Frequently Asked QuestionsCommencement

When is Commencement?

Class of 2024 - May 25, 2024
Class of 2025 - May 24, 2025
Class of 2026 - May 23, 2026

Where and what time is Commencement?

  • Weather permitting, Commencement will be held at Hollingsworth Field (Football Stadium), beginning at 1:45 p.m., with the procession.

In the event of inclement weather, Commencement will be held in Lund Center Arena at 2 p.m. (overflow seating is available in Lund Center Forum -- no ticket is required for the overflow seating.) The ceremony will last approximately two hours.

As a parent, when will I formally hear about Commencement Weekend festivities?

  • A special postcard to the parent(s) of seniors who are eligible to graduate will be sent in February directing families to this website. 

What if my student is studying abroad or has graduated early?

  • Information for Commencement will be sent to the family or the forwarding address on record. All students who applied for graduation will be included on email communication.

Will I/we need tickets for Commencement / Baccalaureate?

  • Tickets are not required if the Commencement ceremony is held outdoors.
  • In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony will move indoors to Lund Center Arena (ice arena), where tickets will be required.
  • Three (3) tickets will be distributed to each senior the week before Commencement from the Office of Marketing and Communication for admittance to Lund Center Arena.
  • The number of tickets allocated is based on the number of graduates and the seating capacity of the Arena.
  • Overflow seating is available in the Lund Forum (basketball court). No ticket needed for overflow seating.

What happens if it rains on Commencement?

  • The decision as to whether the exercises will be held indoors or outdoors will be announced by 10:30 a.m. at the second Baccalaureate service and announced on the Gustavus website. 
  • If weather conditions force the ceremony inside, it will be held in Lund Center Arena (hockey arena). 
  • The ceremony will start with a processional at 1:45 p.m.
  • Due to space restrictions in Lund Arena, each senior will be issued three tickets for the Commencement exercises.
  • Tickets for the indoor ceremony will be given to seniors at the graduation rehearsal.
  • Additional family and guests may be accommodated without a ticket in the Lund Forum (basketball court), where the ceremony will be broadcast on a large screen. 

What if it is hot on Commencement?

  • Since Hollingsworth Football Field can accommodate all guests without a ticket, the ceremony will be held outside even if it is a hot day.
  • The football stadium and field are not shaded (except later in the ceremony in the top rows in front of the press box).
  • Guests may use umbrellas as long as they are not blocking the view of others.
  • Sitting on the football field feels warmer and has less breeze than in the bleachers.
  • Air conditioned viewing of the Commencement livestream is available in Beck Hall Room 101.

When and where is Baccalaureate?

  • The College will hold two Baccalaureate Services in Christ Chapel to accommodate anticipated attendance at 9 a.m. and at 10:30 a.m.
  • An unlimited number of complimentary tickets may be requested at

What if I need more Indoor Commencement tickets?

  • We are sorry, but there are no extra tickets, so we suggest that you contact other graduating students who may not need their tickets.
  • Additional guests are welcome to sit in overflow seating in the Lund Center Forum.

Where does a student get a cap and gown?

  • Students will be notified about a special day in April called “Grad Finale.”
  • This is a time when seniors receive a cap and gown (for no additional charge), and may order graduation announcements, and class rings.
  • If your student is not available during the Grad Finale time, these items may be picked up during regular business hours at the Book Mark. 
  • If you cannot attend Grad Finale, you may pick up your cap and gown in the Book Mark any time before Commencement.
  • If you are currently living off campus and need to have your cap and gown shipped to you, please provide shipping details here.

When, where, and from whom do I order my invitations, thank-you cards, and class ring?

  • Invitations, thank-you cards, and class rings can be ordered through the Book Mark. Each student will receive information from the Book Mark. 
  • Please direct any questions regarding the ordering of these items to the Book Mark at 507-933-7587

Where should I sit to see my graduate?

  • The graduates line up and sit in alphabetical order. Last names starting with A through the beginning of the Ls are on the left side (when looking at the stage) with the remaining graduates on the right half of the seats.
  • Graduates walk across the stage from right to left (when looking at the stage).

Does the College offer special accommodations for guests with disabilities?

  • People with limited mobility should plan to arrive at least 1 hour before the start of their activity to allow time for parking and walking to their destination.
  • People with limited mobility are encouraged to provide their own wheelchair for the day, this may mean renting a wheelchair.
  • Guest may be dropped off close to the stadium or at a turn around by a building, yet it still is far to walk.
  • Any guest coming with limited mobility should have a person with them to help as needed.
  • Since the college is hosting approximately 5,000 people for Commencement there are limited staff and equipment resources for helping individuals.
  • Accessible seating is available in a reserved section in the football stadium.
    • Family members may sit in front of the guest needing the special seating in the bleachers. 
    • This is reserved for those in wheelchairs or using walkers. Guests who are not able to climb bleachers are encouraged to arrive early for ground-level seating. 
  • If the ceremony is inside, there is an elevator in Lund Center or seating on the main floor in the Arena and in overflow in the Forum.
  • The Commencement program is linked to the website the day before the event.

What do I need to know about photographing or videotaping my graduate?

  • As a courtesy to the graduates and all in attendance, we ask that you remain outside of the ceremonial area during Commencement exercises.
  • Picture-taking opportunities with the faculty will be available after the ceremony at receptions outside on Eckman Mall, or the Campus Center if inclement weather. 
  • Professional photos will be available from Grad Images (800-261-2576).
Live Stream of Ceremony
  • The ceremony will be live streamed and archived. Visit to watch the live stream and archive of the ceremony.

In cooperation with Gustavus Adolphus College, GradImages will photograph the Commencement ceremonies. GradImages  will mail color photograph proofs and information to each family. Your graduates can preregister their email,and friends and family email addresses and GradImages will contact them just as soon as their photos are available for online viewing and ordering. Grad Images Customer Service number is 1-800-261-2576.