Graduate School Commencement

Important Dates and Times

Date Event Time/Location
Tuesday, April 11 Grad Fair 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Campus Center
Thursday, April 15 Graduation Application Due Call the Registrar at 614-823-1350 to apply for graduation.
Monday, April 24 Lavender Graduation 5:30 p.m. Philomathean Room
Friday, April 28 Noble Transitions 5:30 p.m. Battelle Fine Arts Center
Friday, April 28 Baccalaureate Service 7 p.m. Cowan Hall
Saturday, April 29 A Toast to the Class of 2023 7 p.m. The Point; 7:45 p.m. President Comerford’s Toast
Sunday, April 30 Class of 2023 Graduate School Commencement 5:30 p.m. Clements Recreation Center


The Graduate School Class of 2023 Commencement will be held Sunday, April 30, 2023, at 5:30 p.m. EST. This ceremony will held at the Clements Recreation Center and streamed live online.

Graduation Day – Sunday, April 30, 2023
4:30 p.m. Campus Center parking lot opens for guests attending 5:30 p.m. ceremony
4:30 p.m. Flower sales begin
4:30 p.m. Doors open
4:45 p.m. March line-up begins – Rike Center
5:30 p.m. Graduate School – Class of 2023 Commencement

Important Dates & Events

Noble Transitions

The Office of Social Justice and Activism (OSJA) hosts a multicultural pre-graduation ceremony, Noble Transitions, to celebrate graduating students of color, international, and first-generation students. It is a time to officially celebrate their accomplishments as well as those of their friends and peers who are graduating.

During the ceremony, students will receive a kente stole, share a senior reflection, and thank those who have been influential in their success. Students often invite family, friends, faculty, and staff who have been instrumental in their Otterbein journey. All are welcome to attend. This year’s event will be held Friday, April 28, 2023, at 5:30 p.m. at the Battelle Fine Arts Center in Riley Auditorium. For more information, please contact the OSJA at 614-823-1312.

Baccalaureate Service

The Baccalaureate Service is a time of reflection, connection, and celebration. This is the story of the Class of 2023 as seen through the eyes of their peers, faculty, and administrators. The service will be held on Friday, April 28, at 7 p.m. in Cowan Hall.  Academic regalia and a procession are not part of the service. Both undergraduate and graduate degree students are invited to attend.

A Toast to the Class of 2023

All graduates and their families are welcome to join us for this celebration to be held at The Point at Otterbein, 60 Collegeview Road on Saturday, April 29, beginning at 7 p.m. Light refreshments in addition to the toast will be provided. Don’t miss President Comerford’s toast to the Class of 2023.


No tickets are required for the Graduate School Commencement.

Commencement will be streamed live for virtual access for those unable to attend the event in person. A ceremony link will be posted to this page.


Doors to the Clements Center will open at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 30, 2023. Guests must be seated by 5:30 p.m.

Seating for Special Needs Guests
Special needs guests with wheelchairs, oxygen tanks, walker, hearing impairments, etc., will be assigned to the limited accessible seating section along with a companion.

Guest Seating Expectations
Please note the following:

  • Placing chairs in any location, standing in any location, sitting in aisles, etc. are fire code violations and will not be permitted.

General Information for Family and Guests

Commencement FAQs

What happens if someone in my group loses their tickets or if one of my guests doesn’t have access to my tickets?
Tickets will be emailed to the graduating students. Graduates will need to forward their electronic tickets to their guests. Guests will also be permitted to display the ticket QR code to enter the ceremony.

An event box office at the Memorial Stadium Clements Recreation Center will be open one hour prior to each ceremony to assist guests with lost tickets.

Does my family need to come for me to participate in the ceremony?
We are proud of our graduates and look forward to celebrating this achievement as an Otterbein community. When you confirm your plans to attend as part of the online form, you will also be asked to confirm whether you need guest tickets and how many of your up to nine allotted tickets you want to utilize.

Where can I get my honor cords?
Honor cords are distributed by different departments on campus. Not all departments have honor cords or stoles. If you have questions about where to get a departmental cord, please contact your department administrator. Students eligible for the Five Cardinal Experiences cords can pick up their items at the Grad Fair on Wednesday, April 6.

Is Otterbein selling flowers for the event?
Families can pre-order flowers to pick up on their way into the The Clements Recreation Center.

What commemorative items are available to celebrate and mark this occasion?
Jostens has a variety of special items to commemorate your college achievements and commencement day memories. To learn more about those items, you can visit their website for details about how to order announcements, rings and more.

Commencement Hotels in Westerville

Aloft Exterior

Aloft Columbus Westerville (1.7 miles)
Otterbein Commencement Group Rate Reservations >
Start Date: Thursday, April 28, 2022
End Date: Tuesday, May 3, 2022
Last Day to Book: Friday, April 15, 2022

Contact Information:
Address: 32 Heatherdown Drive, Westerville, OH 43081
Phone: 614-899-6560
Hotel Website >


The Renaissance Westerville-Polaris (1.5 miles)
Otterbein Commencement “Neighborhood” Reservations >

Contact Information:
Address: 409 Altair Parkway, Westerville, OH 43082
Phone: 614-882-6800
Hotel Website >

Other places to stay

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

Westerville Hotels

Renaissance Westerville Hotel (1.5 miles)
Ask about the Otterbein Parent/Friend Rate or book your stay at a discount via the Renaissance “Neighborhood” page
409 Altair Parkway
Westerville, OH 43082

Aloft Westerville Hotel (1.7 miles) Ask about the Otterbein Parent/Friend Rate
32 Heatherdown Dr
Westerville, OH 43081
614-899-6560 x7114

Nearby Hotels

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

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

Holiday Inn Express Columbus-Worthington (5 miles)
Ask about Otterbein Parent/Friend Rate
55 Hutchinson Ave
Columbus, Ohio 43235
614-977-0520 (Hotel Main Number)
614-896-8452 (Direct Line)

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

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

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


Part of an enjoyable visit to Otterbein’s campus means ensuring you understand your parking options and that you have the opportunity to plan for your family’s unique circumstances.

To allow all of our guests to have a pleasant arrival and departure, we ask guests to honor the following:

  • If possible, we ask that you consider traveling with your family pod of four guests. Doing so ensures that the majority of guests will be able to park within a short distance of the stadium.
  • As we will be welcoming many guests to campus throughout the weekend, we ask that you please arrive no earlier than one hour of your scheduled ceremony and that you plan to depart no later than one hour of your ceremony’s conclusion.

Special Needs Drop-Off:
Guests who would have difficulty walking from the parking lot to the Memorial Stadium can be dropped off at Gate A. Gate A is located on the north side of the stadium, closer to the Rike Center.

Reserved handicapped parking is available. Guests will only need to show their accessible seating section tickets to be granted access to this reserved parking.

Graduation Photos

Grad Images will take each graduate’s picture as they cross the stage. A proof and order form will be mailed by the latter part of May.

According to Grad Images, all orders received by June 1 will be fulfilled and delivered by July 1. Late orders will be accepted until Dec. 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.

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:

  • 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
  • Balloons and other items that would obstruct the sightline of any guests