We are hosting an in-person Commencement for the Class of 2023 on Sunday, May 21, 2023 at 9:00 a.m. in Hillside Theater. Livestreaming will be available for those family members unable to attend (check the Commencement homepage as the date nears).
Commencement Ceremony Information
Admission to Commencement
Wristbands are required to enter Hillside Theater on the day of Commencement. Children under the age of two, who will be lap sitting, do not require a wristband. Please coordinate with your student, as they will be given seven wristbands for the ceremony when they pick up their cap and gown during the week prior to Commencement. Please note that wristbands are non-transferable and no one without a wristband will be allowed inside the theater.
The in-person Commencement ceremony for the Class of 2023 will be livestreamed online for those family members unable to attend. The link to the YouTube Premiere will be made available in the days preceding the ceremony and will go live on Sunday, May 21 at 8:30 a.m. (Pacific Daylight Time).
Additionally, Commencement will be livestreamed on campus in Choi Auditorium, an ADA-accessible, air-conditioned theater. Choi Auditorium is located just off the Academic Quad, where the post-Commencement reception is held. Wristbands are not required to watch in Choi Auditorium, and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Masks are required.
All attendees will be subject to a bag check prior to entering the Hillside Theater. Attendees should be prepared to open their bags for inspection by a security representative. The doors will open at 7:00 a.m. No one will be admitted before then. Everyone needs to be seated by 8:45 a.m. for Commencement to begin at 9:00 a.m. sharp.
Please note that the seats in Hillside Theater are concrete and have no back support. Therefore, you may want to bring a blanket or seat cushion. Cushions can be purchased at the Bookstore kiosk at Hillside Theater prior to the ceremony. No strollers, umbrellas, balloons and signs bigger than 24" x 36" will be allowed inside the theater.
Flowers will be available for purchase on campus at multiple locations near Hillside Theater on the day of Commencement. The Commencement Group, a commercial firm, offers fresh flower bouquets and orchid leis. For more information, please contact the Bookstore at firstname.lastname@example.org or (323) 259-2630.
Please note that NO pets are allowed in Hillside Theater (except for seeing-eye and K-9 assist dogs). Comfort animals are not allowed.
Campus parking will be available for guests attending the Commencement ceremony. Parking is on a first-come, first-served basis. Campus Safety officers will guide guests to the designated parking areas the morning of the event.
The taking of pictures or videos by individuals immediately in front of the platform is not allowed in an effort to eliminate crowding and confusion in that area. Grad Images, a commercial firm, will be at Commencement to photograph each graduate at the moment the diploma is presented. Several weeks after Commencement, proofs and an order form will be sent to your student's email address as shown on file with the Registrar's office.
The terrain of the campus requires considerable walking to and from the theater and parking lots. Comfortable shoes are a must. Because Hillside Theater is an open-air venue, please use discretion and check weather reports as conditions in the theater may be uncomfortable for younger children and the elderly. If the weather is unseasonably warm, you will appreciate having water, a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen during the ceremony as most seats are in direct sun. Should the weather be overcast, you should also bring a jacket.
Early arrival is essential for the best choice of seats in Hillside Theater, but it is especially important for individuals with special-assistance needs to arrange to be seated no later than 8:00 a.m. A limited number of seats are set aside on the stadium field level for people who need special seating.
- Seats for those requiring special assistance will be assigned on the day of Commencement on a first-come, first-served basis.
- You do not need to fill out a form to request special seating.
- Occidental College is unable to furnish wheelchairs. If you are coming from a distance and are unable to bring your wheelchair, rental arrangements are possible but must be made in advance. Please contact Rocio Ramos at (323) 259-2558 or email@example.com for assistance.
ADA parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis, but you must display your official DMV handicapped placard to access an ADA parking space on campus. When you arrive, you will be directed to the closest handicapped parking area by a Campus Safety officer. Shuttles will be available from the ADA parking areas to take you to the north entrance of Hillside Theater and your return trip back to the ADA parking areas at the conclusion of the Commencement exercises.
Shuttles will run on designated routes from 7 a.m. until 8:45 a.m., and from the conclusion of Commencement exercises until 1:30 p.m.
If you have any questions regarding ADA parking, contact Campus Safety at (323) 259-2599.
Travel & Transportation Information
There are two main airports that serve Occidental. The closest is the Hollywood Burbank Airport, which is less than a half-hour from campus. Los Angeles International Airport is about an hour's drive from campus, depending on traffic. Transportation is available from each airport to hotels and other accommodations in the Pasadena area.
Local hotel accommodations may be found in Eagle Rock, Glendale, Pasadena, and South Pasadena. Many hotels are offering special discounts for Occidental College visitors. Please inquire about discounts when making your reservation.
View the hotel information page.
Maps & Directions