Commencement 2024

Congratulations! SUNY Erie Community College’s Commencement is a momentous occasion and is the most dignified of academic ceremonies.

Date: Wednesday, May 22, 2024
Time: 6:00 p.m.  
Place: Buffalo State Sports Arena, 1300 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14222 
Enter from Grant Street.

Prior to Graduation

If you had marked on your application that you were planning on attending commencement, then you must report to your campus bookstore with your student ID in order to pick up a cap and gown.  Be sure to bring your academic attire to graduation, as well as something to secure your cap. All graduates will receive three admission tickets for family and guests. *Due to capacity restrictions, there are no additional tickets available. Graduates will be given an additional admittance ticket for themselves. All graduates and guests (including children) must have a ticket to enter graduation. This will be strictly enforced due to the fire code. The ceremony will be streamed live on SUNY Erie's YouTube channel.

Special Accommodations

A barrier-free entrance is available in the front of the Sports Arena. Accessible parking (license or hang tag required) is in Lot G-24. Refer to the enclosed map. Accessible seating for guests with disabilities is also available and on reserve for guests using the barrier-free entrance. Please follow the arrows to these seats inside the arena; escorts are available upon request. A sign language interpreter will be present throughout the ceremony also.

Caps and Gowns

See below for campus cap and gown pickup between Tuesday, April 30 and Friday, May 17, 2024.

North Campus Bookstore Hours:

Monday through Thursday     8:00am – 3:00 pm
Friday                                 8:30am – 1:00 pm 

City Campus Bookstore, POST OFFICE Room 260 Hours:

Monday through Friday          9:00-2:00 pm

South Campus, Bldg 5, Room 5107

Monday through Friday          9:00-2:00 pm

Professional Photographs

Photographs will be taken by Grad Images, 3490 Martin Hurst Road, Tallahassee, FL 32312 Phone: 800-261-2576, Customer Order at Grad Images. All graduates will have their photos taken while receiving their diploma cover from the President. Proofs will be mailed to each graduate who fills out an address card in the student robing area prior to the ceremony. You will be contacted by the company after the ceremony.

Family members and Guests are not allowed on the gymnasium floor at any time. While we understand that you are excited to take pictures and see your student graduate, we ask that you remain in the bleachers and do not block the aisles for the safety of everyone in attendance. There will be a designated space after the ceremony to take photos of your graduates. Additionally, we ask that you please not bring balloons into the arena. 


When you walk across the stage you will receive a red leather cover with a letter from the President inside. Your diploma will then be mailed to you at a later date.

Graduation Day


Parking is free. It is suggested that the Grant Street entrance be used. Please Park in lots of G-20, G-21, G-22, G-24, R-13, R-14 and Lot I-39. *Note: Please be aware that the speed limit is only 30 mph.


There is no rehearsal for the Commencement ceremony. Graduates should arrive no later than 5:00 p.m. and report to the Ice Arena inside the Sports Arena for robing. There will be faculty and staff available to assist with robing. Additionally, there will be photo booth opportunities with friends and faculty, and special identification for “First Generation” graduating student. Do not leave bags, purses, or other valuable items in this room. The college is not responsible for lost or stolen items. Graduates will proceed from the Ice Arena to the main floor. Please remain in your line through the entire procession into the gym. Follow the designated line leaders to the Commencement arena. Please remain standing until you are asked to be seated by the President.

Graduate Policy

All graduates, families, and friends are expected to remain for the entire Commencement ceremony. The ceremony will last for approximately two hours and all graduates are expected to remain for the entirety of the ceremony. Unnecessary movement may prevent families and friends of graduates crossing the stage from hearing the name of the graduate. Use of bathrooms once the ceremony has started and movement on the arena floor will be very limited. No one other than the student graduating may enter the stage.

Electronic Devices

All electronic devices must be silenced during the entire Commencement ceremony. 

Graduate Attire

All students in the Honors Program, Phi Theta Kappa, Delta Alpha Pi, and EOP (equal opportunity professionals) Honors students should consult their advisors regarding appropriate insignia and attire. Students who have achieved High Distinction (a 3.5 or higher cumulative GPA as of the end of the Fall 2022 term) are eligible to wear gold tassels on their mortarboard. The tassel is to be worn on the right side until you are instructed at the end of the ceremony to switch your tassel. Gold tassels will be available at the college bookstore for those who are eligible.

Graduate Attire for Veterans and Members of the Military

Veterans and currently serving Members of the Active and Reserve Components will be recognized with a red, white, and blue braid. Veterans and currently serving Members of the Active and Reserve Components who are graduating and attending commencement can pick up a Military Service recognition braid at the Veteran’s Office at their respective campus.

Presentation of Diploma Covers

Following the Commencement address, graduates will be asked to stand and come forward. As your name is called, proceed and accept the diploma cover in your left hand and shake the President’s hand with your right. Proceed immediately down the middle of the stage to your seat and be seated. Graduates are required to remain in their seats until the conclusion of the ceremony. Once the presentation of diploma covers has been concluded, all graduates will be asked to stand for the formal conferring of degrees and/or certificates. The Commencement will then be declared closed. Remain in your place until the dignitaries and faculty have left the stage and have processioned out the entrance door. At the conclusion of the ceremony, each graduate will receive a gift from the Alumni Association. Diplomas should be mailed in mid-July.

Once the dais has processed out you may join your family and friends and take any photos in the designated graduate photo area in the upstairs of the arena.

Alumni Merchandise

Bouquets of flowers will be available for sale at the designated location. Proceeds will benefit the Alumni Association.

We look forward to seeing you on May 22, and, on behalf of SUNY Erie Community College, wish you continued success!