crowd at commencement


2023 Spring Commencement

Cornish College is excited to return to Benaroya Hall for our in-person commencement ceremony scheduled for Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Save the Date Commencement 2023
Tuesday, May 9, 2023

2:00 pm

Benaroya Hall
200 University St
Seattle, WA 98101

Commencement Information – 2023 Candidates for Graduation


Cornish College is excited to return to Benaroya Hall for the 49th Commencement ceremony scheduled for Tuesday, May 9 at 2pm.  Guest tickets or invitations are not required for admittance.

Benaroya Hall is located in downtown Seattle, at 200 University St, Seattle, WA 98101. Driving directions can be found at the Benaroya Hall Plan Your Visit page.

Driving directions can be found on the Benaroya site here: Directions and Parking


Graduation Application Required

To participate in the May 2023 ceremony, please apply for graduation as soon as possible if you have not already done so. Apply for graduation via Compass through this link.

Submission of the Graduation Application form is required even if you do not plan to attend the ceremony. The application provides you the opportunity to let us know how your name should be printed in the commencement program, and if you plan to participate in the graduation ceremony.

Credit Requirement

No more than six credits may be outstanding after the end of spring semester (including Incomplete grades, pending CBE/PLE credits 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 Registration & Records Office at


Graduating seniors should arrive at Benaroya Hall for check-in at 11:30 AM on Tuesday, May 9. Rehearsal and department photos will follow check-in. Candidates must pick up their processional card at check-in to ensure your name is called during the ceremony.       

  • Candidate Check-in begins at 11:30 pm to 12:00 pm
  • Candidate Rehearsal AFTER check-in 
  • Departmental Photo AFTER check-in
  • Processional lineup begins at 1:30 p.m. 
  • Commencement Ceremony begins promptly at 2:00 p.m.


Academic dress is required to participate in the commencement ceremony. Cornish regalia will be available to order online through the Herff Jones Website found here.  The order site is scheduled to close on March 29 at 8:59 pm.

Cap and Gown

Herff Jones order site will open in February, please check back often for more information about the site.  The site is set to close on March 29, 2023.  Regalia will be mailed to candidates by April 9, 2023.  

Student Pricing – Red Cap and Gown with 2023 tassel
24.60 + 13.95 shipping
Total cost- 38.55

Honor Cords

Students earning Latin Honors as of the fall 2022 will receive their honor cord at Commencement.
Summa Cum Laude – 3.90 to 4.00
Magna Cum Laude – 3.72 to 3.89
Cum Laude – 3.55 to 3.71


Stoles can be ordered directly through the website.


Photo 321 is the official photographer for our Commencement. Graduates at Cornish College of the  Arts photos online by visiting

The following two pieces of information are required to access their account:

  • Last Name of the graduate
  • Graduation Year


Will I get my diploma at the ceremony?

Diplomas are not issued at Commencement. Candidates will receive a diploma cover at the ceremony.  The diploma will automatically be sent to the diploma address provided on the Application for Graduation.  

To ensure you receive your diploma/certificate in a timely manner, please be ​sure to resolve any financial holds (including parking and library fines) and update your Diploma Tracking address on your graduation application on Compass. Your diploma should arrive in early August.  NOTE: Please be sure that the diploma address provided is valid between July 1 and August 15, 2023. 

If you aren’t sure where you will be, you can set up your mailing address to be in care of (c/o) a friend or family member. If you don’t include the person’s name, the post office might not deliver it.

c/o Friend Address
1234 Main St Apt 11
Seattle, WA  98122

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

Yes, candidates who receive academic honors will be given an Honor Cord for the ceremony, and candidates’ names will be listed in the ceremony program, on their academic 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 2022 semester for the program.  Recognition on diplomas and final transcripts will reflect Latin hours based on the spring semester 2023 cumulative GPA. 

Latin honors used by the college are:
Summa Cum Laude (3.90 to 4.00)
Magna Cum Laude (3.72-3.89)
Cum Laude (3.55-3.71).  

Students may find current GPA on the unofficial transcript via Compass.


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 has been mailed to all candidates,  and proposed speeches will be due March 10th.  The student speaker will be selected shortly thereafter.

Apply here to submit a speech for consideration.

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

  • The nominees are graduates from fall of 2022 or spring of 2023
  • 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.


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.


Cornish College is excited to return to Benaroya Hall for our in-person commencement ceremony scheduled for Tuesday, May 9th at 2pm.  Guest tickets or invitations are not required for admittance.  

Benaroya Hall is located in downtown Seattle, one mile from Cornish’s Main Campus Center. The Hall’s address is 200 University St, Seattle, WA 98101. Driving directions can be found at the Benaroya Hall Plan Your Visit page.

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

Live Stream

The Commencement ceremony will be live streamed for family and friends who are not able to join us in person.  We will provide information about how to access the live stream as we get closer to the Ceremony.  


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 

  • Academic Attire

Faculty seated in the reserved section are asked to wear academic regalia.  Faculty may purchase or rent regalia in late February through the Herff Jones website once it is available.  The Herff Jones Website will close for orders on March 9th.


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


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.


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

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. Reach out to they will help alums navigate any alumnus related questions.