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Columbia College Day-of-Ceremony Instructions for Students

graduates with lions

[Jump to day-of-Commencement instructions]

Columbia College Class Day

Check-in

The ceremony will take place outdoors, rain or shine. Although it will be tented, please arrive dressed for the weather.  All processing graduates must wear academic regalia. It is not advisable to bring any additional items with you, as there will not be storage or security for your belongings.

Check-in will take place in Roone Arledge Auditorium in Lerner Hall beginning at 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 20, 2014.

You must bring your CUID. At the time of check-in, you will be given the name card you filled out when you picked up your Commencement tickets.  Keep this card with you so that your name can be announced during the ceremony.  

Procession

After you check in, please line up on the ramps of Lerner Hall. The bells will ring promptly at 9:25 a.m. to signal the start of the procession, and you must be in line at this time.

Please note that in order to sit next to someone during the ceremony, you must process directly in front of or behind him or her. The procession will be led by deans and the Senior Marshals. You will process in two single-file lines and take your seats in the center section of Butler Lawn. You may take your seats after President Bollinger and the deans take the stage.

Please remember to be courteous of your classmates and their families by remaining in your seats and attentive throughout the ceremony. Graduates are not permitted to leave the ceremony until the conclusion of the program. Student Affairs staff will be on hand throughout the ceremony to help guide you and respond to your questions.

Order of Events

  • Processional
  • Welcome Remarks
  • Salutatorian's Remarks
  • Keynote Address
  • Presentation of Awards and Prizes
  • Alumni Remarks
  • Dean's Remarks
  • President's Remarks
  • Presentation of the Class Gift by Senior Fund
  • Class President's Remarks
  • Reading of the Names and Presentation of Class Pins
    • When your row is called, you will form a line on the east side of the lawn and have your photo taken in line.  As you approach the stage, give your name card to the advising dean at the podium to the right of the stage. You will then process across the stage to shake the hands of Interim Dean Martinez, Dean Valentini, and President Bollinger. As you exit the stage, you will step just outside the tent for a photo with Low Library in the background (staff will be on hand to guide you). You will then receive an alumni pin and return to your seat for the duration of the ceremony.
  • Singing of "Sans Souci" and "Roar, Lion, Roar" by Clefhangers
  • Recessional

Guest Arrival

Seating will begin at 8:30 a.m. Guests should plan to queue up at the corner of 115th and Broadway for entry to South Lawn. 

Guests with disabilities should enter campus at 116th Street and Amsterdam and will queue up just inside the gates on College Walk. Seating in the Disability Section will begin at 8:30 a.m.

University Commencement

By now, you should have registered to attend Commencement. You will not need a ticket to enter the campus on Commencement morning, but you should carry your Columbia ID card, be dressed in your academic regalia, and be registered for the event to attend the ceremony. If you have graduated prior to May 2014 and no longer have your University ID, you must bring a photo ID and your Commencement registration confirmation e-mail or a letter on school letterhead indicating your participation in the ceremony for access to the campus.

On Commencement Day, degree candidates should use the upper campus gates to meet your classmates at the designated procession line-up location. Guests with general admission tickets should use the entrances at 114th Street and Broadway on Commencement Day. Guests can also enter the Levien Gymnasium on 120th Street near Broadway for indoor seating. Be sure to give your guests their barcoded admission tickets before Commencement Day, since you will be using separate entrances to enter campus that morning. Tickets allow entrance to the outdoor viewing area on Morningside Campus and the indoor viewing area in Levien Gymnasium on Commencement Day, however they do not guarantee a seat. Seats are on a first come first served basis, they are unassigned, and cannot be reserved. We strongly encourage your guests to arrive early to ensure they find seats. Should seating reach capacity in either location, you will be directed to the alternate location. Please be advised: the selling or buying of University Commencement tickets is strictly prohibited, so be cautious of offers to sell, buy, or even trade Commencement tickets. If the ticket is an unauthorized copy, the ticket holder will be denied access to campus.

If you have friends and family members who don’t have tickets to the ceremony, encourage them to watch it live online starting at 9:30 a.m. on Commencement Day. For details, check the Commencement website.

Get the Columbia University Commencement Week 2014 mobile app for essential, on-the-go, ceremony details!

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