Rochester Commencement 2018

General Information

  • The SUNY Empire State College Commencement Ceremony in Rochester, NY will take place at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center, 123 East Main Street, Rochester, NY on Thursday, May 31 at 7 p.m.
  • Arriving graduates must check in and receive a name card. You will be directed to the line-up area for the processional. Directions for the processional will be given to graduates during the line-up.
  • 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.
  • 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.  Light refreshments will be served.

Commencement Day Timing

The ceremony will start promptly at 7 p.m., so plan to arrive no later than 6 p.m. to check in and to line up. The ceremony will last about 90 minutes.

Location and Directions

The address for the Rochester Riverside Convention Center is 123 E. Main Street, Rochester, NY 14604.  Visit the convention center's website for directions to the facility.


There are numerous options for parking near the facility.  Both on-street (both metered and non-metered) and garages are nearby.  There are costs associated with parking in area garages.  There is a parking garage attached to the convention center.  Information can be found on the facility’s website.


Our ceremony takes place in downtown Rochester during the workweek, so keep in mind that you may encounter rush-hour traffic.  Please allow ample time to both travel to the Rochester Riverside Convention Center, and to find parking.

Accessibility and Accomodations

Individuals with a disability who may need accommodations (either for students or guests) should contact as soon as possible so that arrangements may be made. 

Guest Limit

We will not need to require tickets to the commencement ceremony, however, guests will be limited to 10 per graduate.


Students are required to wear a cap and gown (regalia) to participate in Commencement. Information on how to purchase regalia will be made available in early February.


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.


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.

Thursday, May 31, 2018 at 7 p.m.

Rochester Riverside Convention Center, 123 East Main Street, Rochester, NY