Security measures announced for 2016 University Commencement Ceremony

Author: Sue Lister


Due to the participation of Laetare Medal co-recipient Vice President Joe Biden, additional security measures will be in place at the University of Notre Dame’s 171st University Commencement Ceremony May 15 (Sunday) at Notre Dame Stadium.

The academic processional will begin at approximately 9 a.m., but guests are encouraged to arrive early due to expected delays as everyone will be required to pass through airport-style security checkpoints operated by U.S. Secret Service personnel. All attendees must have a ticket for admission. Guests can enter beginning at 7 a.m. through Gate A on the stadium’s northeast corner and Gate C on the south end.

Many common items will be prohibited at Commencement, including umbrellas; purses or bags larger than 12 by 12 by 12 inches; personal seatbacks; backpacks; signs or banners; unopened packages or gifts of any kind; containers of any type including bottles, cans or thermoses; coolers; grocery bags, tote bags, duffel bags and more. Strollers are permitted and will be subject to screening by U.S. Secret Service personnel, which may cause a delay in stadium entry. For a complete list of prohibited items, visit

Attendees are encouraged to check carefully their belongings before entering the security checkpoint lines. Storage will not be provided for items prohibited for admission, meaning prohibited items must be discarded or returned to a personal vehicle. Water and other beverages will be available for purchase at stadium concession stands.

If severe weather is a concern, the decision to move the ceremony indoors will be announced by 10:30 p.m. May 14 (Saturday) to allow the Secret Service sufficient time to move security checkpoints to the Joyce Center. This decision will be broadly communicated via the NDAlert system, through local news outlets, email messages, online at and on University social media accounts.

In the case of severe weather, graduating students will need their “graduate ticket” to enter the Joyce Center. Participating faculty will need their “faculty ticket,” and guests will be required to have a “severe weather” ticket. General admission tickets will not be honored if the ceremony is moved to the Joyce Center.