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Proud family members pose with the grad at Wave Goodbye

Commencement weekend is an opportunity for guests and graduates to celebrate the remarkable achievements of a student’s academic career at Tulane, and our commencement is unlike any other. From Wave Goodbye to the University Commencement and all of the other moments in between, it's a special time to be on campus. Learn more about what to expect in our commencement preparation webinar.

Wave Goodbye

Wave Goodbye is an annual party modeled after New Orleans' many springtime festivals. Graduates from all schools and their guests are invited to mingle on Gibson Quad on the uptown campus on Friday, May 17, 6-8 p.m.

This year's event features music from Flow Tribe and multiple booths that serve a variety of New Orleans food in small plates. Wine and beer will be available for purchase (cash only). Each graduate is allotted seven tickets, one of which they will need for themselves. Tickets are issued to graduating students via the Gibson student portal in the weeks before the event. 

Since this is an outdoor event in New Orleans in May, guests should dress accordingly in casual, breathable, comfortable clothing. Please note, Wave Goodbye is an outdoor, casual event that occurs rain or shine. In the event of severe weather, Wave Goodbye may be canceled and would not be rescheduled. 

University Commencement Ceremony

The University Commencement Ceremony honors the graduating students from all of the university's schools and colleges. It features the pomp and circumstance expected of a traditional commencement celebration with a New Orleans twist. At this ceremony, expect to see the procession of graduates and faculty, the conferral of degrees and hear live jazz.

University Commencement begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 18 and usually ends around 11 a.m. at the Mercedez-Benz Superdome. Doors open at 7:30 a.m.

Following the conclusion of the ceremony, the Mercedes-Benz Superdome will remain open for guests awaiting the start of graduation ceremony for the School of Liberal Arts (1 p.m.).  Guests leaving the Superdome may re-enter prior to the afternoon ceremony, however it advised that guests who are staying for the Liberal Arts Ceremony (following the University Commencement Ceremony) stay in the Superdome as they will have to go through security again upon re-entry. For a full listing of other ceremonies and events, visit the Schedule

Guest Entrance

Guests arriving via taxi, car service or shuttle should proceed on foot up the ramp at Poydras St., to the Plaza level and enter at Gates A, B or C. Guests parking on site should proceed up the stairs from the parking garage to the exterior Plaza level and enter through Gates A, B or C. Seating is available on a first come basis on the Plaza, Club and Terrace levels.

Please note, the entrance at Gate G is for graduating students only. Guests entering the exterior plaza near Gate G should continue to Gates A, B or C to enter the Superdome. 

You may wish to print and bring this information sheet to have this entrance information handy when you arrive.

Accessibility and Accommodations

Guests with disabilities and other guests who need assistance getting to the seating areas should enter the Superdome through Gate A (Poydras St.) on the ground level. This entrance is a covered drop-off area with a ground-level entrance that will be staffed with volunteers who can assist guests as needed. Wheelchair accessible seating in the Superdome is limited on commencement day, and is reserved for guests in wheelchairs plus one family member only. Volunteers will be on hand with additional wheelchairs to help transport guests who need assistance getting to and from the seating areas.

During the ceremony, there will be sign language interpreters who will be streamed on the in-house livecast of the ceremony. The livecast is viewable from the large screens on the stage, or any of the smaller monitors in the seating areas. Guests who need to view the sign language interpreters on the screens should ask seat ushers to assist in seating placement closest to these monitors.

Complimentary hearing assistance devices are available to check out at the Guest Relations Center located at Gate A on the Plaza Level. Identification is required in order to check out the device and will be returned to the guest upon return of the device following the event.

Any guests who need additional accommodations should contact tugrad@tulane.edu at least two weeks prior to the ceremony to help ensure proper accommodations are arranged. 

Tickets

Tickets are not required for the University Commencement Ceremony or any of the individual school ceremonies. Tickets for Wave Goodbye are issued to graduating students via Gibson Online in the weeks before the event. 

Parking and Shuttles

Parking is available at the Superdome for $20 (cash only).

If you plan to depart from the uptown campus, parking is free on commencement weekend (please obey all posted signage for "Reserved All Hours" spaces). Free shuttle buses will run from the Reily Center/Diboll Garage to the Superdome starting at 7 a.m. Guests arriving via shuttle should proceed on foot up the ramp at Poydras St., to the Plaza level entrance gates. After the University Commencement Ceremony, a loop will also run from the Superdome to the Mahalia Jackson Theatre for the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine ceremony. The last shuttle will depart at 7 p.m. from the Superdome, after the last ceremony ends. Handicapped-accessible shuttle service will be available. 

Taxis will be available outside the Superdome at the Gate A (Poydras St.) ground level entrance. 

Security and Bag Checks

For security, bag checks and metal detectors will be located at every entrance at commencement. Guests should account for time to get through security screenings when planning arrival times. Clear bags are not required. Strollers are allowed into the Superdome, however guests must check in strollers at the Guest Relations Center located at Gate A Plaza Level. Guests may not keep strollers with them in the seating areas, as we need to maximize available space for ADA guests. 

Prohibited items include: oversized packages, coolers, luggage, alcohol, outside food & beverages, helium balloons, banners, artificial noise makers (IE: air horns, clappers, etc.), cans, bottles, glass, laser pens or laser products of any types, sticks or poles, fireworks, weapons and contraband of any type, animals and pets (except those assisting an ADA patrons), glitter, stickers are prohibited on Superdome property.

Refreshments

Food and beverages will be available for purchase on the Plaza level of the Superdome throughout the day. Beverages are also available on the Club and Terrace levels. Alcoholic beverages are not allowed inside the Superdome and will not be sold during commencement.

Attire

It can be warm and humid in New Orleans in May. Flexibility and practicality are key to a successful commencement weekend, and guests should plan their attire accordingly. While there is no set dress code for the University Commencement, guest attire usually ranges from business casual {slacks and polos or day dresses} to dressier options such as a cocktail dress or suit and tie, and is highly dependent on what other plans guests have for commencement day. The Superdome is a large venue and can be difficult to navigate in high heels, so guests should plan their footwear accordingly.

School Ceremonies

In addition to the University Commencement, graduates and their guests are invited to the ceremony of the school awarding their degree. It is at these graduation ceremonies that a graduate’s name will be called and he or she will walk across the stage. These ceremonies are at various times and locations during commencement weekend. Visit the Schedule page for more details about these ceremonies.

In order to accommodate the numerous guests on the uptown campus during commencement weekend, parking on the uptown campus is free on commencement weekend.  Please obey all posted signage for "Reserved All Hours" spaces. Additionally, continuous free shuttle service will run from the uptown campus to the Superdome on commencement Saturday starting at 7 a.m. Shuttle pick-up will be at the Reily Student Recreation Center/Diboll Garage shuttle stop and drop off at Poydras St, Gate A entrance ramp. 

Campus Map

Many of our events are held on the uptown campus. Use our interactive map to find your way.

Travel and Transportation

Hotels

Tulane has preferred relationships with many local hotels that offer discounted pricing during commencement. For more information or to make reservations, visit http://www.dmineworleans.com/tulane-events or contact Destination Management Inc. at 800-488-4364 or ccavalier@visitnola.com. For additional information on other preferred hotel relationships visit https://campusservices.tulane.edu/services/lodging-accommodations.

Car Rental

Tulane has a preferred rental car relationship with Enterprise Rent-A-Car which offers discounts to the Tulane community. Please reference the code 14N0742 and pin TUL when reserving your vehicle at http://www.enterprise.com.

Parking, Shuttles and Taxis/Rideshares

On commencement day, parking is available at the Superdome for $20 (cash only). On the uptown campus lots, university parking permits are not required for parking on Friday, May 17 or Saturday, May 18. However please observe all "Reserved All Hours" signage.

Free shuttle buses will run from the Reily Center/Diboll Garage to the Superdome starting at 7 a.m. Guests arriving via shuttle for any of the scheduled ceremonies on Saturday should proceed on foot up the ramp at Poydras St., to the Plaza level entrance gates. Shuttles will run in a continuous loop to accommodate guests traveling to and from the various ceremonies, with the last shuttle will departing the Superdome at 7 p.m., an hour after the School of Medicine ceremony ends. Additionally, a loop will also run after the University Commencement Ceremony, from the Superdome to the Mahalia Jackson Theatre, for the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine ceremony. Handicapped-accessible shuttle service will be available.

If you take a taxi or rideshare vehicle, direct your driver to drop you off on the uptown campus drop-off location at Freret at McAlister. Lyft users can use the code "Wavegoodbye" for $2 off of any ride going to or from campus (limit of 2 per user).

Tulane Memorabilia

Tulane memorabilia including diploma frames are available to order from the Tulane Bookstore. Contact the bookstore at 504-865-5913 for more information or to place an order by phone. The bookstore also carries limited merchandise offerings at University Commencement in the Superdome on commencement day. 

Accessibility

We strive to host inclusive, accessible events that enable all individuals, including individuals with disabilities, to engage fully. To be respectful of those with allergies and environmental sensitivities, we ask that you please refrain from wearing strong fragrances. To request an accommodation or for inquiries about accessibility, please contact Communications & Marketing at 504-865-5210 or tugrad@tulane.edu

 

Commencement Questions? Email us.