Commencement Day FAQs
- When is commencement 2013?
- How long is the ceremony?
- Do I need tickets for my guests?
- What if it rains?
- How do I get my cap and gown?
- When should I arrive for the ceremony?
- Where will I sit during the ceremony?
- What should I do if I am late and arrive after the ceremony has started?
- How early should my guests plan to arrive?
- Where should my guests park?
- Are there special parking and seating accommodations for elderly and handicapped guests?
- Do you have wheelchairs available for guests?
- What should guests bring with them to the ceremony?
- May I bring my pet with me to the ceremony?
- Are there restrooms available at the stadium?
- Is food available for purchase at the stadium?
- What do I do if someone in my party becomes ill or needs assistance during the ceremony?
- Who will speak at commencement?
- What about photographs?
- Is there anything special after the ceremony for parents and students?
- What other things should I know about the ceremony?
- When will I receive information about commencement?
- How do I get a commencement program?
- When will I get my diploma?
- Where can I get more information?
Ceremonies begin at 9 a.m. sharp in University Stadium and will end by 11:15 a.m.
- Saturday, May 25, 2013
- Communication and Education (including Liberal Studies)
- Natural Sciences
- Humanities and Fine Arts
- Sunday, May 26, 2013
- Behavioral and Social Sciences
- Engineering, Computer Science and Construction Management
The ceremony is approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes and will conclude by 11:15 am.
No tickets are needed for the Undergraduate Commencement Ceremonies.
The ceremony will be held rain or shine. Individual names may not be read, depending on the severity of the weather. Umbrellas will be allowed in the stadium in the case of rain, and rain ponchos will be available for sale in the Wildcat Store.
You rent the cap, gown, tassel, and stole (you get to keep the cap, tassel, and stole) at the Wildcat Store, beginning on May 17.
Wildcat Store hours the weekend of commencement are:
Friday, May 24: 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday, May 25 - 26: 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
It is not necessary to reserve the cap and gown ahead of time. The price is $43.95 + tax. Return the gown to the Wildcat Store immediately following the ceremony. If you do not return the gown, you will be billed an additional $75.00 + tax.
Students, dressed in their caps and gowns, should be in the field on the northwest side of the stadium (by the railroad tracks, in between University Stadium and Nettleton Stadium) by 8 a.m. There will be signs directing students to their college line-up area. Students should find the appropriate area, go to the college tabling area, and pick up their name card and commencement program. Further directions will come from the faculty marshals on site. All students should sit with their own college and not with friends graduating from other colleges (we videotape and photograph the ceremonies and want the students to be with their own colleges).
Here are links to the stadium maps showing where each college sits:
If you arrive as the graduates are going up to the stage to have their names read, then you only need to enter at the back and find one of the faculty marshals, who will direct you to where you can seat yourself. Certainly you will not be able to sit where you might want to, but you can sit in the back row of the college you belong to and proceed up to receive your parchment.
Guests may enter University Stadium starting at 7:30 a.m. For the convenience of guests arriving early, coffee, water, and snacks will be on sale in the stadium. If you drive to campus, allow extra time for traffic and parking.
There are several parking lots available on campus, and street parking is also available. Please note, no regular parking is available in the stadium and Health Center lots to the north and east of the stadium – these are reserved for handicapped/elderly parking. No RVs or campers are allowed in any university parking area. There will be a shuttle available with pick-up stations located at the university parking structures and parking lot located on Second Street between Chestnut Street and Hazel Street. The shuttle will also be available after the ceremony.
Yes, there are accommodations for both parking and seating for elderly and disabled guests. Parking for elderly/disabled is in the Health Center and University Stadium parking lots next to the stadium. A handicapped placard is fine, and elderly occupants will also be able to park in that area, even without a placard. There will be a shuttle available with pick-up stations located at the university parking structures and parking lots located on Second Street between Normal Avenue and Hazel Street. The shuttle will also be available after the ceremony.
There are no tickets required for sitting in the special seating area for disabled and the elderly, which are located on either side of the stadium. It is first-come first-served, as are the regular seats in the stadium. Only one guest may accompany the elderly or disabled person in the special seating area.
Do you have wheelchairs available for guests?
There are no wheelchairs available for guests. You might consider renting one for the day if you think you might need one.
What should guests bring with them to the ceremony?
We recommend bringing sunscreen and a hat. Please do not bring folding chairs, sun umbrellas or coolers. Please do not bring confetti to throw.
No animals are allowed in University Stadium, with the exception of service dogs.
Are there restrooms available at the stadium?
There are restrooms available in Acker and Shurmer Gyms, under the bleachers on the east side of the stadium, on the west side of the stadium in the staging area, and portable units available in the south-east side of the stadium. Restrooms available for students to use during the ceremony are located at the south end of the stadium.
Is food available for purchase at the stadium?
Yes, there will be light snacks and coffee available for purchase at the stadium. Water will also be available for sale, sponsored by the Chico Chapter Alumni Association, the proceeds of which help fund scholarships.
There is an ambulance located at the southeast end of the stadium. There are also university police inside the stadium, and two emergency medical technicians will be patrolling the stadium on bicycles. In the event of an emergency, please contact university police, medical personnel, or any personnel in orange vests.
The Commencement Ceremony does not provide good close-up photo opportunities for your family and guests. Guests are asked to remain in their seats throughout the ceremony and will not be allowed on the field or near the stage. Please be courteous of other guests and sensitive to their sight lines from their seats. Because of this, we have made arrangements with a professional firm, GradImages, to record the moment you are awarded your diploma cover.
You have no obligation to purchase anything. You may place orders by:
Phone: 800-424-3686; Fax: 515-472-1830;
Web registration: GradImages website
Graduates can pre-register their own e-mail address and those of friends and family (up to six e-mail addresses total) and GradImages will contact them as soon as their photos are available for online viewing and ordering.
Is there anything special after the ceremony for parents and students?
California State University, Chico Associated Students Dining Services offers a graduation brunch buffet. Please visit the commencement website for more information.
Baby strollers: Please be advised that because the majority of guest seating in the stadium is on bleachers with steep steps, the use of baby strollers is not recommended.
Flowers: Starting at 7 a.m. commencement day, vendors will sell flower bouquets and leis at various locations on campus and around University Stadium.
Grad T-Shirts: Grad T-shirts, featuring the names of the graduates who have applied for graduation prior to February 15, 2013, will be available for sale in various locations around the stadium.
Please note: Alcoholic beverages, balloons, coolers/ice chests, banners, signs, silly string, beach balls, and fireworks are not allowed in University Stadium. Intoxicated students will be removed from the ceremonies.
Smoking is not permitted in or around University Stadium.
All commencement-related information will be provided on this website and via e-mail to all students who have applied for graduation. The information provided is the best available at the time of posting but is subject to change. Please check back, especially as we get closer to the date of the ceremonies.
The commencement program, with the names of potential graduates and program details, will be distributed to candidates when they pick up their name reader card on the day of the ceremony. A day program will be given to all guests who attend the ceremony. Students’ names will be listed in the program if they have applied for graduation prior to February 15, 2013.
Please note: The presence of your name in the program does not, in itself, testify to completion of your degree.
When will I get my diploma?
Following a favorable review and final evaluation of your records, your diploma will be mailed to the diploma address on file with the Evaluations Office approximately 12 weeks following the ceremony. If you need to update your address, please do so through your CSU, Chico portal account.
This website will be updated frequently, especially as we get closer to the day of the event. We have made every attempt to be thorough here, but if there is something we have missed or you need clarification, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 530-898-6472. The Commencement Office is located in Sapp Hall, 238 Normal Avenue.