surrounding the Convocation Center for handicap identified vehicles only. Please ensure a state–issued handicap permit is displayed. Individuals without a valid handicap permit who need additional assistance may be dropped off at the Limited Mobility Drop-Off Area; however, there is no parking in that area.

Volunteers will be on site prior to commencement to provide assistance and direction.

Visitors who do not require handicap parking will be directed to surrounding lots.

All physically-challenged individuals should enter the Convocation Center through the ramped area of the Service Entrance on the south side overlooking the river. Staff attendants will be located at the Service Entrance for assistance. No more than one member of the family will be permitted to remain as an attendant to the physically-challenged individual. Hearing devices are available and a sign interpreter is present throughout the ceremony.

Doors to the Convocation Center open at approximately 8:15 a.m. for morning exercises and 1 p.m. for afternoon commencement. Each ceremony lasts about 2 to 3 hours.

Guests will enter the main doors off Richland Avenue.

Tickets are not required. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Restrooms are located on the outer concourse. A lactation area is located on the main concourse.

Changing tables are in all restrooms.

Seating for hearing-impaired guests is in the first two rows of Section 101.

Diabetic kits are located in the main lobby, the west entrance and the service entrance.

A lost and found area is located at the will-call office in the main lobby.

Turn cell phones off, to silent or vibrate.

No one other than graduates is allowed on the Convocation Center floor.

Strollers must be checked upon arrival. A claim ticket will be issued.

Limited Mobility: Wheelchairs and attendants are located at the service entrance and in the main lobby for guests with limited mobility. These wheelchairs are for transport only, and guests may not stay seated in these wheelchairs, but can be transported to the arena seating areas. Guests with personal wheelchairs must check them in the main lobby and will be issued a claim ticket.

Wheelchair-bound guests will be directed to a designated location that will accommodate the personal chair. No more than one member of the family will be permitted to remain as an attendant to a physically-challenged individual.

Hearing devices are available and a sign interpreter is present throughout the ceremonies.

Traffic and construction
Visitors are advised that traffic can be heavy in Athens on Commencement weekend and are urged to arrive early.

Photographs will be taken by a professional photographer. A picture will be taken of each individual being greeted by a University official on stage. Within 10 days of commencement, candidates should receive a photographic proof. There is no obligation to purchase these pictures.

All questions regarding photographs should be directed to the studio's telephone number at 1-800-424-3686.

A word on personal behavior

The vast majority of family members and graduates prefer that the ceremony have the dignity of a university graduation. Graduates may decorate their mortar boards but are discouraged from acts that detract from the ceremony.

Items that distract from the ceremony or threaten safety will be confiscated before and during the ceremony.

For more information, visit www.ohio.edu/commencement.

E-greetings and Facebook pages available

University Communications and Marketing (UCM) is offering students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends the opportunity to personalize their e-greetings and Facebook pages with OHIO-themed imagery.

For more information or to access the images, click here.