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Frequently Asked Questions about Undergraduate Commencement

If you're graduating Saturday, congratulations! We will miss you but we are so proud of you, too. If you're a guest at Commencement, we can't wait to welcome you to The Historic Quadrangle and the Stephens College campus. We've moved Commencement back to campus just for you: so there is space for all of our guests to attend. 

Here are some frequently asked questions and answers to help you prepare for the big event. 

The Stephens College Undergraduate Commencement has returned to campus. It will be held on Saturday, May 11, 2019, at 11 a.m. on The Historic Quadrangle (that’s over by Historic Senior Hall). It will be an outdoor ceremony. 
Graduating seniors must meet at Hugh Stephens Library to process into the ceremony. Please be at the library by no later than 10 a.m. No exceptions.
The ceremony location (The Historic Quadrangle) will be open to the public for seating at 9:30 a.m. However, there is ample seating. (Having enough seats for everyone is the main reason we moved the ceremony back to campus.) No one will be allowed into the area before 9:30 a.m. or to “save seats” overnight. The location will be monitored to ensure everyone’s safety and convenience.
All parking lots on campus will be open to all visitors and guests. (Visitors will not be restricted to “visitor” lots.) See campus parking map. Keep in mind that the downtown parking garages are in some cases closer than Stephens lots. See city parking map. Note: The gravel lot behind Senior Hall will not be open for general use. It is being reserved for disability drop-off access only.
There is a drop-off location for those with disability hangtags or plates (required). This area is near the stage and must be reserved for disabled access only. Cars will only be allowed to drop off between 9:30-10:30 a.m. No exceptions and no standing cars will be allowed. Lot access will be tightly controlled to ensure those who require ADA access have priority. Waugh Street can be used for drop off if needed. See campus parking map
Although there are concerns about rain, the ceremony will continue outdoors as planned. This allows space for all of our guests. During the ceremony, umbrellas cannot be allowed in the seating area as a courtesy to other guests. They can be used prior to the ceremony's start as you wait. Umbrellas  can also be used outside the seating area by those choosing to stand throughout  the ceremony if the umbrellas will not block others’ view. Emergency rain ponchos will also be provided for those who need one but they do not provide warmth so keep that in mind and dress warmly. For those who do not wish to be outside, the ceremonies will be live streamed in Windsor Auditorium and online. 
Right now, the forecast is mild. However, water will be provided and we encourage you to check the forecast, bring sunscreen and take all reasonable precautions as you would for any outdoor event. No umbrellas/parasols will be allowed.
There is some mid-week rain in the forecast but our Facilities crews are ready to mitigate any wet conditions as much as possible. You may want to consider appropriate shoes if we get a lot of rain mid-week.
Portable facilities will be provided as well as ADA-compliant facilities. There will be no access to nearby buildings.
They have been informed about the ceremony and have been given instructions to ensure no disruption to them or to you. Just a reminder: All students must be moved out by noon on Sunday.
Dress appropriately for the weather. Water will be provided but you are welcome to bring your own. You do not need to bring chairs or blankets. We have ample seating — much more than our previous location in Missouri Theatre. Chairs will be available for everyone. Remember, no umbrellas will be allowed. Emergency services will be onsite.
Those with family accessibility needs should have already been in contact with ADA Coordinator Sady Mayer Strand and should have received information directly from her.
Any items found will be held at the Campus Safety and Security main station in Tower Hall.
Return your items to Stamper Commons. There will be tables at The Pit.
Mandatory rehearsal will be held on Friday, May 10, at 11 a.m. We will go over ceremony procedures and you can ask more questions. There will also be a senior photo taken.
The primary reason is to allow more guests to attend and celebrate with you. We outgrew our space at the Missouri Theatre. Holding Commencement on our campus gives us the opportunity to add considerable seating. It also gives us the opportunity to celebrate on campus together and to honor our 185th year. For many years, Commencement was held on campus (often outdoors) and we’re excited to return to this tradition.

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