Information for Families and Guests

Text Updates
A special Commencement communication system has been set-up to provide students, families, faculty and staff with the most up-to-date information (including Inclement Weather updates). To opt in to this system, please text 2022RICEGRAD to 888-777. You may opt out at any time by replying STOP. For help, reply HELP. Standard messaging and data rates may apply.

Parking and Access
All vehicles must park in West Lots 2, 3, 4 or Greenbriar Lot. For West Lots 2, 3 or 4, you may enter campus at Entrance 8 on University Boulevard at Stockton or Entrance 17 on Rice Boulevard at Shepherd for easy access to parking. Greenbriar Lot is accessible immediately off of Greenbriar Drive. Please do not park in unauthorized locations. Parking lot gates will open two (2) hours before each ceremony.

A very limited number of parking spaces have been reserved in the South Stadium Lot for guests requiring special assistance. Access to this parking lot will be directly off University Boulevard, between Greenbriar Drive and Entrance 18 at Stockton Drive. These passes are given out on a first-come, first-served basis, so please reserve your pass early. To reserve a pass to this parking area, please submit this request via the online request form by April 25, 2022. An electric cart will be available to transport those guests from the South Stadium Lot to Rice Stadium.

Ceremony Ticketing and Seating Capacity
No tickets will be issued for Rice University Convocation ceremonies or Plenary Commencement. There are no seating capacity limitations this year at this time and all seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Rice Stadium Entry
Stadium maps are available at the links below. We ask that graduates have their families look at the maps ahead of time to identify which gate they enter and where they would want to sit. Guests will want to sit on the same side their graduate will be sitting on the field.

Undergraduate ceremonies stadium map:
Plenary Commencement ceremony stadium map:

There will be a bag-check at each of the entrances to Rice Stadium for the Undergraduate Convocation and Plenary Commencement. Guests are encouraged to only bring small bags to expedite the bag-check process. Prohibited items are noted below:

• Weapons of any kind
• Pets (Exception: service animals)
• Tobacco products
• Food and Beverages (Exceptions: food for small children or medical issues; factory sealed bottled water)
• Unauthorized banners, signs or flags
• Artificial noisemakers
• Oversized bags, briefcases, coolers, etc. (Exception: diaper bags)
• Laser pointers
• Drones

The weather in Houston in May is very hot and humid. Light colors and fabrics are recommended for the outdoor ceremonies and we encourage guests to bring factory sealed bottled water with them. Ceremonies in Rice Stadium will take place rain or shine. Guests can bring umbrellas for rain or if they wish to use them in the sun as there are not many shady areas in the stadium. Please note that remote viewing of the Rice Stadium ceremonies will available in both Hudspeth Auditorium and the Dean's Commons at Anderson-Clarke Center for those wishing to watch these ceremonies indoors.

A special Commencement communication system has been set-up to provide students, families, faculty and staff with the most up-to-date information (including Inclement Weather updates). To opt into this system, please text 2022RICEGRAD to 888-777. You may opt out at any time by replying STOP. For help, reply HELP. Standard messaging and data rates may apply.

Special Accommodations
Hard of Hearing
An interpreter for the deaf will interpret both undergraduate ceremonies as well as the advanced degrees and doctoral Student ceremony. For more information, refer to the section on “Accessible Seating.”

A limited number of assisted listening devices for the ceremonies will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please visit Prime Systems at Gate 2 for assistance.

Accessible Seating
Rice Stadium: Please note that Rice Stadium has steep inclines between the entry gates and the concourse. Professional ushers will be available to assist those with wheelchairs or walkers upon entry into the stadium. Chairback seating will be available for groups with persons with mobility issues wishing not to utilize the stairs or bleacher seating. Special sections reserved for persons in wheelchairs, but because of the very limited space in these sections, only one (1) additional family member or guest will be allowed to join the guest requiring this special seating. All other guests in your party should sit in the general admission guest sections. A separate section will be reserved for parties with those needing a close view of the ASL interpreter. All special accommodation seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Tudor Fieldhouse: All special accommodation seating is located on the second level of Autry court. Persons with wheelchairs should use the elevators to access this level. Please note that ADA seating (available on a first come, first served basis) is limited.

There will be a reserved area in the first couple of rows of Section 111 for those needing American Sign Language interpreting services. Please see a staff member for assistance finding this area, if needed.

Photography and Videography
While receiving their diplomas, all graduates will be professionally photographed by Marc Nathan Photographers, Inc., who will be on the platform. Information on availability of those images will be sent to each graduate’s email address provided with his or her permanent address on file. To ensure that family members receive the notification, you may go online HERE to sign up for the Undergraduate Convocation. Click HERE for the Advanced Degree Convocation. Finally, click HERE for the Doctoral Convocation (PhD Hooding). You also may visit to view all the images from the ceremony on the Monday following the event. Complimentary Cap & Gown portrait sessions also will be available in the Farnsworth Pavilion in the Ley Student Center May 4th and 5th from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m., May 6 from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m., and May 7th from immediately after the ceremony until 12:30 p.m. There is NO OBLIGATION to purchase anything. If you have any questions, please contact them at or 281-549-2367.

Web Broadcast
Commencement will be broadcast over the internet for family members and friends who are not able to attend the ceremony. The links will go live 20 minutes before scheduled start times. They also appear on the home page of on the day of the event.

Restrooms, Water, First Aid
Restrooms are open on the concourses of Rice Stadium. Drinking water is available on the concourses, though we encourage guests to bring their own factory sealed water bottle. Please contact an usher if you are in need of medical attention. First aid triage is located on the east concourse, near section 115.

Lodging Information
Several hotels are extending special rates for Rice University Commencement, May 5-8, 2022. You can visit or contact any of the hotels noted below. Please make reservations directly with the hotel to secure the special rates. When placing your reservation, notify the reservation clerk that you are attending Rice University Commencement. Make reservations early in order to secure the negotiated rates and ensure room availability. All rates are subject to applicable state and local taxes. Some restrictions apply. Several of the hotels offer transportation to the campus. If you need shuttle services, be sure to ask about availability when making reservations.

InterContinental Houston - Medical Center
6750 Main Street
Houston, TX 77030

Hampton Inn Houston Galleria
4500 Post Oak Parkway
Houston, TX 77027

The Westin Houston Downtown
1520 Texas Street
Houston, TX 77002

Residence Inn Houston Medical Center/NRG Park
7807 Kirby Drive
Houston, TX 77030

Courtyard by Marriott Downtown
916 Dallas Street
Houston, TX 77002

Holiday Inn Express Medical Center
9300 S Main Street
Houston, TX 77025

Campus Resources
Moody Cafe by Lemond Kitchen
Located in the Moody Center for the Arts
Hours: Friday, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Saturday, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Campus Store
Located in the Rice Memorial Center
Hours: Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Little HTX
Located in Brochstein Pavilion
Hours: Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Please stay tuned to this website for additional information. Updates are posted frequently when they become available.