Columbia College Day-of-Ceremony Instructions for Students

graduates with lions


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.  


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.

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



601 Alfred Lerner Hall
2920 Broadway
New York, NY 10027

Call: (212) 854-2446

Fax: (212) 854-0470

Office Hours
9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.