Graduate Commencement

Important Dates and Times

Date Event Time/Location
Sunday, April 14 Graduation Application Due Click here to apply to Graduate
Saturday, April 27 Graduate Commencement 1:30 p.m. Rike Center
Saturday, April 27 Commencement Reception After commencement,
Clements Rec Center
Sunday, April 28 Baccalaureate Service 9:00 a.m. Cowan Hall


Commencement 2019 will be held Saturday April 27 at 1:30 p.m. EST. This ceremony will be located in the Rike center and streamed live online.

Graduation Day – Saturday, April 27, 2019
1:00 p.m. Doors to Rike Center open
1:00 p.m. Hooding process begins – Clements Recreation Center
1:25 p.m. Commencement March to the Rike begins – line forms in Clements
1:30 p.m. Commencement – Rike Center (concludes approx. 2:30 p.m.)
2:30 p.m. (approx.) Reception – Clements Recreation Center

Baccalaureate Service

Baccalaureate Service

The Baccalaureate Service of 2019 will be held on Sunday, April 28 at 9:00 a.m. in Cowan Hall. No tickets are required for this event. Academic regalia and a procession are not part of the service. Both Bachelor’s and Master’s degree students are invited to attend. Tickets are not required for this event.


No tickets are required for this ceremony. Doors to the Rike Center will open at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 27. Due to the nature of the seating in the facility, all seating is first-come, first served. A map of the Rike Center commencement seating can be found here.

Guest Seating Expectations
Please note the following:

  • Seating is not reserved.
  • Most seating is open bleacher style without back support.
  • The Rike Center is NOT air-conditioned.
  • Placing chairs in any location, standing in any location, sitting in aisles, etc. are fire code violations and will not be permitted.
  • Guests will be seated for approximately 1 hour.

Special Needs Guests
Special needs guests with wheelchairs, oxygen tanks, walker, hearing impairments, etc. along with one escort, should ask the usher for seating in reserved areas.

General Information for Family & Guests


If you need overnight accommodations for your visit to Otterbein, you’ll find a variety of hotels conveniently located near campus.

Note: Otterbein does not in any way endorse these businesses, products or services. This listing is provided as a resource only.

Aloft Westerville Hotel (1.7 miles)
Ask about Otterbein Parent/Friend Rate
32 Heatherdown Dr
Westerville, OH 43081
614.899.6560 x7114

Hampton Inn & Suites Columbus-Polaris (2.6 miles)
Ask about Otterbein Parent/Friend Rate
8411 Pulsar Place
Columbus, OH 43240

Courtyard by Marriott (5.1 miles)
Ask about Otterbein Parent/Friend Rate
7411 Vantage Drive
Columbus, OH 43235

Embassy Suites (2.7 miles)
Ask about Otterbein Parent/Friend Rate
2700 Corporate Exchange Drive
Columbus, OH 43231

Fairfield Inn & Suites Columbus Polaris (2.4 miles) 
9000 Worthington Road
Westerville, OH 43082

Holiday Inn Express – Polaris (2.7 miles)
8670 Orion Place
Columbus, Ohio 43240

Candlewood Suites Polaris (3.4 miles)
8515 Lyra Drive
Columbus, Ohio 43240

Extended Stay America (3.4 miles)
8555 Lyra Drive
Columbus, OH 43240

Hilton – Columbus / Polaris (3.4 miles)
8700 Lyra Drive
Columbus, OH 43240

Hilton Garden Inn (3.4 miles)
8535 Lyra Drive
Columbus, OH 43240

Comfort Inn North/Polaris (3.6 miles)
8400 Lyra Drive
Columbus, OH, 43240


Family and guests may park in any campus lot. See the campus map for parking lot locations.

Special Needs Drop-Off:
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.
Those with special hearing needs can be dropped off at the front of the Rike. This entryway is closest to the area where they will be seated. Click here for a map of the Rike Center special needs seating.

Security Precautions

Please be aware that guests are subject to visual inspection of person, bags, and clothing capable of concealing prohibited items.

The following items are prohibited in the Rike Center:

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Coolers
  • Backpacks
  • Large handbags
  • Metal folding seat cushions
  • Seats that clamp to bleachers
  • Noise making devices
  • Mace or similar substances
  • Signs
  • Sticks
  • Poles
  • Weapons of any kind

Graduation Photos

Grad Images will take each graduate’s picture as they shake hands with President Comerford. A proof and order form will be mailed by the latter part of May. By June, the proof, order form, and payment should be received by Grad Images.

All orders received by June 1 will be delivered by July 1. Late orders will be accepted until December 31. You are under no obligation to purchase the pictures or respond to the Grad Images correspondence. Grad Images may be contacted via their website or at 1-800-261-2576.