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Cleveland State University Graduation

The University offers complimentary parking for graduates and guests on Commencement day. All University parking areas are open and available with the following parking restrictions as noted below. Graduates and guests should plan approximately 20 minutes in to travel schedules to allow for parking their cars and walking to the Wolstein Center.

Recommended Parking Lots
Parking options for graduates and their guests include the Central Garage located near the corner of Chester Avenue and East 21st Street, the Main Classroom Garage located on East 22nd Street between Euclid and Chester Avenues, or the West Garage located on East 17th Street between Chester and Euclid Avenues.

Commencement Day Parking Restrictions
  • Next to the downtown Heritage Hall is reserved for guests of the Heritage Hall and is not available for University use on Commencement day.
  • CSU's South Garage (SG) located across the street from the Wolstein Center, has about 50% of its spaces reserved for Commencement officials and members of the President's Platform Party. The remainder of the spaces will be available to graduates and guests on a first-come, first-served basis, including parking for vehicles displaying a state-issued disabled logo or placard.
  • There is no charge for parking in University lots. Parking tickets are not required to park in any University parking lot on Commencement day with the exception of the Commencement Officials and members of the President's Platform Party for access to the South Garage.
  • Persons with disabilities may also park in the small lot on the north side of the Wolstein Center (entrance along East 18th and Prospect Avenue). Space is limited. A state issued disabled logo hangtag or placard is required to park in this area. Once the parking spaces have been filled, vehicles will only be permitted to drop off guests and will be directed to park elsewhere on campus.

Many privately owned and operated parking lots are located in the vicinity of the Wolstein Center. These lots are not owned or operated by the University and parking rates vary. For a map of University owned and operated parking lots, please visit the Parking & Transportation Services website at

Guest Accommodations
Your guests may enter the Bert L. and Iris S. Wolstein Center through all open doors except Gate C, which is reserved for graduates only.

Seating is plentiful and on a first-come, first-seated basis. Please honor the reserved seat section for guests of our President, Commencement Speaker and Honorary Degree Recipients. These seats will be roped off and monitored by an usher.

For the convenience and comfort of your guests, the concourse area offers many services, including the following:
  • Elevator (located near Gate A by the Ticket Office window)
  • Food and beverages
  • Restrooms
  • Public Safety
  • First Aid
  • University memorabilia tables
  • Flowers (available for purchase)

Special Accommodations
For the convenience of guests requiring special accommodations, it is recommended that they enter the Wolstein Center via Gate D, located near E. 18th Street and Prospect Avenue.

If your guest(s) requires special accommodations due to a physical disability, please arrive early. There are a limited number of wheelchair-accessible seats available along the main concourse area. Please see an usher for assistance.

Commencement Program

General Information
The University Commencement Ceremony is full of academic tradition and will involve graduating students, faculty and staff.

The ceremony may take approximately 2.5 hours, and features individual recognition of graduates, by name, as they walk across the stage. Ph.D. and Doctoral candidates are hooded on stage.

Individual recognition is very important to each graduate as well as their family and friends. As a courtesy to everyone attending the ceremony, loud and disruptive behavior by members of the audience will not be tolerated and may result in removal from the ceremony by campus police.

Each College has an information table and volunteers are available to assist you with last-minute details.

Graduates are expected to come prepared with their gown, cap, tassel and hood, if appropriate.

Restroom space is limited in the tunnel area and there are no facilities available for storing purses, coats, or other items you may be carrying. Please leave these items with your guests. The University is not responsible for items left unattended.

Assembly Procedures


The Colleges of Business, Education and Human Services, Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, Engineering, Urban Affairs, Sciences and Health Professions, the School of Nursing, and the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Honors College

All graduates must report to GATE C. Procession begins PROMPTLY at 1:00 p.m. Ceremony begins at 1:30 p.m.

12:00 p.m.-ROBING

Once you enter Gate C, you will be directed to the tunnel staging area for further instructions.

12:30 p.m.-ASSEMBLY

Each College is assigned a specific space within the tunnel staging area.

Volunteers organize the graduates into two lines for the processional.

  • Undergraduate students tassels on the right.
  • Graduate students and Ph.D./Doctoral candidates tassels on the left.


The two lines are led out of the tunnel area and into the arena by College Marshals.

Please turn off all cell phones before leaving the tunnel. These devices must remain off until the ceremony concludes.

Graduates and their guests are asked to refrain from loud and disruptive behavior. Excessive loud behavior will not be tolerated and may result in removal from the ceremony by Campus Police.


  1. The academic procession starts in the tunnel staging area. It is organized by College and will proceed into the arena.
  2. College Marshals organize each group - the order of march is:
    • Ph.D./Doctoral candidates and their advisors
    • Graduate candidates and Undergraduate candidates from each College
    • The Faculty
    • The Platform Party
  3. When you reach your seat in the arena, please remain standing until the Platform Party has arrived and the National Anthem has been completed.

Conferring of Degrees
Following the National Anthem, and at the beginning of the degree-conferring segment of the ceremony, the Provost and the Deans don their hats. All graduates may then don their hats - tassels on the right for Undergraduates, tassels on the left for Graduate students and Ph.D./Doctoral candidates.

The ceremony features individual recognition of the graduates, by name, as they walk across the stage. After leaving the stage, graduates return to their assigned seats. College Marshals are assigned to each row to assist as you return to your seat.

As a courtesy to all Cleveland State University graduates and their guests, please do not leave the arena until the ceremony is completely over!

Following the conferring of all degrees, the Class Valedictorian instructs the Undergraduates from the Class of 2016 to shift their tassels from right to left. This ritual should be done in unison, signifying the completion of the graduation process.

At the end of the University ceremony, the academic recession leaves the arena in the reverse order of the procession.

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