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Commencement Information forFamilies & Guests

We know the investment that families and friends have in each of our graduates' educations and experiences here at Old Dominion University. Now it is time for you to celebrate with your graduate. The following information will guide you in sharing a fulfilling and enjoyable commencement ceremony with your graduate.

In addition to the information below, we have provided some resources for directions, lodging and local dining, as well as a selection of frequently asked questions. Please browse these resources using the links at the left.

Arrival and Parking

Please remember to bring your guest tickets with you to the Chartway Arena and plan to arrive 30-60 minutes prior to the ceremony start time. If you are providing transportation for your graduate, he/she needs to be at the registration area in Constant Hall no later than 60 minutes prior to the ceremony.

Guests are asked to park in the 43rd Street Parking Garage. Signage on Hampton Boulevard in front of the campus will direct you to the appropriate entrances.

Click here for directions and further parking details.


All guests must have a ticket to enter the Chartway Arena. Tickets are only distributed to qualified graduating students. All children over the age of 2 requires a ticket. Children 2 years of age and younger are not required to have a ticket if they can sit in a parent's lap. (Full ticket policies for students)

If you do not have a guest ticket, auxilliary viewing is provided. Auxilliary viewing is located in the Big Blue Room of the Chartway Arena. Please follow the signage to the entrance on 43rd Street. Guests in auxilliary viewing will see the processional enter the building (it enters via the multipurpose room) and then view the remainder of the ceremony on-screen.


The ceremony will last approximately 90 minutes to 2 hours. The ceremony will start with a processional that will enter the arena at the exact ceremony start time. This will be followed by speakers, the confirmation of degrees, and then personal congratulations where each graduate's name will be read as he/she walks across the stage.


Guests are welcome to take photos and/or videotape the ceremony. We ask that you do not disrupt the ceremony by taking photographs at inappropriate times and locations and that you exercise restraint, particularly during the processional.

Please note that a professional photographer will take pictures of each graduate. There is no obligation to purchase these photos, but proofs will be sent to the student shortly after the ceremony.

GradImages (www.gradimages.com) is the authorized vendor for ceremony photos. They will also produce a DVD of the ceremony. Participating students should receive information concerning proofs and the DVD within a month of the ceremony, typically via email. If you have questions or concerns about the photography, contact GradImages directly via their website or by calling 800.261.2576.

After the Ceremony

We ask that you remain seated until the full ceremony has come to a close. Every graduate has worked hard to earn this day and having guests leaving during the ceremony is disruptful for a respectful ceremony. Please arrange to meet your graduate outside the building, as the building must be cleared as quickly as possible to prepare for the next ceremony.

There are many photo opportunities on the plaza in front of the Chartway Arena, as well as at various locations around campus. There will not be an opportunity for after-ceremony photos in the arena.

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