Commencement 2021

Heidelberg University will celebrate Commencement 2021 with a series of in-person Commencement ceremonies on the Campus Center front law, organized by related majors, on Sunday, May 16, 2021. The ceremonies will take place outdoors, weather permitting. Rain site will be Seiberling Gymnasium. Below you will find information that you will need to know if you are planning to participate in Commencement.

COVID-19: Due to the pandemic and our ongoing commitment to the health and safety of our Heidelberg community, social distancing and mask-wearing will be enforced.


If the decision is made to move the Commencement ceremonies indoors because of inclement weather, students will receive notification via SendWordNow by 8 a.m. Commencement Day, Sunday, May 16.

If the ceremonies are moved to Seiberling Gymnasium, all pods and times will remain the same.

Information for Graduating Students


  • 10:00 a.m. - Pod #1: Criminology, Political Science, Psychology, International Studies, English, History, Music, Spanish, and Theatre
  • 11:30 a.m. - Pod #2: Athletic Training, Exercise Science, Health and Human Performance,  Health Science, and Sport Management
  • 1:00 p.m. - Pod #3: Integrated Media, Communication, Computer Science, Mathematics, Philosophy, Biochemistry, Biology, Environmental Science, Education, and Information Systems
  • 2:30 p.m. - Pod #4: Business, Economics, and Accounting
  • 4:00 p.m. - Pod #5: Master of Arts in Counseling and Master of Business Administration


Students who are double or triple majors and the majors are listed in two different pods will receive an email from Cindy Hay in the Office of the Registrar to designate which pod they prefer. Please watch your inbox for this email.


Each student participating in Commencement will receive four (4) guest admission tickets. You may pick up your tickets in the Business Office beginning Monday, May 3. Please note: All bills must be fully paid in the Business Office by May 1 to receive your tickets.


Students and faculty should assemble promptly 30 minutes prior to their assigned pod time in the lower level of Saurwein Health & Wellness Center.


Undergraduate students who are Honors Program graduates, Honor Society inductees and/or receiving Latin honors should pick up their appropriate medals and cords in the Office of the Registrar on Saturday, May 15, from 10:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m. You will be notified by email Friday, May 14, if you need to stop by the Registrar’s Office on Saturday to pick up your medal(s) and/or cord.


Attire is cap, gown and hood. Academic gowns are intended to be worn full length and should not be shortened by hemming, basting, etc. Approved medals and cords may be worn.


During your ceremony, graduates will receive an empty diploma case as they walk across the stage. At the conclusion of your pod ceremony, May graduates will pick up their diplomas in the Atrium of Gillmor Hall. December grads have already received their diplomas; summer grads will receive theirs in the mail. Enter at the top level closest to the Campus Center and exit at the bottom level closest to the parking lot. A photo ID will be required.


Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we will not have an in-person Baccalaureate this year. However, the University will be producing a video of our Baccalaureate ceremony, as well as a video of Commencement messages from University leadership and student speakers for viewing on YouTube during Commencement Weekend. We also will be filming each pod’s ceremony and making those videos available following the ceremony. Stay tuned for further viewing details.

General Information for Families & Guests


Heidelberg will be guided by state of Ohio COVID-19 protocols currently in place. Guests will be seated in groupings of four with social distancing between groups. Masks will be required.

We ask guests to arrive no earlier than 20 minutes prior to your scheduled pod ceremony. So that we can appropriately clean the area and prepare for the next pod, please plan to depart the ceremony site promptly after the conclusion of your ceremony.


Tickets will be required for entry into each ceremony.

Guests with special seating tickets will be admitted 15 minutes prior to the scheduled start time for their student’s pod. There will be seats reserved for this person and an escort in the special seating section. It is the responsibility of the graduate to reserve special seating by May 3. If you have questions, please contact Ms. Barb Gabel via email at


Guests are directed to Parking Lots B, C, E, F, G, and J (see Campus Map). Golf carts will be available for those who need assistance. Lots F and G will be the preferred parking lots for those individuals. Members of Heidelberg’s Security staff and student ambassadors will be on hand to assist those in a wheelchair or those with health concerns.


Regular Hours
Monday-Friday  |  9:00 AM-4:00 PM

Special hours for Commencement Day
Sunday, May 16  |  10:30 AM-5:30 PM


A limited supply of diploma frames is available for sale in the Bookstore. You may also visit the Herff-Jones website or to order online. Additionally, class rings and announcements can be ordered online from the Herff-Jones website.


Professional photographer Keith Hodkinson will be present to take a picture at the moment the diploma is presented to each graduate. Order forms are located online.


As a security precaution, the following items are prohibited: alcoholic beverages, coolers, backpacks, large handbags, metal folding seat cushions, noise making devices, mace or similar substances, signs, sticks, poles, and weapons of any kind. Guests are subject to visual inspection of person, bags, and clothing capable of concealing prohibited items. 


Questions regarding graduation requirements should be directed to your academic advisor. All bills must be paid in full to the Business Office by May 1, 2021, in order to participate in Commencement. If you have billing questions, please contact Barb Gabel at 419-449-2183 or If you have general questions about this year’s Commencement, please email

Campus Center Front Lawn (Rain site: Seiberling Gymnasium)
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