Faculty / Administration Information


The University of Pennsylvania's 259th Commencement will be held on Monday, May 18, 2015, in Franklin Field. The gates to the field will open by 8:30 a.m. for guest seating. Guests will be seated in the southeast, east, and northeast stands of the stadium. Degree candidates will assemble in Hamilton Village by 8:45 a.m., process down Locust Walk, and enter the field at 9:30 a.m. The ceremony will begin at 10:15 a.m. upon the entrance of the academic procession (the President's party and the faculty) and will conclude at approximately 12:00 noon. The ceremony will feature the conferral of degrees, the awarding of honorary degrees, greetings by University officials, and remarks by the Commencement speaker.

Academic Procession

Information for University Faculty and Administration who have been invited to march in the Academic Procession at the University of Pennsylvania's 259th Commencement.

The Academic Procession will form promptly at 8:45 a.m. in the lobby of the Annenberg Center and proceed through the campus to Franklin Field. The procession will pause for about 45 minutes on Locust Walk in front of the Van Pelt Library and line the pathway while the student procession passes through. The members of the Academic Procession are welcome to applaud the students as they proceed down Locust Walk, but we ask that you not reach out to shake hands with the students, as this slows down the procession. The Commencement ceremony will begin at approximately 10:15 a.m., with the entrance of the Academic Procession, and will conclude at approximately noon with the recession from Franklin Field.

Commencement will be held rain or shine. Those joining the procession are encouraged to wear rain gear to protect themselves and their academic attire from the rain (the dye in the gown may bleed onto clothing when wet). In the unlikely event of dangerous weather conditions that threaten personal safety, the ceremony may be delayed. If these conditions are forecast to persist throughout the morning, the ceremony may be moved to the Palestra, where admission will be limited to degree candidates and Academic Procession participants only. These steps would be taken only in extreme circumstances. If there are any changes in the ceremony plans, details will be communicated by:

  • announcements on Penn's Commencement information line, (215) 573-GRAD, on the University’s emergency information number, (215) 898-MELT, and on radio station KYW (1060 AM); and
  • a notice on the Commencement website, www.upenn.edu/commencement.