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Commencement FAQ

Yulman Stadium exterior

Tulane's 2020 University Commencement Ceremony will be in Yulman Stadium on Saturday, May 16 at 9 a.m., rather than the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. This move was necessary because the Superdome will be undergoing renovations and is unavailable for our annual celebration of academic achievement. Concerns and questions about this change to the ceremony are addressed below and additional questions can be directed to tugrad@tulane.edu

Were venues other than Yulman Stadium considered?
Yes. The university explored and assessed other options in the city, including the Smoothie King Center, the Morial Convention Center and Mardi Gras World. Yulman Stadium offers the best solution when considering size, availability, parking, traffic and overall experience. The Smoothie King Center is not available and holding the event at Convention Center would have required both rescheduling the event and restricting guest attendance.

What about accessibility for guests with disabilities?
It is very important to us that the University Commencement Ceremony is an inclusive, accessible event that enables all individuals, including those with disabilities, to participate fully. Yulman Stadium is ADA-compliant and there is a form available to request accommodations for the ceremony. 

What if it rains? 
We are incorporating the best practices of other southern schools that regularly host outdoor graduations — including adopting a number of options in case of rain. The University Commencement Ceremony begins at 9 a.m., when temperatures should be lower and the chance for rain is minimal. 

What are you doing to address the heat?
The average high that week in May in New Orleans is 82 degrees, according to Accuweather —our weather tracking partner. Our ceremony begins at 9 a.m., when temperatures should be lower and the chance for rain is minimal. The university is currently mapping out staging and seating plans that include assessing the optimal locations for hydration stations, misting fans and air circulation and potential shade structures. 

What about parking?
The average number of cars parked at the University Ceremony is approximately 1,500 cars, with many guests utilizing additional transportation options such as shuttles and car service. Game Day parking plans set a good model for the venue and can accommodate more than 1,500 cars. 

How many guests can each graduate have? Will there be tickets?
Yulman Stadium has a seating capacity of more than 15,000 for this event. We anticipate being able to hold the 13,000-15,000 guests that we typically accommodate at the University Commencement Ceremony. At this time, we do not anticipate issuing tickets for the ceremony.

Will the ceremony be live streamed?
Yes. As usual, the University Commencement Ceremony will be live streamed at commencement.tulane.edu.

Will alcohol and other concessions be served?
Concessions will be served. The university is currently exploring options with our food vendors for a breakfast menu appropriate for the 9 a.m. ceremony. Alcohol is not served at any of the commencement ceremonies on campus.

Where will graduates and/or guests be seated?
Our staff is currently working on seating and staging logistics for the event. Students will likely be seated on Benson Field, with guests in the stadium seating. As plans for the day are confirmed, additional information about what to do and where to enter the stadium will be available at commencement.tulane.edu. 

Why didn’t I get the commencement email announcement that went out to students and parents?
The commencement venue change announcement email issued on Wednesday, Sept. 18 was sent to students who graduated in 2019 summer, students who have applied to graduate in 2019 fall, undergraduate students who are currently registered with greater than/equal to 96 earned credits, graduate students with greater than/equal to 24 credits; and to parents with email addresses included in students’ Gibson online accounts. 

To add parent email addresses to their account, students can log in to Gibson, use the “Student” tab, then the “Update Emergency Contacts” link in the “Records” link in the left side column. Alternately, parents and guests can opt-in to the commencement email announcements here.