Information for Visitors

Commencement Postponed

Due to COVID-19 concerns, we have postponed Commencement at this time. More details will follow.

Download the Grinnell College Events app (Google Play, Android Apps, App Store) to check out the most up-to-date student schedule of events.

This page is the online information headquarters for Commencement. Most commonly requested information is available on this page. If you have additional questions, please email Conference Operations and Events, or call 641-269-3178. 


Parking is available on side streets and lots located around the perimeter of campus.

Anyone who has difficulty walking can be dropped off at Herrick Chapel at the corner of 7th Avenue and Park Street for both Commencement and Baccalaureate. (If the ceremony is held indoors drop people off at the entrance to the Charles Benson Bear ’39 Recreation and Athletic Center, 1201 10th Ave.)

Illegally parked cars will be ticketed by safety and security or the City of Grinnell depending on the location of the vehicle.

We offer complimentary shuttles on Commencement Day from the I-80 hotel cluster (Comfort Inn, Super 8, Days Inn, Country Inn, EconoLodge) to the Commencement site. Shuttles will regularly run from early morning to mid-afternoon to accommodate breakfast plans and the post-Commencement all-campus picnic.


Grinnell College is committed to supporting guests with disabilities during Commencement Weekend. Please inform Conference Operations and Events if you have a disability that requires accommodation for participation in an event. For information about accessible (handicap) parking, ramps, and routes through campus, see the Campus Accessibility Map.

Herrick Chapel

Baccalaureate, Phi Beta Kappa induction, Honor G.

  • An accessible restroom is located at the northeast entrance to the chapel.
  • Wheelchair and companion seating is available at the front of the Chapel.

Central Campus Lawn

Commencement, post-Commencement picnic. (Note: In case of rain, the ceremony will be held indoors at Charles Benson Bear ’39 Recreation and Athletic Center, 1201 10th Ave.)

  • American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation is provided for the Exercises of Commencement. With advance notice, ASL interpretation may be available for other Commencement Weekend activities. Contact Conference Operations and Events for assigned seating with a clear view.
  • Accessible restrooms are available in Herrick Chapel, the Bucksbaum Arts Center, and the Robert N. Noyce Science Center.
  • Seating for wheelchairs on the lawn may be made anywhere. Wheelchair users requiring a hard surface or any other accessibility needs, please contact Conference Operations and Events with your request at 641-269-3178.

Large Print Programs

Commencement Tickets

Tickets are not required for indoor or outdoor ceremonies. If any member of your party has special seating needs, please indicate this on the reservation form, and we will provide you with special seating tickets. We recommend you arrive early for an indoor Commencement; this is not necessary for outdoor Commencement.

All-Campus Picnic

The Commencement picnic follows Commencement. Each senior is asked to check with his or her family and indicate the number of people, including themselves, who will be attending.

Area Dining and Housing

Graduating seniors will be allowed to stay in their dormitory rooms until noon the Tuesday following Commencement. Siblings attending Grinnell College may submit a written request to Conference Operations and Events to stay in the dorms through Commencement. Housing and dining options are available at many local accommodations and area restaurants.

Flowers and Commemorative T-Shirts

Fresh flowers and commemorative Commencement t-shirts will be available for purchase at Commencement and are available now for pre-order online.

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