Planning your visit to Emory's Commencement

Gradutes, parents, family and friends gather on the Quadrangle

Commencement 2014 is on Monday, May 12.

We recommend that you return to this site frequently for event updates as event details are subject to change.

More than 15,000 graduates, family members, and friends journey to the Emory University campus each year for a series of Commencement events celebrating and honoring the graduating class.  We hope that the information presented below along with our Frequently Asked Questions section will help you as you plan your visit. The main Emory website also contains a helpful visitor's guide for general campus information.

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Do you have your Quick Guide?

Download your school-specific Quick Guide now for maps, schedules, tips, dining guide, bookstore coupon, and more!

Looking for information about regalia (cap & gown), graduation requirements, class rings, announcements, portrait photography, or other degree-candidate preparation information?  That information is located in the "Student Instructions" section.

All information presented below is subject to change. Visit this page frequently as you plan and, if you use Twitter, definitely "follow us" to be kept informed of any major changes.

Disability Seating Information

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Tickets

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Event Name 

Tickets or registration needed?

Class Day
[details]

No tickets, open only to the bachelor-level degree candidates.

Baccalaureate Service
[details]

No tickets, no guest limit (seating first-come, first-served with covered overflow seating with video feed outside)

President's Open House
[details]

No tickets, no guest limit

Quadrangle Commencement Ceremony [details]

No tickets required, no guest limit under normal or light rain schedules. Event canceled if "severe weather plan" activated. Learn more about the inclement weather schedule.

Emory College of Arts & Sciences
Diploma Ceremony
[details]

No tickets required, no guest limit under normal or light rain schedules. Event moved inside or under a tent and tickets are required if "severe weather or heavy rain plan" activated. Learn more about the inclement weather schedule.

Laney Graduate School
Diploma and Hooding Ceremonies
[details]

No tickets required, no guest limit under normal or light rain schedules. Event moved inside and tickets are required (PhD ceremony only) if "severe weather plan" activated. Learn more about the inclement weather schedule.

Other Diploma Ceremonies
[see schedule for details]

School of Business
School of Nursing
School of Law
School of Public Health
School of Theology

No tickets required, no guest limit under normal, light rain, or severe weather schedule. Event locations and start times may change under inclement weather plans, but tickets are not required for any of these ceremonies at any time.

School of Medicine
Medical Imaging Program
Physical Therapy Program

Tickets are required and are distributed to the degree candidates in early May.

School and department receptions
[see schedule for details]

Open only to the graduates and their guests from the respective programs.  Registration may be required or requested.  See the comprehensive event schedule for specific-event details.

Alumni Association
"Emory Commencement Weekend" [details]
(Torch and Trumpet Soiree, Corpus Cordis Aureum, etc.)

Registration may be required or requested. See the comprehensive event schedule for specific-event details.



Parking

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Parking on campus for Commencement events is free in designated Emory parking decks only.  Do not park in reserved, carpool, service-vehicle, or disabled accessible (unless displaying proper permit) spaces.  We also strongly recommend that you not park on the residential streets surrounding the campus, or in the parking lots of businesses or commercial/retail establishments along the periphery of campus.  Residential streets surrounding Emory Village are year-round "permit parking" only and towing/booting is enforced.

On Commencement day, banners hang from each of the parking decks to help you remember where you parked.  Note the color of each deck banner in the chart below.

Parking tip

Parking areas

Recommended for

Clairmont "Starvine" Deck (Clairmont campus)
1945 Starvine Way, Atlanta, 30322 [map it] (Orange Deck)

Any Commencement-day ceremony or event and those who wish to avoid Monday morning congestion on Clifton Road. Frequent shuttle service to all parts of the central campus.

Michael Street Deck
550 Houston Mill Road, Atlanta, 30322 (Yellow Deck)
[map it]

Those attending either the School of Public Health, the School of Nursing (because of the location of the post-ceremony reception), or the School of Medicine diploma ceremonies.  Also recommended for Physical Therapy and Medical Imaging diploma ceremonies. Walk across the pedestrian bridge or ride shuttles to the central part of campus.

This deck is also the preferred choice for Sunday's President's Open House.  Shuttles will run on Sunday to and from Lullwater House during the tour hours.

Lowergate South Deck
1705 Lowergate Drive, Atlanta, 30322 (Red Deck)
[map it]

Law School and Laney Graduate School diploma ceremonies.

Fishburne Parking Deck
1672 North Decatur Road, Atlanta, 30322 (Green Deck)
[map it]

Sunday morning's Baccalaureate Service. This deck is not recommended for Commencement morning parking.  It is not serviced by shuttles, is located on a steep hill,  and does not have elevators to assist guests with mobility impairments. Also, major portions of the deck are reserved for the on-stage Commencement ceremony participants, reducing the number of available spaces.

Peavine Parking Decks
(I and II
)
29 Eagle Row, Atlanta, 30322 (Blue Deck)
[map it]

Those attending diploma ceremonies for Emory College of Arts & Sciences, or for the Business, or Theology schools. This is the largest on-campus parking deck with easy walking access to Woodruff Physical Education Center (Business School ceremony site), McDonough Field, and the Candler School of Theology events.  Guests with mobility impairments or who have difficulty walking should ride the shuttles to the Quadrangle for the main ceremony, as there is an up-hill walk to the center of campus.

Peavine Surface Lot
29 Eagle Row, Atlanta, 30322
[map it]

Adjacent to the Peavine Parking decks.  See above.

Oxford Road Deck
1390 Oxford Road
Atlanta,  GA 30322
[map it]

This deck is reserved for guests with disabilities. There are accessible spaces in every parking deck, but this entire deck is reserved on Commencement morning to assist with all guests needing accessible parking.

DO NOT PARK IN THESE AREAS

Out of respect for the businesses operating around Emory, and residents in the adjacent neighborhoods, please do not park in any of these areas: the SunTrust Bank lot on North Decatur Road, the Bank of America lot on North Decatur Road, any Emory Village business parking lot (particularly the CVS lot), or neighborhood streets. Residential streets surrounding Emory Village are year-round "permit parking" only and towing/booting is enforced. We also ask that you avoid the Emory Clinic and Lowergate North parking decks as they are not free and are needed for patients visiting the medical facilities.

All parking regulations are strictly enforced. Your car may be booted or towed.

On campus, please do not park in any spaces marked no-parking, 24 Hour Reserved, Carpool, or Service Vehicles Only. 


A passenger drop-off area is located on Dowman Drive near the Administration Building, closest to the accessible seating area of the Quadrangle.

Emory does not have parking facilities for RVs, buses, or over-sized vehicles.

Emory's Cliff Shuttles

Shuttles

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Free shuttle service is available from all parking areas to the main campus Quadrangle and to event venues. Look for the "Cliff" shuttle stops and view the special Commencement-day shuttle service map when it is available. Guests who cannot walk easily should travel from the Quadrangle to diploma ceremonies using Emory shuttles.

All shuttles are equipped to carry wheelchairs.

Interested in using public transportation to get to the Emory area? The Transportation and Parking Services Office offers this guide.

Most event sites are within reasonable walking distance of designated parking areas, so we invite you to explore our beautiful campus on foot when possible. However, the terrain has some hills, so remember to wear comfortable shoes and plan ahead.

Emory's Transportation Services office can be reached at 404-727-1829 or at shuttles@emory.edu. Office hours are Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. 

Maps and Quadrangle Tips

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Campus maps, Quadrangle seating maps, and student line-up maps are available on the maps page as they are finalized. These maps will show the location of retail sales (coffee, water, food, etc.), satellite bookstore locations, the Coca-Cola distribution area, restrooms, first-aid, and information booths. Guest Relations volunteers (look for the Emory straw hats) are positioned throughout the Quadrangle to assist guests.

Cell phone reminder


Commencement (Printed) Program

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Copies of the printed Commencement program are available at each of the entrances of the Quadrangle.  Copies are placed on the seats of each of the candidates for degrees.  Please do not take an extra copy for the graduating student.  An electronic PDF version of the program will be available for download here on or after Commencement Day.  Previous years' programs are posted in the history and archives section.

It is very important that students release any privacy holds on their records if they wish to be listed in the printed program.


Disability Access and Seating

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The Commencement experience involves events both inside and outside, on grass and pavement, in temporary/permanent event venues across campus. Emory is committed to removing barriers, whenever possible, so that all graduates and guests can enjoy the Commencement exercises.

All special seating ticket requests must be received by May 5, 2014.  

The special seating area is not for guests with hearing impairments. If you need to sit closer to a speaker, you'll find them positioned around the perimeter of the Quadrangle.  The special seating area is, however, designed to allow easy movement and seating for guests with mobility impairments.  It is not the closest viewing area to the stage, but it is immediately adjacent to the sidewalk closest to the drop-off area on Dowman Drive which makes it very convenient for guests who can not walk long distances.  There are extra volunteers in the area to assist with arranging wheelchairs.  Only one companion can be accommodated in this limited seating area per each guest requiring assistance.

Click here for the 2014 Disability Access and Seating Service Request Form

We work with the Office of Disability Services to identify students who need assistance at Commencement. Even if you are registered with their office, we ask you to fill out the form yourself so that we can ensure that proper arrangements are made.

Please note: Emory does not provide wheelchairs to rent or borrow. A list of area wheelchair rental vendors is posted below. For those arriving with their own wheelchairs, know that all parking decks except Fishburne Deck (no elevators) are fully wheelchair accessible.  Also, all shuttles can accommodate wheelchairs, but the shuttles cannot reach the Fishburne Parking deck to assist wheelchair users or guests with special mobility needs. 

In addition to marked disabled accessible parking spaces in other lots and decks, the Oxford Road Parking Deck is reserved for those requiring accessible parking.

The temperature on Commencement Day can vary greatly from chilly morning air, to blazing mid-afternoon sun, depending on the weather. Please be sure to bring sunscreen and water if heat is expected, and bring umbrellas if the forecast is for rain. The mornings can be very cold and windy.  Consider a lap blanket if you are arriving pre-sunrise.

Take care to assess whether elderly guests in your party are able to remain comfortable throughout the day with significant travel distances and outside events.


Wheelchair Rental Resources

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Emory does not provide wheelchair rental services.  The following vendors are provided as a service to Commencement guests to assist you with locating a wheelchair rental company.  Emory is not responsible for rental arrangements, products, or practices.


Complete Home Medical Equipment

575 Dekalb Ind Way Ste 102
Decatur, GA 30033-1756
Phone: 404-292-6525
Fax: 404-292-6526
Open M-F plus 9:00-3:00 on Saturday
Website: www.completehme.com


Accucare Medical Equipment

11 Dunwoody Park, Ste 130
Atlanta, GA 30338
Phone: 770-512-0090
Fax: 770-512-0190
Email: mistermorton@mindspring.com
Open M-F 9:00 - 5:00

Enterprise Medical Services
3919 Leisure Springs Drive
Decatur, GA 30034
Phone: 770-788-1505 or 866-607-1612
Credit cards accepted
Open M-F 10:00-4:00. Weekend delivery available by appointment.

Optimum Medical Equipment
575 W. Pike St. Ste 2
Lawrenceville, GA 30045
Phone: 770-236-9595
One week minimum, $ 35/week
$150 refundable deposit
M-F delivery available

Alpha Medical Equipment & Supplies, Inc
1524 Church Street, Suite E
Decatur, GA 30030
Phone: 404-373-8160
Fax: 404-373-8163
Email: Livikas@bellsouth.net
www.alphamedicalequip.com

Hours: M-F 10 to 6, Saturday 10 to 2. Closed Sunday.
Delivery available. Rates vary depending on wheelchair type/model. Book early via phone or website to ensure availability (recommended within 48 hours of date needed). Major credit cards accepted. Located in the Suburban Plaza Shopping Center.


Hotels and Area Restaurants

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Looking for help in finding area hotels and restaurants?  We've compiled a pair of guides to help you in your search.  View the annually updated listing of area restaurants and area hotels

Stay on campus

Looking for an alternative to hotels? Want to avoid Commencement morning traffic?  Stay on-campus in a dorm. The Office of Residence Life & Housing is offering Commencement housing for family members and guests of Emory University graduates this year.

Included in your stay:

Two and three-night packages are available.  Learn more about this unique experience at http://www.emory.edu/HOUSING/commencement.html


Inclement Weather Plans

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In the event of inclement weather (either light rain/drizzle, or more severe weather), widespread power outage, or other extraordinary circumstance, please review the Inclement Weather Plans as they contain very significant changes to the fair-weather (normal) Commencement schedule.

Parents and guests are encouraged to not make return-flight arrangements for early in the afternoon on the Monday of Commencement as many rain-plan ceremonies will start in mid-afternoon.


Ceremony Photography

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Each school handles diploma ceremony photography differently.  All Emory College photos include the presentation to the student onstage and the student’s exit from the stage with the diploma. 

If the individual school allows you to approach the stage with personal cameras during the diploma ceremony, please follow all photography rules (where to stand, how early you can move forward, etc.) so that all family members have an opportunity to see their loved one receive a diploma and also so that seated guests can see the stage.  Tripods and standing photographers are not permitted in aisles or guest paths or in front of other guests at any time.  Video cameras are discouraged in photo areas.

Commencement portraits in cap and gown are available in the Barnes & Noble Bookstore as well. Portrait sessions will take place at the Bookstore (Second Floor) on Sunday, May 11 from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m., and on Monday, May 12 from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Portraits may be taken of groups, individuals, or families. View flyer for more info.



Lost & Found (people and items)

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Lost Guests

If you lose a member of your group, or if you are lost, please see any usher, safety marshal, police officer or Emory staff member for assistance. You may also go directly to White Hall, Room 200 near the Dowman Drive/Administration Building entrance to the Quadrangle; Emory staff members are stationed there to help reunite lost guests.

Lost Items

During the 8:00 a.m. all-schools ceremony and during the diploma ceremony for the College of Arts and Sciences, please visit White Hall Room 200 near the Dowman Drive/Administration Building entrance to the Quadrangle. A temporary Lost/Found booth is there for items that have been found and submitted to Emory staff, ushers, safety marshals or police. After the College of Arts and Sciences diploma ceremony has concluded, any remaining unclaimed found items are given to the Emory Police Department located at 1784 N. Decatur Road, Suite G-01 police@emory.edu


First Aid and Medical Assistance

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A first aid tent is located on the Quadrangle during the main ceremony and during the College of Arts and Sciences diploma ceremony.  Paramedics and EMTs are standing by to assist guests in need.  On-site emergency aid is also available during the Baccalaureate Service.  On-call assistance is available across campus during all Commencement events. Please see any usher, safety marshal, police officer, or Emory staff member for assistance.


Oxford College Commencement

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Since many of the the logistics are different at the Oxford College Commencement, a separate website is provided for Oxford Commencement Weekend details. See the schedule listing for basic details.

Have a question not covered here? 

We recommend reviewing the Frequently Asked Questions section, as well as the Student Instructions (covers student line-up, regalia, degree applications, custom announcements, diploma frames, portraits, class rings, or other degree-candidate preparation information) and Event Schedule pages.  Still have questions?  Email commencement@emory.edu or visit the contacts page for additional information.