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Tips and Information for Guests

This refers to 2017 events. It will be updated for 2018.


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Tips for Guests

All-School Ceremony - Quadrangle:  Begins at 9:00 a.m.

  • ARRIVE EARLY. Arrive early. Seating on the quadrangle opens at 7:00 a.m. Parking can be hectic that morning, so try to plan extra time to find a parking spot and walk to the quadrangle.
  • It can be a long walk from the parking deck to the quadrangle. Use the Quick Guide (coming soon) to locate drop-off points if needed.
  • This ceremony is held outside on the quadrangle lawn.
  • Sometimes the mornings are chilly, so think about bringing a jacket or shawl until it warms up.

MD Diploma Ceremony – Glenn Memorial Auditorium: Begins at 11:00 a.m.

  • Graduates will process from the quadrangle directly to Glenn Memorial. They will immediately begin staging in their processional lines for the MD Diploma Ceremony. You will not be able to interact or take photos with your graduate until after the ceremony.
  • Please have your ticket ready and take your seat inside Glenn when you arrive there from the quadrangle.
  • The view of the stage is excellent from all seats inside Glenn Memorial Auditorium, so don’t worry if you are not the first to arrive after the 9:00 a.m. quadrangle ceremony.
  • There are stairs to enter into the Glenn Auditorium. If you cannot navigate the stairs and need special accommodations to enter at ground level, you must arrange that ahead of time. Please contact Shelby Smith ( or 404-727-0017) to make these arrangements.
  • Professional photographers from GradImages will be taking photos of each graduate as they are hooded. These photos will be available to purchase. They will contact the graduates directly after the commencement day.
  • Not enough tickets? The MD Diploma Ceremony will be webcast live in Room 110 in the James B. Williams Medical Education Building. No tickets are required. There will also be a live video stream on this web site.
  • A reception immediately follows the MD Diploma Ceremony at the School of Medicine. Please plan to meet your graduate at the School of Medicine. You will exit Glenn Memorial from the doors at the right and left of the stage, not the main doors at the front of the building. Photos with your graduate will not be allowed outside of the Glenn Memorial Auditorium. Volunteers will be outside to direct you to the School of Medicine. 
  • If you require shuttle transportation to the James B. Medical Education Building, you must arrange this ahead of time. Please contact Shelby Smith ( or 404-727-0017) to make these arrangements.

MD Reception – James B. Williams Medical Education Building: Begins at 1:15 p.m.

  • It’s time to relax, eat, and take lots of pictures!
  • Several graduates will receive a promotion in the military, and their ceremony will be held during the reception.

Inclement Weather

If any rain is predicted on May 8, please check the Emory website or call 404-727-1234 after 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 7. If the university has to switch to the rain plan, it will be announced at 7:00 p.m. Sunday. If the rain plan is activated, it will not change no matter the weather conditions are in the morning.

Light rain: No changes to the schedule. Bring an umbrella.

Heavy rain or severe weather: The 9:00 a.m. quadrangle ceremony will be CANCELED. The MD Diploma Ceremony will begin at 8:00 a.m. at Glenn Memorial Auditorium. The reception will follow at 10:30 a.m. at the School of Medicine. n.

See the University Commencement site for details.

Visitor Transportation

A specific shuttle will be available to transport guests with special needs from the MD Diploma Ceremony at Glenn Memorial Auditorium to the James B. Williams Medical Education Building for the reception. The shuttle will be equipped a lift gate to accommodate wheelchairs. Please contact Shelby Smith ( or 404-727-0017) to make these arrangements.

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