Undergraduate FAQ

Five undergraduate SPU students in their caps and gowns celebrate their graduation in front of Alexander and Adelaide Hall.

Yes! All high ceremonies will be recorded for livestreaming purposes. You can watch livestreams of Ivy Cutting and Undergraduate Commencement on our livestreaming page. The recordings of the ceremonies will also be posted on this page, but may not be available until a week or so after the ceremonies. No other videographers are allowed on the arena floor or in any aisle in the stands.

Stoles are only awarded to students in the following areas:

  • Veteran students
  • Student Leaders
  • Ames Scholars
  • Honors Program

If you belong to one of the above groups, you’ll be receiving information from your program about picking up your stole. Otherwise, we kindly ask that you refrain from wearing a self-purchased stole.  

There are many hotels in the area, in close proximity to SPU.

You can explore Seattle and Tacoma restaurants by neighborhood and make reservations for your group while at SPU and in Tacoma.

See here for more recommendations on how you can spend your time while visiting Seattle.

Will there be any campus dining and retail options open on Saturday, June 11?

Academic Perks (Student Union Building, behind platform) will be open from 7:30 a.m.–12 p.m.

The SPU Bookstore will also be open 8:30 a.m.–6 p.m. on Friday and 8:30 a.m.–4 p.m. on Saturday. 

Ivy Cutting is an outdoor ceremony. What happens if it rains that day?

We have a rain plan in place. It will go into effect if there is a forecast for severe weather, including heavy rain and/or thunder and lightning. Students will receive a notification if the rain plan is put into action. In the registration process through the Marching Order portal, students will have requested up to four guest rain plan tickets. These must be printed before presenting them at the entrance.

Please refer to the rain plan page for more information.

Can my parents request Commencement tickets directly from SPU?

No. Only you, as the student, can request and distribute tickets. You can request tickets for the Commencement ceremony via the Marching Order portal.

Some of my guests are small children. Do they require a ticket?

Children two years old and under can come into the arena without tickets, as long as they share a seat with an adult. We want to mention, however, that the length (two and a half hours) this ceremony will not be conducive to the enjoyment of small children.

Ivy Cutting

Is there ADA seating available in Tiffany Loop, for Ivy Cutting?

If you have a guest in a wheelchair or who needs a seat close to the sidewalk, please contact graduationinfo@spu.edu. We can make arrangements for a few companion seats as well.

ADA Drop-Off

We recommend pulling into the Ross parking lot, directly behind Subway (off of 3rd Ave. W.) to drop off your guests before parking your car.

Commencement at the Tacoma Dome

I have guests who have difficulty with mobility. Where is the best place to drop them off in front of the Tacoma Dome?

The primary accessible entrance is the Lower NW Door

Parking lots E and K are for guests with disabilities and are van accessible. Vehicles utilizing accessible parking lots must display appropriate placard, tabs, or license plates. All Tacoma Dome lots are wheelchair accessible. 

Is there ADA seating available at Tacoma Dome?

For guests using a wheelchair or walker, or for guests with limited mobility, ADA seating (with one companion seat) is available. Graduates must make requests for accessible guest seating through Marching Order, the online registration portal for Commencement. In addition to registration, ADA and companion seating will require special ADA passes, which students can pick up at Grad Fest on April 12 – 13, or thereafter in the Provost's Office (Demaray Hall 210).

Please ask a staff member for direction upon arrival at the Commencement ceremony.

I have a guest with a hearing impairment. Will there be sign interpretation or captioning?

Yes. There will be sign interpretation at both Ivy Cutting and the Commencement ceremony. If you have a guest that needs to be seated close to an interpreter, please contact graduationinfo@spu.edu. For the ceremony at the Tacoma Dome, there will be captioning on the screens, and hearing devices will also be available inside the arena. Please inquire at the kiosk inside the main entrances.

PARKING AT SEATTLE PACIFIC UNIVERSITY

Seattle Pacific University Parking Lot Map (PDF)

  • Ross Lot: between W. Bertona Street and W. Cremona Street on 3rd Avenue W.
  • Dravus Lot: W. Dravus Street and 4th Avenue W.
  • McKenna Lot: between 3rd Avenue W. and 6th Avenue W. on W. Nickerson Street
  • Otto Miller South Lot: W. Nickerson Street and 3rd. Avenue W.

PARKING AT THE TACOMA DOME

The Tacoma Dome has parking lots conveniently located around the perimeter of the facility. 

Parking will be free for the graduation ceremony.

Will the concession stands be open in the ?

Yes. The concession stands will be open before and during the Undergraduate Commencement ceremony. You are also welcome to bring in empty water bottles and snacks. These items will be subject to a security check at the main entrances.

Is there a place to buy flowers or leis?

There is no official flower vendor, but frequently there is someone selling flowers and leis outside of the arena. To be safe, we recommend purchasing flowers in advance, before you come to the arena

Are balloons allowed in the Tacoma Dome?

Unfortunately, no. Balloons and wrapped packages are prohibited. There will be a place to tie balloons outside, but we cannot guarantee they will be there when the ceremony is finished.

What shall I do with my purse or personal belongings during the ceremonies?

There is no place to lock up, secure, or leave personal items and purses during either of the ceremonies. You must either leave items with one of your guests or carry them with you. Cell phones are handy, so you can let your guests know where to find you in the processional. The Tacoma Dome has implemented a clear bag policy for all events. Approved bags include clear plastic, vinyl, or PVC bags that do not exceed 12" x 6" x 12", one-gallon clear resealable plastic storage bags and small clutch bags no larger than 4.5" x 6.5".

The full ceremony will last two and half hours. The awarding of degrees typically begins around 3:15 p.m., but this is subject to the length of the preceding speeches. Degrees will be awarded, by school, in the following order (please note students do not walk in alphabetical order):

  • School of Business, Government, and Economics
  • School of Education
  • School of Health Sciences
  • School of Psychology, Family, and Community
  • School of Theology
  • College of Arts and Sciences

As the largest school, the College of Arts and Sciences will have more than half of all bachelor’s degree candidates.

Grad Images is the official photography company for Commencement. They will take a photograph of each graduate receiving his or her diploma, and graduates will receive a proof in the mail shortly after the ceremony. You can contact the company at 1-800-628-4509, or by visiting gradimages.com. No other photographers are allowed on the arena floor or in any aisle in the stands.

If you will be a 2022 Summer or Autumn graduate, have already applied for graduation, and wish to have your name in the Undergraduate Commencement program and/or and participate in the ceremony, you must be registered for the summer credits to complete your degree or clear your plan with your academic counselor by April 15.

Diploma covers, without diplomas, are distributed at Commencement. You will receive your diploma once all requirements are completed, your grades have been posted for your degree, and all financial obligations to the University (i.e. fines) are met. Spring Quarter graduates should receive diplomas by mid-September and summer graduates by mid-December.

SPU plans to follow applicable legal requirements for COVID-19 during Commencement weekend.  It is our understanding that the applicable rules do not require masks, proof of vaccination, or proof of a negative COVID-19 test at this time.  However, people are welcome to wear a mask if they wish.  Also, if the rules change, or if the Tacoma Dome adds any requirements that are specific for the venue, we will follow those updated requirements.

 

Unanswered questions?

If you still can't find your answer there, call the Office of the Provost at 206-281-2125 or email graduationinfo@spu.edu.