Traditional Ceremony Details
Preliminary Commencement Information
Jan. 8, 2020 – Letter from President Nugent to the Class of 2020 and their Families
Chair seating (no bleachers) is provided on the Eckley Quadrangle 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. All guests should be seated by 12:30 p.m.
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.
Inclement Weather Plan - Indoor Ceremony
If heavy rains or weather alerts require the ceremony to be held in the Shirk Center, 302 E. Emerson Street, 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.
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. 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 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 email proofs to the student if they sign up in advance, or mail free color
proofs to the student’s home address, along with information regarding purchase of
photos. By Friday, May 8, you may also view your photos online at www.gradimages.com. Just enter your last name, school, and year.
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.
Before 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 3, return your cap, gown and hood, which the University
has rented for you, to the Nell Eckley Lounge, Memorial Center. You may keep your
If the ceremony is indoors, regalia return will be in Shirk Practice Gym.
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