Guest FAQ

All Commencement ceremonies will be held on the Sonoma State University campus at the Green Music Center’s Weill Hall and Weill Lawn and Terrace. View the at-a-glance page for specific ceremony dates and times.

The deadline to obtain tickets for seating inside Weill Hall has passed. Guests without tickets can choose to sit outside or wait in the standby line at the Green Music Center. All ticketed guests must be in their seats 15 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony. Approximately 10 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony, Commencment staff will select guests in the standby line to fill any open seats in the reserved seating areas. Guests interested in sitting in the reserved seats who do not have a ticket and choose to be standby should check in with an usher or way finder at the Green Music Center when they arrive.

Absolutely! The Weill Hall Lawn and Terrace can accommodate more than 3,000 guests, and friends and family who do not receive tickets to sit inside the hall will find ample seating outdoors. No tickets will be required to view Commencement from the Lawn and Terrace, and seating will be first-come-first-serve. Just like patrons who attend concerts at the GMC in the summer, those on the Lawn and Terrace will have a “front row” view of what takes place on the stage via the jumbotrons located outside the hall, and the state-of-the-art sound system will assure that each graduate’s name will be heard by all. Approximately 3,000 chairs will be provided for everyone in the outdoor Commencement audience.

Guests without tickets may also get in the standby line to possibly get a reserved seat inside Weill Hall. Approximately 10 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony, Commencment staff will select guests in the standby line to fill any open seats in the reserved seating areas. Guests interested in standby seating should check in with an usher or way finder at the Green Music Center when they arrive.

We encourage all graduates' family and friends to attend Commencement, but because of limited seating inside Weill Hall, each graduate will be allocated two tickets for reserved guest seating either in the hall itself or the first few rows of outdoor seats.

Tickets will be available for pick up by graduates from April 24-28 and May 1-5. See the Graduate FAQ for complete details.

Tickets cannot be replaced so they should be kept in a safe location.

Guests who will be seated in Weill Hall or in the first few rows of the Weill Hall Lawn and Terrace should enter the gate to the Weill Hall Lawn and Terrace at the south end of the Music Education Building. The facility will open one hour prior to the start of the ceremony and doors to Weill Hall will open 30 minutes prior. Ushers will be available to provide guidance and to answer questions. Please refer to the Commencement map.

All ticketed guests must be seated no later than 15 minutes before the start of the ceremony. After this time, unfilled seats in the reserved area will be given to guests in the standby line.

Guests who will be seated outdoors may enter the gate to the Weill Hall Lawn and Terrace at the south end of the Music Education Building one hour prior to the start of the Commencement ceremony. Ushers will be available to provide guidance and to answer questions. Please refer to the Commencement map.

The Weill Hall Lawn and Terrace can accommodate more than 3,000 guests, and friends and family who do not receive tickets to sit inside the hall will find ample seating outdoors. No tickets will be required to view Commencement from the Lawn and Terrace, and seating will be first-come-first-serve.

Just like patrons who attend concerts at the GMC in the summer, those on the Lawn and Terrace will have a “front row” view of what takes place on the stage via the jumbotrons located outside the hall, and the state-of-the-art sound system will assure that each graduate’s name will be heard by all. Seats will be provided for everyone in the outdoor Commencement audience.

There are many locations outside to accommodate guests needing handicapped/disabled seating. These areas include cement pads on the Row H, Row P and Row GG terraces. Ushers on site will be able to direct, and assist, all guests to these areas.

There will be six separate commencement ceremonies, and each ceremony is scheduled to last no more than two hours.

Parking is free on Commencement day. The lots directly adjacent to the Green Music Center (Lots M, N, O, P) provide the closest general and disabled parking. Lots G and H are also within walking distance. Guests may use the pick-up and drop-off lane in front of the Music Education Building to assist guests with limited mobility.

Yes. No pets (service animals excepted), alcohol, drugs or weapons are allowed in the Green Music Center.

There is a zero-tolerance policy at Commencement for alcohol and drugs. Guests determined to be impaired will be removed from Commencement.

Out of respect to all candidates and their families and guests, we ask that you remain in your seats until the conclusion of the ceremony.

Each school’s Commencement ceremony will be held at the specified date and time, rain or shine. Those guests who will be seated in the outdoor, general admission area on the Weill Lawn and Terrace should come prepared for the forecasted weather in Rohnert Park that day.

At Commencement 2017, each graduate’s name will be proudly announced as part of the ceremony, and every graduate will walk across the stage of Weill Hall.

There will be a professional photographer from GradImages at each ceremony to take a photo of each graduate receiving his/her diploma cover. Graduates will receive an email proof of images within 48 hours of the ceremony.

Graduates, family and friends may pre-order graduation flowers, or they may be purchased at the Commencement site.

Unlike past years, the Commencement ceremonies will not be streamed on the Internet and video will not be available afterwards.

Sonoma State Commencement is a big event and local hotels tend to book quickly. Please encourage family and friends to make reservations now.

You can place an order for graduation announcements either online at HerffJones website or from the University Bookstore in the Student Center.

Any questions or comments should be sent by email to the Commencement Coordinator.