2017 Commencement will be held Friday, May 12
The University of Southernn California's School of Architecture satellite ceremony will be held at Founders Park with a reception to follow at Watt Hall Courtyard.
On this page:
- Where is the University’s main ceremony?
- Where is the School of Architecture’s ceremony?
- How to get to Founders Park
- Where to line up
- Information for family and guests
- Photography Information
- Reception information
- Reminders about regalia
- Honor cords
Note on Commencement Day Weather:
The USC School of Architecture’s Commencement satellite ceremony will occur rain or shine, and will not be covered. As a reminder, the ceremony will still take place outside, at Founders Park. In the event of rain, please prepare for yourself and your family with raincoats and ponchos, but notes that unfortunately umbrellas will not be permitted.
Where is the University’s main ceremony?
The main University ceremony will be located at Alumni Park, facing the Doheny Memorial Library. If you intend on participating in the
main ceremony, candidates for degrees are to assemble by 8 a.m. along the back side (north side) of The Von KleinSmid Center (VKC) as labeled in the assembly point map below (Assembly Point A).
Please look for School Marshals TBA. The processional will take place at 8:30 a.m., and the commencement ceremony will start at 9 a.m., lasting about 1 hour 15 minutes. This main ceremony is optional.
Following the ceremony, the Marshals will lead you to the School of Architecture’s satellite ceremony.
Where is the School of Architecture’s ceremony?
Our satellite ceremony will be held at Founders Park, where Trousdale meets Hellman Way on the north side of Bovard and the south side of Taper Hall.
The satellite ceremony will begin 11 a.m., immediately after the main ceremony at Founders Park (see map). This ceremony should end close to 1 p.m.
The speakers for the USC Architecture commencement ceremony are:
Welcome — Dean Qinyun Ma
Address — Pritzker Pride winning architect Thom Mayne
At 10:30 a.m. or immediately following the main ceremony, please assemble at Founders Park to line up for the School of Architecture ceremony.
*There will be no commencement rehearsal.
About USC Architecture Commencement Address Speaker:
Architect Thom Mayne
Thom Mayne (b. 1944, Waterbury CT) founded Morphosis in 1972 as a collective architectural practice engaged in cross-disciplinary research and design. As Design Director and thought leader of Morphosis, Mayne provides overall vision and project leadership to the firm. With permanent offices in Los Angeles and New York City, the firm currently employs over 60 architects and designers.
Mayne’s distinguished honors include the Pritzker Prize (2005) and the AIA Gold Medal (2013). He was appointed to the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities in 2009, and was honored with the American Institute of Architects Los Angeles Gold Medal in 2000. With Morphosis, Thom Mayne has been the recipient of 26 Progressive Architecture Awards, over 100 American Institute of Architecture Awards and numerous other design recognitions. Under Mayne’s direction, the firm has been the subject of various group and solo exhibitions throughout the world, including a large solo exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Paris in 2006. Morphosis buildings and projects have been published extensively; the firm has been the subject of 33 monographs.
Throughout his career, Mayne has remained active in the academic world. In 1972, he helped to found the Southern California Institute of Architecture. Since then, he has held teaching positions at Columbia, Yale (the Eliel Saarinen Chair in 1991), the Harvard Graduate School of Design (Eliot Noyes Chair in 1998), the Berlage Institute in the Netherlands, the Bartlett School of Architecture in London, and many other institutions around the world. There has always been a symbiotic relationship between Mayne’s teaching and practice, evidenced in his concurrent position as Executive Director of the Now Institute at UCLA, a research and design initiative focusing on applying strategic urban thinking to real world issues. He is a tenured Professor at UCLA Architecture and Urban Design since 1993. (photo credit: Michael Powers)
How do I get to Founders Park?
Since many of the normal paths and shortcuts will be blocked by other commencement ceremonies and vendors, it is best to walk from Watt Hall east down Bloom Walk and then north along Trousdale to get to the site, just past Bovard Auditorium to the north.
If you would like to familiarize yourself with the ceremony location, by the evening of Thursday, May 11, the site should be set up. Feel free to go over and look if you are curious.
Where do I line up?
Once at Founders Park, look for the area adjacent to the seating area (to the west). Look for the School of Architecture staff. It will be hard to miss the line of robed architecture grads.
Information for family and guests
Seating is available beginning at 7 a.m. and is on a first come, first served basis.
Tickets are not required for seating at the School of Architecture ceremony, but please be considerate of your fellow classmates and their family/friends who will be in attendance.
Please be courteous and refrain from reserving too many continuous seats.
Keep in mind, there is plenty of seating.
Being that the ceremony is outdoors and on a grassy field, here are some tips:
- Watch out for uneven ground and roots as. (Thin heels could also sink into the grass, so be careful.)
- Family members may want to have ball caps, sun hats, sunglasses, sunblock or other protective-wear in the event that it is particularly sunny and hot. The site is not tented.
- Trees may drop leaves. Don’t be startled.
- There is no rain contingency so look at weather reports and dress accordingly.
- A wheelchair area is available. Ask staff for assistance.
- Strollers need to be parked in the designated area south of Founders Park, closest to Bovard Auditorium.
Official photographers from Grad Images will capture all degree candidates as they walk across the stage and receive their diploma from the dean. They require some basic information to be filled out on an information card the day of the ceremony. We have pre-filled out the majority of information, but you will need to look it over to make sure it is correct when we are lining you up. If you did not complete the online commencement survey earlier in the semester you will be asked to fill out the card in its entirety.
There is no guest photography permitted in the aisles due to fire marshal regulations. Family members wishing to get closer may exit the seating area and take photos from outside the fence on the northwest corner of the site. In addition to the stage photo, students will be photographed once more by Grad Images as they step off the stage.
A light reception will follow the satellite ceremony at the Watt Hall Courtyard. Join us!
Reminders about regalia
Regalia (caps and gowns) are available to rent in the USC Bookstore on the third floor according to the dates provided on the University’s commencement page.
Rented regalia must be returned on immediately after the conclusion of commencement exercises to the bookstore, except for the tassel, which is retained by the graduate.
Masters degree candidates: Please make sure your hood color is blue violent, and not any other shades of blue or purple.
There is no rehearsal, but you will receive more information later regarding the logistics of assembling and lining up for the School of Architecture satellite ceremony.
Undergraduates who have earned a minimum 3.5 university grade point average at the end of the Fall 2016 semester are eligible to wear the official University honor cords at commencement. Eligible students will be contacted by Eric Moore.
Note: Eligibility to wear honor cords is not an indication that academic honors (cum laude, etc.) will be designated on your diploma/record since these honors will be awarded after final grades are determined after commencement.
Contact Eric Moore firstname.lastname@example.org
Do I have to purchase tickets to the main ceremony?
No, anyone can attend the main ceremony, which is held at 8:30 a.m. in Alumni Memorial Park.
Are tickets required for the School of Architecture satellite ceremony?
Tickets are not required for seating at the School of Architecture ceremony, but be considerate of your fellow classmates and their family/friends who will be in attendance. Please be courteous and refrain from reserving more than one contiguous row. Seating is available on a first come, first served basis.
What is the difference between the main ceremony and the satellite ceremonies?
The main ceremony is for all undergraduate and graduate students who are participating in commencement. USC President C. L. Max NIkias will address the students during the main ceremony, where students will then be asked to move their tassels from the right side of their cap to the left — the traditional sign of graduation.
The satellite ceremony is where the student will proceed across the stage and receive commendation on their achievements.
What time should we arrive for the University’s Commencement Ceremony?
The procession begins at 8:30 a.m. and the ceremony at a.m., but we recommend guests arrive by 7 a.m. to secure parking and seating.
Where should we park?
Parking is free on commencement day and on the day prior. However, parking is extremely limited on campus, and due to the large crowd expected at commencement, parking facilities will fill up early. The University Parking Center — on the corner of Jefferson Boulevard and Grand Avenue — is recommended for all degree candidates, their families and guests. We also suggest the Menlo Lot, just off of Exposition Boulevard by the Natural History Museum. If your guests arrive late and all campus parking facilities are filled, you may park for free at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, which is accessible off of Exposition Boulevard.
What services are available to help guests with disabilities?
If you would like to drop off guests with disabilities on campus, please enter campus through Gate No. 2, located on Figueroa Street, and drop off in front of the Widney Alumni House. Vehicles will then be directed to park at Parking Structure 1 on the corner of Figueroa Street and Exposition Boulevard (enter the structure off of Flower Street).
There are a limited number of wheelchairs available for checkout free of charge in front of the Alumni House for those in need of this service. Checkout begins at 6 a.m. All wheelchairs must be returned by 5 p.m
At the main ceremony, there is reserved seating at the front of Alumni Park for guests with disabilities, including those requiring sign language interpretation. Because space is limited, we can only allow one escort per disabled guest. The entrance to the disability seating area is on the south side of Doheny Memorial Library. Because the center of campus is crowded very early, it is recommended you access the entrance by circling behind Doheny.
The School of Architecture satellite ceremony will also have designated seating for guests with disabilities.
Where can I rent/purchase my cap and gown?
Graduates may rent academic regalia (caps, gowns and hoods) in the Pertusati University Bookstore, third floor, from May 1-12. Regalia must be returned on the day of commencement, at the conclusion of commencement exercises, to the bookstore, except for the tassel, which is retained by the graduate. Any updates of regalia and rental information can be found here: https://uscbookstore.com/t8-caps_gowns.aspx
Bachelor’s degree (black cap and gown only) $59.99
Master’s degree (black cap, gown and hood) $79.99
Doctoral degree (cardinal cap, gown and hood): $99.99
GRADUATE STUDENTS ONLY
Master's hood trim color is blue violet (NOT purple, NOT lilac)
The inside of the hood will be gold satin with a cardinal chevron.
To check on your commencement-related information, visit the Degree Progress website:
You can review the information that will be printed in the commencement program and on your diploma, verify the handling and mailing instructions for your diploma, and review the diploma mailing address that is in the university’s database.
Grad Fair is your one-stop way to get all the information you need about commencement. All soon-to-be graduates are encouraged to stop by Grad Fair for answers to questions, or to purchase commencement-related products.
The 2017 Grad Fair will be held in the ballroom of the Tutor Campus Center (RTCC).
Wednesday, Feb. 15, and Thursday, Feb. 16 (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
Taking place in Bovard Auditorium on Thursday, May 11, the university’s baccalaureate ceremony begins at 5 p.m. and runs about one hour. Baccalaureate is a non-denominational, interfaith celebration open to all students and their guests.
The highlight of the 2017 ceremony will be an address by TBD. The participation of numerous university dignitaries, as well as the religious directors who work with our student groups adds luster to the occasion. The service itself features music and readings from a wide range of religious traditions, and concludes with a benediction over the graduating students.
There are no reservations necessary for the ceremony, but seating in Bovard Auditorium is available on a first come, first served basis, and the 1,200 available seats always fill up quickly. Students do not need to wear regalia for the ceremony.
Baccalaureate is followed by a festive dinner for graduates and their families. The dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. This beautiful dinner hosts 1,200 students and families under an enormous canopy on Pardee Way.
The cost is $40 per person, which includes tax, gratuity and wine or other beverage. There is no limit to the number of tickets you can buy, but tables will be seated in groups of 10 (i.e. if you buy 11 tickets, we will have to split your party among two adjacent tables).
Cancellations may be made at any time, but we can only offer full refunds through April 8. Cancellations made between April 9 and April 24 will be given a 50 percent refund. No refunds will be given for cancellations made after April 22.
Reservations for the baccalaureate dinner will be taken starting Feb. 8.
Congratulations Class of 2017!
FUN FACT: Founders Park is beloved for its magnificent trees, among them a redwood honoring the memory of USC’s second president, Joseph P. Widney, who led the university from 1892 to 1895.