Photos from Commencement 2012


Graduating students, come back on Monday morning, April 28, at 9 a.m. CDT to print your Wave Goodbye tickets.

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Only in New Orleans. Only at Tulane.


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Check back frequently. FAQs are updated as more information becomes available.

   Page Last Modified Apr 9, 2014 

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 and His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. The 2014 keynote speaker will be internationally acclaimed musician, bandleader, composer and educator Wynton Marsalis.

Tickets are not required.

Q: When do graduates receive their diplomas?

A: Diploma ceremonies follow the Unified Commencement Ceremony on May 17.* Undergraduates from the Newcomb-Tulane College will receive their diplomas at the Newcomb-Tulane College Diploma Ceremony in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Graduate and professional students plus undergraduates from the School of Continuing Studies will attend separate diploma ceremonies. It is at the diploma ceremonies that a graduate's name will be called and he or she will walk across the stage.

*Master and PhD Candidates in SCS, SLA, SSE and Biomedical Sciences attend the Graduate Hooding and Recognition Ceremony on May 16. Diplomas may be picked up at the Superdome after the Unified Ceremony on Saturday, May 17, or in the Registrar's Office (100 Gibson Hall) beginning on Monday, May 19.

Please visit the "2014 Schedule" page, which will be updated as more event information for diploma ceremonies becomes available.

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: 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 President and Mrs. Cowen 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 16, 6-8 p.m.


The event will feature music by Rockin' Dopsie Jr. & the Zydeco Twisters and multiple booths will serve a variety of New Orleans food in small plates, including gumbo, crawfish pie, mini muffalettas and chargrilled oysters as well as snacks and various desserts. Wine and beer will be available for purchase.

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 are available on this website starting Monday, April 28, at 9 a.m. CDT.

Faculty members participating in commencement exercises are allotted two tickets each. Participating faculty can request tickets via this website in the weeks before the event. 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 2014 was March 11 and 12. If you missed it, please visit the GradFest website for more information. Please note regalia orders placed after April 15 will incur a late fee.

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000