Guest Information

Ceremony Instructions

August Commencement

Saturday, August 15, 2020
8:00 a.m. Ford Stadium
5800 Ownby Drive
Dallas, TX 75205

Gates open at 6:30 a.m. The ceremony begins at 8:00 a.m. Security screenings are in place. Each guest, regardless of age, must have a unique ticket printed as a full-sized image on an 8.5” x 11” sheet. An e-ticket cannot be accepted. Parties should enter together through the gate indicated on their tickets. Face coverings are required and must be worn at all times. The ceremony will be long. Given the Texas heat and COVID-19, it may be concerning for young children and older adults to attend.

Graduates who RSVP by the August 3 deadline are entitled to 4 guest entry tickets to Ford Stadium.Tickets must be requested by the graduate by Thursday, August 13 at midnight and provided to guests prior to the event. Tickets are not required for the simulcast location.

Please see Request Commencement Tickets for more information on tickets.

The ceremony is streamed online at and is viewable on any web enabled device.

Simulcast Location (Ticket not required, but seating is limited)
McFarlin Auditorium
6405 Boaz Lane
Dallas, TX 75205

Dallas Hall Rotunda Walk

Saturday, August 15, 2020
Historic Main Quadrangle and Dallas Hall, 10:30 a.m. -5:00 p.m.

Dallas Hall will be open for a walk through the Rotunda from 10:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Due to the expected crowd, graduates and guests will not be able to stop or pause in the Rotunda.

A ticket is not required.

Face coverings are required on the steps of Dallas Hall and in the building.

A cooling station in the McFarlin Auditorium lobby and restrooms in the lower lobby will be available for graduates and guests.

Parking and Access

Graduates and guests attending Commencement activities at SMU on Saturday, August 15, may park in any of the University's parking facilities:

  • Binkley Parking Center- Located at the corner of Binkley Avenue and Ownby Drive
  • Mustang Parking Center- Located off Bush Avenue by the Residential Commons
  • Moody Parking Center- Located at Airline Road and SMU Boulevard
  • Airline Parking Center- Located at Airline Road and Daniel Avenue
  • Meadows Parking Center- Located between Bishop Blvd and Ownby Drive
  • U Lot- Located at Airline Road and University Blvd
  • Hillcrest Parking Center- Located at 5906 Hillcrest Avenue 

Maps showing the location of parking lots and campus buildings, and directions to campus are available here:

 Parking Map  SMU Parking Services

Guests with Impairments

Mobility-impaired seating is limited. Guests seated in the mobility-impaired seating areas are allowed one attendant to accompany them. Please contact 214-768-3417 or with questions regarding guests with mobility or sensory impairments.

Guests with limited mobility may park in Lot D (space is limited) located on Ownby Drive. To park here, a current state-issued disabled parking placard and/or license plate are needed. Otherwise, guests may be dropped off by the stadium on Ownby Drive and cars can park in any SMU parking garage.

Decorum and Attire

SMU's August Commencement is an historic event in the lives of our graduates, their guests, and the SMU community at large. Excitement, joy, and enthusiasm are expected and welcomed!

We ask, however, that all guests respect the importance and dignity of this occasion. Please do not bring items that might disrupt the ceremony. Cell phones and other electronic devices should be silenced. We ask that you express your excitement in ways that will not prevent others from hearing the speakers and enjoying the ceremony.

Guests are encouraged to dress in comfortable, light-weight clothing as the temperature will be hot in Ford Stadium. Sunscreen is also recommended as the sun will be bright and few seats will be in the shade.

Places to Stay

There are many options for a place to stay overnight in the Dallas area. Please visit campus travel for more information.


Personal photographs may be taken before and after the Commencement Convocation ceremony. Only graduates are permitted on the field during the ceremony. Arrangements have been made with a professional photographer to take graduates' photographs as they cross the Commencement stage. Formal portraits by Flash for all candidates in regalia may be taken the morning of Commencement Convocation on the Ford Stadium field. If you have questions concerning photographs, please contact Flash Photography at 214-443-9393.

SMU has a variety of iconic photo opportunities on campus. Be sure to check them out!