May 2016 Commencement Weekend
Undergraduate Students

Commencement Weekend 2016 is May 13-15! ESF Commencement is held on Saturday, May 14th at 3pm and is a formal ceremony in which the ESF community recognizes the achievements of graduating students. All graduating students will be individually recognized as they walk across the stage as their names are announced aloud. Degrees are also conferred at ESF Commencement. On Sunday, May 1th, SU/ESF Joint Commencement is held for all ESF and SU graduating students and is a final marker of the special relationship shared by ESF and Syracuse University. Members of the graduating class are encouraged to attend both events so that they may receive the recognition they undoubtedly deserve.

Because ESF and SU share Commencement ceremonies, you will also receive information from SU. If you have not received an SU mailing by March 30, contact SU Office of Special Events, 315-443-4631.

All undergraduate students who will satisfy degree requirements by May or August 2015, and those who completed their degree in December 2015, are invited to participate in ESF Commencement and SU/ESF Commencement. You must complete the Application for Graduation and return it to the Registrar’s Office, 111 Bray Hall, by Friday, April 15. If you do not meet this deadline, your name will not appear in the ESF Commencement program.

Be sure to thoroughly read the “Commencement Logistics” section below. It will give you a good idea of how things will work graduation weekend.

Commencement Weekend Schedule

NOTE: Tickets are NOT required for ESF Commencement on Saturday. If you would like to attend the Spring Awards Banquet on Saturday, April 23, you must contact the Office of Student Affairs at 315-470-6658.

NOTE: Tickets are NOT required at SU/ESF Commencement at the Carrier Dome on Sunday.

Wednesday, May 11

3:00 pm—ESF Commencement Rehearsal, Marshall Auditorium - Followed by the Champagne Toast in the Gateway Center, sponsored by the ESF Alumni Association

Thursday, May 12 10:00 am—Commencement rehearsal in Carrier Dome (enter at Gate “D”)
Friday, May 13 5:00 pm—Master's and Ph.D. Higher Degree Reception and Ceremony, Gateway Center
Saturday, May 14

10 am—Honor's Students Ceremony: Gateway Center Room A

11 am—Environmental and Forest Biology Awards Ceremony, Illick 5

12 pm—Curriculum-Specific Faculty Receptions for Degree Candidates, their Guests, and Members of the ESF College Community!

Locations of Curriculum Specific Faculty Receptions:

Chemistry: 3rd Floor Reception Area of Baker Lab

Environmental Studies: Nifkin (Alumni) Lounge

EFB/Biotechnology (all majors): Illick Foyer

Environmental Resources Engineering: Gateway Center

Environmental Science: 408 Baker Lab

Forest and Natural Resources Management: 1st Floor Bray Hall Rotunda

Landscape Architecture: 327 Marshall/3rd Floor Corridor

Paper and Bioprocess Engineering: Walters, 2nd Floor Lobby

2:30 pm—Students line up, SRC Arena and Events Center, Allyn Hall Gym
3:00 pm—ESF Commencement, SRC Arena and Events Center, 4585 West Seneca Turnpike, Syracuse Approximate end time is 5:15 pm. We will host a brief Reception meet and greet afterwards for all guests and ESF faculty and staff.
Sunday, May 15 8:45 am—ESF Procession to Dome - ESF Quad
9:15 am—Academic Procession
9:30 am—SU/ESF Joint Commencement will begin at the end of the procession

Caps and Gowns

Those who participate in Commencement Weekend are required to wear academic attire. You can obtain these items in the Bray Hall Rotunda, Wednesday, May 4, and Thursday, May 5, 11am to 3pm. There is no charge to undergraduate students for the cap and gown.

“I’m Graduating! What Do I Do Now?”

Need help with job search techniques, writing your resume, interview skills, employer contacts? Have you established contacts to obtain references? There is a way to maintain contact with ESF and to look for employment opportunities. Stop by 110 Bray Hall and see all that is available!

Annual Spring Awards Banquet

This annual ESF event will be held April 23, 2016 at Drumlins Country Club from 6 p.m. to midnight.This semi-formal dinner recognizes the scholarship, service and contributions of ESF students. Dancing will follow that formal program. This is the biggest social event of the year! Get your tickets as soon as they go on sale, watch for advertisements!

Senior Class News

Any ideas for the Senior Class Gift? Share your thoughts with other class members at the upcoming Senior Class Meeting. Watch for meeting announcements in e-mail and posted around campus! We’ll also be discussing the Year-in-Review Senior Slideshow which will be presented at the Spring Awards Banquet on Saturday, April 23. If you can’t attend but have some input, leave a message for the Senior Class Chair, Daniel Tighe,, in 110 Bray Hall.

Guests With Limited Mobility

Both the SRC Arena and the Carrier Dome have wheelchair accessible doors on the lower level, and space where guests in wheelchairs can comfortably view the ceremonies. For ESF Commencement, guests in wheelchairs or those who need assistance should enter the SRC Arena from Parking Lot 11/12. For SU/ESF Commencement, guests requiring special accommodations can be dropped off in front of the Carrier Dome while someone else parks the car.

Guests Who Are Hearing Impaired

We will be happy to make arrangements to have a sign language interpreter at ESF Commencement on Saturday. Simply call the Student Affairs Office (315-470-6658) prior to April 15. The Commencement ceremonies are signed; several interpreters are located throughout the Dome. Seating locations for hearing impaired guests will be posted in the Carrier Dome.

Lights, Camera, ACTION!

The ESF Year-In-Review is in the planning stages right now! The presentation will feature as many graduates as possible. We need prints or slides of you and your ESF buddies (the funnier the better!). Please e-mail photos to Daniel Tighe at or items can be dropped off in 110 Bray Hall. All will be returned if marked with your name and address. The presentation will be featured at the Spring Awards Banquet on Saturday, April 23rd.

ESF Commencement Logistics

May 14, 2016 - SRC Arena and Events Center (4585 West Seneca Turnpike, Syracuse, NY 13215)

  • You must be at the SRC Arena and Events Center in the Allyn Hall Gym by 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 14. Students will be arranged by curriculum and you will be instructed about your “name card”. You will then process into the arena according to your program of study.
  • The ceremony will begin PROMPTLY AT 3:00 p.m. The Provost will begin her remarks at 3:00 p.m., and all participants will already be seated.
  • Each degree candidate in attendance will be individually recognized. Your name will be announced, and you will cross the stage to shake hands with the President of the College, the Chair of the Board of Trustees, and the Department Chair.
  • Individual recognition of undergraduates will begin after the Senior Speaker gives their brief remarks.
  • All students will follow a counter-clockwise pattern to receive recognition. They will rise, and proceed to their right into the aisle and up the stairs. Students will hand a name card to their faculty chair at the podium on the left, then cross the stage, shake hands with the President of the College and the Chair of the Board of Trustees, and return to their seat on the Arena floor.
  • The same format is followed for each of the remaining curricula. The students seated at the end of the left side aisle will be signaled by a Commencement Host as to when to rise and form a line, so that “lag time” between people crossing the stage is held to a minimum. If you are the last student in each curriculum who will cross the stage, you will receive a different color name card. This will notify your faculty chair that you are the final student from your curriculum to cross the stage.

Additional Information

  • ESF Commencement Rehearsal: Wednesday, May 11, at 3 p.m. in Marshall Auditorium. Followed by a Champagne Toast in the Gateway Center.
  • You will wear a cap and gown at both Commencement Ceremonies. There is no charge for undergraduates but there is a charger for master's and Ph.D. The prices for Masters are $39.95 for cap and gown and $29.95 for the Masters keeper hood. The price for the doctoral cap and gown rental is $46.95. You can pick these up in Bray Rotunda, May 4th and May 5th from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. You will need a parking pass from the Office of Student Affairs in order to park on campus during Commencement Weekend. A limited numbers of passes are available. Stop by 110 Bray to obtain a pass beginning Monday, April 11th.

Other questions or concerns? Call us in 14 Bray at 315-470-6658/6660.

We look forward to celebrating with you!

Graduation Links

Undergraduate Students

  • Commencement & Celebration Activities
  • Undergraduate Application for Graduation Form—Online, PDF

Graduate Students

Students wearing their cap and gown

Dining, Lodging, Directions & Parking

Syracuse Area Dining & Lodging

Guest rooms are at a premium during Commencement Weekend. If you will need accommodations, make those arrangements NOW! Very few motels in the metropolitan Syracuse area still have rooms available. You may be able to locate rooms in Auburn, Utica, Cortland, and other towns close to Syracuse. AAA members may wish to contact the Syracuse area office at (315) 451-2000 for more detailed information. Also, check the SU Commencement information on reserving space in SU residence halls—space is limited! Hotel Links:

There are many great restaurants in the Syracuse area and also in the new DestinyUSA Mall. Click here to check out some of the popular restaurants.

There are many additional fine restaurants listed in the Syracuse Yellow Pages. Due to the number of people who will be in Syracuse during Commencement Weekend, reservations should be made well in advance!

Syracuse University will also host different Commencement Eve Dining Options. You can learn more by visiting Syracuse University's Commencement website at:

On-campus Parking (ESF and SU)

A limited number of ESF campus parking permits will be available in 14 Bray Hall beginning Monday, April 6th, on a first come-first served basis. One permit per family; extra permits may be available Monday, May 4th, depending upon supply. Please bring your ESF I.D. with you when you come to pick up your permit.

Additionally, all Syracuse University lots will be open throughout the weekend.


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