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Spring Commencement

Drake University looks forward to celebrating its May 2021 and May, August, and December 2020 graduates in-person this spring.

Update: Due to inclement weather forecasted, all commencement ceremonies will be held indoors in the Knapp Center. Masks are required for all candidates and guests. Social distancing must be observed.

To provide a safe environment and adhere to COVID-19 guidelines, commencement has been divided into six ceremonies held Friday, May 14, and Saturday, May 15, in the Knapp Center. Students have been assigned a ceremony time alphabetically by last name and based on their graduating college or school. Students should have received an email with their designated ceremony time on Tuesday, May 11.

All graduates and guests will be required to wear face coverings in line with campus policies and practice social distancing, and guest attendance will be limited. Face coverings must be worn at all times. We will continue to monitor COVID-19 case data and adhere to all local, state, and national guidelines regarding gatherings and if necessary, we will adjust our plans accordingly to maintain the safety of our graduates, guests, faculty, and staff.

Spring 2021 Ceremony Schedules

Ceremony
Location, Date, & Time
CPHS Professional Programs Ceremony
Knapp Center - Friday, May 14, 2 p.m.
Law School Ceremony
Knapp Center - Friday, May 14, 7 p.m.
Undergraduate Ceremony #1
  • A&S Group A (Last Names A-King)
  • CBPA Group A (Last Names A-Hertogs)
  • Education (all students)
Knapp Center - Saturday, May 15, 9 a.m.
Undergraduate Ceremony #2
  • A&S Group B (Last Names Klein-Z)
  • CPHS (all students)
Knapp Center - Saturday, May 15, 12 p.m.
Graduate Ceremony
Knapp Center - Saturday, May 15, 3 p.m.
Undergraduate Ceremony #3
  • CBPA Group B (Last Names Hince-Z)
  • Journalism (all students)
Knapp Center - Saturday, May 15, 6 p.m.

Ticketing

Ticketing has not changed. All students are guaranteed a pod of four tickets. The tickets you reserved will be updated with your ceremony date and time. Candidates received an email April 12 with instructions on how to reserve guest tickets. The ticket confirmation email is required for entry to the Knapp Center.

Seating will be general admission in the Knapp Center. In order to maintain proper social distancing, available seats will be marked. Please do not sit in an area that is not marked. Accessible seating will be available and reserved for those who communicated a need.

Seating will be general admission in the Knapp Center. However, guests attending the Law School and CPHS professional ceremonies on Friday will be asked to sit in their reserved section. In order to maintain proper social distancing, available seats will be marked. Please do not sit in an area that is not marked. Accessible seating will be available and reserved for those who communicated a need.

Frequently Asked Questions

For the Saturday ceremonies, what do I need to do to ensure I have tickets for the new ceremony?

Ticket reservations will be automatically updated to reflect the student’s newly assigned commencement ceremony. Students will be notified of this update and a new confirmation email will be sent to the email address they provided. Students must forward the confirmation email to their guests.

Guests must have an electronic (email or screenshot) or paper copy of their ticket confirmation email to enter the Knapp Center. Seating will be general admission. In order to maintain proper social distancing, available seats will be marked. Please do not sit in an area that is not marked.

Can I choose my seats in the Knapp Center?

Yes, seating will be general admission for the Saturday, May 15, ceremonies. Pods of four seats will be marked. Please do not sit in an area that is not marked.

What time will the Knapp Center open to guests?

The Knapp Center doors will open one hour prior to the commencement ceremony.

On Saturday, May 15, guests must have an electronic (email or screenshot) or paper copy of their ticket confirmation email to enter the Knapp Center. Seating will be general admission. In order to maintain proper social distancing, available seats will be marked. Please do not sit in an area that is not marked.

Can I change the ceremony I am assigned to?

No. Each ceremony is at its maximum capacity, and we will not be able to accommodate changes to your ceremony assignment.

I have graduates assigned to separate ceremonies; will I receive tickets for both ceremonies?

Yes. Each student is guaranteed one pod of four tickets for guests at their assigned ceremony.

Can I use someone else’s guest tickets if they’re not using all four?

No. Pods cannot be split up or shared among graduates.

Where should I park?

Free parking for commencement is available anywhere on Drake's campus. View an interactive map of our campus parking lots and print a PDF map.

Parking Lot 4 (near the Tennis Center) is reserved for student parking. Lots 3 and 17 are unavailable for guest parking.

Can my family and friends watch a livestream of commencement?

Yes. Drake will livestream all six commencement ceremonies. Links will be made available at drake.edu/commencement and the Drake University Facebook page.

How do guests access tickets after they are reserved?

Graduates must forward the ticket confirmation email to their guests. Guests must have an electronic or paper copy of the confirmation email to enter the Knapp Center.

How long will each ceremony last?

The exact length of each ceremony is unknown currently, but due to COVID-19 mitigation efforts, ceremonies are likely to be longer than normal. Estimates based on previous years:

CPHS Hooding & Professional Programs Commencement: 1.5 hours
Law School: 1 hour
Undergraduate: 1 hour
Graduate: 1 hour

What do I do if I’ve changed my mind and would no longer like to attend?

If you’re no longer planning to attend, email Brina Coppi at brina.coppi@drake.edu.

What is the University’s face coverings policy for commencement?

Drake’s face coverings policy remains in effect for everyone on campus, including guests. Face coverings include cloth or disposable surgical masks that cover an individual’s nose and mouth. Note that gaiter and bandana style masks are specifically excluded as part of this definition. Face coverings must be worn at commencement by participants and guests at all times.

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