FAQs

Check back frequently. FAQs are updated as more information becomes available. For additional details about Commencement day and Wave Goodbye, review the Commencement Preparation webinar.

Page Last Modified Apr 30, 2015

What is the Unified Commencement Ceremony?
When do graduates receive their diplomas?
Can I reserve seats in the Superdome?
How long will the unified ceremony last?
How early may guests arrive for Commencement?
When do things start?
What about parking at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome? Is there a shuttle from the uptown campus?
When do the students need to arrive?
On what side do students wear the tassel?
When do the faculty need to arrive?
What about attendees who are physically challenged?
What is Wave Goodbye?
Are tickets required for Wave Goodbye?
What is GradFest?
Where do I order diploma ceremony photos?


Q: What is the Unified Commencement Ceremony?

A: The Unified 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 but with a New Orleans twist. At this ceremony you can expect to see the procession of graduates and faculty, the conferral of degrees and hear live jazz.

Recent keynote speakers include President George H. W. Bush, President William J. Clinton, NBC news anchor Brian Williams, political commentators James Carville and Mary Matalin, Ellen DeGeneres, Anderson Cooper, Thomas Friedman, Lisa Jackson, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and Wynton Marsalis.

Tickets are not required for the Unified Ceremony. 

Q: When do students receive their diplomas?

A: Diploma ceremonies follow the Unified Commencement Ceremony on May 16. Graduates will attend separate diploma ceremonies. It is at these diploma ceremonies that a graduate's name will be called and he or she will walk across the stage. Visit the Schedule page for more details.

Q: Can I reserve seats in the Superdome?

A: No. Seats are available on a first come, first served basis and cannot be reserved.

Q: How long will the unified ceremony last?

A: About 90 minutes.

Q: How early may guests arrive for Commencement?

A: The doors will open at 7:30 a.m.

Q: When do things start?

A: Live music starts at 8:30 a.m. The colorful academic procession starts at 9 a.m. and the stage ceremony at the conclusion of the procession, by about 9:30 a.m.

Q: What about parking at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome? Is there a shuttle from the uptown campus?

A: You can park at the Superdome for $15 (cash only). There will also be free shuttle service from Tulane's uptown campus.

Q: When do the students need to arrive?

A: Students should arrive no later than 8 a.m. The Superdome will conduct bag checks on all guests so please plan your arrival time accordingly.

Allow extra time to find a place to park, go through security and get to your robing location. All personal items must be left with your parents or guests. Tulane University will not be responsible for any lost or stolen items. (The Bookstore will have a station in the robing area with extra caps, gowns, etc., in case of any problems.) Visit the Mercedes-Benz Superdome page for more information on parking and entrances.

Q: On what side do students wear the tassel?

A: The graduation cap tassel starts out on the right side (over the right eye) before the ceremony and the tassel is moved to the left side (over the left eye) as soon as the graduate crosses the stage and descends the stairs.

Q: When do the faculty need to arrive?

A: Faculty robing is at 8:15 a.m. in the East Bunker Club Lounge. The Superdome will conduct bag checks on all guests so please plan your arrival time accordingly. Faculty participating in Commencement may request Wave Goodbye tickets and/or a Superdome parking pass on this website in the weeks before the event.

Q: What about attendees who are physically challenged?

A: Guests with physical challenges should enter the Superdome through gate A (Poydras St.) on the ground level. This entrance is a covered drop-off area for disabled access. Wheelchairs will be available for transportation to and from handicapped seating; however, for those who wish to have a wheelchair with them at all times, it will be necessary to bring one with you. Handicapped-accessible shuttle service will be available.


Q: What is Wave Goodbye?

A: Wave Goodbye is an annual party given by the president that is 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 15, 6-8 p.m.

The event will features local food and music by Rockin' Dopsie Jr. Wine and beer will be available for purchase (cash only).

Q: Are tickets required for Wave Goodbye?

A: Yes, tickets are required. Each graduating student can receive a maximum of seven tickets, one of which the student will need to use to enter the party. Children 10 years and younger will not need tickets. Tickets for graduates will be available through Gibson Online until 6 p.m. on Friday, May 15.

Faculty members participating in commencement exercises are allotted two tickets each. Participating faculty can request tickets via this website. See the "For Faculty" page of this site for more information. 

Q: What is GradFest?

A: GradFest is held in the spring for students to order their academic regalia, announcements, cap-and-gown pictures, etc. GradFest was in the Lavin-Bernick Center's Qatar Ballroom on March 3 and 4. Graduates who missed GradFest should visit the bookstore or call 504-865-5913 to order regalia. Any regalia orders placed after April 10, 2015, will incur a $30 late fee. Visit the GradFest website for more information.

Q: Where do I order diploma ceremony photos?

A: Candid Campus Photography will be on hand at various diploma ceremonies to photograph candidates receiving their diploma covers. Photographs can be viewed and ordered within 48 hours after the ceremony at www.candidcampusphoto.com
 
A proof order form will be sent out approximately 5 to 7 days following graduation. This form may be used to order official photographs by mail. For faster service, order online. For customer service, please call Candid Campus Photography, Inc. at 1-800-233-3686 or e-mail customerservice@candidcampusphoto.com.
 
Graduates from the following schools can preregister in order to receive their proofs as quickly as possible following the diploma ceremony: