Commencement 2016

Saturday, May 21

Commencement Lawn by the lakes

9 a.m. – Noon
School of Science & Technology
School of Social Sciences

3 – 6 p.m.
School of Education
School of Arts & Humanities
School of Business & Economics

Each ceremony lasts approximately 3 hours. We proudly announce every graduate's name as part of Commencement. Please plan to attend the entire ceremony.

Who is Eligible to Walk

Students who graduated in December 2015 or who have applied for graduation in May 2016 or August 2016 may walk during May 2016 Commencement.

Graduate Arrival Time and Location

One hour prior to their ceremony start time, graduates should report to the processional line-up on the north side of Stevenson Hall, behind their school banner.

A name card is given to the graduates to fill out while lined up. Graduates march to the Commencement Lawn and are seated in this line order. In addition, names of each grad are read by faculty members from the name card in this line order, as he or she crosses the Commencement platform and receives the diploma case. The name card also serves as an identifier for the campus photographers.

Spring Grad Fair

Feb. 24-25
These will be held in the University Store Lounge, second floor of the Student Center, and are open from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. for anyone would like to attend. Some of the highlights include:

  • Free "sitting" fee in graduation regalia provided by Grad Images;
  • Discounts on Diploma Frames;
  • Discounts on Class Rings from Herff Jones;
  • Information on becoming an SSU Alumni Member.

Caps and Gowns

The academic regalia worn for Commencement is the traditional black cap and gown. Regalia may be ordered at the University Store. It is recommended that graduates order early to ensure correct size.

Class of 2016 Grad Box

Grad Boxes are available for purchase online and at the University Bookstore. Each box includes Graduation Cords, an SSU Alumni license frame, a 2-year memberships to the SSU Alumni Association, commemorative Sonoma State mason jar, carabiner and cell phone pocket, Bookstore discounts, and much more. Visit for more information.

Announcements and Photos

Orders can be placed online by visiting HerffJones, or through the University Store, as well as at the University Store’s spring Grad Fair.


Reservations for local hotels will fill up very quickly because the Tour of California professional cycling event will be held the same weekend as Commencement. It is highly recommended that all family and friends make arrangements now for their visit to Sonoma County to celebrate the SSU Class of 2016.

Guest Info

More than 1,000 graduates are celebrated during each of the two ceremonies, making seating for family members extremely limited. The guest view the ceremonies from chairs or bleachers on the Commencement Lawn. It is suggested graduates limit guests and utilize the live webcast as well as viewing locations on campus in the Student Center Ballroom and Lobovision.


Parking is free on Commencement day. Guests with a valid disabled placard may park in Lot G, the closest lot to the Commencement Lawn. Additionally, disabled or limited mobility guests may request advance reservations for themselves and one helper in a special assigned-seating area, which is a section of metal folding chairs on the lawn.


Family and friends of graduates are encourged to watch a live webcast of the ceremonies by visiting on May 21. A link to the live webcast will be posted that day.