Families and Guests

Details and Logistics

We know the investment that families and friends have in each of our graduates' educations and experiences here at Old Dominion University. Now it is time for you to celebrate with your graduate. 

Do guests need a ticket to attend commencement?

All guests must have a ticket to enter the venues. Tickets are distributed to qualified graduating students. All children over the age of 2 require a ticket. Children 2 years of age and younger are not required to have a ticket if they can sit in a parent's lap. View the complete ticket policy for students.

What if I don't have a ticket for Chartway Arena?

Auxiliary viewing is provided on a first come, first served basis for events in Chartway Arena. Auxiliary viewing is located in the Big Blue Room of Chartway Arena. Please follow the signage to the entrance on 43rd Street. Guests in auxiliary viewing will see the processional enter the building and then view the remainder of the ceremony on-screen.

What if I don't have a ticket for S. B. Stadium?

There is no auxiliary seating location for S.B. Ballard Stadium ceremonies. Celebrate and watch your graduate through the ODU livestream if you do not have a ticket.

When should I arrive and where do I park?

Please remember to bring your guest tickets with you to the venue and plan to arrive 30-60 minutes prior to the ceremony start time. If you are providing transportation for your graduate, they will need to be at the registration area no later than 60 minutes prior to the ceremony.

Signage on Hampton Boulevard in front of the campus will direct you to the appropriate entrances. If you are attending the Saturday ceremony, please plan to arrive early as we are expecting high volume of traffic on Hampton Blvd between 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m.

Accessibility Needs

Commencement ceremonies at Old Dominion University are accessible to all graduates and guests. View more details

What can I expect during the ceremony?

The ceremony will start with a processional that will enter the venue at the exact ceremony start time. This will be followed by speakers, the confirmation of degrees, and then personal congratulations where each graduate's name will be read before walking across the stage. For outdoor ceremonies, please plan on being outdoors for a number of hours and dress accordingly to the weather.

Can I take photos or video during the ceremony?

Yes. We ask that you do not disrupt the ceremony by taking photographs at inappropriate times and locations and that you exercise restraint, particularly during the processional.

Please note that GradImages is the authorized vendor for ceremony photos and a professional photographer will take pictures of each graduate. There is no obligation to purchase these photos, but proofs will be sent to the student shortly after the ceremony.

Where can I meet my graduate or family after the ceremony?

We ask that you remain seated until the ceremony has come to a close. Every graduate has worked hard to earn this day and having guests leaving during the ceremony is disruptive. Please arrange to meet your graduate or family outside, as the building must be cleared as quickly as possible to prepare for the next ceremony.

There are many photo opportunities on the plaza in front of the Chartway Arena, surrounding S.B. Ballard Stadium, as well as at various locations around campus. There will not be an opportunity for after-ceremony photos in the venue.

What if there is inclement weather?

The fall commencement ceremonies are held indoors. If inclement weather does affect a ceremony information will be shared on the odu.edu homepage.

Clear Bag Policy at S.B. Ballard Stadium

ODU has implemented a Clear Bag Policy at Kornblau Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium. Guests can bring one clear bag and one small bag per person. Clear bags approved for entry: A clear tote (12x6x12) or a one gallon, clear plastic storage bag. Small bags (6.5x4.5") and wallets are allowed. Also approved are seat cushions (16x16") without arms or pockets. One cushion per person.

Not approved: Large purses, briefcases, backpacks, drawstring bags, personal seatbacks, diaper bags, fanny packs, coolers, computer bags, camera bags, binocular cases, and luggage of any kind.