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Commencement 2020 Information

Welcome and What's New....

Edited: November 27; Added "Save The Date" Postcard.

Preparations are well under way for Upstate Medical University's 2020 Commencement Ceremony.  The ceremony will be held on Sunday, May 3, 2020 at 10am at the SRC Arena on the Onondaga Community College Campus.  Additional information regarding the ceremony and planning details will be updated on this website in January 2020.  If at any point you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to either of us.

We look forward to celebrating your accomplishment!


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

For planning purposes, additional upcoming Commencement dates: May 2, 2021; May 1, 2022

Commencement Weekend 2020 Events and Ceremony

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

Thursday, April 30 and Friday, May 1: 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.

Dean's Dessert Receptions

The Deans of each College will host their own dessert reception for graduates of their college, families and friends the afternoon/evening before Commencement.  There will be a short program of speakers/awards along with refreshments and a cash bar!  Full details for the programs are being worked on but the following is the tentative schedule of events.

Saturday, May 2; Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel and Conference Center

3:30pm - 5:30pm
College of Health Professions - Regency Ballroom
College of Nursing - Comstock Ballroom

7:30pm - 9:30pm
College of Graduate Studies - Comstock Ballroom
College of Medicine - Regency Ballroom

In late spring there will be additional details regarding the reception and a reception RSVP link on this page.


Sunday, May 3; 10:00am
SRC Arena, Onondaga Community College Campus
Doors open at 9:00am.  Student lineup at 9:00am. Reception immediately following the ceremony. 

A Commencement "Save The Date" postcard will be sent to all graduates in early December.  Please feel free to share this electronic copy of the postcard with family and friends!

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 2020 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.

The following properties are 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

In early Spring 2020 the online site will be open to order your academic attire.  Please return to this site in February for the link to order your cap and gown.

Hooding Process

Students receiving doctoral (MD, Ph.D., DPT) degrees will be "hooded" at the 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.   The form to request a personal hooder and the link to order hooder academic attire will be available in early Spring 2020.  The deadline to submit the form is Monday, March 16.  No late requests will be accepted.

Announcements, Class Rings and Diploma Frames

These websites will be available in Spring 2020.

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.


Please watch your email for information from the Registrar's Office in early Spring 2020.

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.