Your guide to spring commencement at University of Michigan

Students pose for a picture during spring commencement on April 26, 2018. (Photo: Meredith Bruckner)

ANN ARBOR – This weekend, thousands of family and friends of graduating students will be arriving in Ann Arbor for one of the busiest events of the year: U-M spring commencement. 

Whether you're coming into town for the festivities or you're a townie and want to know which areas will be busy when, we've got you covered.

First things first. If you're coming to town for graduation, the university put together a guest checklist to make the process easier. Since we're just days away, you likely have done most of it already, but it's always a good idea to review. Graduates should reference this checklist

Credit: Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy (Flickr)

Schedule of events:

May 4
Spring Commencement Ceremony
Michigan Stadium, 10 a.m.

This is the main event. It is outdoors and will take place rain or shine. Be sure to check the forecast and dress appropriately. In the case of severe weather, you are asked to review these instructions. Michigan Stadium is a secure venue and strictly limits certain items. Be sure to check the prohibited items list before heading out the door. 

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will be delivering this year's commencement address

Graduates must present a ticket at the spring commencement ceremony and are responsible for collecting tickets for their guests. 


Since there is no open parking at the stadium, guests are encouraged to park and walk. 

Pioneer High School, across from the stadium, will have limited parking for $10. Entrance to the parking lot is along Main Street and guests are asked to use gates 3 and 5 only. Arrive early since spots will fill up fast. This area will be heavily congested, so if you aren't planning on attending commencement, avoid it until the afternoon.

If you're up for parking and walking, the university has put together a map of areas you can park, some with complimentary shuttle service

Following the ceremony at Michigan Stadium, each school will have its own smaller ceremony to award diplomas to its gradutes. Check this list of ceremonies to see where you need to be. 

The University of Michigan has an expansive campus, so it might be a good idea if you're driving to print out a campus map before heading into town. 

Graduates pose with the block M on the Diag on April 26, 2018. (Photo: Meredith Bruckner)

Need some ideas for places to grab a bite to eat over the weekend? Check out our Eats section. Destination Ann Arbor is another great resource for accommodations and food in the area.

Not coming in with a car? Get acquainted with Ann Arbor's bus system, The Ride. If the weather is nice, it could be fun to hitch a ride around town with Boober Tours

Have a safe and fun weekend!

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