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commencement

  • THE CEREMONY
  • Commencement Address Speaker
  • Information for Family and Guests
  • Reader Card and Photography Information
  • Regalia
  • Reception Information
  • Video and Social Media
  • Other General Information
  • For Graduate Students
  • FAQ

The University of Southern California's School of Architecture satellite ceremony will be held at Founders Park with a reception to follow at Watt Hall Courtyard.


GETTING 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 10, the site should be set up. Feel free to go over and look if you are curious.

The Ceremony

MAIN CEREMONY

(optional)

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 - Gary Paige and Alvin Huang. 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.


Following the ceremony, the Marshals will lead you to the School of Architecture’s Satellite Ceremony.


SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE 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.


WHERE TO LINE UP (for Graduating Students)

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 graduates. Pick up your Lineup/Reader-card at the checkin table at Founders Park which will help you find your place in line with your peers.

 

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.


Commencement Address Speaker
  • Christopher Hawthorne
    Christopher Hawthorne

Christopher Hawthorne is the Chief Design Officer for the city of Los Angeles, a position appointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti. Prior to joining City Hall, he was architecture critic for the Los Angeles Times from 2004 to early 2018. With Alanna Stang, he is the author of "The Green House: New Directions in Sustainable Architecture" (Princeton Architectural Press). His writing has also appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Slate, Architectural Record, Architecture, Harvard Design Magazine and many other publications. He is professor of the practice at Occidental College, where since 2015 he has directed the Third Los Angeles Project, a series of public conversations about architecture, urban planning, mobility and demographic change in Southern California. Hawthorne has also taught at U.C. Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University and the Southern California Institute of Architecture. A frequent collaborator with KCET-TV in Los Angeles, he received an L.A.-area Emmy Award for the 2016 KCET program" Third L.A. with Architecture Critic Christopher Hawthorne" and wrote and directed the hour-long documentary" That Far Corner: Frank Lloyd Wright in Los Angeles," which had its broadcast debut earlier this year. His professional honors include a mid-career fellowship from the National Arts Journalism Program at Columbia University, the Bradford Williams Medal from the American Society of Landscape Architects and a Residency in Criticism at the American Academy in Rome. Hawthorne grew up in Berkeley and earned a bachelor's degree with honors from Yale, where he studied political science and architectural history.


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.


Reader Card and Photography Information

Professional Photographers During the Ceremony

We will have the official photographers from Grad Images, a university approved vendor, set up to capture each graduating student. Photographs will be taken of each student before they walk on stage, and with the Dean as they walk across the stage and receive their diploma. These photographs will be made available shortly after commencement day.

 

Reader Cards

The photography vendor require some basic information to be filled out on an information card the day of the ceremony so they can contact you with your photos. We have pre-filled out the majority of information needed based on the information you provided to us earlier in the semester. When you arrive at the site, look over the card we provide you at the check-in table to make sure it is correct. If you did not complete the commencement survey earlier in the semester you will be asked to fill out the card in its entirety. This is also an opportunity to make sure your name is on the reader card as you wish to have it read.


Where Photography is Permitted During the Ceremony

Please instruct your guests that there will be no photography permitted in the aisles due to fire marshal regulations. Family member wishing to get closer may exit the seating area and take photos from the other side of the fence near where students leave the stage, where students will also be photographed again by Grad Images. Please let your guests know that standing in the aisles for photographs is not tolerated, and ushers will escort them back to their seats or on the other side of the fence.


No Balloons of Large Signs

Please respect the other guests and do not obstruct their views with balloons or large signs. If your guests do have items that may obstruct the views of other guests, they need to sit at the back of the ceremony's seating so other guests can see their students commence. People who do not respect this will be asked to move to the back.

 

No Drones Allowed

At the request of the university, we must remind you that there are no drones allowed on campus during any of the ceremonies. Please let your guests know that there is a zero tolerance policy for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones, quadcopters, etc.)

Regalia

Regalia Rentals

— Regalia (caps and gowns) are available to rent, in the USC Bookstore on the third floor.

— Regalia must be returned on the day of Commencement, at the conclusion of commencement exercises, to the bins outside the Bookstore. Remember, the caps, tassels, and any honor cords or stoles are yours to keep!


Honor cords

Undergraduates who have earned a minimum 3.5 university grade point average at the end of the Fall 2017 semester are eligible to wear the official University honor cords at commencement. Eligible students will be contacted by Student Services.

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.


Regalia for Masters Degree Candidates

When you pick up your regalia from the bookstore, please make sure your hood color is BLUE VIOLET (and not other shades of blue or purple).


Reception Information

A light reception will follow the satellite ceremony at the Watt Hall Courtyard following our School Architecture Commencement Ceremony. Join us! 


This is a great opportunity to introduce your guests to your professors, friends, and your work in the exhibitions.


Information for Family and Guests


Seating

—There are NO Tickets for seating at the School of Architecture ceremony and there are plenty of seats.

— Seating is first come first serve and available from 7 a.m. on.

— Please be considerate of your fellow classmates and their family and friends who will be in attendance.

— Please be courteous and refrain from reserving too many seats.


 Wheelchair/Handicap Seating

A wheelchair area is available (ask staff for assistance on the day of). Guests who need to utilize the wheelchair area are permitted to sit with one additional guest only. The University provides other accommodations for guests with disabilities. Visit this site for more comprehensive information.

 

Strollers

Strollers need to be parked in the stroller area south of Founders Parkby the site next to Bovard.

Video and Social Media

Hash-Tags

Feel free to share your graduation moments with #uscgrad and #uscarchitecture. #uscgrad images may appear on the large screens around campus.


Video Streaming

This year we are offering a live stream of the USC Architecture Commencement Ceremony. Tell any of your friends and family who cannot join you in person, that they can watch in realtime through Facebook. Starting around 11am the feed will begin until when the ceremony comes to a close around 12:30pm/1pm.


Video Online After Commencement 

After the ceremony the recorded version of the event will be available on the School’s youtube page. Look for it a day or so after commencement and share with your friends and family to watch at their leisure.

Other General Information

— Watch out for uneven ground and roots as you are processing. (Thin Heels could also sink into the grass, so be careful.)

— Tell family members they may want to have ball caps, sun hats, sunglasses, or other protective-wear in case it is particularly sunny and hot.

— Remind family and friends that since our ceremony isoutside and guest seats are not tented and there is minimal shading.

— Trees may drop leaves. Don’t be startled.

— There is no rain contingency so look at weather reports and dress accordingly. (So far, inclement weather is not expected.)


Additional Questions

For general Commencement information, please Contact Eric Moore, ericjmoo@usc.edu.

For Graduate Students

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

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 2018 Grad Fair will be held in the ballroom of the Tutor Campus Center (RTCC).

 

Wednesday, Feb. 14, and Thursday, Feb. 15 (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.)


Visit the grad fair page for more information.

 

 Baccalaureate ceremony

Taking place in Bovard Auditorium on Thursday, May 10, 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 2018 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.


View the Baccalaureate Ceremony page for more information.

 

Baccalaureate Dinner

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 7. Cancellations made between April 8 and April 23 will be given a 50 percent refund. No refunds will be given for cancellations made after April 21.

 

Reservations for the baccalaureate dinner will be taken starting Feb. 7.


FAQ
  •  
    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. You may ask staff for assistance on the day of. Guests who need to utilize the wheelchair area are permitted to sit with one additional guest only.

     
  •  
    WILL THERE BE A LIVE VIDEO STREAM OF THE CEREMONY?

    VIDEO STREAMING

    We plan on offering a live stream of the USC Architecture Commencement Ceremony. Tell any of your friends and family who cannot join you in person, that they can watch in realtime through Facebook. Starting around 11am the feed will begin until when the ceremony comes to a close around 12:30pm. We will let you know if this changes.

     

    VIDEO ONLINE AFTER COMMENCEMENT

    After the ceremony we will make the recorded version of the event available here on the arch.usc.edu page in the coming days for your friends and family to watch at their leisure.

     
  •  
    WHERE CAN I RENT/PURCHASE MY GAP AND GOWN?

    Graduates may rent academic regalia (caps, gowns and hoods) in the Pertusati University Bookstore, third floor, from May 1-11. 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.


    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