Family Information for Commencement

Information   Parking and Bus Service   Ticket Policy   

Campus Map   Restaurant and Hotel Accommodations Guide   

Commencement Eve Entertainment   Checklist   Special Needs   

Dual Ceremonies   Commencement Photos   Reception


Dear Parents and Guests of the Class of 2020,

On Saturday, May 16, 2020, Fredonia's Commencement will celebrate a new phase in the lives of the students we honor. There is a special place for you as well. Your support and encouragement, expressed in so many ways, are essential to you graduate's success.Happy family 2015

Commencement ceremonies will take place in the Steele Hall Fieldhouse. Bachelor's, master's, and advanced certificate candidates/graduates will be included in each ceremony. This link provides information on which ceremony you will attend. Students will graduate at either 10:00 a.m. or 3:00 p.m., according to their primary major/program.

Up to 4 tickets will be available in April to graduates, and additional tickets, up to 4, can be requested by your graduate through Your Connection.

Please discuss with your graduate two important matters that will contribute to making this a great day for everyone. The consumption of alcohol in the Steele Hall Fieldhouse is neither acceptable nor condoned, and University policy on alcohol consumption will be strictly enforced. Also, please plan your post-Commencement activities so all members of your party can remain in the Steele Hall Fieldhouse until the ceremony concludes.

A professional photographer will take a picture of each graduate shaking hands with the President. Students will be notified by Island Photography when photos are available; of course, there is no obligation to purchase a photo. For those family and friends who cannot attend, the event will be live streamed so that all may see their loved ones graduate. Following the ceremony, you are encouraged to celebrate at a reception in the Williams Center Multipurpose Room honoring the Class of 2020.

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday, May 16.

Dennis L. Hefner, Ph.D.                          Deoniss Jackson
Interim President                                    Senior Class President

Important Commencement 2020 Information

  • Ticket distribution begins on Wednesday, April 22, and continues until Friday, May 8. Only students are eligible to pick up tickets, not family members. Graduates will receive up to 4 tickets to the ceremony. When a student fills out their Commencement Participation Form through Your Connection, they will be able to request up to 4 additional tickets to the ceremony. The number of tickets available will be based on the legal and safe seating capacity for the venue. The University reserves the right to limit the number of tickets distributed for each ceremony. Students will be contacted after May 8 by Commencement Co-chair Raleigh Hawk if extra tickets are available, with instructions for picking them up at the Fredonia Campus Ticket Office in the Williams Center by Friday, May 15. Only graduates may pick up tickets; they will not be given to family members.
  • Tickets are color-coded for each ceremony, read further on this web page for the University's Ticket Policy. It is your responsibility to verify with your graduate their assigned ceremony. Tickets will be Purple for the morning ceremony, and Brown for the afternoon. We will not honor tickets at the door that are not color-coded for the appropriate ceremony.
  • Commencement seating is general admission bleacher seating (no back support) with the exception of a limited number of special needs seating. Special needs includes visual and hearing impaired guests. Accommodations are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please plan to arrive early in order to secure special needs seating. Only one family member (or attendant) will be permitted to accompany the person in the special needs seating section, the rest must sit in general seating. Please refer to the section, "Information Regarding Special Needs Seating" on this web page for additional information.
  • The afternoon ceremony will begin promptly at 3:00 p.m. We ask that families attending the morning ceremony vacate the venue immediately after the ceremony, so that we may prepare the venue for the afternoon ceremony.
  • Only certified service animals are permitted into the ceremony.
  • Commencement information will also be distributed to graduates/potential candidates on this site.

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Parking and Bus Service for Commencement

We realize that the majority of our Commencement guests will be parking in areas some distance to the Steele Hall Fieldhouse. Bussing will be available to assist guests from parking areas to Steele Hall.

When arriving to campus, guests will be directed to parking areas throughout campus and bused to the front entrance of the venue. Arriving early on campus is strongly suggested; doors to all venues will open at 8:45 a.m. for the morning ceremony and at 2:00 p.m. for the afternoon ceremony. 

With the exception of those holding valid special needs parking permits/tags/license plates, there will be limited parking available in the immediate Dods/Steele Hall area.

Following each ceremony and after the President's reception in the Williams Center Multipurpose Room, a bus will be available to transport guests back to campus parking areas.

Paramount in our planning is the knowledge that this is a very special day for graduates and their guests. The entire Fredonia family wishes to create a safe, enjoyable and memorable day for you and your guests.

Please direct questions or concerns in writing to the Commencement Committee, c/o Fredonia Campus Ticket Office, G140 Williams Center, State University of New York at Fredonia, 280 Central Ave., Fredonia, NY 14063.

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Commencement Ticket Policy

The members of the Commencement Committee and the University President have established the following policy on the distribution of tickets for Commencement.

  1. Commencement tickets are not considered a salable commodity; they are free to degree candidates. Concurrent degree students (i.e. those receiving two bachelor's degrees during the same semester) are entitled to up to 4 tickets for the ceremony in which they are participating. All students must show photo I.D. when they pick up their tickets at the Fredonia Campus Ticket Office in the Williams Center.

    Tickets will be given only to students, not family members.

  2. Students who do not plan to participate in Commencement should not request tickets.

  3. Commencement tickets may not be sold. Offenders will be referred to the University's Office of Student Conduct, and records will be held until any penalties are satisfied.

  4. Students who pick up tickets for Commencement are not entitled to tickets for another Commencement at a later date unless they are obtaining another degree; i.e. bachelor's graduates who participated in Commencement are entitled to tickets if they have earned a master's degree (or advanced certificate). Students requesting extra tickets for Commencement will have an opportunity to request up to 4 additional tickets through Your Connection. Students should be sure they know the number of extra tickets they need before completing the Commencement Participation Form.
  5. Students who have picked up tickets for Commencement, and, because of unforeseen circumstances do not plan to use them, must return the tickets to Committee Co-chair Raleigh Hawk in the Fredonia Campus Ticket Office for redistribution. These students will not be eligible to receive tickets for a later Commencement if they have not returned their first set of tickets.
  6. Tickets will be color-coded for each ceremony, as will be reader cards for degree candidates. Students should make sure family members are aware of which ceremony they will be attending.

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Restaurant and Hotel Accommodations Guide

For information on area accommodations and restaurants, see this guide.

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2020 Commencement Eve Entertainment

A Fredonia tradition continues on Friday, May 15, at 7:30 p.m., in King Concert Hall when the Michael C. Rockefeller Arts Center presents “'Commencement Eve Pops: Salute to the Big Apple”

All seats are reserved for this DFT Communications Pops Series Event, and due to the popularity of the event, early ticket purchase is recommended.

student singers with orchestraFrom Duke Ellington's classic "Take the A Train" and Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York" to Billy Joel's "New York State of Mind" and Weather Report's "Birdland," more than 3,000 songs have been written about New York City or one of its famous landmarks. Twenty of the most-loved such tunes will be chosen for Rockefeller Arts Center's 2020 Commencement Eve concert. The show, which is a Fredonia tradition spanning almost three decades, will feature a dozen of Fredonia's most talented student singers and dancers, backed up by the 19-piece Fredonia Jazz Orchestra directed by Dr. Nick Weiser.

Tickets are $20, $25, $30 and $35, depending on seat location, and are available at the Fredonia Ticket Office in the Williams Center. Orders can be made by telephone with Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express.

For telephone orders, call (716) 673-3501 or toll-free at 1-866-441-4928. A nominal fee of $6.00 per order is applied to telephone orders. Requests will be filled with the best available seats at the time the order is received, and tickets will be held at the Fredonia Ticket Office in the Williams Center until 5 p.m. on the day of the performance. Unclaimed tickets will then be available for pick up at King Concert Hall beginning at 6:30 p.m. that evening.

The Fredonia Ticket Office is open during the spring semester, when classes are in session, on Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and on Saturday, from 1 to 5 p.m.


Interim President Hefner will host a reception honoring the graduates immediately following each ceremony in the Williams Center Multipurpose Room.

Commencement Flowers

The Commencement Committee is proud to announce that fresh cut flowers will be available for purchase at the main entrance to the Steele Hall Natatorium on the day of Commencement. A large variety of sizes, colors and products will be available. To pre-order flowers, see the website.

This link does not represent an endorsement by Fredonia. It is provided as a service to our Commencement families and guests.

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Commencement Photos

The Commencement Committee has arranged for a photo to be taken of your graduate during the Commencement ceremony. Island Photography will provide information to graduates when photos are available.

This does not represent an endorsement by Fredonia and there is no obligation to purchase. It is a service provided to our Commencement families and guests.

Honor Your Grad With a Walkway Brick

We invite you to mark your graduate’s place in Fredonia’s history by purchasing a Scholarship Walkway Brick. The brick, typically engraved with a person’s name and class year, can be a personal legacy or can be used to honor a friend, a parent, or even a favorite faculty member.

Fredonia Alumni Association representatives will be available in the Steele Hall Natatorium lobby on Commencement day. For guidelines and online ordering prior to Commencement, see the website.

The Brick Walkway is located in the Williams Center Patio area for students, faculty and alumni to enjoy. The purchase of a walkway brick will support scholarships to assist Fredonia in continuing to attract the best and brightest students. All proceeds benefit the Fredonia Alumni Association and scholarships.

2020 Live Streaming of Commencement

There will be live streaming of both Commencement ceremonies. More information will be posted on this page on Commencement day. 

Following the ceremonies, a recording will be made available on the Commencement website.

Family Commencement Checklist

___ Made reservation for hotel accommodations.

___ Reminded student graduate to pick up tickets for family, and purchased cap/gown

___ Purchased tickets for Commencement Eve Pops Concert, if desired.

___ Determine when your student will give you Commencement tickets, as it will be difficult to connect with students in the hour or two prior to each ceremony.

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Information Regarding Special Needs Seating

Fredonia is pleased to provide special accommodations for individuals with special needs. However, this balcony-level seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please plan to arrive early in order to secure special needs seating.

Due to limited space, only one member of your party will be permitted to accompany the individual with special needs in the reserved seating section. Please also note that each entrant into the venue must have their own ticket (from the original 4 tickets given to each graduate). For example, if the person with special needs requires an attendant, both must have a color-coded ticket for entry. There are no special tickets for special needs guests - tickets must come from the student's initial allotment.

  • There will be special volunteers on the balcony to assist you in finding special needs seating when you enter the venue.
  • A valid special needs parking permit/tag/license/sticker will be honored for parking close to the fieldhouse.
  • We encourage people to park in the double-tiered parking lot on Ring Road near the clock tower, or the lot adjacent to University Stadium, and use the shuttle bus provided to be transported to the venue.
  • For those choosing to walk, there is a wide paved path from the University Stadium lot to the Steele Hall Fieldhouse.

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