Information for Visitors

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. 


The 2021 Commencement ceremony will take place at Rosenbloom Field on Friday, May 28 at 10 a.m. In the event of severe weather, the in-person ceremony will be canceled, and we will livestream our guest speaker and the reading of our 2021 graduates’ names.

The ceremony will be livestreamed for those unable to attend.


The events planned for Thursday are for graduates only. Each graduate may invite up to two guests to the Exercises of Commencement at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 28.  

Each graduate will be provided two guest wristbands. Guests will be required to wear these wristbands to enter Rosenbloom Field. We will not be able to invite faculty, staff, and first-year through third-year students to attend this year's commencement unless they have been invited as one of our graduates’ two guests. 

  • Graduates must supply names and contact information for each of their guests. This will enable us to communicate with them as well as aid in contact tracing if necessary. This RSVP survey must be completed by April 16. 

  • Wristbands will be distributed to graduates along with caps and gowns. Guests must receive the wristbands from the graduates – they will not be available at the ceremony. 

  • Graduates may email any changes in guest names or contact information to Conference Operations and Events. 

Public Health Guidelines and Considerations  

In anticipation of students and guests arriving in Grinnell, we would like you to be aware of the following recommendations and guidelines related to COVID-19. Please do not travel if you have been exposed to COVID-19, are sick, or if you have recently tested positive for COVID-19. Traveling under these conditions poses a community health risk.  

As of April 1, 2021:

  • The CDC is recommending delaying travel and remaining at home to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.  
  • All air passengers coming into the United States, including U.S. citizens, are required to have a negative COVID-19 result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before they board a flight to the United States.  
  • Your mode of transportation matters as it relates to risk of exposure. Driving may be a better option than air or other passenger travel where air circulation may be poor and individuals spaced close together.  

If you plan to travel to campus, please consider the following:  

  • Our campus activity level is currently Blue. This means that masks are required in campus spaces, even when outdoors.
  • Wear a mask at all times in public, even if you are fully vaccinated.  
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially upon arrival.  
  • Avoid crowds and stay at least 6 feet from anyone who did not travel with you.  
  • Spring 2021 graduates who will be off campus this spring will be invited to return to Grinnell and participate in commencement if they arrive with adequate time to quarantine and participate in campus testing protocols. On-campus housing will be provided if needed.
  • There will be no access to campus buildings. Portable toilets will be on site.


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

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

Shuttles will not be available from local hotels as has been offered in prior years, but


Anyone who has difficulty walking can be dropped off at the entrance to the Charles Benson Bear ’39 Recreation and Athletic Center, 1201 10th Ave., and a limited number of golf carts will be utilized to assist those requiring transportation from the parking lot.

Rosenbloom field is equipped with an induction hearing loop system, which enables individuals with hearing aids set to T-Coil to hear the program. American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation is provided for the Exercises of Commencement. Contact Conference Operations and Events for assigned seating with a clear view.

Large print programs for any Commencement weekend activity are available with two weeks advanced notice to Conference Operations and Events, 641-269-3178.

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.

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.

Photo Information

Lifetouch will photograph all graduates at the ceremony. Proofs will be provided to the families of each graduate.

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