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Commencement Office
Erika Greet
Commencement and University Events Specialist

Commencement FAQ

What is the difference between the Commencement ceremony and the Diploma & Hooding ceremonies?
The Commencement ceremony is where all degrees are conferred by the President and features Honorary Degree recipients, a Commencement Speaker, a Student Speaker and Order of the Pacific. The Diploma and Hooding ceremonies are school-specific giving students the opportunity for individual recognition and to be "hooded" as a graduates of Pacific.

How many guests can I bring to my graduation?
The Commencement ceremony that takes place at 9 A.M. in the Alex G. Spanos Center is a ticketed event.  Each graduate is guaranteed seven (7) tickets. 

Commencement Tickets will be available online May 1. 

Is there a charge for tickets?
There is no charge for tickets.

How long will the ceremonies take?
The Commencement ceremony will be 1.5 to 2 hours. Each Diploma and Hooding ceremony will be approximately 60-90 minutes.  

How early should I arrive to get a good seat?
For both, Commencement and School Diploma and Hooding ceremonies, it is suggested that everyone arrive 45 to 60 minutes prior to start time.

Where should I park?
Parking is available across the entire campus. We suggest that you park in the first available spot you find. Wear comfortable shoes, because some lots are located on the opposite of campus from the commencement area. For more information, see Maps and Parking on the commencement website.

Are disability accommodations available?
Yes. There are a limited number of disability parking spots available on the East side of campus. You are required to have a state issued disability placard in order to take advantage of this parking. A shuttle service is also provided for the outlying lots for those who have difficulty walking. For more information, visit our accessibility page here

There are designated, wheelchair accessible seating areas on the mezzanine of A.G. Spanos Center as well as Faye Spanos Concert Hall.

If you have guests with disabilities, please communicate your needs with your dean's office.

Can a family member videotape Commencement?
Families are welcome to videotape any of the ceremonies for Commencement or any of the Diploma and Hooding ceremonies. For the Commencement ceremony, people may set up cameras in the back of A.G. Spanos Center (near the disability seating). Keep in mind you may be asked to move should someone need to utilize the disability seating.

Are there any complimentary refreshments and food for sale?
The University will provide complimentary coffee and water before the 9 a.m. Commencement ceremony. A Tiger Picnic provided by a variety of food trucks will offer delicious food items for sale across from the Alex G. Spanos Center following the Commencement ceremony. Guests who have special dietary needs are encouraged to bring their own food on Commencement day. In addition, the university grocery store (The Grove) in the McCaffrey Center and the DeRosa University Center, will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to purchase food, beverages and other items. 

Is there any place to buy gifts?
Following the morning Commencement ceremony and outside of the A.G. Spanos Center, the University bookstore will have a tent set up offering fun souvenir items for purchase.   

When should I make hotel reservations?
Hotels located in the vicinity of the University fill very early. We suggest that you make your reservations as early as possible. For a list of hotels, see Accommodations.

Are graduating students allowed to decorate their cap and gown?
The University will be hosting cap decoration workshops. Please be aware that cap decorations must be appropriate for all audiences.

Are balloons and noise makers allowed at ceremonies on Commencement day?
No. Please refrain from bringing any air horns, noise makers, balloons or whistles to any Commencement day ceremonies.

What should attending guests wear on Commencement day?
For those who attend the morning ceremonies dress comfortably. The mornings usually begin very cool and warm up. For a current forecast, see The Weather Channel.

Where do I get my graduation pictures?
GradImages is our graduation photographer. Your pictures are available online approximately five days after graduation. You can view and order your pictures from GradImages.

After graduation my family and friends want to have lunch/dinner together. Are there restaurants that will allow big groups?
Remember there will be seating and food items available for sale at the Tiger Picnic across from the A.G. Spanos Center following the morning Commencement ceremony. There are also several restaurants in Stockton that have the ability to host your post-graduation events.