Graduation at IU

haveuheard graduation

Remember When…

It seems like yesterday that your Hoosier was an incoming freshman and now, within a few months, they will be graduating and looking towards the next step in their lives. For some it will be graduate school, it may be the military and for some, it may be their first job in the “real” world. Whatever it will be, graduation time is a time of excitement and pride! Here are some helpful tips and some guidance to ensure that the time for graduation is a memorable time and not a stressful time.

IU has two graduation ceremonies, one in the fall and one in the spring. Due to COVID-19, commencement is going to be virtual this fall and take place on December 19th at 5 pm EST. The ceremony will be streamed live across multiple platforms such as Facebook and YouTube. It will also feature special remarks, and photos, videos, and messages sent in by the graduates.

Spring commencement will take place on May 8th and is currently scheduled to be in the Memorial Stadium,701 E. 17th Street. The ceremony typically lasts 90 minutes. You do not need tickets to attend the ceremony and students are allowed to invite as many guests as they wish. When getting ready for graduation there are several things to consider. Here are our tips for IU Graduation.

Where to Stay

The first thing you must do when planning for graduation is to book a hotel. You may think six to nine months before graduation is a crazy amount of time to make hotel reservations, however, most local hotels will be sold out for the weekend of graduation so plan ahead. Our hotel blog will give you an up to date and thorough list of hotels in the IU area. Bloomington has several options for hotels, but if you run into issues when trying to book your stay, Airbnb is a great option when looking for a place for the weekend. You can choose the size accommodation that you need and, if an additional family member suddenly decides at the last minute they want to join you, you won’t be scrambling to find a place for them to stay.

Reservations for Brunch, Lunch or Dinner

In Bloomington, families tend to make reservations at restaurants sometimes even months ahead of time. So, make sure you plan early. Colleges typically release graduation dates months in advance, and I would highly recommend making a reservation at your favorite tried and true restaurant. Check out our blog on dinner restaurants, brunch restaurants, and breakfast restaurants.  These blogs will give you a ton of choices ranging from expensive to moderate.

We also have a blog strictly dedicated to graduation restaurants in Bloomington and the surrounding areas that will give you information about the places that do and do not accept reservations on graduation weekend and how to go about getting those.

Have Your Camera Ready

Make sure your phones, cameras, video recorders are fully charged. Many times, parents forget to charge their devices and wind up not capturing that special moment. IU does offer amazing pictures of your child’s graduation. Many students get photographed in popular places on campus prior to graduation as well. We recommend several reputable photographers in our Graduation Photography blog.

Stay Calm

As I said, this is one of the most enjoyable proud moments in your student’s life; don’t worry about the small things, just enjoy and be present.

Disabled or Special Needs

If your party needs any special accommodation at the ceremony because of a visual or hearing disability, please contact the Accessibility & Disability Service Center, 812-855-7578. Guests with limited mobility should find an usher who will direct them to special seating locations. There will be limited wheelchair seating around each venue. There will be disability accessible buses to shuttle guests to and from the parking lot.

Cap & Gown is Extra

Wondering how much your student will need to pay for the cap and gown which is required if they are walking? Cap and gown packages can be purchased online and diploma frames, diploma covers, and more. Indiana University also has a cap decorating contest as well so make sure to enter.


It is very common to want to send your student congratulatory flowers, fruit, or balloons to celebrate their graduation accomplishment. Below are some local Bloomington places that deliver.

  • Baked of Bloomington– The 14-inch heart cookie cake for $29.99 and glass of milk will be a huge hit.
  • Blondies Cookies– For the cookie lover, Blondies has quite a few locations in Indiana and has a variety of great choices.
  • Debbie Doodle’s– they ship from South Florida right to your student and offer delicious, homemade chocolate-chip and brown sugar butter cookies.
  • Rainbow Bakery– In a hip little building off South Rogers, these bakers offer some delicious cupcakes, with notable gluten-free options.
  • Sugar and Spice– IU’s in-house bakery for over 50 years, maybe a friend or roommate could pick it up as it is located on campus in The Indiana Memorial Union.
  • Underground Bakery– A Bloomington favorite for cupcakes and more, the cookie cake is a bit more money but worth the price.

See you at graduation!

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2020-11-04T10:00:57-05:000 Comments

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