Commencement is the pinnacle of our students’ academic careers. Of course, none of our graduates achieve their college goals alone. We look forward to welcoming hundreds of family members and friends to campus each year to join in the celebration of our graduates’ achievements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do we need tickets for Commencement?
No, you do not need tickets for Commencement, but to ensure seating for all, we request that each graduate's family restrict itself to five family members and/or friends. Please impose this restriction yourself so all family and friends of graduates can enjoy the Commencement exercise. The seating area will consist of approximately 2,200 folding chairs on the lawn with another 480 seats on bleachers in the back. 

What if we have more than five people who want to attend?
The Commencement ceremony will be broadcast live in three overflow seating locations: Walter Theatre in Abbot Pennings Hall of Fine Arts, Fort Howard Theater in the F.K. Bemis International Center, and the first floor presentation room in the Miriam B. and James J. Mulva Library. Additional guests are also welcome to bring their own lawn chairs and watch from the forest/festival seating area outlined on the diagram.

How early should we arrive at the for the Commencement ceremony?
Seating is on a first-come basis beginning at noon and we ask that everyone be seated by 1:20 p.m. Please note that the staff needs time to reconfigure the seating areas after Mass so you may be asked to move if you arrive before noon.

Will you have special seating for persons with disabilities?
Wheelchairs will be accommodated at the ends of each row on the sidewalk areas, but no chairs may be moved and the center aisles must be kept clear. As noted above, there will be approximately 2,200 folding chairs on the lawn seating area with another 480 seats on bleachers in the back. Guests with difficulty sitting in folding chairs may prefer to watch the ceremony from one of the air-conditioned overflow seating locations noted above.

On our arrival to campus, where can we park?
All campus parking lots are available for Commencement parking. Handicapped parking is available in lot P5 behind Victor McCormick Hall. Vehicles must have a handicapped permit displayed. Please refer to the campus parking map but note that due to construction on Schuldes Sports Center some lots on the south end of campus may be closed.

Some city streets will be available for parking. Please park properly and legally. Street parking requires a four-foot set-back from driveway entrances. Please cooperate in allowing emergency vehicle access by not parking on the dead-end streets south of campus. Also, the college asks your cooperation in not parking on college-owned or public lawns in the neighborhood before or after Commencement.

How long is the Commencement ceremony?
The Commencement ceremony will last approximately two hours.

In what order will the graduates proceed into the Schuldes Sports Center?
The Commencement procession will enter from the back of the arena promptly at 1:30 p.m. in the following order:

  • ROTC Color Guard
  • Faculty
  • Masters (Graduates)
  • Seniors (Graduates)
  • St. Norbert College Trustees
  • Ceremony Participants
Graduates will enter in columns of two:
  • Master’s degree and BA graduates on east side of aisle (right as looking at stage)
  • BBA, BM, BS and BSN graduates on west side of aisle (left as looking at stage)

For exiting, the ceremony participants will leave first, followed by the faculty and the new St. Norbert College alumni.

Will a professional photographer take pictures as diplomas are distributed or will I be allowed to take pictures from in front of the stage?
The college photographer will capture the moment of each graduate being congratulated by President Thomas Kunkel. This color photo is free and will be mailed to each graduate in early June, along with a form to order extra prints for a nominal fee.

You may also take your own photos, but because of the number of graduates, we ask for your cooperation. Ushers will be in the area just to the left of the stage and will help you get positioned for a good photo shortly before your graduate crosses the stage. Please return to your seat immediately after taking your photos.

Will Commencement be televised?

Will Commencement be streamed live on the internet?
Yes, the Baccalaureate Mass will be streamed at 9:15 a.m. and the Commencement ceremony will be streamed at 1:30 p.m. Just follow the "Livestream" link on the Commencement home page. Both events will also be broadcast in three overflow seating locations: Walter Theatre in the Abbot Pennings Hall of Fine Arts, Fort Howard Theater in the F.K. Bemis International Center, the first floor presentation room in the Miriam B. and James J. Mulva Library. 

Will there be a first aid station at Commencement?
First aid will be available in the Health & Wellness Center in the lower level of Main Hall during Commencement. This station is staffed by a St. Norbert College nurse. Loaner wheelchairs will be available at the Campus Center Information Desk.

Is smoking allowed on campus?
Smoking is not permitted in any college building. Smoking is permitted outside only within 7 feet of strategically placed smoking urns. Please respect this campus policy which was instituted by the St. Norbert College Student Government Association.