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Commencement FAQ

When is commencement?

Ohio Northern has three commencement ceremonies spread out over two weekends in May.

The first commencement ceremony is for the College of Pharmacy and is on Sunday, May 10, from 9-11 a.m. The full schedule of commencement events for the College of Pharmacy spans the weekend of May 9 and 10.

The second commencement ceremony is for undergraduates and takes place on Sunday, May 10, from 2-4 p.m. The full schedule of commencement event for undergraduates spans the weekend of May 9 and 10.

The third commencement ceremony is for the College of Law and is on Sunday, May 17, from 2-3:30 p.m. The full schedule of commencement events for the College of Law spans the weekend of May 16 and 17.

Where is commencement?

Each commencement ceremony is held indoors at the ONU Field House located in the ONU Sports Center (King Horn) at the northwest corner of campus.

How do we get there?

Our Maps & Directions page can help you find your way to campus. Once you are on campus, there are plenty of signs to help you find your way. The Sports Center is located along West Lincoln Avenue.

Where can guests park?

Parking will be available in lots on the north side of the Sports Center and to the north of Meyer all as well as in perimeter parking lots. These areas may be reached by West Lincoln Avenue. Security personnel will be available for assistance. Parking for persons with special needs will be provided on the north side of the Sports Center.

Courtesy vans will provide transportation from McIntosh Center and perimeter parking lots to the Sports Center beginning at 7 a.m. for Pharmacy commencement and at noon for undergraduate commencement on Sunday, May 10 only.

When should guests arrive?

Pharmacy commencement guests should be at the field house by 8 a.m. and in their seats by 8:30 a.m. Undergraduate commencement guests should be at the field house by 1 p.m. and in their seats by 1:30 p.m. Law commencement guests are also encouraged to arrive by 1 p.m. so that all can be seated by 1:30 p.m. All guests, regardless of ceremony, are requested to remain in their seats throughout the ceremony except when photographs are taken of a graduating student.

May I take photographs of my child?

The University has arranged for each graduate to be photographed receiving the diploma. Ohio Northern sends each graduate a professional photograph to commemorate this special occasion. For the convenience of guests wishing to take their own photographs, a posted area is provided on the north side of the platform (to the audience’s left) for this purpose. In order to reduce congestion in this area, guests are requested to plan their entrance into the area approximately three to five graduates ahead of the one they wish to photograph and to return to their seats immediately after taking their photographs.

In consideration of others in the audience, guests are requested to take photographs during the ceremony only in the posted area. Photographs of graduates in procession must be taken as the procession is moving into the field house since students will not leave the field house in procession. Photographs may be taken on the platform following the convocation for those wishing to do so. Family members are invited to meet the graduates in the field house directly following the recessional for these photographs.

What if it rains?

Since all commencement ceremonies are held indoors all activities will take place as scheduled.

Where can out-of-town guests stay?

We offer families two options for overnight accommodations on commencement weekends. The first is the Inn at Ohio Northern University, which is situated at the heart of the campus with easy access to McIntosh Center and the Sports Center. There are more than 70 deluxe guestrooms featuring one king-size or two queen-size beds. Reservations for commencement weekend can be made by calling The Inn directly at its toll-free number: 866-713-4513. The second is on-campus housing, which has the advantage of being a lower cost than is commercially available in most cases. The residence hall rooms have two single beds that are comfortable and convenient. Occupants share a common bath. Guests desiring to stay in campus housing should return a reservation form to the commencement office, with payment for the accommodations requested. Special arrangements for housing needs can be made by emailing the director of residence life or calling 419-772-2430 or 419-772-2431.

Is there a reception after the ceremony?

After each ceremony, there are receptions for the colleges scheduled to begin approximately 15 minutes after the commencement recessional. The College of Pharmacy reception for graduates and their guests will be held in the Robertson-Evans Pharmacy Building, the reception for the College of Arts & Sciences will be held in the middle gym of the Sports Center, the Dicke College of Business Administration will gather for a reception in Dicke Hall, and the College of Engineering will meet in the Biggs Engineering Building. The College of Law reception for graduates and their guests will be held in the law building.

What if a guest has special needs?

Parking for persons with special needs will be provided on the north side of the Sports Center. Special seating will be provided for those with physical impairments. Please contact an usher for assistance if needed.

Is there childcare available?

Babysitting and nursery services for pre-school children of guests will be provided during the commencement ceremony in the Sports Center. These services will be available from 7:30-11 a.m. for pharmacy commencement, 12:30-4:30 p.m. for undergraduate commencement and 12:30-3:30 p.m. for law commencement.

What if a guest has a medical emergency?

A nurse will be available in the training room of the Sports Center on Sunday, May 10, from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and on Sunday, May 17 from 12:30-3:30 p.m. Ushers are available for assistance.

Will the ONU Bookstore be open?

Yes, the bookstore hours during commencement are as follows:
Undergraduate/Pharmacy Commencement weekend
Friday, May 8: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 9: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Sunday, May 10: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Law Commencement weekend
Friday, May 15: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 16: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Sunday, May 17: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where can I find assistance on campus?

The help desk in McIntosh Student Center will be staffed during commencement weekends. The hours are as follows:
Undergraduate/Pharmacy Commencement weekend
Friday, May 8: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday, May 9: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Sunday, May 10: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Law Commencement weekend
Friday, May 15: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday, May 16: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Sunday, May 17: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

What are the dining options on campus?

Pharmacy and undergraduate commencement
Northern on Main (Main Street adjacent to campus)
Saturday, May 9: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday, May 10: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

McIntosh Center Dining Room
Saturday, May 9:
Graduation Dinner, 6 p.m.
     Adult $18.25
     Child, 10 & under $8
     Children 3 & under free
Sunday, May 10:
Continental Breakfast, 7-9 a.m.
     Adult $8
     Child, 10 & under $3.50
Brunch Buffet, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
     Adult $15
     Child, 10 & under $7.50
     Children 3 & under free

The dining room will be open Friday for regular meal hours. Graduating students may take their meals at the dining room without charge, as guests of the University, during commencement weekend. Students with meal contracts may use their l.D. cards. Students without meal contracts may sign in the Dining Room for their meals.

Reservations for the Graduation Banquet should be made in advance. Tickets are required and should be obtained beforehand from the commencement office, telephone 419-772-2030. Tickets for parents and others for the Brunch Buffet will be on sale at the door of the Dining Room beginning at 10 a.m., Sunday, May 10. All prices include Ohio Sales Tax.

Law commencement
Northern on Main
Saturday, May 16: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Sunday, May 17: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The Inn at ONU
Sunday, May 17: Brunch,* 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
     Adult $24.95
     Children 4-13 years $7.95
     Children 3 and under free
     *Reservations required. Please call 419-772-2500 or 866-713-451