Frequently Asked Questions | May Commencement

Frequently Asked Questions

When is May Commencement?

Graduation is on Saturday May 19, 2018

 Where is Commencement?

Commencement is held on the Forest Grove Campus at Lincoln Park,  Hanson Stadium. The address for the stadium is: 2423 Main Street, Forest Grove, OR 97116. (pdf)

How long is Commencement?

Commencement lasts about 2 hours.

What is Baccalaureate?

Baccalaureate: Friday May 18, 2018

Baccalaureate Location: Taylor-Meade Performing Arts Center, McCready Hall. Ceremony starts at 3:30pm and ends around 4:30pm

Baccalaureate is a pre-commencement ceremony for all graduates to celebrate themselves and this rite of passage. Baccalaureate typically combines dance, choral and instrumental music, poetry, and readings from a wide variety of traditions -- all presented by the graduates themselves. It is a time of reflection and a time to look toward the future. All graduates, family members and friends are invited: students do not wear regalia. For more info please contact Angie Surratt at 503-352-3168 or by email at

How long is Baccalaureate?

Baccalaureate is about an hour. Baccalaureate and is followed by Sign, Shake and Ring between 4:30-5:00 pm at Old College Hall.

What is Sign, Shake and Ring?

Graduates are invited to join the University President, Lesley Hallick, at Old College Hall to signify leaving the University by ringing the bell and signing the Book of Alumni, just as was done upon entering Pacific.

What happens if it rains?

Only in extreme weather conditions will there be a change to the Commencement ceremony. Rain does not constitute extreme weather. The ceremony is outdoors in Hanson Stadium. Only the Bleachers have a roof cover. Please dress appropriately for the weather.

What are the arrangements for individuals who use a wheelchair?

Parking Lot M, right next to the stadium, is designated for people with disabled persons parking permits. Parking Lot M is also a drop off location. There is a shuttle that loops continuously around campus and drops people off in Parking Lot M (see campus map below).

Accessible seating is available at the ceremony on a first-come, first-served basis. For safety reasons, all aisles must be kept clear during the ceremony. There is seating for 1,200 people in the stadium bleachers including wheelchair seating for 12 wheelchairs. In addition, there are over 2,000 chairs on the track and football field in front of the stadium bleachers with designated wheelchair locations. Ample accessible seating is available. Please note that for people not in a wheelchair but have limited mobility there is still a walk from the parking lot into the stadium.

Campus map (pdf)
Seating Chart (pdf)

What are the arrangements for individuals who need access to a sign language interpreter?

This year there will be a live video-feed with captioning available to all guests through their smartphone, tablet or laptop computer. Please call Paula Thatcher at 503-352-1556 or email for more information.

Is there reserved seating?

There is no reserved seating. All seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Gates open one (1) hour before the ceremony begins.

Is there a place to sit inside and watch the ceremony?

Yes. There is a live video feed of the ceremony inside the Stoller Athletic Center located adjacent to the Hanson Stadium.

Where is parking available?

All campus parking lots are available the day of commencement. No parking permits are needed. Please be courteous if parking on the street in neighborhoods around campus.

Parking Lot M, next to the stadium, is designated for those with disabled persons parking permits as well as a drop off location for people needing assistance or who can't walk far.

Campus map (pdf)

Is there a shuttle to the Commencement Ceremony if I can't park close?

Yes. There is a shuttle that loops continuously around campus and drops people off at the stadium in Parking Lot M. It is best to drop your party off at the stadium and then park and take the shuttle as the shuttle is not wheel-chair accessible.

Campus map with shuttle locations (pdf)

Who is speaking at Commencement this year?

The commencement speaker for the undergraduate morning ceremony will be announced in the spring.  No speaker for the afternoon Graduate ceremony.

Do you have a reception following the Commencement Ceremony?

Yes. After the ceremony, a reception is held at the University Center, Washburne Hall after both morning and afternoon ceremonies.

Is there a list of graduation activities?

Please click on the link corresponding to your ceremony.

Arts & Sciences Schedule of Events or Professional Programs Schedule of Events.

How can we get graduation announcements?

Announcements can be purchased from CB Grad Announcements. Information can be found on their website or by phone at 1-800-433-0296.

Where do students get caps and gowns?

Caps and gowns are ordered through the University Bookstore beginning on Tuesday, February 6th, 2018. The Bookstore will have a table at "Countdown to Graduation" on February 6, 2018 in the University Center where undergraduate students can pay for and pick up their cap and gown. Regalia purchased from the Bookstore after April 4, 2018 will be charged a late fee of $15.


Is there a rehearsal?

Yes. Wednesday, May 16, 2018 at 3:30 p.m. all graduating undergraduate seniors from the College of Arts & Sciences, College of Business, and College of Education are required to attend the rehearsal to hear instructions regarding the processional and seating arrangements. The Faculty Marshal of the College of Arts & Sciences will read each graduate's name. This is an opportunity to ensure that your name will be pronounced correctly.

There is no rehearsal for Professional Programs.

How do I get copies of the professional photos and DVD?

Each graduate is photographed by a professional photographer from Grad Images as s/he receives their diploma from President Hallick. To view or order your photos, go to the Grad Images website here or call 1-800-261-2576.

A video of commencement is available at Pacific's Streaming Portal. The link to the video and photos of the ceremonies taken by Pacific's staff photographer are also available on the Commencement homepage.

Can I watch Commencement live online?

Yes. Pacific streams the commencement ceremony live online

Can family and friends take pictures of the diploma presentation?

Audience members can take stills and videos from their seats. They are not allowed to approach the stage or stand in the area where graduates exit the stage. For safety reasons, all aisles must be kept clear. The official professional photographer from Grad Images will capture graduates receiving their diploma and coming off the stage.

Is there a plan in case of extreme weather?

Only in extreme weather conditions will there be a change to the Commencement ceremony. Extreme weather is defined as conditions that are unsafe, such as severe winds or lightning. Uncomfortable weather conditions, such as steady or intermittent rain or very hot or cold temperatures does not merit a change to the ceremony.

In the event of a change due to extreme weather, information will be emailed to all graduates and posted on the Commencement homepage.

Flower Sales at Stadium

Get your Graduate Flowers at Commencement!

May 19th is the day to show your graduating student how proud you are of them.

Pick up a gift of flowers before, during, or after the Commencement ceremony. You can visit the Student Life Flower Stand to purchase flowers in front of Hanson Stadium. All Proceeds go to the Senior Development Fund that helps graduating seniors of the College of Arts and Sciences apply to Graduate School.

We will have Double Orchid Leis, Graduation Bears, half and full dozen Rose Bouquets for sale. Bouquets will be pre-wrapped for your convenience.

Hometown Press Release

After Commencement, a press release announcing graduates is sent to their hometown newspapers. Students who do not want their information sent to news organizations, or have questions, should contact Media Relations Director Joe Lang at 503-352-2902 or

Who do I contact if I still have questions?

Please contact Paula Thatcher in the Events Office. Her phone number is 503-352-1556 or you can email