Buffalo Commencement 2019

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Location and Directions

The SUNY Empire State College Commencement Ceremony in Buffalo, NY will take place in the Performing Arts Center at Rockwell Hall at Buffalo State College, 1300 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo, NY.

The Performing Arts Center at Rockwell Hall is conveniently located in the heart of the museum district on the SUNY Buffalo State campus. Rockwell Hall sits on Elmwood Avenue, directly across the street from the Albright Knox Art Gallery.

Please be aware of traffic and plan accordingly.

Parking is available along Rockwell Road and in the Rockwell Road lots.


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 Buffalo, NY will take place on Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. The ceremony will start promptly at 6:30 p.m., so students should plan to arrive no later than 5:30 p.m. 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 1 hour 15 minutes.

Accessibility and Accommodations

Handicap parking is available in the lot behind Rockwell Hall on Iroquois Drive. An accessible door and elevator are immediately adjacent to that lot.

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


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

Rockwell Hall will open at 5:30 p.m. for guest seating. The hall is expected to be quite full so latecomers may not be able to find a seat.

Please note that balloons are not permitted in Rockwell Hall.


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 brief reception outside (weather permitting). Light refreshments will be served. Students and guests are invited to attend.