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Commencement 2019 Information

Welcome and What's New....

Updated on 4/10: Added the Commencement Restaurant List.

Updated on 4/9: Added Pre-Commencement Dessert Reception RSVP link.

Updated on 2/25: Added the Faculty Commencement Participation Form.

Updated on 2/15: Added the Commencement Hooding Form.

Updated on 2/4: Added the Commencement Planning Brochure and copies of the Save The Date postcard and Commencement Weekend Invite postcard.

Updated on 9/18: The Marriott Syracuse Downtown will be the host hotel for our Pre-Commencement Dessert Receptions.  In preparation for that event, the hotel has reserved a block of rooms for our graduate's families and friends.  If you would like to hotel reservations at the Marriott, please use this hotel reservation link.  Additional hotel options are shown below.

Preparations are well under way for Upstate Medical University to return to a ONE UNIVERSITY Commencement in May 2019.  The ceremony will be held on Sunday, May 5, 2019 at 10am at the SRC Arena on the Onondaga Community College Campus.  Please review the information on this page and in the Commencement Planning Brochure.  If at any point you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to either of us.


Sharon Huard
Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Campus Life
(315) 464-8855

Chuck Simpson
Director of Campus Activities and Special Projects
(315) 464-5618

Commencement Weekend 2019 Events and Ceremony

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Cap and Gown Pick-Up (Tentative Dates/Times)

Thursday and Friday, May 2 & 3: 10am - 5pm
Room 115, Campus Activities Building

If you are unable to pick up your own regalia, you may have someone else do it for you.  The bookstore staff will also be at the SRC Arena beginning at 8:30am Sunday morning for day-of-ceremony distribution. 

Commencement regalia must be returned to the bookstore staff at the SRC Arena immediately following the Commencement ceremony.

Pre-Commencement Dessert Receptions

Saturday, May 4; 7:30 - 10:30pm
Marriott Syracuse Downtown
Each College will host their own reception for their graduates, families and friends.  There will be a short program of speakers/awards along with desserts, coffee station and a cash bar!  Come by after dinner and socialize with family, friends and fellow graduates! 

College of Graduate Studies: ABC Room (10th floor)
College of Health Professions: Skaneateles Court, Finger Lakes Ballroom (Lobby level)
College of Medicine: Persian Terrance (Lobby level)
College of Nursing: Otisco Court, Finger Lakes Ballroom (Lobby level)

Please RSVP your intent to atttend the reception by Wednesday, April 24.


Sunday, May 5; 10:00am
SRC Arena, Onondaga Community College Campus
Doors open at 9:00am.  Student lineup at 9:00am. Reception immediately following the ceremony. 

To assist with your planning, we have compiled a list of local Syracuse restaurants that are open for Sunday lunch and/or dinner.  This list includes restaurants in the downtown/Armory Square, Syracuse hotel and Destiny USA locations.

Special Needs, Directions & Parking

The SRC Arena is handicap accessible. It is recommended that individuals using wheelchairs arrive early. If needed, we will be happy to make arrangements to have a sign language interpreter at the ceremonies. If you expect to have guests who are hearing impaired attend the festivities, please contact the Office of Student Support Services at (315) 464-8855 or the Office of Campus Activities at (315) 464-5618 by March 15, 2019.

Complimentary parking is available at the SRC Arena.  For additional facility information, directions to the arena and for information on handicap accessibility, please visit the SRC Arena directions webpage.

Commencement Tickets

There will be no guest tickets required for the 2019 ceremony.  You may invite as many guests as you would like!

Reserve Hotel Rooms

This is a busy time of year in Syracuse. If your friends and family will be needing hotel rooms, please make them asap! To assist in your planning, we've provided a short list of accommodations.

Our Pre-Commencement Dessert Receptions will be held at the Marriott Syracuse Downtown.  In preparation for that event, the hotel has reserved a block of rooms.  Please use this hotel reservation link to reserve rooms at the Marriott Syracuse Downtown.

The following properties are also located downtown and close to the Upstate campus: Marriott Syracuse Downtown; The Genesee Grande Hotel; The Parkview Hotel; Hotel Skyler; The Crowne Plaza Syracuse; Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel & Conference Center; Residence Inn Downtown at Armory Square and the Jefferson Clinton Hotel. Additional properties may be found on the Syracuse Tripadvisor website or on the Syracuse Convention and Visitor's Bureau website.

Order Your Cap and Gown

Order your academic attire online at the Herff Jones Regalia Online Order website. The site will be open until Friday, March 15, 2019. Find SUNY Upstate Medical University in the school drop-down menu and click continue. If you have questions please contact the Upstate Medical University Bookstore by phone at (315) 464-5560 or by e-mail. Please note that there is no charge for student academic attire if ordered before the deadline. If attire is ordered after Friday, March 15, 2019, a late fee will be charged!

Hooding Process

Students receiving doctoral (MD, Ph.D., DPT) degrees will be "hooded" at their commencement ceremony. Typically, students are hooded by their faculty advisor or the faculty marshal of their college. However, doctoral candidates may invite a member of their immediate family to participate in the hooding if the family member holds the same degree. Students wishing to have a family member hood them must submit the Commencement Hooding Form and be approved by the Office of Student Support Services or Office of Campus Activities. Academic attire must be worn by the participating family member and the rental fee is $85 + tax. After the form has been approved, attire must be ordered through the Upstate Bookstore, contact the bookstore by phone at (315) 464-5560 or by e-mail. Deadline is Friday, March 15, 2019. No late requests/orders will be accepted.

Announcements, Class Rings and Diploma Frames

Personalized graduation announcement products can be ordered directly from Balfour. Order by phone: 1-877-BALFOUR (255-3687) or on the Balfour website. Diploma frames & class rings are available to purchase in the Upstate Medical University Bookstore, CAB Lobby. If you have any questions about these items, please contact the staff in the bookstore.


The Registrar's Office orders diplomas for all graduates.  Please complete the Commencement Information Form through MY UPSTATE to indicate how you want your name on your diploma and to where it should be mailed.  If you have any questions, please contact the Registrar's Office at (315) 464-4604 or by e-mail.

Commencement Planning: Faculty Participation

Faculty Participation

Faculty who will be participating in commencement must be in academic attire. If a faculty member would like to participate in the commencement ceremony, we ask that you fill out the Faculty Commencement Participation Form and return it to the Upstate bookstore.