Spring 2021 in-person commencement ceremonies will be held in the Holmes Convocation Center. The information below is designed to help graduates and guests navigate campus before and during the ceremony. Visit the university's commencement site for additional details.
Free parking for guests attending commencement ceremonies is available in the Rivers Street Parking Deck. All parking is available on a first-come basis. Visit maps.appstate.edu to view additional parking and accessibility information and more.
Guests should plan to be parked at least 45 minutes prior to when their commencement ceremony is scheduled to begin to allow sufficient time to navigate from the Rivers Street Park Deck to the Holmes Center and be seated.
Students and guests may be dropped off on Holmes Drive. Holmes Drive will be operating as a one-way street heading south to north from Faculty Street (by Boonie's Chicago Style Pizza) toward Rivers Street.
The Holmes Center Lot adjacent to the Holmes Center is available on a first-come basis for guests with DMV-issued disability placards.
Traffic control personnel will be at the intersection of Rivers and Hill streets to direct to the appropriate parking area and accessible routes to the southwest entrance of the Holmes Center.
Graduating students should check in at the Health, Leisure and Exercise Science academic entrance of the Holmes Center, facing Rivers Street. Students should plan to check in one hour prior to the start of the ceremony. Students will be seated on the arena floor no later than 15 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony.
During the ceremony volunteers will direct students to the stage. Students will march across the stage as their name is being read, be greeted by the Chancellor, have a graduation picture taken and be directed back to their seat.
Guests are to remain seated during the ceremony until the recessional for the students has ended. Students will recess outside of the building via the northwest entrance. Please make arrangements with your student prior to the ceremony to meet outside.
When Should Guests Arrive?
It is recommended that you arrive 45 minutes to an hour before the ceremony begins. Holmes Center doors open one hour before each ceremony.
Campus Dining invites parents, families and graduates to the dining room of Rivers Street Cafe in Roess Dining Hall. Light snacks and drinks will be provided compliments of Chancellor Sheri Everts. Drop in anytime from 11 a.m.–5 p.m. on May 7, 8, 10, 11 and 12. Additionally, commencement-themed celebration cakes and alumni merchandise from the University Bookstore will be available for purchase.
Guests will enter via the Holmes Center upper concourse and will be seated together in pods. All seating is assigned and tickets are required.
The upper 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. Please review the map of the Holmes Center for a visual representation of the entrances and seating areas.
Personal Belongings Allowances
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 the building and will not return to the event-level hallways where they were staged prior to the ceremony.
Any items left behind will be taken to a table in section 9 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.
Guests are permitted items per the Holmes Center's Bag and Admission Policy. This includes small clear plastic bags, small clutch purses, individual seat cushions and medically necessary items.
You can view a livestream of each in-person ceremony on the university's commencement site.
Photos for purchase
Information on purchasing photos will be sent to the student's permanent address. Only authorized press and university photographers are permitted on the floor to take pictures.
Official photographs are provided by GradImages. Contact GradImages at 1-800-261-2576 or www.gradimages.com.
Flowers for purchase
Parents and guests are invited to pre-order flowers for their graduate via our online flower vendor. Pre-purchased orders will be available for contact-free pickup at a booth on the upper concourse of the Holmes Center. Flowers should be given to your graduate after the ceremony, as bouquets will not be permitted on the arena floor.
Graduation meal packs and celebratory cakes for purchase
Campus Dining is offering graduation meal packs that feed six people and/or celebratory cakes for purchase. Meal packs and cakes are for pickup only. Due to capacity restrictions related to COVID-19, the food must be consumed outside of the dining facility.
Items are available for pickup April 29—May 12, with the exception of Mother's Day, May 9. Orders must be placed three business days prior to the desired pickup date — the final day to place orders is May 7.
App State is committed to providing an inclusive experience for individuals with disabilities. If accommodations are needed in order to fully participate in commencement events on the basis of a disability contact the Office of Disability Resources (firstname.lastname@example.org or 828-262-3056). Requests for sign language interpreters or remote live captioning are recommended to be made a minimum of two weeks prior to a commencement ceremony.
Accessibility Seating within Holmes Center
The Holmes Center makes every effort to meet the needs of all guests and provides arena accessibility information via its website regarding accessible seating and restroom locations.
Guests should utilize the accessible SW entrance off of Holmes Drive, which leads to section 9 in the arena. There is also a passenger elevator located at section 9 for use on a per-event basis.
Please review the map of the Holmes Center for a visual representation of the entrances and accessible seating areas available.
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.
Assistive listening devices are available at the Holmes Center on a first-come, first-served basis at the SW box office located at section 9.
Only service animals (dog or miniature horse) trained to perform specific tasks to mitigate functional limitations of a disability in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act are permitted in the arena. Comprehensive information regarding animals on campus can be found in the Animals on Campus Policy.