Student Affairs

May Commencement Ceremony

May 2019 Commencement Ceremony

Who: December 2018 and May 2019 graduates

When is the event: Saturday, May 18, 2019 at 10:00 a.m.

Where: Magness Arena at the University of Denver’s Daniel L. Ritchie Center (2201 E. Asbury Ave., Denver, CO, 80210)

Time: The Commencement Ceremony begins promptly at 10:00 a.m.

Commencement Speaker: TBD

Regalia Pick-up: Pick-up your Graduation Regalia on Friday, May 17th from 12:00pm – 6:00pm in Room 155 at the Sturm College of Law.

Live Video Stream: The commencement ceremony will be streamed live at this link:

Access to the building the morning of Commencement:

Graduates and Platform Party: The LOWER west doors (across from the Lacrosse field) at the Ritchie Center will be unlocked for graduates and platform party at 8:30 a.m., NO EARLIER. Graduates, please report to the Hamilton Gym, lower level. Graduates arriving after 9:30 a.m. may not be able to walk in the procession. The platform party should report to the Gottesfeld Room, 4th floor of the Ritchie Center.

Guests of the Graduates: All main entrances at the Ritchie Center will open to guests at 9:00 a.m. Members of the audience should be seated by 9:45 a.m. Tickets are not required to attend the ceremony, nor is there a limit on the number of guests each graduate can invite.

Length of ceremony: Just under two hours

Reception: A reception will be held immediately following the ceremony for graduates and their guests. See below for more details.

Attire: All participants are required to wear the appropriate academic regalia. JD candidates will carry the hood, draped over their left arm, as they proceed across the stage. Candidates will be hooded and their symbolic diplomas presented during the ceremony. Pick-up your Graduation Regalia on Friday, May 17th from 12:00pm – 6:00pm in Room 155 at the Sturm College of Law.


  • DO NOT BRING VALUABLES WITH YOU TO THE GYM TO LINE UP FOR THE PROCESSION! (There is no secure location for purses, keys, coats, etc.)
  • PLEASE CONSIDER YOUR FOOTWEAR! (The bleacher stairs are difficult to walk on in high heels, as are the gymnasium and arena floors. There is a lot of standing before the procession begins.)

Parking: Free Parking is available at many of the lots on Commencement Day.

The closest lots are:

  • L- garage (access off of Asbury) at and Lot # 321 (below the law building, with access from Evans only)
  • Lot 103 – southeast corner of High Street and S. Buchtel Blvd.
  • Lot 108 – northeast corner of University Blvd. and Josephine (east of University)
  • Lot W – SW corner of University and Jewell

ADA Parking: Parking for people with ADA plaques is available in every lot on campus. On graduation day, most of the circular lot just north of the Ritchie Center off Buchtel will be reserved for guests with ADA plaques. Parking attendants will give access only to those with ADA plaques or plates unless special arrangements have been made through the Events Office. Additional ADA parking is available at Jewell and University.

Legacy Graduate Breakfast: A graduating student is qualified as a legacy if they have family members who currently hold University of Denver law degrees. These students are invited, along with their families, to attend a special breakfast the morning of Commencement with Dean Smith and other platform party guests. This intimate annual event will occur May 18 at 8:30 a.m. in the Gottesfeld Room (4th floor of the Ritchie Center) and feature photo opportunities with the dean. If you believe you qualify as a legacy, please contact Claire Gambrell immediately to be added to the guest list and receive further details. Claire can be reached at 303 871 6940 or .

Closed Captioning: Closed captioning is available for hearing impaired guests.

Special Seating: Hearing impaired, mobility impaired, and guests in wheelchairs may sit anywhere within the bowl/arena seating. There are wheelchair cutouts throughout the arena. Ushers will do everything they can to accommodate all of our guests’ needs. Wheelchair and mobility impaired guests will find it easiest to enter the building on the north side of the Ritchie Center. Use the entrance on the ground level, and take the elevators just inside those doors to the concourse level.

The Tassel: It goes on the left and stays on the left.

Alumni Pins for Graduates: Graduates will find a small pin attached to their programs when they reach their seats on the arena floor. Early in the commencement ceremony, there will be a declaration that you are now officially a member of the alumni of the Sturm College of Law. You will then be asked to pin the person next to you.

Hooding: Hoods were originally a functional garment, worn to shield scholars and clerics from the elements. Now a classic accessory used in various ceremonies, the hood’s colors symbolize degree (purple for law) and educational institution (crimson and gold for DU). Graduates march into the ceremony with their hoods draped on their left arms (colors out, string to the outside) and are hooded during the ceremony, as a rite of passage.

Reception: The reception begins immediately after the ceremony at the Sturm College of Law. It lasts approximately one hour. The menu includes light cold canapé’s and punch (some with champagne). There will be two outdoor stations (weather permitting) and one indoor location (Forum).

Directions to the reception: At the end of the ceremony, graduates and guests should exit the Ritchie Center and head south to the law school for the reception. Please do not stop just after exiting the Ritchie Center as there will be a lot of foot traffic/congestion in that area. If anyone in your party has difficulty walking 100 yards or more, you should consider renting a wheelchair.

Professional Photographer: Grad Images (800.628.4509) will be taking photos of every graduate as they receive their diplomas and shake hands with the Chancellor, and one additional shot just before graduates return to their seats. Grad Images will contact graduates by mail with proofs.

Regalia and Diploma Cover Return: Graduates’ regalia and diploma covers must be returned to Room 155 at the Sturm College of Law following the ceremony, and no later than 1:00pm. (The diploma covers are used symbolically during the ceremony and are not large enough to hold your actual diplomas, so please return them as well.) Faculty and platform party return their robes just after exiting the arena (Ritchie Center).

Other Questions? I am happy to answer any questions that you or your guests might have after reading this document, including but not limited to other special needs, travel/lodging questions, and additional directions. Please call Lauri Mlinar at 303 871 6139 in the law school Events Office.

Lauri Mlinar

The University of Denver Sturm College of Law is committed to providing facilities that are accessible to persons with and without disabilities. We encourage persons with disabilities to contact Lauri Mlinar at 303.871.6139.


Sturm College of Law
University of Denver
2255 E. Evans Avenue
Denver, CO 80208