Severe Weather Plan

In the event of severe weather, diploma and hooding ceremonies will be moved indoors to either the Joyce Center (Purcell Pavilion) or Compton Family Ice Arena. If the ceremonies are moved indoors, or delayed, a message will be sent to graduates via cell phones registered with the ND Emergency Alert system by 7:00 a.m. Sunday morning. A notice will also be posted on the Commencement website (commencement.nd.edu). Distanced seating will still be necessary, and given distanced seating capacities, limited guest seats will be available. 

In an effort to maximize the number of guests per graduate, guest ticket allotments have been calculated based on the capacity of each venue and number of graduates participating in each ceremony. Specifically, the number of guest tickets to be provided in the event of a move indoors is as follows:   

  • College of Arts and Letters: 1 guest ticket  (Purcell Pavilion)   
  • College of Science: 2 guest tickets  (Purcell Pavilion)   
  • College of Engineering: 2 guest tickets  (Purcell Pavilion)    
  • Graduate School: 4 guest tickets  (Purcell Pavilion)  
  • Mendoza College of Business graduate: 2 guest tickets  (Purcell Pavilion)  
  • Mendoza College of Business undergraduate: 2 guest tickets (Purcell Pavilion)  
  • Keough School of Global Affairs: 4 guest tickets (Compton Family Ice Arena)   
  • Law School: 4 guest tickets (Compton Family Ice Arena)   
  • ROTC: 4 guest tickets (Compton Family Ice Arena)
  • School of Architecture: 4 guest tickets (Compton Family Ice Arena)

If the May 23 Commencement Mass and University Commencement Ceremony are moved indoors to the Joyce Center, our priority will be to seat our graduates. In that circumstance, we will unfortunately not be able to welcome any in-person guests.

The May 23 ceremonies will be live-streamed, regardless of if the Severe Weather Plan is implemented.


What constitutes Severe Weather?
Severe weather is considered lightning, high winds, heavy and persistent rain.

When the University says that its Commencement Exercises and Mass will be held outdoors in Notre Dame Stadium on Sunday, May 23 “rain or shine”, what does that mean?
The University plans to host the University Commencement Exercises and Mass in the Stadium even if it is raining or the weather conditions are not ideal. A weather delay is also possible. Only if there is "severe weather" will the event be moved indoors to the Joyce Center and the Severe Weather Plan will be implemented.

If it is raining for the University Commencement Ceremony in the Stadium, can guests, graduates, or faculty use umbrellas?
Umbrellas are allowed in Notre Dame Stadium. Please review the Prohibited Items listing. The University will provide graduates with rain ponchos, and it is also acceptable for each participant to wear their personal rain gear. Guests should come prepared to use personal rain gear if rain is in the forecast.

What if there are dangerous weather conditions?
If there is an immediate threat of dangerous weather conditions, emergency personnel will be deployed to direct graduates and guests to secure building locations. Depending on timing and severity, it is possible that Commencement activities could be delayed or canceled.