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Commencement FAQ

Sociology Commencement 2020 – Frequently Asked Questions

Event List:

The Grad Parade (a procession across campus for faculty and graduates) begins at 8:45 AM. Participating students should line up at 8:15 outside the EMU at the corner of 13th Avenue and University Street, wearing their regalia. More information for students is below. The Grad Parade concludes in Matthew Knight Arena at 9:00.

The campus-wide UO Graduation Celebration will begin at 9:30 AM in Matthew Knight Arena. Graduates from every major are welcome to participate in this event. Guest seating begins at 7:00 AM. More information is available on the UO Commencement website.

The Sociology Commencement Ceremony will be at 4:00 PM on the Memorial Quad. All Sociology graduates from Fall 2019 through Fall 2020 are welcome to participate in this event. This is the one where your name will be read and you are handed your diploma cover as you cross the stage. Please see the Sociology information page for further details on this event.

Common Questions from Graduates and Guests:

What do graduates wear? Students are asked to wear a cap and gown (“regalia”) to the commencement ceremony. Regalia is available from the UO Duck store and the Duck Store Grad Fest will be held April 6-9, 2020, where you can get fitted for your robe and select your accessory options. If finances are determining whether or not you can get regalia, contact Janea Pratt in the Sociology main office.  Also consider your footwear choice carefully since you will be walking on grassy and possibly damp surfaces.

How many guests may come to my graduation? There is no limit on the number of guests per graduate.

Do my guests need tickets? Not for the Sociology ceremony. Tickets are required for the UO Graduation Celebration. More information about tickets is available on the Commencement website.

Where should I park? The UO has made special arrangements for parking at Autzen Stadium with free shuttles to campus. Parking on UO’s main campus during Commencement is strongly discouraged due to lack of space to accommodate the large number of visitors expected. The shuttles will start running from Autzen Stadium at 7 AM and the last shuttle will leave campus at 7:00 pm.  For more details about the shuttle routes, please visit Commencement Parking and Shuttle Information.

Where should I park if I need disabled access? Graduates and guests who use a wheelchair or who may have difficulty walking long distances are strongly encouraged to make use of our designated ADA parking area in the Columbia Garage (under the Ford Alumni Center) on 13th Avenue, and have a number of options for navigating campus the day of commencement. Up-to-date information about accessibility accommodations is available on the Commencement website.

What time should I arrive? You should allow yourself sufficient time to get to whatever event is the first on your list. The parking shuttles will begin running at 7 AM and are estimated to arrive every 15 minutes.

What is the Grad Parade? The Grad Parade is a celebratory procession across campus for faculty and graduates. Students and faculty will gather for line up in front of Johnson Hall on Monday at 8:15 am in regalia. Starting promptly at 8:45 am, the walk will start down 13th Avenue to Matthew Knight Arena. As graduates enter the arena, you will be greeted by staff, family and friends who will cheer you on as you are seated for the celebration. Graduates are encouraged to carry signs, decorate their mortar board cap, or wear symbolic family or organizational pieces. (Guests may wish to go directly to the Matthew Knight Arena to get seats instead of watching the Duck Walk processional.)

What is the difference between the University ceremony and the departmental one?  The main ceremony is a big gathering where everyone cheers and there are guest speakers, but you are not individually recognized and you stay at your seat the entire time. The departmental ceremony has a speech by the department head and a couple other faculty, and after that students are recognized individually.  It is the one where part of it involves walking across the stage, receiving a diploma cover and handshake, and having your photo taken professionally.  If you can only attend one, we would recommend attending the departmental one.

What if I have more than one major?  As long as the times do not conflict, you can go to any or all of the ceremonies for any of your majors.  (You should not attend ceremonies for minors unless invited to do so.)  If you do go to more than one departmental ceremony, make sure you give back the diploma cover you are handed at the earlier ceremony/ceremonies after it’s over because you will end up with one at the final ceremony, and your graduation package only includes one diploma cover.  Unless you are pursuing concurrent degrees, all of your majors will be represented by a single diploma.

Questions specific to the Sociology commencement ceremony:

What time should I arrive at the commencement site? Please arrive no later than a half hour before. Students and guests may arrive earlier if they would like. Sociology staff will be present in advance, completing preparations.  Please note that this site will be in use by another department before the Sociology ceremony.

One or more of my party members uses a wheelchair. What can you tell me about disabled access? The ground surface will be grass; please be aware of this and allow ample time for guests to cross to their seating area. You do not need to specifically contact us and request seating, but arriving early is strongly recommended.

The nearest shuttle bus drop-off point to our ceremony is in front of the Student Recreation Center.  At the information desk there, you can request a golf cart to bring you to the Memorial Quad. There may be a wait for this service. If you will want a golf cart to bring you back to the shuttle bus dropoff point again afterward, please ask the information desk about arranging a pickup.  Our ceremony should be over by no later than 5:30.

When can I take photos? Guests may take photographs at any time, but please be aware of your location and do not block access for the graduates or visibility for other guests. Professional photographers from Grad Images will also take photographs of the graduates as they cross the stage and again after they have left the stage. There is also time after the ceremony for graduates to take photos with their families, friends and advisors.

What time will the ceremony conclude? We estimate a completion time of no later than 5:30.