This year no tickets will be required to attend the ceremony, regardless of indoor
or outdoor location.
As a courtesy to all of our guests, attendees are asked to have someone present at
all times when reserving seats.
Chair seating (no bleachers) is provided on the Eckley Quadrangle (#9 on the map) for graduates, faculty and guests. Guest seating is on a first-come basis and, while
we make sincere efforts to accommodate guests, we cannot guarantee clear lines of
sight to the Kemp Commencement Plaza at State Farm Hall (#37 on the map). All guests
should be seated by 12:30 p.m.
A large-screen simulcast of the ceremony will be available in the Hansen Student Center,
300 Beecher Street (#14 on the map) for those who do not wish to sit outside.
Assessment of the local weather situation will be made on May 5 (originally stated May 3). You may call the Main Desk at (309) 556-1000 if you have questions regarding where
the ceremony will be held or check the website. Although we traditionally schedule
an outdoor ceremony, even in light rain and cool temperatures, we strongly encourage guests to be prepared for both an outdoor and indoor ceremony. This includes appropriate
clothing, rain gear, and refreshments as desired before the ceremony begins.
If heavy rains or weather alerts require the ceremony to be held in the Shirk Center,
302 E. Emerson Street, (#35 on the map), chair seating is provided for graduates,
faculty and guests. Guest seating is on a first-come basis and, while we make sincere
efforts to accommodate guests, we cannot guarantee clear lines of sights to the Platform.
The doors to the Shirk Activity Center will open at 10:30 a.m. for seating. All guests should be seated by 12:30 p.m.
Guests may view the ceremony on a large-screen simulcast in the Hansen Student Center
(#14 on the map), located south of the Shirk Center.
Convenient parking lots are located near Empire Street, University Avenue, Beecher
Street and at the Shirk Center. Commencement guests may park in any area of the University
parking lots except for those designated as handicapped or loading zones.
Guests who need a wheelchair should contact Central Illinois Medical Equipment at
(309) 827-3459 for rental arrangements. A few wheelchairs will be available at Commencement,
courtesy of the University, but they are reserved for emergency use.
Outdoor Ceremony Assistance
A drop-off spot is available at the Holmes Hall parking lot on Park Street (see map).
Greeters in golf carts will meet guests who need assistance and deliver them to the
Quad, where seating is available in general lawn chair seating, which can be accessed
via sidewalks. Golf cart service is also available for one hour after the ceremony concludes; guests may be picked up at the same drop-off spot.
Indoor Ceremony Assistance
A drop-off spot is available in the Shirk Center parking lot (see map) which is near
the lower-level entry to the Activity Center. Wheel-chair accessible spaces will be
located on the floor of the Activity Center. An elevator is located in the building
to reach the lower level. Because space is extremely limited, seating in these areas
is available only to guests needing assistance or wheelchair seating, and ONE other family member; families should plan accordingly.
During the awarding of degrees, a professional photograph will be taken of each graduate
as the diploma is presented and as the graduate leaves the stage. The photo studio,
GradImages, will e-mail proofs to the student if they sign up in advance (see our
Commencement Website), or mail free color proofs to the student’s home address, along
with information regarding purchase of photos. Families and friends may video and
photograph during the ceremony, but we ask that they be considerate of other guests
by not blocking their view of the ceremony. The use of tripods is not allowed due to safety concerns.