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Information for Guests

Commencement 2023 graduate information

Palo Alto University is pleased to announce this year’s 2023 commencement ceremony will be held at the Santa Clara Convention Center on Saturday, June 17, 2023, at 10 a.m. PT

More information will be provided as event details are finalized. Please check this page often for the most up-to-date information. 

Event Flyer
Lodging & Dining Recommendations

The links below is a list of accommodations and restaurants near the Santa Clara Convention Center and Palo Alto University, Allen Calvin campus.

Lodging Dining
Frequently Asked Questions for Guests
General Information

When is the ceremony?Toggle Accordion

The ceremony will take place on Saturday, June 17, 2023, at 10 a.m. PDT.

Where is the ceremony being held? Toggle Accordion

The 2023 commencement ceremony will be held at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Halls C & D.

Where can I find parking and transportation Information for the Convention Center?Toggle Accordion

Where can I find a map of the Santa Clara Convention Center?Toggle Accordion

How do I request accommodations for guests with a disability?Toggle Accordion

If you require ADA accommodations, please complete the ADA Request Form by June 1, 2023.

How can I order Commencement photos of my graduate?Toggle Accordion

Photos taken by our professional photographer can be ordered through Grad Images to commemorate the special day! 

Day-Of Ceremony Information

Where and when do candidates line up?Toggle Accordion

Graduates should arrive at Hall B in the Santa Clara Convention Center, 45 minutes before the start of the ceremony already dressed in their regalia.

Will there be a place where Candidates can store their valuables during the ceremony?Toggle Accordion

No. Graduates should leave personal possessions with family and friends; we do not have security or space to store them. We are not responsible for lost, stolen, or destroyed personal possessions.

How early should guests arrive at the Santa Clara Convention Center?Toggle Accordion

The doors to Hall C & D where the ceremony will be held, will open 1 hour prior to the ceremony. You are required to have an Eventbrite ticket. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis as long as have an Eventbrite ticket. Candidates, please be sure to notify your guests of this procedure. If you require ADA accommodations, please complete this request form by June 1, 2023.

Are seats reserved?Toggle Accordion

No, all seats are general admission and on a first-come, first-served basis, unless requesting ADA accommodations

How long does the Commencement Ceremony last?Toggle Accordion

The ceremony will last approximately 90 to 120 minutes.

Can children accompany candidates on stage?Toggle Accordion

No, children need to be seated in general seating with the candidate's guests. Children two and older will require a ticket for entry.

Will there be a professional photographer onsite?Toggle Accordion

Yes, PAU partners with GradImages, who will take multiple photos of each candidate as they process across the stage. GradImages will email graduates a few days after commencement when  proofs are ready. Graduate nformation is never shared and privacy is guaranteed. 

Are there any areas that are restricted or off-limits? Toggle Accordion

Areas will be blocked off during the ceremony for visibility and safety reasons. We ask that everyone respects these blocked areas and comply with commencement volunteers that may ask you to move away from these designated areas. 

Can guests record the ceremony? Toggle Accordion

Yes, the use of video cameras will be allowed to the extent that they do not obstruct the view of other guests in the audience. Monopods, bipods, and tripods are not allowed.

Will the ceremony be live-streamed?Toggle Accordion

Yes, the link to access the live-stream will be added as we get closer to the ceremony.

Who can attend the commencement ceremony? Toggle Accordion

Family, Friends, & Guests with a ticket are welcome to attend.

Is there a limit on the number of guests that graduates can invite?Toggle Accordion

Yes, at this time all students are limited to 7 guests. All guests two years of age and older, will require a ticket. 

How do guests receive tickets to attend the ceremony?Toggle Accordion

Your graduate will request tickets through Eventbrite and will distribute them to you. A paper or digital ticket will be accepted at the entrance to the ceremony hall. The deadline for graduates to collect tickets is June 3. 


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