Annapolis Commencement

Commencement ceremonies are held on the front lawn. In the event of rain, Commencement is held in the Francis Scott Key Auditorium, where admission will be by ticket only and limited to immediate family of the graduates.

Transportation from BWI Airport/Train Station

BWI Super Shuttle: 800-258-3826 or
The Airport Shuttle: 800-776-0323 or

Hotel Information

We recommend making reservations as early as possible. Please consider staying at one of the accommodations listed on our Business Friends page. Additional information can be found on the website for the visitor's bureau of Annapolis.

Where and when will the Commencement ceremony be held?
Commencement is Sunday, May 15, 2016. The ceremony is traditionally held on the front lawn, where there is plenty of seating for all. 

Are there limits to the number of guests who may attend graduation?
We do not limit seating for the event if it is held outdoors.

What happens if it rains? 
In the case of rain, the ceremony will be in the Francis Scott Key Auditorium, with limited overflow seating in the FSK Lobby and the Conversation Room in Mellon Hall. Admission to the auditorium and to overflow seating will be by ticket only.

Each graduate will receive four auditorium and two overflow tickets, for use in the event of rain. The tickets will be included in the packet containing the commencement invitations. If you do not need all of the tickets you receive, we ask that you kindly return any unneeded tickets to the Office of the Registrar. Please note that the tickets are allocated per graduate—we ask the understanding of those with extended or separated families.

How long is the commencement ceremony?
The ceremony will last approximately two hours.

Do I need to R.S.V.P. for other events that weekend?
We do not require a formal response for any commencement activities.

Are there invitations for commencement?
Beginning in late March, all students who are preparing to graduate can receive ten commencement invitations from the Registrar’s Office. If needed, a limited amount of additional invitations may be obtained for $1 each.

What events may family and friends attend?
Families and friends of graduating seniors are invited to Class Day Exercises at 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 14; a reception follows on the Library Plaza. That evening, the Commencement Waltz crowns the spring social season. Families and friends of all graduates are also welcome at the Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 15; a reception follows on the front lawn.

What if I have a family member with special needs?
Please call the Assistant Dean’s Office at 410-626-2512 to make special arrangements.

What is appropriate dress for commencement ceremonies?
Commencement exercises are held outside on the front lawn. Because of the intensity of the sun, we suggest that you wear sunscreen and/or sun protection. Water stations will be provided. In the event of rain, the ceremony will be moved indoors to the Francis Scott Key Auditorium.

Is there a reception following the commencement ceremony?
A reception on the front lawn will follow the commencement ceremony. If you are planning to go out for lunch after the ceremony and reception, we recommend making a 1:30 p.m. reservation.

Where do we park?
Campus parking is limited. Handicapped parking is available in most campus lots, and our Public Safety officers set up additional handicapped parking spaces in the Chase Stone parking lot. You can reserve a handicapped parking space by calling the Assistant Dean’s Office at 410-626-2512. Beginning at 5 p.m. on Friday, and throughout the weekend, parents and guests may park in all available campus lots, on a first-come, first-served basis. Free parking is available at the state garage on the corner of St. John’s and Calvert streets on weekends and from 6 p.m. until 6 a.m. on weekdays. The entrance to the garage is on St. John’s Street. There is also parking for a fee at the Navy/Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on Rowe Boulevard and Taylor Avenue, just off Route 50, where a free downtown shuttle runs every 15-20 minutes.

Where may we purchase SJC memorabilia?
The bookstore will be open on Saturday, May 15, from 10:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. The bookstore will be closed on Sunday, May 15. You may also purchase items through the online store.

Monday, May 9
6:30 p.m.

McDowell Great Hall
Associate Dean’s Reception in honor of the Spring Semester Master’s Degree Candidates
Friday, May 13
6:45 p.m.

McDowell Great Hall
President’s Reception for the Senior Class and Tutors 
7:30 p.m.
Randall Dining Hall
President’s Dinner for the Senior Class and Tutors 
Saturday, May 14
2:30 p.m.

Front Lawn
Rehearsal for Degree Candidates
4 p.m.
McDowell Great Hall
Senior Class Day Exercises
5:15 p.m.
Library Plaza
Reception for Degree Candidates, Families, and Tutors
10 p.m.
McDowell Great Hall
Waltz Party 
Sunday, May 15
10:30 a.m.

Front Lawn
Commencement Ceremony
Reception for Graduates, Faculty, Staff, Alumni, and Guests Immediately Following on the Front Lawn

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