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Commencement Ceremony Details

Find information about parking, seating, photography, flowers, accommodations, and more!


Note: Please be advised that due to the Rochester Twilight Criterium taking place downtown on Saturday, May 11, 2019, the Court Street Garage (#49 on the map below) will be closed all day, starting at 6 a.m.

  • Parking garage closure - Court Street Garage (#49 on the map below)
  • Road closure - Broad Street

On-street parking is available throughout the downtown area. Parking is also available in a number of municipal garages including:

  • Civic Center Garage, 55 S. Fitzhugh St.
  • South Ave./Stone St, 39 Stone Street
  • Clinton Square Garage, 75 S. Clinton Ave.
  • Washington Square Garage, 111 Woodbury Blvd.

Map of Downtown Rochester Parking [pdf].


TICKETS NOT REQUIRED. Guests are seated on a first-come, first-served basis. Only candidates are allowed in the candidate seating areas on the floor.


A sign language interpreter will be available. Accessible seating areas are also available.

Family members with disabilities should follow the directional signs to the upper level accessible seating areas. A floor plan is available on the Blue Cross Arena website. For additional questions, contact the Office of Campus Life at (585) 385-8229.

Graduation Candidates Assembly

Candidates should enter the Blue Cross Arena at Exchange St. or 1 War Memorial Square (formerly the Broad Street entrance). Both entrances are accessible.

After check-in at the designated registration tables, undergraduate candidates should report to the lower level of the Arena with cap and gown. Master's and doctoral candidates should check in at the designated registration tables and report to the hallway directly adjacent to the ticket sales window.

Marshals will direct candidates to their proper place in the processional lines.

All candidates should be advised that what they bring into the Arena must remain with them for the duration of the ceremony. There will be no place in the marshaling area to secure or store valuables or personal items.

Due to recent policy changes, all persons entering the Blue Cross Arena will be subject to a security screening. Bags, backpacks, balloons and outside food are prohibited. View complete details of the Blue Cross Arena security screening policies.


The ceremony is expected to last approximately three hours. Consider that this length of time may be difficult on older adults and young children. Out of respect for fellow classmates and consideration for their families, candidates are expected to remain until the conclusion of the ceremony. At the conclusion of the ceremony, all graduates and faculty will participate in the recessional.

Please be advised that due to the Rochester Twilight Criterium taking place downtown on Saturday May 11, 2019, there will be a number of road closures downtown beginning promptly at 1 p.m. Please take this into consideration and plan for an efficient departure from the Arena following the Commencement ceremony.

Professional Photographer

Island Photography will be the official Commencement photographer for 2019. Each graduate will be photographed two times as they proceed across stage and return to their seats. Within 48 hours of the ceremony, you will be emailed a link to view your images, provided you have registered your contact information. Within five days, you will receive your color proofs by mail with an order form. Packages start at only $7.95 and there is absolutely no obligation to purchase.

To ensure you and your family members receive the link to view your images, register your contact information before Commencement. Island Photography may be contacted at (516) 767-1234 or


Is your loved one celebrating their graduation with us? Make things easy and preorder flowers online. All online orders will be available for pickup on site the day of the graduation. To retrieve your order, please stop by the flower booth located conveniently at the entrance to the graduation before the ceremony begins.


To ensure that every graduate receives the correct diploma, you will be handed an empty diploma case when you walk across the stage. After the ceremony, if you have completed all of your requirements, you will be directed to a central location to pick up your actual diploma.