Friday, May 10, 2024

FAQs for Guests

Ceremony Questions

When is the Cal Lutheran commencement?

Commencement will take place on May 10. The undergraduate ceremony will be from 8:30 to 11 a.m. The graduate ceremony will be from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.

What time should we arrive?

To allow for parking, security check and finding your seats, please arrive no later than 45 minutes before the start of your ceremony. You may miss some of the ceremony if you leave less than 45 minutes.

How long will the ceremonies be?

The ceremonies will be approximately 2 1/2 hours.  

Will the ceremonies be livestreamed?

Yes, they will be livestreamed on the main Cal Lutheran website during the ceremonies.

Will the graduates’ names be read?

Yes, as the graduates cross the stage, their names will be read. 

Will there be a photographer?

Yes, there will be a photographer taking pictures of the graduates.

Where are the best places to take pictures?

There is no designated place to take pictures during the ceremonies. You will need to take any desired pictures from your seat so other guests’ views are not obstructed. However, there are beautiful locations around campus where you can take pictures before or after the ceremony, such as the Enormous Luther statue (Gumby), Olson Gazebo in Kingsmen Park, All Nations Plaza fountain, etc. There also will be a photo wall in University Plaza in front of the Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center, as well as a complimentary "360 Photo Experience" booth at the Enormous Luther statue in front of Pearson Library.

Can I stand by the white fences to take a picture?

No, all guests must remain seated throughout the ceremony so others may see. Security will direct you back to your seat or remove you from the stadium.

Where can I purchase a picture?

The contracted photographer, Grad Images, will email each graduate a proof and directions for ordering pictures to their Cal Lutheran email account approximately a week after the ceremony.

Will a video be available?

The ceremonies are posted on Vimeo, where they are available for viewers to download and watch at no cost.

Will overflow seating be available?

Yes, we will livestream the ceremonies in Gilbert Arena inside the Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center. This is the recommended viewing area for older guests or guests with health issues or concerns, as it can be very warm in the stadium on sunny days.

Can I bring flowers to my graduate?

You may give your graduate flowers and leis prior to and after commencement, but do not attempt to give them flowers or leis in the lineup area or as they are processing into the stadium as this will delay the procession. For your convenience, flower bouquets and orchid leis will be available for purchase near the stadium. Please refer to the commencement map for exact locations.

Use this link to order online ahead of time: 

Is there a reception following commencement?

No, there will not be a reception following the ceremonies. 

Where do we meet our graduates after the ceremony?

At the conclusion of the ceremony, you will be invited onto the stadium field to greet your graduate. We ask that you remain seated until the VIP guests and platform party have recessed out of the stadium and the announcement is made that you can now enter the field.

Where can I get programs?

Digital programs are available for download on the commencement website. A QR Code that links to the program will be posted throughout the stadium.

Where is the best place to sit?

Seating will be on a first-come, first-seated basis in the general seating section of the stadium. You have a choice of seating in the bleachers or in folding chairs on the ground floor of the stadium.

Are signs and shade umbrellas permitted?

Yes, signs are permitted, but please be respectful of others. Umbrellas are not permitted. Everyone is here to see their graduate and oversized items could restrict guests’ views. No umbrellas are permitted.

What flags are carried into the stadium as part of the processional?

The American, California State, Cal Lutheran, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Cal Lutheran Seal flags are part of the processional and will be placed on the commencement platform.

Are Cal Lutheran emblematic items for sale?

The Campus Store will have a booth in University Plaza, offering free shipping for all diploma frames and selling a selection of alumni gear and last-minute gifts. For all other needs, including last-minute regalia, the Campus Store will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on commencement day.

Location Questions

Where will the ceremony be held?

The 2024 Commencement Ceremonies will be held on campus in William Rolland Stadium.

When will the gates open?

The gates will open 1 1/2 hours before the ceremony.  We recommend you arrive no less than 45 minutes before your ceremony, to allow time for parking, walking to the stadium, going through security screening and finding seats.

What security measures will be in place for commencement?

As is the case at most events with large crowds, everyone attending commencement exercises will be required to go through security screening, get hand-stamped, leave bags in the car and be screened if they exit and want to re-enter. More details on bags and where to purchase clear bags can be found below.

Can I bring balloons?

Balloons are not allowed into the stadium or Gilbert Arena. You will need to leave them in your car. Our campus is committed to be a latex-free zone. We specifically are abstaining from the use of all latex and mylar balloons, latex gloves and latex exercise bands. One of our campus members has a life-threatening allergy to these latex items and we ask EVERYONE to keep the campus free from those items. In addition, no balloons of any sort may be brought into William Rolland Stadium and the Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center.  

Are service animals permitted in the stadium?

Yes, certified service animals are permitted in the stadium. No other family pets are permitted.

Where are the restrooms?

There will be portable restrooms within the perimeter of the stadium. Public restrooms are in buildings around campus, including William Rolland Stadium, Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center, Samuelson Chapel and William Rolland Art Center. Portable restrooms will be near the entrances to the stadium. Accessibility restrooms will be available in the above-mentioned locations. Restroom locations are noted on the commencement map.

Guests who choose to use restrooms in buildings outside of the stadium will require security re-screening to re-enter the stadium.

Are drinks, food and coffee available?

Food and beverages can be purchased in University Plaza between the Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center and William Rolland Stadium prior to and during the commencement ceremonies. Food and beverages are not permitted in the stadium or the overflow seating area in Gilbert Arena. Only water is permitted.

Other food venues will be open:

  • Starbucks: 7 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • The Habit Burger Grill: 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
  • Ullman Commons: 7:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.; 11 a.m. - 2 a.m.; 5 p.m. - 7p.m.

Can food or beverages be taken into the stadium?

No food or beverages (other than water) are permitted in William Rolland Stadium, so please finish those items before entering any of the gates.

Where can I get medical attention?

There will be a First Aid Station at the north end of the stadium field, with an ambulance on site. Commencement staff can direct you to that location or will call Campus Safety at x3911. For more severe emergencies, please call 911 and inform a commencement staff member.

Where is lost and found located?

Items that have been lost or misplaced will be turned in to the reception desk in the Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center Lobby. The desk is not always staffed, so it would be wise to call first to confirm that the item has been found and turned in. The phone number is 805-493-3485.

Prohibited Items

These items are not allowed in the stadium:

  • Balloons 
  • Food
  • Beverages (except water)
  • Umbrellas
  • Pets (service animals will be permitted)
  • Large purses camera bags, and bags (except diaper and medical bags)

Permissible items: Opaque bags, 4.5”x6.5”, without a handle or strap, and clear plastic bags no larger than 12”x12”x 6”. Permissible clear plastic bags with the Cal Lutheran logo are available for $9.95 plus tax at the Campus Store. They also can be purchased from The Commencement Group on commencement day at stations near the Kingsmen and Luther entrances to the stadium and on the South Campus in front of Pearson Library near the Enormous Luther sculpture.

Ticket Questions

Are tickets required to enter the stadium for the commencement ceremonies?

Yes, tickets are required to enter to the general, reserved and accessibility seating areas, and your ticket will direct you to the gate through which you should enter the stadium. General admission ticket holders will enter through the Regals, Luther or Kingsmen Gates. Reserved and accessibility ticket holders should enter through the Reserved and Accessibility Gate.

How do I obtain a ticket to attend?

Eligible graduates will be able to claim their tickets through an online site on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2024. 

Do children need a ticket to enter?

Anyone age 2 and older will require a ticket for entry. Any child younger than 2, who will be sitting on a lap, does not require a ticket.

Accessibility Questions

Accessibility and reserved parking and shuttle service

The accessibility and reserved parking, drop-off, and pick-up will be located at Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center in Lot H. Guests with accessibility needs must provide all personal service equipment (e.g., wheelchairs, canes, walkers, etc.). Guests with accessibility and reserved seating tickets will need to pass through a security and bag check to enter the stadium through Regals Gate.  

For questions and additional information, please contact

How do I request accessibility tickets?

Please contact or call 805-493-3364 prior to 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 7, 2024 to request tickets for the accessibility seating area. If you have not requested tickets to the Accessibility Area prior to May 7 at 5 p.m., please go to the Accessibility and Reserved Seating Entrance (Regals Gate) on commencement day to check in with staff on availability of accessibility seating.    

Are shuttles available?

An accessibility shuttle bus will be available 7-11 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. This bus will provide round-trip service and will be available to take those with accessibility needs from the Pederson Administration parking lot to the Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center parking lot, which will be for accessibility and reserved parking.

Can we still sit in the accessibility seating area if we did not request seating there? 

Please check at the Accessibility and Reserved Seating Entrance (Regals Gate) to see if space is available.

Will accommodations be made for people with special needs?

Yes, closed captions will be shown on several large screens in the stadium during both ceremonies to accommodate guests who need that service.

Will there be interpreters for the Spanish-speaking community?

We are a Hispanic-Serving Institution, so simultaneous translation is available for Spanish-speaking guests. Headphones can be checked out in the Lundring Events Center near the Kingsmen Gate. The headphones must be returned at the conclusion of the ceremony.