Please review the following information to help prepare for the commencement ceremony:
If you would like to invite family members to visit you for your commencement ceremony, and need documentation to support your family member(s) B-2 visitor visa(s), Illinois State University will provide a letter of invitation to assist students whose family members must apply for a visa in order to attend the commencement ceremony.
To obtain a letter, please follow these steps:
The letter of invitation will be emailed to the graduate, who can then forward it to family members for use in documenting their visa request. There is no charge for this service.
Note: It can take up to five business days for Graduation Services to process a letter of invitation.
Please arrive with cap and gown at least one hour prior to the ceremony start time. If your ceremony location is Braden Auditorium (spring only), check in at the Circus Room in the Bone Student Center. If your ceremony location is Redbird Arena, check in at Horton Fieldhouse, located north of Redbird Arena. Enter Horton Fieldhouse from the south side, facing the Turner Hall/Redbird Arena parking lot.
Doctoral candidates and their faculty hooders only: Please arrive with cap and gown at least one hour before the ceremony to Redbird Arena Media Room (Room 165) entering through the doors of the South loading dock of Redbird Arena. You do not need to check in at Horton Fieldhouse.
Questions or concerns regarding accessibility or appropriate accommodations should be addressed to Student Access and Accommodation Services, Fell Hall 350, (309) 438-5853.
Please leave all personal belongings with family members or friends (including purses, umbrellas, coats, etc.). The university is not responsible for the safekeeping of these items if left unattended during the ceremony. Please note: No bags, backpacks or boxes, except for purses and medical equipment, will be permitted in Redbird Arena for commencement. As a courtesy to all guests attending commencement, items such as balloons, balloon bouquets, signs, banners or other visual obstructions are discouraged in Redbird Arena.
Students must participate from the start to the end of the program. For ceremonies in Redbird Arena, students must exit from the northeast ramp of Redbird Arena after the ceremony. They are not permitted to return to the arena floor. Please make arrangements prior to the event for a meeting location with family and friends outside Redbird Arena.
Each graduate will have a selection of photos taken by professional commencement photographers prior to crossing the stage and while receiving their diploma cover. The photography company, Grad Images, will then email proofs and pricing information. There is no obligation to purchase photos.
Graduates are advised that possession and consumption of alcohol at commencement are strictly prohibited. Any student found to be in possession of alcohol will not be allowed to participate.