UofL diplomas
UofL diplomas

The University of Louisville’s spring 2019 graduating class is one of the university’s largest in decades, with more than 3,200 students expected to complete their degree this semester. 

Of these graduates, about 2,100 will take part in commencement, May 11 at the downtown KFC Yum! Center. Due to the large number of graduates there are two ceremonies: 

  • 10 a.m.: College of Arts & Sciences, Kent School of Social Work; School of Dentistry & Graduate School; Brandeis School of Law; School of Medicine; School of Nursing & Graduate School.
  • 2 p.m.: College of Business; College of Education and Human Development; J.B. Speed School of Engineering; School of Music. 

Also, the Graduate School will host a doctoral hooding and graduation ceremony May 10 at 3 p.m. at the SAC, Room W215. 

Additional FAQs regarding the ceremonies are below. 

Where do I park?

Parking is available in the KFC Yum! Center underground garage. The public parking spaces are limited. Event parking is $10 and will be collected as you enter the garage. The garage gates will be open after the ceremony for a quick exit.

Parking is also available in the Riverfront lot located behind the KFC Yum! Center by entering from River Road. Riverside Parking Garage is available and located at First and Witherspoon Streets. There are many parking garages in the immediate area and metered street parking is also available.

Parking information and maps are available online here. 

Do I need tickets to attend the ceremony?

No. Tickets are not issued for the ceremony and you may invite as many guests as you wish.

Is attendance at the University-wide rehearsal on Friday, May 10 required?

Yes. All students attending the University-wide ceremonies on May 11 are required to attend the commencement rehearsal. The rehearsal will cover the processional and other student concerns, and will confirm your place in the line-up.  Doctoral graduates attending the Hooding Ceremony do not rehearse.

How long is the ceremony?

The university-wide ceremony will last approximately two hours.

Where will it be streamed?

The ceremonies will be streamed live at uofl.edu/livestream. 

How do I buy a class ring?

Class rings may be ordered from the online ordering site here

Will I have to pass-through metal detectors upon entering the facility? Are there bag size limitations?

Yes. The KFC Yum! Center has implemented enhanced security procedures. All individuals arriving at the facility will pass through metal detectors upon arriving at the facility. Please allow extra time for entering the facility. All bags will be searched upon entry. Bags may be no larger than 14″ X 14″ and a clutch may only be 9″ X 7″. Please note that balloons are prohibited at the KFC Yum! Center.

When will I receive my diploma?

Diplomas usually arrive in the Registrar’s Office approximately eight weeks after commencement. You will be contacted via e-mail once the diplomas are available.

Who are the commencement speakers?

  • Alex Hicks-Chambers from the School of Nursing
  • Sarah Taheri from the J.B. Speed School of Engineering

My tassel is missing a year tag. How do I get one?

Our degree tassels do not carry a year tag or other medallion.

My call card is wrong or missing! What do I do?

Please see the call card table in the line-up room at rehearsal or commencement.

How do I reserve seating?

All seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

I am student in need of special of accommodations because of a disability.  What do I do?

This student will be able to work with the commencement staff at rehearsal to work out any accommodations that they will need. Following commencement rehearsal they will be able to have any questions addressed until they are comfortable. Typically, the most come situation is a student in a wheelchair. We have a ramp on the front of the stage that the student can use. These students can practice using the ramp at rehearsal until they are comfortable.

Are photo backdrops available? 

Backdrops for each of the schools/colleges will be set up on the main concourse so you and your family and friends can take memorable snapshots, including some with your dean and favorite faculty members. Bring your camera!

Are video projection/commencement DVDs available? 

Video cameras and screens will project the ceremony so that your friends and family can get a close-up view of you as you enter the arena, and again when you are recognized for your degree. The processional and ceremony will be video taped and projected on the large screens hanging on either side of the platform. DVDs may be purchased from the University’s IT Department. Information for purchasing the DVD will be available on the commencement web site after the ceremony.

Will any photos from the ceremony be available? 

Digital photos will be made as each individual graduate is recognized on the platform. The photos will be available the week following the ceremony.  The photos will be posted to the University Flickr account here

New this year: Guest Assistance/Wheel Chair Escort Service

A wheel chair escort service will be available at the arena on Saturday, May 11. This service will be available on a first come/first serve basis for persons with disabilities. Guests may not take the wheel chair themselves, but the escort will happily pick up and drop off the guest to their destination in the arena. This service is limited to inside the arena, only.   Upon arriving at the facility, guests may call the guest assistance office at 502-690-9034 to request an escort. Additionally, any arena staff with a radio can call for the escort to meet the guest. Please allow extra time upon your arrival should there be a wait for an escort.


Alicia Kelso
Alicia Kelso is the director of social media and digital content. She joined UofL in 2015 as director of communications at the Brandeis School of Law. She also serves as a senior contributor at Forbes.com, writing about the restaurant industry, which she has covered since 2010. Her work has been featured in publications around the world, including NPR, Bloomberg, The Seattle Times, Good Morning America and Franchise Asia Magazine.