Important Information Families Need to Know for Their Student’s Big Day!

By Members of Family Council, April 25, 2022

Read our tips and recommendations for how to enjoy commencement weekend!

Congratulations to the families and supporters of the class of 2022! The countdown to the culmination of years of hard work and dedication is here, and the Ithaca College Family Council is excited to welcome you, your family, and friends to Ithaca for commencement weekend, May 20-22, 2022.  

The Family Council has collected some best practices” from some of our members who have experienced an IC graduation in recent years. We hope that this information will help you successfully navigate the weekend and enjoy your students commencement to its fullest.  

1. Check with your graduate to ensure that they have filled out all the required forms, secured their guest tickets, and ordered regalia by the due dates. The last day to order regalia is April 30, 2022 and regalia is required for all graduating students to attend the ceremony 

2. Ask your graduate how involved they want you to be. It may be the last time they see their college friends, so understand if they want you to take a step back. Recognize that the weekend can be exhausting and stressful for both students and families. It’s ok if you don’t spend every minute with your graduate. Go with the flow and know there may be changes to any planned schedule.  

3. This year, there will be two graduation ceremonies, 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. The school estimates each one will last about two and a half hours. There will be an informal reception from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm in the Campus Center Dining Hall between the two ceremonies. There will also be informal meet-and-greets from approximately 11:00 am to approximately 2:00 pm for graduates and their supporters to connect with faculty and staff. The locations for these meet-and-greets are: 

Music Campus Center Clark Lounge 
Business Campus Center Klingenstein Lounge 
HSHP Campus Center Emerson Suites
H&S  Campus Center Emerson Suites
Communications Park School of Communications - Park Lobby and surrounding areas 

4. Make your dining reservations NOW. Some graduates may not have guests in attendance for a variety of reasons and we enjoyed including our graduate’s friends in our plans. Some of the many places we’ve found taking reservations include:    

  • Simeon’s 
  • Gola Osteria  
  • The Heights  
  • Maxie’s Supper Club 
  • Mahogany Grill 
  • Agava

5. You should have already booked your accommodations by now. Most of the major hotels start taking reservations one year in advance. But don’t despair, there are still options. As you can imagine, hotel prices are much higher during graduation weekend and many hotels will have a two or three-night minimum. If you’re still looking for a place to stay, we suggest checking the parent’s Facebook page. Parents who have a change in plans may be looking to recoup their losses and we’ve seen several posts on the parent’s Facebook page with cancellations. Other options are to book a hotel in nearby Cortland, Auburn, Owego, or investigate house/apartment rentals through Airbnb or VRBO.  

6. We highly recommend watching the festivities on Saturday night at the A&E Center. Its a truly remarkable experience and the fantastic music and entertainment performances by students will give you an appreciation of how talented the IC community is. Fireworks will wrap up the evening (weather permitting).  

7. No graduation weekend is complete without pictures. We recommend avoiding the crowds and having your graduate put on their cap and gown on Saturday to take photos at some of their favorite spots around campus and around town. Professional photographers will be on hand during commencement to capture images of all graduates as they walk across the stage. 

8. Read all information and directions related to commencement, especially related to parking and access for those requiring assistance. Please also note that bag restrictions and bag checks will be in place for commencement Sunday. 

9. Lastly, remind your student that while Commencement is the last day of their undergraduate experience, it’s also their first day as an alumnus. The Alumni Association has active chapters all over the country, and in addition to staying in touch with their friends, the Alumni Association has fantastic networking opportunities and is a great way to stay involved with IC. Make sure your students also know that the resources from Ithaca’s Career Center continue to be available to them as alumni.  

And remember, graduation is an enormous accomplishment for you and your student. Be proud, be happy, and most of all, enjoy the moment!