Families and Guests Ceremony Overview
Penn's 267th Commencement ceremony for the Class of 2023 will take place on Monday, May 15, 2023 in Franklin Field at 10:15 a.m., and is preceded by student and academic processions through campus. The ceremony will end at approximately noon and will feature the conferral of degrees, the awarding of honorary degrees, greetings by University officials, and remarks by the Commencement speaker, Idina Menzel, Tony Award-winning actress, singer/songwriter, producer, and author.
This year, due to added security requirements, the gates to Franklin Field will open at 7:00 a.m. for all guests. Every person entering Franklin Field will be subjected to an airport-style security screening, which will slow entry into the stadium. Please plan to arrive early. Note that only certain small items (including cell phones, wallets, and small clutches) will be permitted. A good rule of thumb: if an item does not fit in your pocket, please do not bring it with you. Please see list of prohibited items.
Before entering Franklin Field, graduating students will assemble at 39th Street and Locust Walk starting at 8:00 a.m. for a procession across campus. The procession will begin at 8:30 a.m. The graduates will also have to go through a separate security check-point once they reach the stadium.
In addition to the Commencement ceremonies, each school also hosts a ceremony for the students enrolled in that particular school. During this ceremony, the student's name will be called and the student will walk across the stage. For information on the school ceremonies, visit the School Ceremonies page.
Commencement Webcast and Multimedia Archives
If you are unable to attend the University Commencement ceremony, you may view the webcast live. For more information, visit the webcast page. Coverage from Franklin Field will begin at 8:30 a.m. EST on Monday, May 15, 2023.Commencement Webcast and Multimedia Archives
Inclement and Severe Weather Plans
Commencement will be held rain or shine. In the event of inclement weather, you are encouraged to wear rain gear to protect yourself. The dye in the regalia may bleed onto clothing when wet.
If weather requires changes to the Commencement ceremony schedule, information will be found on:
- Signs at 39th & Locust Walk
- Announcements on (215) 898-MELT
- Announcements on radio station KYW (1060 AM)
- A notice on this website
In the event of severe weather conditions, the academic procession across campus may be cancelled. If it is cancelled, you should arrive at Weightman Hall no later than 9:30 a.m.
In the event of dangerous weather conditions, the ceremony may be delayed or relocated to the Palestra. If the ceremony is moved indoors to the Palestra, seating would be limited to the academic procession and graduating students. Please know that the decision to move the Commencement ceremony indoors would be made in only extreme conditions.
Disability Seating at Commencement
If you require special seating due to a wheelchair, limited physical mobility or other medical conditions, you may make arrangements for seating on the field or in the lower stands. Please be aware that the stadium is bench seating. Due to space constraints, guests with disabilities who are seated on the field may be accompanied by only one escort.
Accessible seating for School ceremonies is coordinated separately, by each School. Please see the School ceremonies page for contact information.
Please visit the Accessible Seating page to request accessible seating for the main University Commencement on Franklin Field.
If you require Commencement information materials in alternate formats, advance notice is required.
Franklin Field Policies and Prohibited Items
The following items are strictly prohibited within Franklin Field:
- All bags and packages (wallets and small clutches are acceptable)
- Artificial noisemakers, including airhorns or bullhorns
- Signs, posters, or flags
- Large golf-style umbrellas (small collapsible umbrellas will be permitted)
- Sticks or poles, including tripods or selfie sticks
- Glass and plastic bottles, soda cans, and all outside food / beverages
- Alcoholic beverages
- Firearms, knives, scissors, needles, razor blades, or weapons of any type
- Multiuse or similar tools or screwdrivers
- Toy guns, toy weapons or similar props
- Fireworks and open flames
- Pepper spray / mace
- Laser pointers
- Aerosol containers
- Hazardous, chemical, radiological, or biological materials
- Sports balls or sporting equipment of any type
- Animals or pets – except for service animals
Anything brought to the stadium will be pre-screened before entry. Please do not bring items with you that are not needed for the ceremony – leave them in your car, hotel room, dorm, or apartment. Pre-screening items slows the entry of guests into the stadium.
Address & Phone
1 College Hall, Room 211
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Email Amanda Mott