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Information for Family and Guests

Otterbein hosts an annual commencement for students receiving degrees at the undergraduate level and an annual commencement for students receiving degrees at the graduate level.  The following dates and times are for 2019 graduates. 

The graduate ceremony will be held at 1:30 p.m. (doors open at 1:00 p.m.), Saturday, April 27 in the Rike Center and will last approximately one hour.

The undergraduate ceremony will be held at 12:00 p.m. (doors open at 11:00 a.m.), Sunday, April 28 in the Rike Physical Education Recreation Center and will last approximately two and one-half hours.

Graduate Commencement - Saturday, April 27

1:00 p.m.
Doors to the Rike Center Open- seating is first-come, first-served; there is no reserved seating
1:00 p.m.
Hooding Process Begins- Clements Recreation Center
1:25 p.m.
Commencement March to the Rike Center Begins- line forms in Clements Recreation Center.
1:30 p.m.
Commencement- Rike Center (concludes approx 2:30 p.m.)
Approx 2:30 p.m.
Reception - Clements Recreation Center

Undergraduate Commencement - Sunday, April 28

9:00 - 9:45 a.m.
Baccalaureate- Cowan Hall
10:00 a.m.
Brunch in the Campus Center Tickets are required. Prices for tickets purchased through April 22 are as follows:  $12.50 for adults, $5 for children ages 6-12, children 5 and under are free.  Tickets can be purchased online at www.otterbein.edu/brunch starting in February. Tickets will be available at the door for $15 per person.
10:30 a.m.
Flower sales begin in front of the Rike Center.

10:45 - 11:30 a.m.
Departmental Honors Pins (if applicable) distributed in front of Towers Hall if not received prior to commencement from the Department Chairperson
11:00 a.m.
Doors to Rike Center Open- seating is first-come, first-served; there is no reserved seating
11:15 a.m.
March Line-Up Begins- front lawn of Towers Hall; rain location is Clements Center
11:30 a.m.
Commencement Concert, Otterbein University Alumni Band - Rike Center
11:45 a.m.
Commencement March Across Campus Begins- line forms in front of Towers Hall; rain location is Clements Center
12:00 noon
Commencement- Rike Center (concludes approx 2:30 p.m.)
2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Meet up with your graduate immediately following the ceremony on Grove Street directly in front of the Campus Center. Bring some cash to enjoy food and treats from local food trucks!

Baccalaureate Service

A Baccalaureate Service will be held at 9:00 a.m. in Cowan Hall on Sunday, April 28.  Both undergraduate and graduate students and their guests are invited to attend. Members of the graduating class and faculty will constitute a major part of the program. Academic regalia and a procession are not part of the Baccalaureate Service.


While tickets are not required for the graduate ceremony, they are required for the undergraduate ceremony. They must be requested by the graduating student and picked up in person by the graduating student. Extra tickets are not available. View the Rike Center layout for commencement.

Don't forget that undergraduate commencement will be streamed live for virtual access to the ceremony starting at 12 noon EST and concluding around 2 p.m. (see the top of this page for the stream).


Family and guests may park in any campus lot. See the campus map for the location of parking lots.

Special Needs Drop-Off for Commencement: Guests who would have difficulty walking from the parking lot to the Rike Center can be dropped off at the west doors of the Rike Center opposite Davis Annex. This entryway is closest to the area where special needs guests will be seated (which is in comfortable chairs directly behind the graduates on the main floor). Those with special hearing needs can be dropped off at the front of the Rike. This entryway is closest to the area where you will be sitting (which is at the front in bleacher seating). Map of the Rike Center special needs seating.


Click here for area accommodations.

Professional Photographer

GradImages is the University's official commencement photographer. Two pictures will be taken of each graduate who will then be contacted directly by GradImages within one to two weeks after the ceremony. GradImages may be contacted via their website or at 1-800-261-2576.

Honor Your Graduate

Parents and families can now honor your graduate. By making a gift you touch the lives of all students, enhancing the value and legacy of their Otterbein degree. Graduates being honored will receive a special card with your message to them on it and families whose contributions are received before Friday, April 12 will be listed in the 2019 Commencement Program. Visit www.otterbein.edu/PandFHonorRoll to honor your graduate today.

/ Registrar

The Office of the Registrar is located in Towers Hall, Room 27.
p/ 614.823.1350 
f/ 614.823.1009 


Business Hours 
Monday - Friday:

8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. 

Mailing Address: 
Otterbein University 
Office of the Registrar 
1 South Grove Street 
Westerville, OH 43081