Information for Families & Guests
If you are graduating from the College of Agriculture, click here for additional information.
Please note, No Pets, Alcohol, Weapons, or Glass Containers are allowed in University Stadium.
Out of respect to all candidates and their families and guests, we ask that you remain in your seats until the conclusion of the ceremony.
- Commencement Ceremonies Schedule
- Ticket Information - Frequently Asked Questions
- Logistics: Getting to Chico, Maps, Parking, Seating
- Disabled and Elderly Parking and Seating
- Hearing Impaired Guests
- Chico Weather Information and Heat Safety
- Medical Emergencies
- The Commencement Ceremony
- Animals at Commencement
- Refreshments at Commencement
- Flowers for Your Graduate
- Remembering the Day
- Chico Resources
- University Stadium (pdf)
- Campus Parking (pdf)
- Chico Chamber of Commerce
- Downtown Chico Business Association
- Local Chico Media:
- Chico Enterprise Record, Chico News & Review, Local Television and Radio
- Resources for the Public: Art Galleries, Museums, and other Campus Resources
Saturday, May 17
College of Agriculture: 7:45 a.m., Laxson Auditorium (Doors open at 7 a.m. for guests) - Tickets Required
Saturday, May 17
The following ceremonies are at University Stadium at 9:45 a.m. - Tickets Required*
· Behavioral and Social Sciences
· Engineering, Computer Science and Construction Management
Sunday, May 18
The following ceremonies are at University Stadium at 9:45 a.m. - Tickets Required*
· Communication and Education (including Liberal Studies)
· Humanities and Fine Arts
· Natural Sciences
*Gates for University Stadium will open at 8 a.m.
Guest tickets have not been required in the past. Why are they required now?
Safety is the first and foremost reason for limiting the number of guests in University Stadium. The large-scale nature of past commencements has resulted in a lack of ADA parking and seating, concerns regarding emergency evacuation procedures and the ability for emergency vehicles to enter the stadium if needed, and the lack of bleacher seating for all of our guests attending the ceremonies. More information about the need for a ticketing process is contained in this message from President Paul Zingg.
How many tickets may students request?
Each student may request up to five tickets. If you do not need five tickets you may allocate unused tickets to a pool of tickets for students who would like more. Unused tickets will be allocated to students needing more in May, 2014. Guest tickets cannot be replaced if lost, stolen or destroyed. We are not responsible for lost, stolen or destroyed guest tickets. Guest tickets are not available at University Stadium.
Additional tickets will be available on a first-come basis for viewing Commencement broadcast live at either Laxson Auditorium or Harlen Adams Theater. A big screen at an outdoor site on campus will also be set up for all other people who want to watch Commencement. Whether in the stadium or at one of the other venues, everyone should be able to view the event.
May guests request their own tickets?
No, only students who have applied for graduation AND registered to participate in commencement ceremonies may request tickets.
Are tickets required for students participating in the ceremonies?
No, tickets are only required for guests attending the ceremonies.
Can non-graduating Chico State students get tickets for the Commencement ceremony?
All guests, including non-graduating students, must have a ticket to enter University Stadium.
Do children need a ticket to attend Commencement?
Children, ages two and under, do not need a ticket if they are sitting on the lap of an adult.
If a guests is in a wheelchair, will a ticket be required?
Yes, tickets are required of guests utilizing a wheelchair. There is alternative seating available for persons who, due to mobility restrictions or serious health conditions, can not navigate the stadium stairs. Tickets are required for this area as well as for general bleacher seating. Students will be able to request tickets to the accessible seating areas at the time they place their ticket order. Each guest requiring special seating accommodations may have one additional guest to accompany them. Please note, tickets for this area are included in the five-ticket allotment each student receives. Additionally, guests who require the service of a sign language interpreter will also require tickets for the alternative seating area.
When will tickets be available and how will students receive their tickets?
Students will be able to request tickets starting on April 1. In order to be eligible for tickets, students must have applied for graduation AND have registered to participate in ceremonies. Please note, only students who have completed these two steps may request commencement ceremony tickets. We are currently reviewing vendors who provide online ticketing services. Ideally, we would like to provide online ordering for commencement tickets. If this is not feasible, tickets will be distributed through the college department offices.
We are currently reviewing vendors who provide online ticketing services. Ideally, we would like to provide online ordering for commencement tickets. If this is not feasible, tickets will be distributed through the college department offices.
Is there a charge for tickets?
No, there is no charge for tickets regardless of the viewing venue.
Be sure to book lodging reservations early as all hotels and motels fill quickly for commencement weekend. if you are bringing your pets to Chico, please make sure you are staying at a pet-friendly hotel or have made other arrangements for your pet. Animals, Service Animals excepted, are not allowed on the CSU, Chico campus, including University Stadium. View a list of local hotels.
Parking on Campus
Public parking is available in all lots on campus, including the reserved parking lots, and two parking structures, with the exception of the Student Health Center Parking lot and the University Stadium lot, which have been reserved for handicapped/elderly parking.
Ceremony Seating in University Stadium
We suggest that your guests come early the morning of commencement to take advantage of the best parking and stadium seating. University Stadium will open at 8 a.m.the day of the ceremony. Guests should bring hats, since the stadium is in the direct sun and can be quite warm and there are no shaded areas available. As there is no reserved seating, guests are advised to arrive early to get seats of their choice. See above for ticket information. Please note, no alcohol, drugs, glass containers, weapons or animals (Service Animals excepted) are allowed in University Stadium. University Stadium is a smoke-free zone. Personal belongings may be subject to search.
The Student Health Center parking lot and the entire University Stadium lot have been designated for disabled and elderly parking. There will also be one shuttle cart going back and forth from the parking structures on 2nd and Ivy Streets and 2nd and Hazel Streets that you can flag down for a ride to the arena. There are designated waiting areas for the shuttle or it can be flagged down.
Limited ground-level seating is available on both sides of the stadium for guests who cannot use bleacher seating due to physical disabilities. This area is only for the elderly and disabled. One person may accompany the guest with the disability and tickets are required for both guests. Other family members are advised to arrive early for choice seating in both the bleachers and ground-level seating. Please know the special seating area also gets filled up and crowded.
Please note there are no wheelchairs available and if you feel you might need one, please consider renting one for the day. For disability-related accommodations please call (530) 898-5959.
When the ceremony is over there won't be any assistance to help people exit. It probably is best you just have patience, enjoy, and wait for the crowd to thin. There is a shuttle to the parking structures, which will be available for 30 minutes after the ceremony.
Guests requesting interpreting services must contact the Accessibility Resource Center at 530-898-5959 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Commencement ceremonies are held outside, and temperatures are often in the 90's. To prepare for these warm conditions, please refer to our heat safety website or check out the local weather report. Bottled water is sold in the stadium as a scholarship fundraiser for the Chico State Alumni Association's Chico Chapter. No umbrellas are allowed in University Stadium.
University Police Officers will be on hand to provide any needed assistance, and a life-support vehicle and two bicycle EMT's will be available for emergency situations.
The Commencement Ceremony lasts approximately two hours and fifteen minutes. Candidates will sit in designated areas according to college. Each candidate will walk across the platform as his or her name is read and will be congratulated by the dean of the college. Out of respect to all the candidates and their families and guests, we ask that you remain in your seats until the conclusion of the ceremony.
While we allow guests who utilize service animals to bring their important companions to commencement, it is inappropriate for animals not trained to deal with large crowds, noise, and confusion to be part of the celebration. Animals are NOT allowed at commencement, except SERVICE ANIMALS required to perform tasks for persons with disabilities. If you have any questions, please contact the Chico State ADA Coordinator at (530) 898-5959. California State Law (http://www.animallaw.info/articles/qvuspetsincars.htm) prohibits leaving an animal inside a confined vehicle, so for the safety and comfort of the animals and our guests, it is important that pets be left at home . We’re sorry, but guests who insist on bringing pets to the ceremonies will be asked to leave immediately. No exceptions will be made for graduates or guests.
Bottled water is available at the north and south ends of University Stadium and proceeds from the sale of water go toward scholarships. Coffee and snacks are available at the south end of the stadium.
Flowers bouquets and leis are available for sale at numerous locations in and around University Stadium.
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 each student receives their 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.
Please enjoy your time while visiting Chico. Here is a Web link for Chico-area activities.