Commencement preview

Ohio University will hold its 2014 Commencement ceremonies this week.

Photo courtesy of: University Communications and Marketing

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What you need to know as OHIO counts down to Commencement

Ohio University is counting down to the pinnacle event of the academic year – the 2014 Commencement, in which more than 4,200 OHIO graduate and undergraduate students will join the ranks of the University’s nearly 200,000 alumni worldwide.

One of the biggest events of the year, OHIO’s Commencement ceremonies will bring thousands of proud Bobcat parents and guests to the Athens Campus. Here are some key points of information to make the Commencement experience as smooth as possible.

Commencement schedule and speakers

The Graduate Commencement Ceremony for those receiving master’s and doctoral degrees will be held at 9:30 a.m. Friday, May 2, in the Convocation Center. Doors will open at approximately 8:15 a.m. Aimee Edmonson, an assistant professor of journalism and the 2013 Outstanding Graduate Faculty Award recipient, will serve as the Graduate Commencement speaker. The Graduate Commencement Ceremony will be streamed live.

The Undergraduate Commencement Ceremonies will be held at 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, May 3, in the Convocation Center. Doors will open at approximately 8:15 a.m. for morning exercises and 1 p.m. for the afternoon ceremony. The morning ceremony will be streamed live here while the afternoon ceremony will be streamed live here.

The 9:30 a.m. ceremony will honor students from the College of Business, the College of Fine Arts, OHIO’s regional campuses, the Russ College of Engineering and Technology, the Scripps College of Communication and University College. The 2 p.m. ceremony will recognize students from the College of Arts and Sciences, the Patton College of Education, the College of Health Sciences and Professions, the Center for International Studies and the Honors Tutorial College.

Charles “Chuck” R. Stuckey Jr., a stalwart supporter of the University and a 1966 alumnus, will serve as the Undergraduate Commencement speaker. Chairman emeritus of computer security giant RSA Security, Stuckey has enjoyed a 40-year career in information technology.

Tickets are not required for any of the Commencement ceremonies, and each ceremony will last about 2 to 2.5 hours. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.


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.

Traffic and parking

Due to the large number of guests visiting the Athens Campus, traffic can be heavy in Athens on Commencement weekend.

The Ohio Department of Transportation will be placing electronic message boards on highways leading into Athens directing Commencement traffic to specified exits in an effort to alleviate traffic congestion.

Those entering Athens via westbound Route 50 will be directed to Exit 16C, the Stimson Avenue/County Road 25 exit. Those traveling eastbound on Route 33 will be directed to Exit 16B, the Stimson Avenue exit. Those traveling eastbound on Routes 50/32 and those traveling westbound on Route 33 will be directed to Exit 17, the Route 682/Ohio University Event Parking exit.

Volunteers as well as members of the Ohio University Police Department and Transportation and Parking Services will be on site to assist with parking and directions.

All of the University’s dark green and purple parking lots, with the exception of marked restricted and metered spaces, will be open to Commencement parking from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Commencement days. A map of available parking lots on the Athens Campus and additional Commencement parking information is available at

Lot 128 surrounding the Convocation Center will be reserved for handicap parking. A state-issued handicap permit must be displayed in order to park in that lot. 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.

At the Convocation Center

Graduates participating in the Commencement ceremonies should assemble in the garage below the Convocation Center by 8:45 a.m. for morning ceremonies and by 1:15 p.m. for the afternoon ceremony.

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

Commencement guests will enter the Convocation Center from the main doors off Richland Avenue. Strollers must be checked upon arrival, and a claim ticket will be issued.

Guests with physical limitations should enter the Convocation Center through the ramped area of the service entrance, located on the south side of the building overlooking the Hocking River. Wheelchairs and staff attendants will be located at the service entrance and in the main lobby for guests with limited mobility to provide assistance. These wheelchairs are for transport only. 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 their personal wheelchair. No more than one family member will be permitted to remain as an attendant for guests with physical limitations.

Hearing assistance devices will be available, and a sign interpreter will be present throughout the ceremonies. There will be designated seating for guests with hearing impairments.

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

Commencement decorum

Those attending OHIO’s Commencement ceremonies are asked to turn off or silence their cell phones.

The vast majority of family members and graduates prefer that Commencement ceremonies 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.


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 photos.

Questions regarding photographs should be directed to the studio at 1-800-424-3686.

E-greetings and Facebook pages available

University Communications and Marketing 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 those images, click here.

For more on Ohio University’s 2014 Commencement, visit

Commencement to be a zero-waste event

Ohio University students, staff and faculty are propelling the University toward its goals of sustainability and climate neutrality through developing a portfolio of programs and projects, including Zero Waste Commencement.

Through a collaborative effort between University Event Services, Campus Recycling and the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, OHIO’s 2014 Commencement will be a zero-waste event for the first time. By going zero waste for Commencement, Ohio University joins a very short list of colleges and universities nationwide who have adopted this standard.

What is zero waste?

OHIO is working to decrease waste generation from promotion and decorations while also striving to increase waste diversion away from landfills by offering compost and recycling options. The goal is to divert 100 percent of waste from landfills to save valuable resources, stimulate the local economy, and serve as a role model in waste reduction for other institutions and the community.

How is Commencement going zero waste?

Print programs on recycled paper.

Prepare attendees and students for the event through digital marketing campaigns instead of paper.

Decorate with reusable materials instead of single-use items, which must be thrown away (i.e. balloons).

Create reusable educational materials and signs for the event to decrease future printing needs.

Offer compost and recycling bins at zero-waste stations set up around the Convocation Center to reduce landfill options.

Promote the use of a mobile app – called GuideBook – to take the place of a paper program

Multiple colleges at OHIO are planning to support the University's commitment by making their Commencement receptions zero-waste events as well, including the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, University College, the Russ College of Engineering and Technology and the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine. These efforts show the University's willingness to make big changes in order to continue transforming OHIO into a sustainable campus.

How can Commencement attendees support OHIO's efforts?

OHIO asks for the support of family, friends and students in this initiative. Please dispose of your waste properly at zero-waste stations and consider using the mobile app GuideBook instead of taking a program. Ask student volunteers at the zero-waste stations if you have questions or comments about this initiative. Your efforts will help the University achieve its goals of creating a healthier, more sustainable, and socially responsible campus.