Humboldt State University

Commencement 2016 Saturday, May 14 | Redwood Bowl

Ceremony FAQs

    • When is Commencement 2016?

      Saturday, May 14, 2016, Redwood Bowl

      • 8:30 a.m. - College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
      • Noon - College of Natural Resources and Sciences
      • 3:30 p.m. - College of Professional Studies
    • What if it rains?

      The ceremony will be held outdoors in Redwood Bowl rain or shine.

    • Who will speak at Commencement?


    • How long is the ceremony?

      The ceremony generally runs about two hours.

    • How early should my guests and I plan to arrive?

      Students line up 30 minutes prior to the start of each ceremony, and the processional begins on time. Guest seating in Redwood Bowl is on a first-come, first-serve basis, so your guests should plan to arrive early.

      For the convenience of guests arriving early, food and beverages (coffee, tea, soft drinks) will be on sale at the concession stand in the stadium.

    • One of my family members is elderly, has a disability and/or mobility limitations. What access services are available?

      Disabled parking is available, for those with proper plates or placards, in lot FS9 at the corner of Harpst and Rossow streets.

      Distance and terrain from designated parking lots to the commencement site in Redwood Bowl may be significant for some individuals. There are steep inclines and numerous stairs. Shuttle buses will be readily available to transport anyone wanting a ride to Redwood Bowl. Please look for the shuttle pick-up area under the tent in the parking lot at Harpst and Rossow.

      Once at Redwood Bowl, guests who have difficulty walking can request a wheelchair escort. This service is provided free of charge.

      American Sign Language Interpreters will provide signing for each ceremony.

      Appropriate auxiliary aides are available when possible. Requests must be made in advance to the Student Disability Resource Center at (707) 826-4678 as early as possible, preferably no later than April 25.

    • What about parking?

      Parking is available in most campus lots, and parking permits are not required on the day of the ceremony. Disabled parking is located in lot FS9 at Harpst and Rossow streets as well as lots G14 and G15 at Union and 14th street. Note that only shuttles and other authorized vehicles are allowed on Union Street north of 17th Street.

      To reach the passenger drop off area, turn left from Union Street on to 17th. For all other drop-offs, go to the designated lots where shuttles are available.

      Shuttles pick up passengers at designated locations every 10 minutes. Those leaving from the disabled parking lot are designed to accommodate wheelchairs. If you expect any trouble walking our hills, please take advantage of this service.

      If you have special parking needs, contact Parking & Commuter Services at (707) 826-3773 or

    • Where are the receptions?

      View a complete list of special receptions »


    • What about photographs?

      Guests are welcome to take photographs from their seats, but should not stand in the aisles nor block the view of other guests. Only official photographers will be permitted in the platform area.

      At least two different pictures of each graduate will be taken by a commercial photographer from GradImages—an individual portrait and a photo shaking hands with President Lisa A. Rossbacher. The proofs of these pictures will be sent to the graduate. There is no obligation to order these pictures. You can contact GradImages by calling 800.261.2576.

    • What about flowers?

      A flower booth will be located at the south end of Redwood Bowl, and will be selling leis, rose bouquets, spring bouquets and stuffed animals.

    • What else should I know about the ceremony?

      Greening up graduation: In an effort to reduce waste at the Commencement ceremonies Take Back the Tap will continue to reduce the number of single-use bottles, while also working to minimize the number of disposable coffee cups. Look for water stations in Redwood Bowl to refill your reusable water bottles. Vendors will be selling discounted water canteens and souvenir coffee cups, complete with unlimited refills.

      Recycle Graduation Gowns: Please check in your rented gown at one of the Bookstore sites located in Redwood Bowl on the day of Commencement, or at the Bookstore within a week of graduation. You may keep the cap and tassel.

      Pledge Alliance: Green ribbons may be worn by graduates to symbolize their support of the Graduation Pledge of Social and Environmental Responsibility, a Commencement tradition that started at HSU in 1987. The pledge has been adopted by hundreds of universities worldwide, and reads:

      "I pledge to explore and take into account the social and environmental consequences of any job I consider and will try to improve these aspects for any organizations for which I work."

      The day of Commencement, there will be a booth and a table with information about the graduation pledge. Students may sign the pledge at that time. For more information, visit

      First aid: Our Center for First Aid, Lost and Found and Emergencies is located at the south end of the stadium.

      Baby strollers: Guest seating in the stadium is in the bleachers with steep steps, and the use of baby strollers is not recommended.

      No dogs—or animals of any kind—are allowed in Redwood Bowl or Redwood Plaza on Commencement day. The only exception is registered service dogs. Security will be on hand to ensure compliance throughout the day.

      Please note: Alcoholic beverages, balloons, coolers/ice chests, banners, signs, beach balls, noisemakers, silly string and fireworks are not allowed in Redwood Bowl. Smoking is not permitted in or around Redwood Bowl. Smoking is allowed only in designated areas on campus.

    • How do I get a Commencement program?

      The Commencement program, with the names of graduates and program details, will be distributed to graduates and handed out to guests as they enter Redwood Bowl. Contact to obtain one after the ceremonies. There will be limited programs available.

      Your name will be listed in the program if you have completed degree requirements by August 2014 or January 2015, or have filed a timely graduation application for May 2015.

      Please note: The presence of your name in the program does not, in itself, testify to completion of your degree.

    • Where can I get more information?

      This website will be updated frequently, especially as we get closer to the day of the event. If you cannot find the information you need or you need clarification, please e-mail