Based on the recent recommendations of the CDC and leading public health experts, who are now directing against any public gatherings of more than 50 people for the next two months, we cannot responsibly plan to bring thousands of people to campus for our traditional Commencement and Alumni Weekend in May. To protect the health of our graduates, their families, alumni, and faculty and staff of the University—our highest priority in the face of this unprecedented coronavirus pandemic—we are cancelling this year’s on-campus Commencement events and moving them to a virtual ceremony that will be broadcast online.
To read President Gutmann’s full statement, please visit: https://coronavirus.upenn.edu/
Seating for Guests with Disabilities
Seating for guests who use wheelchairs and those with limited physical mobility or medical conditions will be available for all Penn Engineering ceremonies. You do not need to reserve accessibile seating in advance, as all attendees will be accommodated. Guests requiring accessibility seating for ceremonies at The Palestra should plan to check in at the NW entrance to The Palestra (signage will be posted) up to 30 minutes before the doors open for general seating.
Early Access Times for Accessibility Seating Needs:
Ph.D. Ceremony at Irvine Auditorium
Thursday, May 14: Early access not available. Seating will open at 3:00 p.m.
Master’s Ceremony at The Palestra
Friday, May 15: Early access to accessible seating will be available at 1:00 p.m. We recommend arriving between 1:00 and 1:30.
Undergraduate Ceremony at The Palestra
Saturday, May 16: Early access to accessible seating will be available at 1:00 p.m. We recommend arriving between 1:00 and 1:30.
General seating is unlimited for the School of Engineering ceremonies and tickets are not required.
Special needs seating for the University Commencement on Monday, May 18 is coordinated through the Office of the University Secretary and can be requested beginning March 1, 2020, using the online form. A confirmation email will be sent within five days of submitting your request. Starting April 1, you can call (215) 898-7369 (voice) or (215) 898-7803 (TDD) between noon and 5 p.m. if you have any questions.
If your family member uses a scooter or other assistance device at the grocery store or the mall, we strongly recommend you bring/rent a similar device to get around campus. Please reference this list of local medical equipment suppliers to arrange for rental of a wheelchair or scooter.