Information & Accessibility

Parking & Transportation

Ceremony Information

Students process via the doors below section 16 into the arena. During the ceremony the Dean of the college/school, with the assistance of the student marshals, will direct students to the stage. Students will march across the stage as their name is being read, be greeted by the Chancellor and the Dean of the college/school, have a graduation picture taken, and be directed back to their seat by student marshals.

Guests are to remain seated during the ceremony until the recessional for the students has ended. Students will recess to the upper concourse area. Please make arrangements with your student prior to the ceremony to meet in a particular section of the concourse.

Real Time Captioning & Sign Language Interpreters

Remote live captioning is provided during ceremonies for those who are deaf or hard of hearing. When remote live captioning is used, personal devices can be used to access live captioning of the ceremony via the Live Stream.

When requested through the Office of Disability Services sign language interpreters are provided and are projected on the main screen. Interpreters will not be signing individual names for graduating students.

Assistive Listening Devices

Assistive listening devices are available at the Holmes Center on a first come first served basis.

Seating Information

Commencement ceremonies taking place in the Holmes Convocation Center have open seating. There is no limit to the number of guests allowed, and tickets are not required. The Convocation Center makes every effort to accommodate the needs of all guests. Parent and guest seating is on the upper concourse level and student marshals will be at the entrance to assist guests with seating. Electronic sign boards are available at each entrance for specific directions. The concourse can be accessed by way of the SW entrance off of Holmes Center Drive. The SW entrance is accessed by a ramp and leads to section 9 in the arena. There is also a passenger elevator located at section 9 for use on a per event basis.

The Holmes Center has accessible seating options. Wheelchair assistance by trained medical personnel to accessible seating is available by request at the First Aid Station in section 9. Appalachian State University does not maintain a supply of wheelchairs for personal use. It is recommended that guests with limited mobility work with a medical supply store or pharmacy for short term wheelchair options/rentals.

Seating is limited so early arrival is strongly recommended.

Please review the map of the Holmes Convocation Center for a visual representation of the entrances and seating areas available.

How long will the ceremony last?

Appalachian has a tradition of recognizing each student in attendance, and the length of each ceremony is dependent on the number of graduates from each college. Please plan for 2 hours.

When should I arrive?

It is recommended that you arrive 45 minutes to an hour before the ceremony begins. All guest seating is located on the upper concourse and is on a first come first serve basis. Tickets are not required for Commencement and there is no limit to the number of guests you may invite. Backpacks or bags are not allowed in the Holmes Convocation Center during special events.

Personal Belongings

Graduates will not be allowed to bring purses, coats, or umbrellas into the student staging area. At the conclusion of the ceremony, they will exit to the concourse level and do not return to the event level hallways where they were staged prior to the ceremony.

Graduates have been directed to make arrangements with their guests to hold personal items and valuables during the ceremony. Any items left in the staging area will be taken to a table in section 15 on the upper concourse where they can be claimed following the ceremony. Items left in the staging area will not be monitored and the University is not responsible for any lost or stolen items.


While photography and video are permitted during the ceremony, please note that only authorized press and University photographers are permitted on the arena floor to take pictures after the ceremony is in process.


A flower vendor will be available at the Holmes Convocation Center on the day of the ceremony should you wish to purchase flowers for your graduate. Please keep in mind that flowers should be given to your graduate after the ceremony, as bouquets will not be allowed on the arena floor during the ceremony.

Watch from Home

If you are feeling sick and unable to travel, you can still view the ceremony through our live broadcast. Please visit the following page and select the appropriate link for the ceremony you wish to view.

Copies of Commencement Ceremonies

If you would like a DVD copy of any commencement ceremony, please contact University Archives at or 828-262-7974.

A transcript of the ceremony can be made available by making a request to:
Office of the Registrar
John E. Thomas Hall
P.O. Box 32009
Boone, NC 28608-2009

Please contact the Office of Disability Services for additional accommodation requests related to a disability.