Commencement Day Campus Access, May 22

May 20, 2019

The Columbia University Commencement Ceremony of the 265th Academic Year is this Wednesday, May 22 at 10:30 a.m. Morningside Campus will be extremely busy leading up to and during the ceremony. To help us guarantee a safe and comfortable experience for all, the following adjustments to normal campus access will be in effect. Please familiarize yourself with this critical information.

Entry Procedures

Faculty and staff, including participants in the Academic Procession, must present their University ID to enter campus.

  • Temporary staff members must have a photo ID and a printed letter on University stationery authorizing campus access.
  • Anyone not participating in the event is encouraged to enjoy the proceedings via our live webcast.

Graduating students who wish to participate in the Ceremony must wear their caps and gowns and carry their University ID to gain entry through one of the designated upper campus entrances. Please bring water and dress appropriately for the weather.

  • Graduating students should arrive on campus beginning at 8:00 a.m. to line up for the procession. Consult the Candidate Procession line-up map for further Commencement Day details.
  • All school line-up areas will have GradImages photo stations and colored balloons with abbreviated school name. Plenty of event volunteers will be present to help direct graduates accordingly.
  • The candidate procession will begin promptly at 9:00 a.m.
  • Those who graduated before May 2019 and no longer hold University IDs should bring a photo ID and their Commencement registration confirmation email or a letter from their school on University stationery indicating their participation in the Ceremony.

Guests with General Admission tickets may enter campus starting at 8:30 a.m., and must present their tickets for scanning or collection. Please remind guests to bring water and dress appropriately for the weather.

  • Tickets are required for entry and can only be scanned once. Guests will not be permitted to re-enter campus after exiting.
  • Seating is first-come, first-served. Encourage guests to arrive early to find seats. Seats cannot be saved.
  • For outdoor seating, the line forms on 115th Street and Broadway to access General Admission gates.
  • For indoor seating in Levien Gymnasium, the line forms at 120th Street east of Broadway.
  • For guests with disabilities or limited mobility, the elderly needing assistance or those needing sign language interpretation, line forms on 116th Street and Amsterdam Avenue.

Campus Entry Points

After 6:00 a.m. on Wednesday, May 22, campus access is limited to the following entrances:

For access to Upper Campus:

  • Earl Hall Gate at 117th and Broadway (Please note that between 8:15 and 8:30 a.m. this gate may be congested while the Barnard degree candidates process to campus).
  • The Grove entrance at 119th and Amsterdam.
  • 120th Street Gates (between Broadway and Amsterdam).
  • Northwest Corner Building entrance and staircase (120th Street east of Broadway).

For access to College Walk:

  • South Pedestrian Gate at 116th and Amsterdam.

For access to Lower Campus:

  • Hartley/Wallach Gate (Amsterdam at 115th Street between Hartley and Wallach Halls).

All other campus gates will be closed at 6:00 a.m. on May 22. Movement from Upper to Lower Campus within campus gates is restricted until the Ceremony concludes. The entire campus will re-open at approximately 12:30 p.m. Please consult the map of Commencement Day campus entrances for further details.

Building Access

  • Butler Library will be closed from 6:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.
  • Low Library may be accessed through the northeast or southeast entrances only. The area from the main entrance down to Low Plaza will be secured with authorized access only from 6:00 a.m. until after the Ceremony has concluded.

Delivery Access
If you are coordinating ceremonies or events taking place on May 22 following University Commencement, please arrange for deliveries to arrive before 6:00 a.m. or after 1:00 p.m. No deliveries to Low Library will be accepted until after the Ceremony concludes.

For security reasons, we ask that everyone refrain from bringing bags to campus on Commencement Day. Any bags or packages brought to the Ceremony will be subject to search and must be kept in the owner’s possession at all times.

Street Closures
For those planning to drive and park near campus on Commencement Day, please note that the New York City Police Department will close certain streets to both parking and traffic. These street closures will begin late on Tuesday and continue through Wednesday and are detailed on the Commencement website. Please do not park your vehicle near campus overnight on Tuesday.