Commencement 2017

May 7, 2017

1 p.m.


2017 Commencement Program 

2017 Details:

Live Commencement Webcast

Watch the ceremony live at (U.S.A.)

or (International)

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.

Outdoor Ceremony

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.

Indoor Ceremony

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.

See map.

For Those Who Need Assistance

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.