Frequently Asked Questions for Families & Guests

How can family members and guests get to campus and where can they stay overnight?
Visit Directions/Lodging for more information.

Where and how can Berea College Commencement invitations be purchased?
Graduates can order invitations at Grad Finale, or at the Berea College Visitor Center & Shoppe.

What time are the Commencement Weekend events?
The Commencement ceremony is on Sunday, May 3, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. ET in Seabury Center (Main Arena).
Here is a full schedule of the weekend’s events.

Tickets FAQ for Families and Guests:
The following information only applies to May Commencement

Are tickets required for graduation?
Yes, tickets are required for the May 2020 Commencement ceremony. (Tickets are not required for the December Mid-Year Recognition Service).

Why are tickets required?
The ticketing system was implemented because of growing attendance numbers at our Commencement ceremonies in recent years, which have pushed us beyond the building capacity regulations set by the city’s Fire Marshal (who has the authority to close down an event if those regulations are not followed).

Consequently, there have been guests of graduates who, after traveling to Berea with the expectation of seeing their student graduate, were not able to attend the ceremony. After considering moving to other possible venues, including off-campus and outdoor venues, it was determined that the Seabury Center remains the largest and most appropriate facility in the immediate area to hold the ceremony. Therefore, we implemented a ticketing system in order to guarantee that all of our graduates have an equal opportunity for guaranteed seats for a set number of guests, while also ensuring we can adhere to the capacity limits of the arena.

Who can get tickets?
Graduates will be given access to claim their tickets for their families and guests first. After graduates have had a chance to claim their original allocation of tickets, an inventory of extra tickets will be gathered to determine how many extras there are available to offer back to graduates, the campus community, and special guests. Please see Upcoming Events & Deadlines for the ticketing release schedule.

Faculty and Labor Supervisors marching in the Commencement procession will claim their special participation tickets online in April and will be notified by Academic Services when the system is open for them. Staff (non-labor supervisors) have been asked to contact Amanda Leger directly with requests for tickets.

All other guests (alumni, retirees, media, community members and other friends of the College) must contact Amanda Leger (legera@berea.edu or 859-985-3775) directly for any special ticket requests by Friday, April 17. Please note that seating is limited and cannot be guaranteed.

How many tickets will graduates get?
Each student eligible for graduation is allocated and guaranteed 6 (six) tickets that must be claimed via the electronic ticketing system by April 17, 2020.  Only students who have applied for graduation and who have been approved to graduate will be able to claim their tickets when the system opens.

What if a family of a graduate needs extra tickets?
Graduates will have additional opportunities to claim extra tickets should they become available. Students who do not need their entire allocation will have the option to donate tickets into a pool for other students to claim, and any unclaimed tickets by the deadline will also be put into that pool to be claimed on a first-come, first-served basis. If a graduate is able to claim extra tickets above their original allocation, it cannot be guaranteed that the extra seats will be seated in the same area as the original group of seats. Students can contact Amanda Leger at legera@berea.edu or call 859-985-3775 with questions.

Is there overflow seating?
Yes (tickets are also required due to building capacity regulations). Students will also have the chance to claim overflow general seating tickets for additional guests before the rest of the campus community as well. Overflow seating will be available in the Upper Gym in Seabury, where the ceremony will be streamed via a live video feed. Any unclaimed overflow seating tickets will be available at the campus side outdoor overflow entrance on Sunday, May 5.

How do we get tickets?
Academic Services will send out an email to all graduates letting them know when the system is officially open. Once a student is approved to graduate, his or her name will be added to a list of students who are eligible to claim their tickets. When that system opens, graduates will be able to log in to their myBerea account and claim tickets from there, and the process is very similar to how you would electronically reserve a concert or sporting event ticket. For a detailed ticketing system schedule, see Upcoming Deadlines & Events. Graduates are responsible for providing their families and guests with tickets.

Some of our family members or guests need handicapped or accessible seating. Are there accessible seats?
Yes, there is limited accessible seating available. Graduates will have the opportunity to claim a limited number of accessible seating tickets as part of their 6-ticket allocation. If they need more accessible tickets than what is displayed when they go in to claim their allocation, they can contact Amanda Leger at legera@berea.edu or call 859-985-3775 to see if additional accessible seating is available. Note: Due to limited spacing, we cannot guarantee that guests using accessible seating will be able to be seated near the rest of the guests. However, we can allow up to one escort to be seated with the individual needing the accessible seat.

Do infants or children count in the allocated ticket amount?
Children under age 3 who will be sitting in a lap during the entire ceremony do not require a ticket. If the child needs a seat of his or her own, they will need a ticket. Please note that due to fire regulations, strollers cannot be in the aisles during the ceremony. Ushers will store them during the ceremony to be picked up afterward.

Will family and guests be able to be seated together?
Graduates will be able to select the location of their seats. If your student is able to claim extra tickets above their original allocation, it cannot be guaranteed that the extra seats will be seated in the same area as the original group of seats. Students can contact Amanda Leger at legera@berea.edu or call 859-985-3775 with questions.

What if my family or guests are late? Do we lose our seats?
Seats are guaranteed, but before your student claims his or her allocation, please confirm that guests plan to attend. If you find out that a guest or guests can no longer attend, we ask that the students donate the ticket or tickets back into the pool for another student to use as soon as possible. Late-arriving guests may have to wait to enter the arena depending on the time of arrival.

What if we lose our tickets or my student doesn’t send them to me in time?
Students will be able to print out their tickets by logging into their myBerea account as long as they are on the eligible graduate list. Tickets can also be emailed to family members and they can print them out and bring them as well (so it can’t hurt to remind your student to send them). We ask that guests have their printed tickets in hand (or pulled up on their mobile phone) when coming into Seabury Arena, because all guests will have to have their ticket scanned in order to enter. Academic Services staff and ushers will be stationed around the arena to assist with any issues.