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.

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.

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.

Photos/Live Broadcast

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 after the ceremony is in progress. Official photographs taken by GradImages, 1-800-261-2576 or

You can view the ceremony through our live broadcast at

Processional & Recessional

After students leave the staging area for the processional, they will not return to that area.  Students will recess through the guest seating into the concourse area.  Please plan to meet your guests in a specific section of the concourse (see map of Holmes Convocation Center).


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.

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

Accessibility Information

The following information relates to accommodation requests related to a disability. Please contact the Office of Disability Resources for additional requests or with questions.

Accessibility Seating within Holmes Center

The Holmes Center makes every effort to meet the needs of all guests and provides arena accessibility information via their website regarding accessible seating and restroom locations. 

Guests should utilize the accessible SW entrance off of Holmes Center 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.

Seating is limited and provided on a first come basis so early arrival is strongly recommended. The Holmes Center has accessible seating options as well as seating options for individuals with limited mobility. 

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

Wheelchair Assistance

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 Communication

Remote live captioning is provided during ceremonies for those who are deaf or hard of hearing and can be accessed via personal devices to access live captioning of the ceremony.

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.

Service Animals

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 at on Campus.