Family, Friends & Alumni

Family, Friends & Alumni

It takes a lot of hard work to earn a college degree. You—the friends, family, and fellow alumni of Rutgers graduates—have provided care, guidance, and support to the students receiving diplomas. So as much as Rutgers University Commencement marks a day of congratulations, it's also one of pride and gratitude.

Rutgers University Commencement

Join in the celebration of the 251st Anniversary Commencement on Sunday, May 14, 2017, at 10 a.m. in High Point Solutions Stadium in Piscataway, New Jersey.  Gates open at 8 a.m. and tickets are not required to attend Commencement. During the ceremony, President Barchi will confer degrees on all graduating students from Rutgers University–New Brunswick and Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences.

Steven Van ZandtRutgers will welcome our 251st Anniversary Commencement Speaker Steven Van Zandt, right, legendary musician, actor, and human rights activist. Van Zandt will receive an honorary doctor of fine arts degree.

The university will also bestow an honorary doctor of science degree upon Harvey J. Makadon, a physician and tireless advocate for the poor, the homeless, patients living with HIV, and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community.

Parking, Maps, and Directions

The registration period for Commencement parking hangtags has ended. No parking hangtag? Please plan to park in the cash lots for $5 on Livingston Campus. Visit the Parking Guidelines page for details, parking zone maps, and directions.

Hangtag Delivery: If you registered for parking hangtags online, please expect delivery via mail to the address you provided during registration by early May.


Tickets are no longer available for the Audi Rutgers Club at the stadium.

Tips for Enjoying Your Day

  • Commencement begins at 10 a.m. Stadium gates open at 8 a.m. Graduating students should arrive no later than 9 a.m. to the marshaling area at the south gate. 
  • Graduating students can visit our What to Expect at University Commencement page to learn more.
  • Complimentary shuttle buses to the stadium will begin running at 7 a.m. 
  • Tickets are not required to attend University Commencement at the stadium. Tickets are no longer available for the Audi Rutgers Club at the stadium.
  • Be sure you have your special Commencement parking hangtag. If you're driving to campus, you'll need this. If you have not obtained a Commencement parking hangtag, please see the Parking Guidelines page for your parking options on May 14. Those without a hangtag may park in the cash parking lots for $5 on Livingston Campus. Directions to Livingston Campus. Visit our Parking Guidelines page for more information.
  • Please familiarize yourself with the route to your parking zone. For details, visit the Maps and Directions page
  • All graduating students, who plan to participate on the field, must wear academic regalia. Learn more.
  • Commencement will take place rain or shine. Umbrellas are not permitted in the stadium and seating may be wet. Consider wearing or bringing a poncho and/or sit-upon. Graduating students participating on the field will be provided with a poncho, if needed.
  • Would you like a general idea of the section on the field where your graduate will be sitting? Take a look at the stadium seating map.
  • Wear comfortable shoes. Expect to walk a distance from your parking area to the stadium, especially if you are in the Blue Parking Zone on the Busch Campus. Also, the stadium flooring is all cement.  
  • Bring your sunglasses, hat, and sunscreen.
  • There will be a security check when entering the stadium: Bags or purses larger than 4½ by 6½ inches will not be permitted in the stadium. You may carry items in a clear plastic bag up to one gallon in size. Cameras and binoculars (without their bags) and seat cushions may be carried in on their own or in a clear plastic bag. More details are available online at Strollers, walkers, wheelchairs, and scooters are permitted in the stadium. Umbrellas and balloons are not permitted.
  • Concessions and food carts will be open on all sides of the main concourse of the stadium.
  • For those with disabilities or requiring other accommodations for University Commencement, please go to our Accessibility Information page.
  • Mark the Moment: Family and friends can have professional photos taken outside the stadium before and after the ceremony. Following Commencement, you will be able to view the photos online through the GradImages website and purchase them directly from the vendor.  
  • Following Commencement, be sure to return to this website on May 15 to see highlight photos and video, and to take our Commencement survey.

Watch from Anywhere — Live Streaming Over the Internet

You can watch University Commencement, live and in its entirety, on your laptop, tablet, or mobile phone from any location with an internet connection. The ceremony will start at 10 a.m. The live stream begins at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, May 14. Return to this website on May 14 to watch the:

University Commencement Live stream 

School of Arts and Sciences Convocation Live stream 


School Convocations

Graduating students will also enjoy additional recognition and festivities at individual school convocations and ceremonies held at various times in the days around Rutgers University Commencement. Please check with your student's school for details and information on tickets or limits on guests. To learn more about each school's convocation, visit our School Convocations page. 

Alumni Guests

Graduation ceremonies can be a great time for Rutgers alumni to reconnect with old friends and to make new ones. If you registered to participate as a volunteer, please visit our Instructions for Volunteers page. 

Tickets are not required to attend the 251st Anniversary Commencement on Sunday, May 14, 2017. The ceremony begins at 10 a.m. and stadium gates open at 8 a.m. Remember, Commencement parking hangtags are required to park on campus that day. Visit our Parking Guidelines for details.

Mark the Moment


Family and friends can have professional photos taken outside the stadium before and after the ceremony. You will be able to view the photos online and purchase them from Grad Images. Check the Grad Images website to learn more about obtaining photos from Rutgers' graduation ceremonies.

GIFTS FOR Grads available online and for preorder

Celebrate your graduate with a special gift. Choose from a variety of momentos, from personalized diploma frames to Rutgers gear available at Barnes and Noble at Rutgers bookstore. You can also preorder flowers, Class of 2017, and other gifts. Check out our Gifts for Grads page for details.

Need to Make a Hotel Reservation?

Whatever your budgetary and scheduling requirements, as well as culinary favorites, the greater New Brunswick region has lodging and dining options to meet your needs. Be sure to search in the towns closest to Rutgers campus, including: New Brunswick, Piscataway, Highland Park, East Brunswick, North Brunswick, and Somerset. Visit our Campus Travel page for more on New Brunswick Campus lodging accommodations.