Guest Information

Ceremony Instructions

Rotunda Recessional for Undergraduate Candidates

Saturday, December 19, 2020 
Historic Main Quadrangle and Dallas Hall
9:00-11:30 a.m. & 3:00-4:00 p.m.

Dallas Hall will be open for a self-guided, self-paced walk through the Rotunda from 9:00-11:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. A ticket is not required for the walk-thru.

A face covering is required on the steps of Dallas Hall and in the building.

December Commencement

Saturday, December 19, 2020
1:00 p.m. Ford Stadium
5800 Ownby Drive
Dallas, TX 75205

Guests are encouraged to be seated by 12:45 p.m. Security screening is in place. Face coverings are required and must be worn at all times. Candidates are not limited on the number of guests at December Commencement. The ceremony will be long. Given December temperatures and COVID-19, it may be concerning for young children and older adults to attend. The ceremony will also be live streamed at

Guests are required to enter and exit Ford Stadium through assigned gate areas based on the first letter of the graduate’s last name. Gate 1 (A-C), Gate 3 (D-H), Gate 4 (I-M), Gate 5 (N-R), Gate 6 (S-T), Gate 7 (U-W), Gate 8 (X-Z). Gate 2 is closed. 

Parking and Access

Candidates and guests attending Commencement activities at SMU 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:

 PDF Parking Map  SMU Parking Services

Guests with 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. 

Please contact 214-768-3417 or with questions regarding guests with mobility or sensory impairments.

Decorum and Attire

December Commencement is a true milestone in the lives of our candidates, their guests, and the SMU community at large. Excitement, joy, and enthusiasm are expected and welcomed!

We ask, however, that all graduates and guests respect the importance and dignity of this occasion. Please remain seated throughout the ceremony and 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.  

Ford Stadium is an outdoor venue. Guests are encouraged to dress in layers due to manage their comfort level throughout the ceremony due to December temperatures. If Commencement is moved to Moody Coliseum, guests are still encouraged to dress in layers as the temperature inside Moody is relatively cool.

Places to Stay

There are many options for a place to stay overnight in the Dallas area. Commencement weekend is a very busy time, so make sure to secure your reservations early! Please visit campus travel for more information.


Personal photographs may be taken before and after the Commencement Convocation ceremony. No one is permitted in the aisles or on the field during the ceremony. Arrangements have been made with a professional photographer to take candidates' photographs as they walk across the stage. 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!

Mustang Statue

Dallas Hall

Main Quadrangle Fountain

School Sign