The University of Toledo Commencement

Frequently Asked Questions


To help our students, their families and guests to plan ahead for The University of Toledo Commencement, below are commonly asked questions and information that should help to make commencement an enjoyable celebration. Please review all of this information and contact us if you still need additional details.

We strive to ensure each of our students and their guests have a memorable commencement experience! Thank you. 


1.      What’s the difference between the UT Commencement and UT College convocations?

The University of Toledo Commencement is the University-wide ceremony that celebrates the success of all UToledo graduates earning a wide variety of degrees; it features UT’s president, as well as honors each graduate who walks across the stage to be recognized. There are two UToledo Commencement ceremonies at 9 a.m. and at 1 p.m.  

In addition to commencement, many UT Colleges hold a separate ceremony for their own graduates, called a “convocation.” An honors convocation recognizes students graduating with honors and recognizes student awards and scholarships in a specific college. Check with your college regarding any honors convocation that may be occurring. 

2.      When and where is the University-wide Commencement?

Date:  Saturday, December 14, 2019
Location:  John F. Savage Arena

9:00  A.M.   Ceremony               

  • College of Engineering
  • College of Arts and Letters
  • Judith Herb College of Education
  • College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
  • College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Ph.D. Candidates

1:00  P.M.  Ceremony               

  •  College of Business and Innovation
  • College of Health and Human Services
  • College of Nursing
  • University College
  • College of Medicine and Life Sciences

*Inclement weather date is Sunday, December 15, 2019

 3.         How long will the commencement ceremony last?

 Commencement lasts approximately two hours.   

Note: To show the respect due to all graduates, students and guests who attend commencement are expected to stay for the entire length of the commencement ceremony. 

Please plan accordingly, including allowing plenty of time to exit the stadium and navigate traffic (if you need to make it in time for a reservation at an area restaurant, for example). We appreciate your cooperation in assisting us to make commencement a safe and joyful occasion for every UT graduate and their guests. 

4.      What time will the doors open for commencement?

For ceremonies held at the Savage Arena, gates open  and concessions will open at 7:30 a.m.  

5.      What type of food and beverages are available for purchase in concessions?

A variety of light snacks and beverages are available for purchase in concessions, which are located in the Savage Arena. 

6.      Where are the University and the John F. Savage Arena located?

Our Maps & Directions page can help you to find your way to UT’s Main Campus in west Toledo. Once you are on campus, there will be commencement signs and staff to help you find parking lots and the Savage Arena, where commencement will be held. 

7.      Do I need tickets to attend commencement?

No, tickets are NOT required for families, spouses and other guests to attend commencement. Students are welcome to invite as many guests as they would like. 

8.      How many guests can a UT student invite to his/her commencement?

Seating is not limited, and each graduate is encouraged to invite as many guests as they would like! Please note that there is no reserved seating. Therefore, seats are on a first-come, first-served basis, with signage and staff available to assist guests. (Information for individuals with special needs, such as physical limitations, is provided below.) 

Guests are encouraged to enter Savage Arena using its main entrance. Ushers will be on hand to direct guests to seats that offer the best view of their graduating student’s specific UT College. 

9.      Where may I park for commencement?

There is ample parking available on Main Campus. Parking details are available here

Reserved parking is not available for commencement; therefore, all parking is on a first-come, first-served basis. (Special needs parking is available for those with a handicap placard or license plate; please see details immediately below.) 

10.  Where are ADA accommodations available, such as for a family member with a wheelchair?

Parking and transportation to and from the arena for persons with special needs are available, with accessibility parking

Also, Lots 18 and 19 provide wheelchair-access shuttle bus transportation from the lots to Savage Arena. Before and after the ceremony, buses will return guests to Lots 18 and 19. Shuttle service will run for 90 minutes before and after the ceremony. 

Seating areas are available inside Savage Arena for guests with physical impairments and/or those who use wheelchairs, with family seating located nearby. Ushers will be available to help guests find these areas; please ask for help, if needed. 

11.     Are there restrooms inside Savage Arena?

Yes, restrooms are available throughout the Savage Arena venue. Signs are posted to help you readily find bathrooms. 

12.     What if it snows or the weather looks bad on commencement day?

In the event of inclement weather, cancellation notifications will be sent to students through the University’s UT Alert System. Guests may review information online via the Commencement Inclement Weather Plan

13.  Where may I find information about hotel lodging and/or dining in Toledo?

Here are some lodging options near campus, with many other options available throughout the region. You are encouraged to make reservations as early as possible. 

As a reminder, if you are making meal reservations or plans for a family gathering that will occur immediately following commencement, please allow plenty of time to leave the venue and navigate heavy traffic on Commencement Day. 

Commencement is anticipated to last two and one-half hours, so please plan accordingly. All students and their guests should plan ahead to stay for the entire ceremony out of the respect due to all of our graduates. We appreciate your cooperation with helping us to ensure that commencement is safe, respectful and enjoyable for everyone! 

14.  Is security available at the UT Commencement ceremony?

Rest assured The University of Toledo Police Department provides security and protection before, during and after commencement. Additionally, parking and transportation staff, ushers and other UT employees are available to assist students and guests as needed. 

Note: Because there is no specific place for students who are graduating to secure their belongings at the Savage Arena, we recommend they leave personal items (such as a coat, purse or wallet) with a parent or another guest. 

15.  Is there a lost-and-found office on campus?

If you happen to misplace an item during commencement (inside Savage Arena or elsewhere), please feel free to contact The University of Toledo Police Department at 419-530.2601 in case someone finds it and turns it in. If you happen to find an item belonging to someone else, please notify one of the ushers or another staff member, who will assist us with finding the owner. 

16.  May I take photos or record video during commencement?

Yes! This day marks a major milestone for the graduate, as well as his/her family and friends. Therefore, photos and videos may be taken on your personal recording devices as long as they do not interfere with the procession or ceremony, or impede other guests from viewing commencement activities. 

Additionally, a professional photographer will be on hand to take a photograph of each graduate while on stage; please see details below (Question #31). 

17.  Can family members or other guests view the UT Commencement online?

Yes, if they are unable or choose not to attend, anyone may enjoy the UT Commencement ceremony by watching it “live” online at (The web link will be posted on The University of Toledo Commencement webpage.) 


18.  How do I get my name listed in the commencement program booklet?

Students must apply for graduation by Monday, October 9th, to get their name printed in the program booklet. If you miss graduation deadline, your name will not appear in the program booklet; however, you will still be registered to walk in the commencement procession. 

19.  How do I get my name projected onto the large screen at commencement?

To get your name projected onto the large (jumbotron) stadium screen, students must complete the Marching Orders process by Sunday, November 16th. An email from the Office of the Registrar will provide details. 

20.  Will my name be read at the commencement ceremony?

Yes, if you follow these instructions: Graduation candidates should pick up their name card at the Registrar’s Office -- located in Rocket Hall, Room 1100 -- between 8:30 a.m. - 5 pm. Monday December 9th-Friday December 13th. When picking up your name card, you must present a photo ID.  Please note that name cards cannot be picked up the day of the ceremony.

Additionally, candidates must then take this name card to the commencement ceremony in order to have their name announced. (You will hand this name card to the announcer when you approach the stage, so your name can then be read as you walk across the stage. See Question #21 for more details.) 

21.  As a graduate, what will I be expected to do at commencement?

Please be sure to arrive on time – at least one hour before commencement begins! -- so that we may keep everyone on schedule. (Please see information below about where to report for lining up before commencement begins—Question #28.) Students will be lined up and pre-seated one-half hour before commencement begins to help ensure the ceremony ends on time. Staff will be on hand to guide you. 

During the ceremony, each candidate will be given a commemorative diploma case. As you approach the stage, you must hand your name card (see above question/answer) to the announcer to have your name read, then walk across the stage to be congratulated by your UT College dean, UT President Sharon L. Gaber and a member of the Board of Trustees. You also will have your photo taken by a professional photographer while you are on stage. (See Question #20 above.) You will then walk back to your seat for the remainder of the ceremony. 

Note: Out of respect for all of our graduates, if you attend commencement you are expected to stay for the entire ceremony; please do not exit early! Students, their family members and all guests should plan accordingly so that our commencement ceremony is a safe and dignified event for all participants. 

Many more details about commencement are available via the following links:

9 a.m. Commencement Guide and 1 p.m. Commencement Guide

 22.  Will I receive my diploma at commencement?

No, graduates should expect to receive their diplomas within 45 days following commencement. Diplomas are ordered after your college has reviewed your degree requirements and has cleared you to graduate. 

Diplomas will be mailed to the address reported on the Application for Graduation. Updates to this address can be made via email at The mailing of your diploma will be delayed if there are any holds on your student record (e.g., for parking tickets, financial obligations, library fines).

Degrees are posted to the transcript within 30 days of the commencement ceremony. 

23.  Where may I receive transcript information?

Transcript information is located on the Registrar’s Office website at

24.  Where should my guests park if they plan to attend commencement?

Specific details are provided in the section above (Questions #9 and 10). Please help us to ensure your family and/or all guests know exactly where they should park and how to find their way to the Glass Bowl. Maps are conveniently available online; staff and signage will be available that day to help everyone find their way. 

25.  Where should my guests sit at commencement?

Guests may enter Savage Arena using the main entrance. Ushers will be available to help direct guests to seats that offer the best view of your particular UT College. 

Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis and no tickets are required; therefore, please encourage your guests to arrive early. Because there is plenty of seating available in the Savage Arena, each graduate may invite as many guests as they would like! 

26.  What if it snows or the weather looks threatening on Commencement Day?

In the event of inclement weather, cancellation notifications will be sent through the University’s UT Alert System. Additional information can be found on the Commencement Inclement Weather Plan webpage.

27.  Where may I get academic regalia?

Caps, gowns, tassels and announcements may be purchased at the University Bookstore. If you have questions about regalia, please contact the bookstore at 419.530.2516. 

28.  When and where should graduates line up for the ceremony?

Detail will be posted when they become available. 

29.  Which students are eligible to receive honors cords?

Undergraduate candidates with a higher education GPA of 3.30 or higher are qualified to graduate with scholastic distinction. This GPA is calculated using all undergraduate coursework taken at The University of Toledo, all undergraduate coursework taken at other institutions, as well as any grades deleted or forgiven in accordance with UT Board of Trustees’ approved policies. 

No student will be awarded a level of honors above that indicated by The University of Toledo GPA. 

Eligible candidates will be distinguished at commencement based on all academic work completed prior to the term of graduation. 

Qualified students will be notified by email as to when and where they may collect their honors cord. 

30.  What should I wear to commencement?

This is an indoor ceremony. Also, keep in mind that commencement is an official ceremony, so please dress accordingly.

Remember to wear additional academic regalia that correspond with your honor society (e.g., sash, medal, ribbon, etc.). 

Note: Graduates, please leave any personal items (such as coats and purses) with one of your guests. There are no facilities available for storing these items in Savage Arena. 

31.  Will there be a photographer at commencement?

Yes. Each candidate will be professionally photographed as he/she proceeds across the stage. Approximately three weeks after the ceremony, each candidate will receive a proof of the pictures and ordering instructions. For more information about the photographs, please call Grad Images at 800.424.3686. Purchasing these photos is optional. 

32.  What if I need any additional information?

  • For general commencement information, please contact the Office of the Provost at 419.530.2738 or
  • For questions regarding the UT College ceremonies, please contact your specific college.  

Thank you for reviewing all of the above information to help us make UToledo Commencement an enjoyable experience for everyone. Please contact us should you need any more details not provided on this webpage. 

Because we strive to serve our students, their families and guests in the best manner possible, if you have any suggestions as to how we might improve this information, we welcome your input.  

Thank you and Go Rockets!

Last Updated: 5/1/20