Ohio State spring commencement information, Graduating class is largest in university history

News Release Date: 

For the fourth consecutive year, Ohio State will graduate the largest spring quarter class ever with the awarding of 10,642 degrees on Sunday (6/10). The class of 2012 surpasses the 2011 class (9,700) by several hundred graduates. The record-size graduating class can be attributed to university efforts to attract the state’s brightest students, student retention rates, and the rush to graduate ahead of the conversion to semesters that begins later this month.  

The ceremony is the university's 400th commencement and Ohio State’s last on the academic quarter system.

Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Representative to the United Nations, will be deliver the commencement address.

Honorary doctorates will be presented to Donald Harris, composer and dean emeritus of The Ohio State University College of the Arts, and to Douglas Massey, professor of sociology at Princeton University.

Distinguished Service Awards will be presented to two Ohio State graduates – John W. Kessler, owner of John W. Kessler Company and chairman of The New Albany Company, real estate development companies; and Keith Monda, retired president of Coach, Inc.

The ceremony will last approximately two and one-half hours. Approximately 50,000 guests are expected to attend commencement. No tickets are required. Additional information is available at http://commencement.osu.edu/

A Zero Waste Commencement

Spring commencement may have the largest graduating class in history but it will have one of the smallest environmental impacts. At this commencement Ohio State will attempt to achieve zero waste status by diverting more than 90 percent of the materials from the event. The Zero Waste at Ohio Stadium program is setting the precedent for the first-ever zero waste commencement at Ohio State. Attendees will be asked to place any food or fiber items in the containers marked for compost and place any other materials into the recycling bins. “Graduates have left their legacies on campus and seek to impact the world but at this commencement, they will leave a small environmental footprint,” said Ohio State Sustainability Coordinator Corey Hawkey.

Traffic Alert

There are several ongoing construction projects on campus and near Ohio Stadium that may impact traffic and parking on commencement day. Please visit the Transportation and Parking website (http://tp.osu.edu/alerts/springcommencement.shtml) for information and updates.
Traffic on Woody Hayes Drive and Cannon Drive (near the stadium) will be restricted from approximately 11:30 a.m. to noon to make way for the graduates’ procession from French Field House to Ohio Stadium.


Free shuttle buses will run from West Campus parking lots to the Sisson Hall footbridge beginning at 9 a.m. until one hour after the ceremony concludes. Due to the construction taking place around Ohio Stadium and on Woody Hayes Drive, guests are strongly encouraged to use the West Campus parking and shuttles. It is a very efficient way to get to and from the ceremony.
Free parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis in any of the permit zones around Ohio Stadium, St. John Arena, the Ag Campus, the student residence halls, or on West Campus. In addition, the Arps, Ohio Union, Lane Avenue, and Tuttle Park parking garages will be available at no charge.

The Schottenstein Center lots are also available for parking, however the venue is hosting an event that begins at 4 p.m., possibly causing delays for commencement guests who are leaving those lots following the ceremony.

Disability parking is located in the East Stadium Lot on a first come, first served basis. A permanent or temporary Ohio or other state-issued Disability Placard is required. The East Stadium Lot is accessed from Tuttle Park Place. Please plan to arrive early as reserved parking is not guaranteed.
Visit the Transportation and Parking web site at www.tp.ohio-state.edu for further information about commencement parking.

The Ceremony

Graduates assemble in the French Field House and RPAC by 11:15 a.m. The class processional leaves the assembly sites at 11:40 a.m., crosses Woody Hayes and Cannon Drives, and moves into Ohio Stadium at noon. The processional will last about 30 minutes. The commencement address will be delivered at approximately 1 p.m. 

Following the conferring of honors and the commencement address, diplomas will be awarded. It is a long-standing tradition at Ohio State for graduates to personally receive their diplomas from their deans. Ph.D. candidates are first, and their names are announced as they are hooded and presented with their diplomas. After the singing of Carmen Ohio, all other graduates will move in 12 lines to the diploma boxes on the field and receive their diplomas. After receiving their diplomas, graduates remain in line, proceed to the south end of Ohio Stadium, and disperse outside. 

Certain items are prohibited in Ohio Stadium as a security precaution. No alcoholic beverages, hard coolers, backpacks, large handbags, chair-back seats, noisemaking devices, mace or similar substances, signs, sticks or poles, or weapons of any type are permitted. Neither graduates nor guests may bring any of these items into Ohio Stadium. Guests are subject to visual inspection of person, bags and clothing capable of concealing prohibited items.
Items that are permitted include cameras, video recorders, uncased binoculars, small handbags, pagers, cell phones, seat cushions, and clothes for weather conditions.
Commencement broadcasts

For family members and friends of graduates who are unable to attend commencement, the university offers a live web streaming of the ceremony at http://www.wosu.org/osu-commencement/ beginning at noon Sunday, (6/10). The web broadcast will be archived for later viewing at http://www.wosu.org/osu-commencement/

In addition, excerpts from the ceremony will be broadcast on WOSU-TV, Channel 34, at 5:30 p.m. on Monday (6/11).