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Information for Guests

Commencement is a special time for graduates of Drake University and for their families and friends. Participating in Drake's commencement ceremony is a wonderful way to celebrate your graduate's achievement. Below is helpful information for family and friends of graduates to ensure a memorable, stress-free celebration.

Commencement does not require tickets and there are no guest limits in place. All seating is first-come, first-served.

Maps, Directions, and Parking

  • Interactive Campus Map
  • Driving Directions
  • Parking: We recommend parking in Lot 1 near the Knapp Center, however parking is available for free in any Drake Lot. Use the "Parking" filter on the interactive campus map to view parking lot options.

Knapp Center Information

  • Knapp Center Seating Map
  • Tickets/Seating: No tickets are required. The size of the Knapp Center allows enough space to not limit the number of guests per graduate. Seating is first-come, first-served.
  • Accessible Seating: There are six ADA Accessible seating sections located on the track level of the Knapp Center (see seating map). Each section contains four movable chairs.
  • Commencement Stage: The stage will be located on the East end of the floor in front of sections 116-119. Graduates will be seated by their college/school. A seating chart will be available approximately two weeks prior to the event here.
  • Clear Bag Policy: The following bags are approved for the Knapp Center:
    • Clear tote bags made of plastic, vinyl or PVC that do not exceed 12″ x 6″ x 12″
    • Small clutch bags that do not exceed 5.5″ x 8.5"
    • One-gallon clear plastic zip-style bags
    • Medical or diaper bags – diaper bags must be accompanied by a child
  • Restricted Items: Please do not bring to the ceremonies any objects that contain latex. At least one of our current Drake students has a latex allergy. Exposure to latex in certain forms may be life threatening. Therefore, we ask that you do not bring any latex objects, such as latex balloons, to any of the commencement ceremonies. If you have latex items that are medically related and need to be used at any of the ceremonies, please contact the Office of the Registrar at 515-271-2025.

Ceremony Live Stream
Drake University will stream the commencement ceremonies live here:

Restaurant and Hotels
For Des Moines restaurant and hotel information please click here.

Weather Policy
In case of inclement weather Drake’s University Closing Policy may be invoked.


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