Commencement 2018

Frequently asked questions

How long is the ceremony?

The ceremony is typically about two hours.

How many guests can I bring to the ceremony? Do we need tickets?

There is no limit to how many guests you can bring. The event is not ticketed. Seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

How long is the reception after the ceremony? Should I make lunch plans?

Heavy hors d'oeuvres are served for about 90 minutes after the ceremony. There is no need to make separate lunch plans unless you would like to do so. Talk with your graduate before making plans, as some departments hold receptions that afternoon after the campus-wide reception.

How early should I arrive for the ceremony?

Generally, an hour and a half is a good starting point. You may want to arrive two hours early if you have a large party, if anyone in your party has special needs, or if you want to get specific seats for the ceremony. If these factors do not apply to you, arriving an hour early is probably adequate.

We encourage all guests to arrive early, get situated on campus, relax, and enjoy the day. Coffee and breakfast will be available for purchase in Commons the morning of the ceremony.

Getting a ride to campus via Uber, Lyft, public transportation, or a traditional taxi may simplify your visit.  If you are driving, see more about parking below. 

Where should I park? 

Passes are not required to park on campus, but Reed's parking lots will be crowded. We will have satellite lots with van shuttles to Eliot circle. Street parking is not readily available on the streets around the campus. Please be mindful of parking signage if you choose to park on the surrounding streetsMore detailed information about parking is available here.

Eliot circle is the designated drop off point for large parties or anyone with special needs.  We will have golf carts running between Eliot circle, the Commencement tent, and the Quad. More information regarding special access needs is available here.

Where should I stay?

Reed has partner hotels. Be sure to ask for the Reed rate when booking a room.

What should I wear?

There is no dress code for the event, most people dress business casual. Check the forecast, as most of the events are held outside under a tent.

Are there other events on campus I should know about?

Graduates must attend a mandatory rehearsal Saturday, from 2pm to about 3:30pm. You may want to make plans without your graduate for Saturday afternoon.

The Commencement Kickoff Celebration is Sunday night before the ceremony. Graduates are given a complimentary tickets, additional tickets will be available online in February and at the door.

Many departments host their own celebrations, so check with your student about which events they plan to attend.

Can I rent a space on campus for a private party?

No private parties may be held on campus; all of our event resources are focused on the big ceremony and departmental celebrations.