Families and friends of 2015 graduating seniors can use this page to prepare for Commencement weekend. Graduating seniors can find more detailed information on the Info for Seniors page. If you have questions, contact the Office of Academic Affairs, 319-895-4210 or academic_affairs@cornellcollege.edu.


Before the weekend

Area accommodations

A listing of area hotels and lodging is available for the Mount Vernon area.

Order flowers for your graduate

Rose bouquets are available for pre-order for $15 for your graduate.

During the weekend

Schedule of events

View a complete schedule of the weekend's activities.

Inclement weather procedures

If severe weather is expected, Commencement will be held in the Small Multi-Sport Center. Notification of the venue change will occur by noon Friday via email to all seniors and on the website.

Umbrellas will not be allowed in the seating area. Ponchos will be provided in the event of rain.

Information centers

Thomas Commons, upper level, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.

During the Commencement ceremony, a first-aid station and information station is available on the College Hall lawn near South Hall and Fifth Avenue, 8:30 a.m.-noon

Parking instructions & map

Numerous parking lots are available on and around campus, and can be viewed on the parking map. Some lots will require a further walk than others, so be sure to allow extra time. If you would like a ride in a college golf cart from one of the campus parking lots, please call Campus Safety at 319-895-4299 when you are ready to be picked up.

Accessibility instructions

Individuals in wheelchairs or with mobility limitations can be dropped off closer to the event spaces. If you prefer a ride in a college golf cart from one of the campus parking lots, please call Campus Safety at 319-895-4299 when you are ready for pick up.

  • For events in King Chapel or Law Hall: Access the Ped Mall via Cole Library using Library Lane. Use the elevator in Cole Library to access the Ped Mall.
  • For events in the Thomas Commons or Kimmel Theatre: Use the Thomas Commons Circle for drop-off or handicap parking.
  • For events in the Small Multi-Sport Center: Use the parking lot west of the Small Multi-Sport Center for drop-off or parking. The northwest entrance will be open for individuals with mobility limitations.
  • For events on College Hall lawn: Drop-off is allowed along Fifth Avenue SW near the intersection with Second Street SW, which is adjacent to the seating area. Fifth Avenue SW will be closed to through traffic. See the detailed map.

Please also note, an ASL interpreter will sign during both the Baccalaureate and Commencement ceremonies. When arriving, let an usher know if you need seating within vision of the interpreter.

Move out instructions

All students living on campus are expected to follow residence hall move-out procedures and timing.  Please remember to plan ahead, as packing often takes longer than expected.

After the weekend

News release

Cornell will produce a news release announcing each student’s graduation in the weeks following the ceremony. The service we use sends an electronic copy to each student and, if we have their email address on file, to parents. The announcements are designed for sharing on social media, and the service also sends a copy to the student’s local newspapers, which publish the announcements at their discretion.

Commencement photographs

During the Commencement ceremony, a professional photographer from GradImages will photograph each student accepting his or her diploma. Color proofs will be sent within five days of the event. You may pre-register your email address with GradImages.