Information for Families and Guests

Ceremony Ticketing and Seating Capacity
No tickets will be issued for Rice University Commencement Ceremonies. There are no seating capacity limitations and all seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Rice Stadium Entry
There will be a bag-check at each of the entrances to Rice Stadium for the Jones School and Undergraduate Commencement Ceremonies. 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

Weather
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.

Special Accommodations
Hard of Hearing
An interpreter for the deaf will interpret the undergraduate ceremony as well as the advanced degrees and doctoral 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.

A recording of the entire ceremony will be made and will include each graduate receiving the diploma. Video recordings of ceremonies will be available the week following Commencement on Rice’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/user/RiceUniversity.

We ask that guests not leave their seats during the ceremony to take photographs of their graduate. Please observe all directions from the Marshals and ushers as they work to ensure the safety of our guests.

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 https://commencement.rice.edu/video/current-event on the day of the event.

Restrooms, Water, First Aid
Rice Stadium:

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.

Tudor Fieldhouse:
Restrooms are open throughout Tudor Fieldhouse. First aid triage is located in the lobby.

Lodging
Several hotels are extending special rates for Rice University Commencement, May 3-4, 2024. You can visit https://campustravel.com/university/rice-university/. 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.

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