Families and Guests Ceremony Overview
Penn's 263rd Commencement ceremony will take place on Monday, May 20, 2019 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, Bryan Stevenson, Public interest lawyer and author; Founder and Executive Director, The Equal Justice Initiative which in 2018 created the Legacy Museum and National Memorial for Peace and Justice.
The Baccalaureate ceremony is a 50-minute interfaith program, featuring music, prayers, and readings. This ceremony is held on Sunday, May 19, 2019 at 1:30 and 3:00 p.m. Students with last names beginning with A through L are invited to attend the 1:30 p.m. ceremony, while students with last names beginning with M through Z are invited to attend the 3:00 p.m. ceremony.
In addition to the Commencement and Baccalaureate 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 he/she 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 9:00 a.m. EST on Monday, May 20, 2019.Commencement Webcast and Multimedia Archives
Inclement and Severe Weather Plans for Commencement
Commencement will be held rain or shine. However, for the safety of graduates and guests, severe weather conditions may require the cancellation of the student procession across campus or the delay of the ceremony.
In dangerous weather conditions, the ceremony may be relocated indoors to the Palestra, where seating would be limited to the academic procession and graduating students. In the case of this relocation, students should report to the Palestra no later than 9:30 a.m. Please know that the decision to move the Commencement ceremony indoors would be made in only extreme conditions.
If weather requires changes to the Commencement ceremony schedule, information will be found on:
- Signs at Hamilton Village and around campus
- Announcements on (215) 898-MELT and (215) 898-7006
- Announcements on radio station KYW (1060 AM)
- A notice on this website
Planning Your Visit
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
Beginning March 1st, arrangements for disability seating may be made on the Accessible Seating website . An email confirmation will be sent within five business days of submitting your request. Starting April 1st, you can call (215) 898-7006 (voice) or (215) 898-7803 (TDD) if you have any questions. There is no guarantee that an accommodation can be made if the request is received after April 30th. Tickets will be mailed at the end of April.
If you require Commencement information materials in alternate formats, advance notice is required.