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Class of 2020

Graduate instructions

A detailed guide for those attending the in-person Class of 2020 Commencement ceremony

A safe and meaningful celebration

We’re grateful to finally offer an in-person celebration opportunity for the Class of 2020. However, we’re committed to the health and safety of our community. It’s prudent that you understand these safety guidelines and measures before you attend.

Don’t forget

Wear your mask

Masks are required indoors in all campus locations, including at Commencement

Proof of vaccination

Acceptable forms include the CDC-issued vaccination card, a photo or photocopy of the vaccination card, New York State Excelsior Pass, or CLEAR digital health pass

Meliora 2021 badge

A Meliora 2021 badge is required for entry to the Commencement ceremony; there can be no walk-ins

Instructions for graduates

Download and print instructions

The Commencement ceremony officially starts on October 2 at 10 a.m. at Kodak Hall in Eastman Theatre. However, there are important steps you need to take before the start time. Explore these details in the drop-downs below.

You must pick up your regalia and Meliora Badge in Hirst Lounge on the River Campus between 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. You can park in any available, open parking spot.

Eastman graduates—pick up your regalia and Meliora Badge in Lowry Hall on the Eastman Campus from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.

You must be prepared to show proof of full vaccination. Acceptable forms include the CDC-issued vaccination card, a photo or photocopy of the vaccination card (showing name, date of birth, lot number, date of shot), the New York State Excelsior Pass, or CLEAR digital health pass. Passes issued outside of the U.S. must be translated into English.

Graduates can also pick up Meliora Badges for all of their registered guests. You must be prepared to show your guests proof of vaccination. Please arrange accordingly with your party.

A badge is required for entry to the Commencement Ceremony. Guests who do not obtain their badges on Friday can check-in Saturday morning outside Eastman Theatre but should be prepared to encounter long lines.

Graduates and guests may begin arriving at Kodak Hall at 8:30 a.m. All graduates must be in line no later than 9:30 a.m. Guests should plan to be in their seats by 9:45 a.m.

Graduates must arrive with their Meliora badge and be dressed in regalia (caps, gowns). Master’s graduates should wear their hoods, PhDs and MDs should carry their hoods.

Graduates and guests can park in the East End Garage located at 475 E Main Street. The fee for parking in the East End garage is $7 (cash only) and is payable to the attendant when you arrive. There are additional public surface lots and street parking in the area.

Graduates should proceed to the following lineup locations:

  • Eastman School of Music, School of Medicine and Dentistry, School of Nursing, Warner School of Education Doctoral Degree graduates
    Wolk Atrium entrance at the corner of East Main Street and Swan Streets
  • Hajim School of Engineering graduates
    Cominsky Promenade, upstairs from Lowry Hall, enter at 26 Gibbs Street
  • Simon Business School graduates
    Lowry Hall, enter at 26 Gibbs Street
  • School of Arts & Sciences graduates
    Gibbs Street near Java’s Cafe

Every graduate must have a Meliora 2021 badge to enter the building and line up for Commencement.

At each lineup location, there will be check-in tables for the schools.

Each candidate will be issued a name card at check-in and must keep the card and present it to the announcer on stage as part of the ceremony. If you would like to write the phonetic pronunciation of your name on the card there will be space to do so.

Personal items. There will not be a location to store graduate’s personal items. Graduates should leave their belongings with their guests and should not carry items onto the stage.

Masks must be worn at all times while inside the building.

  • At 9:50 a.m. your school marshals will start the processional into the theater. Follow the line that you are in and your marshal will indicate what row you will be sitting in.
  • Please remain standing until the Platform Party on stage has been seated and the music has ended. *Note: At the University of Rochester, men remove their caps when seated, but the cap is kept on while marching, standing, and while being hooded.
  • Following Geena Davis’s Commencement Address, President Mangelsdorf will recognize all of the graduates as a group. Each school will then be invited by their Dean to walk across the stage. At this time, be sure to have your name card with you.
  • The marshals for each group of graduates will indicate to you when it is time for your row to move to the steps/ramp to the right of the stage to the stage landing.
  • Graduates proceed to the announcer at the microphone and present their name card.
  • When called, graduates walk across stage and politely acknowledge President Mangelsdorf, Provost Peyre, and the Dean of their school. Handshakes are not permitted.
  • After leaving the stage, your marshal will direct you back to the seat where you started.
  • Hooding. For graduates being hooded (PHD and MD ONLY) please do not wear your hood into the theater. Drape your hood over your right arm before you cross the stage. As you cross the stage and pass the President you will see the hooding area marked with an X. As you approach the hooder, extend your right arm to give them your hood, stop at the X and face the audience to be hooded.
  • After all graduates have crossed the stage, President Mangelsdorf has offered her closing remarks, and the singing of the Genesee, the Platform Party on stage will start the recessional.

  • Graduates should stand during the Platform Party recessional. When the Platform Party has left the theater, marshals will direct the graduates out through the exit doors at the back of the theater.

  • Graduates and their families are welcome back on the River Campus for food and festivities outdoors on the Wilson Quadrangle.

  • A photographer will be on-site at the Eastman Quadrangle where the “MELIORA” letters will be placed. This is a great opportunity for graduates to take a photo in their cap and gown in front of Rush Rees Library.

  • Free parking will be available on campus.

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