The commencement ceremony for the Class of 2016 will be held Saturday, May 14, 2016 at 11 AM.  For the third year in a row, the event will be held at Seattle Center in the beautiful McCaw Hall (home to Seattle Opera and Pacific Northwest Ballet). The ceremony is usually two hours long; a short reception with light refreshments immediately follows.

Guest tickets or invitations are not required for admittance.

Highlights from last year's ceremony:

View Video of Commencement 2016

Driving Directions

McCaw Hall is located on Mercer Street between 3rd and 4th Avenues, on the north edge of the Seattle Center campus, approximately 2 miles north of the downtown Seattle business district. The Hall’s street address is 321 Mercer Street. Driving directions can be found at the McCaw Hall website.

Parking Information

Parking is available at the Mercer Street Garage, conveniently located across the street from McCaw Hall. You can access the hall via a covered skybridge located on the C Level of the garage. Vehicle clearance for the Mercer Garage is 7’7”. Capacity, including ADA-designated parking, is 1,439 spaces. For additional details, please visit the McCaw Hall website.

Information for Graduating Seniors

  • Participation -- You are eligible to participate in the College’s commencement ceremony if you have six or fewer credits outstanding after Spring semester 2016 is complete. If you have more than six credits unfulfilled, you are eligible to participate in the following year’s ceremony. If you are a prospective graduate and have questions about your eligibility to participate in commencement or your graduation status, please contact the Registration & Records Office at 206-726-5089.

  • Arrival and check-in -- Graduating seniors should arrive at McCaw Hall for check-in at 9:00 AM on Saturday, May 14.  Rehearsal and department photos will follow check-in. Line-up for the processional takes place at 10:30 AM. You must pick up your processional card at check-in to ensure that your name is called during the ceremony.

  • Diplomas -- Diplomas are not given out at the ceremony. Final degree awards will be posted to a your record within 30 days of the last day of the semester. Diplomas will be available following the final graduation audit; for most students that will be by June 1.  You must provide the Registration & Records Office with the address where you would like your diploma sent; you can give us this in person or on your graduation application on Compass. If you do not provide a diploma-specific address, your diploma will be held at the Registration & Records Office for in-person pick-up.

  • Graduation announcements -- You may pick up complimentary, non-personalized graduation announcements from the Registration & Records Office early March. Each graduating student will receive eight complimentary announcements.  In April, unclaimed announcements will be released to students who would like extras. 

  • Photos -- This year, Cornish will provide two unique opportunities for candidates and their guests to have their photos taken before or after the ceremony:  1) a special backdrop with professional photographers will be located on the Kreielsheimer Promenade Lobby (ground floor) just inside the north doors (closest to Mercer Street) and 2) a selfie station will be set up at the opposite end of the Promenade near the south doors.  Photos will be printed on site and also uploaded to a dedicated website (Phototainment) after the event for purchase.  Also new this year, the ceremony will be broadcast on Cornish's Vimeo channel and will be accessible after the event.  Finally, department photographs will take place 10:00am-10:30am on the Grand Staircase.

  • Alumni Services -- The Alumni Relations Office can be reached at 206-726-5052. More information about the Alumni Relations Office can be found here.

Information for Family & Friends

Family and friends of graduates should plan to arrive at McCaw Hall at least a half-hour before the start of the ceremony. Once the processional has begun, late-arriving guests will be asked to wait or use a side entrance, as the main doors to the auditorium will be blocked.

Information for Faculty

Faculty members of the College are encouraged to attend the ceremony and should plan to arrive at McCaw Hall at least a half-hour before the start of the ceremony. The faculty processional follows immediately after the student processional. To ensure reserved seating, please RSVP to Dean of Academic Services & Registrar Adrienne Bolyard at or call 206.726.5021.

Information for Staff

Staff members of the College are welcome and encouraged to attend the ceremony.