Graduation 2020

Graduation information

Saturday, May 8, 2021
10 a.m.
Salzman Stadium

Each graduate will receive up to two (2) printed tickets for their guests through campus mail or mailed to their permanent address. Guests MUST have a ticket in order to enter the event. RSVPs are due by April 23. The event will be livestreamed for all family and friends.

The limit of two tickets per graduate is based on capacity limitations at Salzman Stadium set by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and the Allen County Department of Health. Please note that children over the age of one will require their own ticket. Not only does Bluffton University need to limit the number of guests, graduates, and employees in the stadium, we must ensure all guests are seated with at least six feet of social distance between each ticket pair. In addition, we anticipate almost twice as many graduates participating in Commencement this year than last year. This means we must be able to accommodate twice as many guests, as well. 

Tickets are non-transferable, meaning we will not be providing additional “unused” tickets to other graduates. This is to ensure only 2 people are sitting together in each space to maintain the six-feet social distance restriction. We understand how disappointing this may be, but we want to be able to hold a ceremony for the class of 2021 just as we did for the class of 2020. A livestream of the Commencement ceremony will be provided online. 

All guests will be required to present a ticket at the gate. Visitors without a ticket will be asked to leave campus. No additional guests will be permitted on university grounds.

If you have questions, please contact Claire Clay at


8-9 a.m.

Graduates arrive on campus and check-in at the Sommer Center lobby. You will have the opportunity to take a formal photo. Graduates will be assigned staggered arrival times to manage capacity at check-in. Use the first letter of your last name to determine arrival time:

A-G - 8 a.m.
H-N - 8:20 a.m.
O-Z - 8:40 a.m.

9:15 a.m. Listen to final instructions and line up with your classmates to process out to Salzman Stadium.
9:30 a.m. Stadium gate opens for guests. Seating is first come, first served; however, guests must adhere to the designating seating areas to ensure safe social distancing practices.
10 a.m. Ceremony begins
12:30 p.m. Stadium closes


Arrival and parking

Graduates will be required to wear a facial covering (mask or face shield) while on campus.

Graduates will have the opportunity to take a formal graduation photo in Sommer Center. Graduates will also have their photo taken with President Wood while on staging receiving their diploma. Please be sure to look for the professional photographer in front of the stage! 

Parking will be available in the lots near the stadium (parking map). When you arrive on campus, please remain in your car until a staff member comes to welcome you into the stadium. This allows us to maintain a smaller number of people gathered in one area at a time. If you need accessible parking, you may use these lots or the small lot on the north end of the stadium, just off Augsburger Road. Please contact Elaine Suderman at to request one of these limited spots.

Entering the stadium
The entrance to the stadium opens at 9:30 a.m. Guests should remain in their cars until a staff member releases them to the gate. Printed tickets MUST be presented to enter the stadium. No exceptions. Please follow directional signs and directions given by staff as this will help us maintain social distancing protocols.

Safety precautions
This ceremony will take place outside where temperatures can reach up to or higher than 90 degrees. This ceremony will take place rain or shine unless serious inclement weather deems the location unsafe. Guests are welcome to bring umbrellas for use in the stadium.

All guests will be required to wear a facial covering (mask or face shield) while on campus.

If you have questions about Commencement, please contact Claire Clay at


Safety guidelines

Please note that in order to hold in-person commencement services, the university must take the following safety precautions in accordance with guidelines set by the Governor of Ohio, and in collaboration with the Allen County Department of Health.

All graduates and guests are REQUIRED to wear a facial covering (mask or shield) while on campus.

  • All faculty and staff will be required to perform a symptom assessment prior to arriving on campus
  • All graduates and guests will be encouraged to perform a symptom assessment prior to arriving on campus
  • All faculty and staff will be required to wear facial coverings

    Please note: family members living in the same household are not required to social distance from each other
  • Salzman Stadium will close immediately after the conclusion of the ceremony to limit congregation

Full guidelines


This form should be submitted by the graduate.

All graduates are required to attend Commencement. However, we recognize you may have circumstances that prevent you from participating. If you are unable to attend, please RSVP “no” below, and email Elaine Suderman at sudermane@bluffton with the reason and requesting to be excused.
Are you planning to attend Commencement on May 8, 2021?
Your guests
Your guests must have tickets to enter.
How many guests will you bring to Commencement?
How would you like to receive your tickets?
Do any of your guests require accessible seating?
Each graduate has the opportunity to accept the Graduation Pledge of Social and Environmental Responsibility, which reads: "I pledge to explore and take into account the social and environmental consequences of any job I consider and will try to improve these aspects of any organizations for which I work."
Do you choose to accept this pledge?