Albany Commencement 2019

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Location and Directions

The SUNY Empire State College Commencement Ceremony in Albany, NY will take place at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center, S Mall Arterial, Albany, NY.

Directions can be found on the Empire State Plaza site.

Although traffic should be light on the day of the commencement ceremony, please plan extra time to park.

Please note, the best place to park is the Visitor's Lot (V-Lot) underneath the Empire State Plaza (it is a flat $5 charge to park there). Further details regarding parking, including a map, can be found at: Empire State Plaza and New York State Capitol Visitor Parking Information.


Students are required to wear a cap and gown (regalia) to participate in commencement. Information on how to purchase regalia can be found on the commencement website. Visit the Commencement Closet site for more information on regalia which can be borrowed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Keep in mind that at commencement, there will be no place to store valuables such as bags and purses. Students should either plan to leave valuables with their guests or place them in something small enough to fit under their regalia.

Commencement Day Timing

The SUNY Empire State College Commencement Ceremony in Albany, NY will take place on Sunday, December 15, 2019 at 1 p.m. The ceremony will start promptly at 1 p.m., so students should plan to arrive no later than noon to check in and line up.

Arriving students must check in at the registration table and receive a name card. Students will be directed to the line-up area for the processional. Directions for the processional will be given to students when lining up.

The ceremony will last about 2 hours.

Accessibility and Accommodations

There are designated handicapped parking spaces in the Visitor's Parking Lot (V-Lot) for individuals who may need them. There is also an area within the Convention Center where individuals in wheelchairs or with other mobility issues may sit with their families.

SUNY Empire State College reasonably accommodates students with disabling conditions. Students or guests who may need accommodations should contact as soon as possible so that arrangements may be made.


Tickets are not required for the commencement ceremony, however, guests will be limited to 10 per student. We will monitor the number of guests the day of commencement.

Guests will be asked to take their seats in the Convention Center, which will open at 11:30 a.m. Please note, no balloons are allowed inside the Convention Center.


Since our students complete their studies at different times throughout the year, diplomas will not be distributed at the commencement ceremony. Instead, each student will receive a SUNY Empire State College medallion when they cross the stage.

The Office of the Registrar will send a diploma to the address on file for each student once they have fully graduated from the college. Please direct any questions regarding diplomas to the Office of the Registrar at 800-847-3000.


During the ceremony, a photograph will be taken of each student after they cross the stage. A free photograph will be available to each student following the ceremony by visiting On the Spot Photos. Visit On the Spot Photos to learn how to achieve the perfect pose for your photo!

Please be aware that impromptu photographs may be taken throughout the ceremony.


Immediately following the ceremony, there will be a reception in the area outside of the Convention Center. Light refreshments will be served. Students and guests are welcome to stay until the venue closes.

Sunday, December 15, 2019 at 1 p.m.

Empire State Plaza Convention Center, S Mall Arterial, Albany, NY