2022 Spring Commencement

Cornish College is excited to return to Benaroya Hall for our in-person commencement ceremony scheduled for Monday, May 16 at 2:00 p.m.

Commencement Day

Monday, May 16
2:00 p.m.

Benaroya Hall
200 University St
Seattle, WA 98101

Find driving directions:
Benaroya Hall Plan Your Visit page

A reception for graduates, family and friends is scheduled immediately following the recessional in the Grand Lobby of Benaroya Hall. Light refreshments will be served.

Guest tickets or invitations are not required for admittance. Benaroya Hall will require all patrons to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 PCR test as a condition of entry. Masks are required for all patrons at all times, regardless of vaccination status. Those without documentation will not be admitted to the Ceremony.

Safety protocols for Beneroya Hall can be found here.

We recommend attendees plan to arrive at Benaroya 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 closed until candidates are seated

Commencement Information


No more than six credits may be outstanding after the end of the spring semester (including Incomplete grades, pending CBE/PLE credits,e and make-up credits for F’s or Withdrawals.)

Candidates whose spring grades make them ineligible for this year’s commencement ceremony will be notified as soon as possible after final grades are entered. If you are a prospective graduate and have questions about your eligibility to participate in commencement or your graduation status please contact the Office of Registration & Records.

Please use this form to contact the Office of Registration & Records

Arrival and Check-In  & Attire

Graduating seniors should arrive at Benaroya Hall for check-in at 12:00 PM on Monday, May 16. Rehearsal and department photos will follow check-in. Candidates must pick up their processional card at check-in to ensure that your name is called during the ceremony.

Graduation rehearsal begins at 1:00 before the line-up for the processional. Processional line up begins at 1:30 PM. 

  • Candidate Check in 12:00 pm to 12:45 pm
  • Candidate Rehearsal 12:45 pm to 1:10 pm
  • Departmental Photo 1:15 to 1:40
  • Candidate Processional Line-up 1:40 pm to 2:00pm
  • Commencement Ceremony begins promptly at 2:00 pm

Candidates may order regalia beginning March 1 through the Herff Jones website.  Regalia will be available for purchase until April 5. Diplomas are not given out at the ceremony. Final degree awards will be posted to the academic record within 30 days of the last day of the semester. Diplomas will be mailed following the final graduation audit; for most students diplomas will be mailed by August 1.  Candidates 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.

Faculty seated in the reserved section are asked to wear academic regalia.  Faculty may purchase or rent regalia beginning March 1 through the Herff Jones websiteThe Herff Jones Website will close for orders on April 15.

Graduation Announcements 

Candidates may pick up complimentary, non-personalized graduation announcements from the Registration & Records Office beginning in early April. Each graduating student will receive ten complimentary announcements. In mid-April, unclaimed announcements will be released to students who would like extras. Invitations are not required for guests to attend the ceremony.

Student Speaker

Candidates are nominated by departments or faculty, or they may self-nominate and submit a speech for consideration as the commencement student speaker. The student speaker selection committee will select one student to give the student address at the ceremony on behalf of the graduating class. A call for submissions will be sent out in the Fall semester, and proposed speeches will be due March 1, 2022. The student speaker will be selected shortly thereafter.

Contact the Office of Registration and Records to submit a speech for consideration.

Student Speech applications will be considered based on the following guidelines:

  • The nominees are graduates from fall of 2021 or spring of 2022
  • The nominees are in good disciplinary standing 
  • The speech is complete – nominees may want to schedule an appointment with the Writing Lab to review the speech as it is being drafted.
  • The speech runs between 3 and 4 minutes long

Consider the following when drafting the speech:

  • Use language that is inspiring, easily understandable and accessible
  • The audience is broad and diverse
  • Tell stories using metaphors, favorite quotes and humor
  • Focus on the full class and avoid calling out instructors or classmates.  

Individual and Department Photographs

Candidates, Families and Friends

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 in the Lobby and 2) a selfie station also set i the lobby.  Photos from the photo booth will be printed on demand at the event free of charge and also uploaded to a dedicated website after the event for purchase.  A photograph of each candidate will be taken as they exit the stage with the diploma cover – these photographs will also be made available for purchase after the event by, owned by Alum, Marilee Kimbal (2000).  More details will be sent out to candidates after the ceremony.  

Department Photos

Department photographs with faculty and chair will be taken and uploaded to the website for viewing after the event.  Department photos will take place in the main lobby between 1:15 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do my guests need tickets to attend the ceremony at Benaroya Hall?

Tickets are not required for entry to the ceremony.  Guests should plan to arrive 30 minutes prior to the ceremony start time of 2:00 pm.  Seating is available both on the main floor auditorium and in the balconies.

Will I get my diploma at the ceremony?

Diplomas will be mailed to Graduates by August 1, 2022.  Candidates will receive a diploma cover and congratulatory insert at the ceremony.  The diploma will automatically be sent to the diploma address provided on the Application for Graduation.  Please be sure that the diploma address provided is valid between July 1 and August 15, 2022. 

If I graduate with Honors, is it recognized in the ceremony and how is it noted on my diploma?

Yes, candidates who receive honors will be recognized during the ceremony, in the ceremony program, on their transcript and on their diploma.  One note of explanation:  since final grades for the spring semester are not received until after the commencement program is printed, we use the cumulative GPA computed at the end of the Fall 2021 semester for the program.  Recognition on diplomas and final transcripts will reflect Latin hours based on the spring semester 2022 cumulative GPA.  Latin honors used by the college are:  Summa Cum Laude (3.90 to 4.00), Magna Cum Laude (3.72-3.89), and Cum Laude (3.55-3.71).  Students may find current GPA on the unofficial transcript via Compass. 

What should I do with my personal belongings during the ceremony?

Benaroya Hall will provide a complimentary coat check for grads, or you should ask a friend/family member to hold onto your belongings for you.  

Information for Faculty & Staff

Faculty members of the College are encouraged to attend the ceremony and should plan to arrive at Benaroya 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 Registration and Records via this RSVP form.

See above for information about attire and photography.

Staff members of the College are welcome and encouraged to attend the ceremony.   Staff are not required to RSVP to attend the ceremony.

More Graduation & Commencement Information

Candidates should check their Cornish email account regularly for updates and reminders!  Also check out the Cornish Commencement website and share it with friends and family:


Information for Alumni Services

Congratulations, to candidates about to become an alum of Cornish College of the Arts!

All alums are automatically part of the Cornish Alumni Association and may find benefits here, on the alumni site, where you can sign up to be part of the Alumni online community.

Upon graduation our only email contact information for alums will be their email address. Alums may keep their contact information up to date by using this form so we may keep in touch with our alums. Twice a year, in the spring and fall, we will send an alumni e-newsletter to the email address on file. 

We invite all alums to join a secure, alumni-only networking platform here where they may interact with fellow alums and post opportunities, questions, collaborations, projects and more. Join our alumni linkedIn page for additional networking opportunities. 

The Alumni Relations Office is part of the Office of Institutional Advancement and they will happily answer alums questions. 


Visit Cornish's 2021 Fall Opening page to stay up to date on health and safety requirements, and campus updates.