Commencement exercises for the Class of 2015 will take place with a new start time of 10 a.m., on Monday, May 25, 2015, on Tappan Square. Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children's Defense Fund, will be this year's Commencement speaker. First Lady Michelle Obama will receive an honorary degree and address the graduating class during the Commencement ceremony; therefore this is a ticketed ceremony.
Tickets and Procedures
How many tickets for guaranteed Commencement seating will graduates receive?
Graduates who are eligible to march during the Oberlin College Commencement may request up to six tickets for guaranteed ceremony seating for parents and family members. Standing-room only attendance does not require tickets. Tickets for seating may be requested by graduates only through the Commencement/Reunion Weekend registration site through 11:59 p.m. EDT on Friday, May 15. Tickets are not to be sold and are non-transferable. Graduates must pick up tickets for their family members May 22-24 in the Commencement/Reunion Welcome Center, Ward Alumni Center, 65 E. College St., Suite 4.
The center is open during the following hours:
Friday, May 22, 9 a.m. to 1 a.m.
Saturday, May 23, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sunday, May 24, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Tickets will not be available prior to 9 a.m. on Friday, May 22 or after 7 p.m. on Sunday, May 24. No exceptions. For more information, visit the website at http://new.oberlin.edu/events-activities/commencement/; call (440) 775-8692; or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How will security procedures change our plans?
- Tappan Square, site of the Commencement ceremony on Monday, May 25, will be enclosed and secured.
- No one will be allowed to enter within the enclosed area of Tappan Square before 8 a.m.
- All attendees will go through airport-like security and should bring as few personal items as possible.
- Tickets will be required for guaranteed seating during the ceremony. No ticket, no entry. Standing-room only attendance is unlimited and does not require a ticket.
- No large bags, backpacks, sharp objects, lawn chairs, umbrellas, or signs will be allowed in Tappan Square.
- Cameras, small purses, blankets, and water bottles are permitted.
- Chairs, walkers, and strollers are permitted.
- Any items not allowed in by security will be disposed of if left outside the secured area.
- Oberlin College is not responsible for unapproved items that are left outside of the secured space during the ceremony.
- Parking in the city of Oberlin is limited and will be at a premium.
Can graduates get extra tickets?
An unlimited number of standing-room only guests may attend the ceremony without tickets. Due to limited seating, we encourage family members and friends who are unable to stand or to sit on the lawn and who do not have tickets to watch the ceremony via live streaming in Warner Concert Hall. Seating in Warner Concert Hall is on a first-come, first-served basis, and tickets are not required. Doors will open at 8 a.m. Streaming information will be available on the Commencement website and available for remote viewing. For information about live streaming of the ceremony, please visit http://new.oberlin.edu/events-activities/commencement/.
I do not have a student at Oberlin College, how can I attend the speech?
Standing-room only attendance does not require tickets. Alumni who are celebrating reunions in May 2015 may request two tickets per registration for guaranteed seating through the Commencement/Reunion Weekend registration site. Tickets for seating are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis, are not to be sold, and are non-transferable. Due to limited seating, we encourage alumni and friends who are unable to stand or to sit on the lawn and who do not have tickets to watch the ceremony via live streaming in Warner Concert Hall. Seating in Warner Concert Hall is on a first-come, first-served basis and tickets are not required. Doors will open at 8 a.m.
Tickets will be available for pickup May 22-24 in the Commencement/Reunion Welcome Center. Refer to above for center hours.
Will security procedures mean graduates can’t walk across the stage?
Oberlin College students who are eligible to graduate and participate in the May 2015 Commencement exercises will be allowed to walk across the stage. Graduates will need to pass through airport-like security prior to lining up for the procession. Non-traditional Commencement attire may delay passage through the security check. No signs will be allowed in Tappan Square or on the stage. Cameras and cell phones are permitted.
Inclement Weather Policy
Commencement is held outdoors on Tappan Square, rain or shine. The college has no rain date. Please come prepared if inclement weather is expected. If rain is heavy, the ceremony will be abbreviated. If Oberlin College officials and our event and rental company believe that anyone will be in danger, we will cancel the ceremony. It is not logistically feasible to conduct or move the ceremony indoors.
A live webcast will also be available in Warner Concert Hall as well as streamed on the college’s website for those who want to view the ceremony indoors or off campus.
Special Needs Parking
Guests who require reserved parking due to special needs may park in the Bosworth Hall or Finney Chapel lots. Parking here is on a first-come, first-served basis.
A special seating section will be available for guests with wheelchairs, who are hearing impaired, or have other special needs. Seating in this section is located on the northeast side, closest to the brick walkway that runs down the center of Tappan Square. Look for ADA reserved signs. Seating in this section is on a first-come, first-serve basis.
American Sign Language Interpreters
We use American Sign Language interpreters during Commencement.
If you have special needs that require special accommodations, contact the Office of Public Programs for assistance.
Office of Public Programs