New York City Commencement 2018

General Information

  • The SUNY Empire State College Commencement Ceremony in Manhattan will take place at the David Geffen Hall, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts on Thursday, June 7 at 6:30 p.m.
  • Upon arrival, please report to the David Geffen Hall box office, where you will receive check-in and name card distribution directions.  If you wish, please provide a phonetic spelling on your name card to facilitate accurate pronunciation.
  • After checking in, you will be directed to the area designated for robing, where staff will be available to assist you.  At 5:45 p.m., you will be directed to the area to line up for the processional, based on the degree that will be awarded.
  • There will be no place to store valuables such as bags and purses, so please leave all your valuables with your guests or place them in something small enough to fit under your regalia.
  • Remember to bring your cap and gown with you.
  • Guests should arrive at 5:45 p.m. to be seated before the start of the ceremony at 6:30 p.m.
  • Diplomas are not distributed at the ceremony.  Instead, each student will receive a SUNY Empire State College medallion.
  • Immediately following the ceremony, there will be a brief reception, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m.  Light refreshments will be served.

Commencement Day Timing

The ceremony will start promptly at 6:30 p.m., so plan to arrive no later than 5:00 p.m. to check in, collect name cards and to line up in cap and gown (regalia). Don’t be late.  Please note that all interactions with family and friends should be done before they are seated.  Once they are seated, you won’t have access to them.

The ceremony is scheduled to conclude at 8:30 p.m.

Location and Directions

The ceremony will take place at Lincoln Center, in David Geffen Hall, Broadway at 65th Street, 132 West 65th Street, New York, NY 10023.


The #1 train stops at 66th Street/Lincoln Center. David Geffen Hall – Lincoln Center is one block from the subway station. The entrance to the downtown #1 subway train station in front of David Geffen Hall formerly known as Avery Fisher Hall on Columbus between 64th and 65th Streets. The concourse to David Geffen Hall is also reachable via an underground entrance from the downtown #1 subway train.


The M-104 Bus runs along Broadway and stops near Lincoln Center.
The M5, M7, M10, M11, M66 (crosstown) and M104 bus lines all stop within one block of Lincoln Center. Lincoln Center is located on Amsterdam Avenue and Broadway on 65th Street.

Car or Taxi

Please use 150 West 65th Street in your GPS.  Or direct taxis to 65th Street between Amsterdam Avenue and Broadway or simply to Lincoln Center.


(Note these are all paid parking, please make arrangements prior to the day of the event): Lincoln Center Park and Lock Garage (on-campus): Lincoln Center's own garage is right on campus and allows you to reserve your spot in advance. Entrances are on 62nd Street between Columbus and Amsterdam (South and Westbound traffic) and 65th Street between Amsterdam and Broadway (North and Eastbound traffic). To reserve call 212.721.6500 or TTY 212.875.5179

Icon Parking: North side of West 65th Street, between Amsterdam and Broadway. May also be entered from West 66th Street


Traffic should be light on the day of the commencement ceremony. Please plan your travel so that you arrive no later than 5 p.m.

Accessibility and Accommodations

If you and/or your guests are in a wheelchair, use a cane,  a walker, have any other mobility issues, and require a sign language interpretation, please contact by May 26, 2018 to make the necessary arrangement so that accommodations can be made for you and/or your guests. 

Guest Limit

Each student will receive a maximum of 4 guest tickets. Graduates may inquire about additional tickets starting Thursday, June 1, 2018.


Students are required to wear a cap and gown (regalia) to participate in Commencement. Undergraduate students should have a cap, gown and tassel and graduate students should have a cap, gown, tassel and hood. Information on how to purchase regalia will be made available in mid-March.


During the ceremony, a photograph will be taken of each student after they cross the stage. A free photograph is available to each student following the ceremony by visiting On the Spot Photos.

For security purposes, no audience member will be permitted to stand in the aisles to take photographs or video.


Since our students complete their studies at different times throughout the year, diplomas are not distributed at the ceremony. The Office of the Registrar will send your diploma to the address on file when you are fully graduated from the college. Please direct any questions regarding your diploma to the Office of the Registrar at 800-847-3000.