What To Expect When You Walk | May Commencement

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Hanson Stadium, Forest Grove Campus
2423 Main St., Forest Grove, OR 97116
Also live streamed with captions at pacificu.edu/tv

Undergraduate Commencement
9:30 a.m.

Graduate & Professional Commencement
1:30 p.m.

Inviting Guests

We encourage graduating students to invite guests to join in celebrating Commencement. No tickets are necessary to attend. Please find details for guests here. Both ceremonies also will be broadcast live online with captions at pacificu.edu/tv for guests who cannot attend in person.


Pacific’s Commencement Ceremonies are held outdoors, rain or shine. (Exceptions may be made for extreme weather hazards.) Some guest seating in Hanson Stadium is under cover, but graduating students will not be under cover. Please dress accordingly for weather. Check the weather on campus.


Undergraduate students will get instructions for the processional and seating arrangements following their awards ceremony on Wednesday, May 13. Faculty marshals will be present to discuss any name pronunciation concerns. Graduate students do not have a ceremony rehearsal. If you have concerns about your name pronunciation, please contact your program administrator.


Graduating students, please arrive on time and in your cap and gown to line up for the processional. Undergraduates: Only academic cords may be worn with regalia. Academic cords for honors will be handed out during the line-up process. Graduate and professional students, please carry your hoods; do not wear them. Graduating students will line up in the Fieldhouse in the Stoller Center. (Map)

  • Undergraduate Ceremony: Arrive by 8:30 a.m.
  • Graduate Ceremony: Arrive by 12:30 p.m.

What to Bring (or Leave Home)

There is not a secure location for graduating students to store personal effects during the ceremony. Please carry as little as possible. Students are encouraged to bring reusable water bottles to fill at water stations in the Fieldhouse prior to the ceremony. (But beware: Once you begin lining up in the Fieldhouse, you will not be allowed to leave to use the restroom. Plan accordingly.) Water stations are not provided outdoors during the ceremony, but you may carry water bottles through the processional and into the ceremony. 

Crossing the Stage

When crossing the stage to receive their diplomas, students should shake hands with the presenter, rather than hugging. While it's an emotional day, the event is staged to get the best possible candid and formal photographs of each student. Hugs obscure your face in the photos. (Additionally, handshakes also keep the ceremony moving quickly!) 



A professional photographer from GradImages will take a photo of each graduate as you receive your diploma. To view or purchase your photo, visit Grad Images Pacific University. Guests may also take photos or video from their seats but will not be allowed to approach the stage or stand in aisles for photos during the ceremony. A university photographer also will be on site taking candid photos throughout the day with free images available to view and download on Flickr. If you do not wish to be in these images, please step out of any shots when possible or contact marcom@contact.pacificu.edu to have any photos of you removed from the albums after Commencement.


A dessert reception will be held after each ceremony in the University Center. Graduating students and their guests are invited to gather, enjoy cake and punch, and take photos at campus landmarks.

Hometown News

In the weeks following Commencement, news releases are sent to graduating students’ hometown newspapers announcing your graduation. If you do not wish to have a news release issued on your behalf, please contact Marketing & Communications at marcom@contact.pacificu.edu.