Commencement Instructions for Guests

We are delighted you plan to join us to celebrate your graduate's accomplishments. 

Seating is limited and the venue is open to guests beginning at 4:30. Please arrive on campus no later than 5:30 to allow time to park and walk to the venue.

Guests are encouraged to wear a hat and sunglasses, and bring water. Commencement is an outdoor, sunny venue and spring evenings in the Lowcountry can be quite warm. Seating is in folding chairs and bleachers.  Please feel free to bring cushions. If you wish to bring lawn chairs, please set them up in grassy areas as directed by USCB staff. Commencement Ceremony guests should be advised that umbrellas, whether for rain or heat, obstruct the view of others in the crowd. Please be considerate of your fellow commencement attendees and wear appropriate clothing as as an alternative to umbrella usage.

Guests who are handicapped or who have difficulty walking can be dropped off near the flagpoles in front of the Hargray Building.  Please display your handicapped sticker or request assistance from the parking attendants.

The University of South Carolina honors each degree candidate’s accomplishment by reading their name, as they listed it, during the Commencement ceremony. Each student is personally greeted by the President of the University of South Carolina and by the Chancellor of the University of South Carolina Beaufort.

During the degree conferral, each degree recipient’s family and friends would like to hear their graduate’s name read as they cross the stage.  Please hold your applause until the last name is read.  Guests will have a special time to celebrate their graduate’s achievements after the last name is called. In keeping with the solemn nature of the ceremony, guests are asked not to bring or use noisemakers.  Disruptive guests may be asked to leave the ceremony.

After the ceremony there will be time for graduates, faculty, and staff to visit on the lawn where the recessional ends. Please refrain from crowding the graduates as the recessional ends in order to give graduates a few moments with their professors. Graduates have been instructed to find their families when they are finished meeting with professors, faculty, and staff.
In the event of rain:
The commencement ceremony will be postponed by thirty (30) minutes and will resume in the gymnasium at Bluffton High School. Due to limited space, each degree candidate will be able to reserve a set amount of rain tickets to give to guests. Only the guests holding a rain ticket will be able to attend the ceremony indoors in order to provide safety as designated by the Fire Marshal.