Family and Guest Information

Father helps male student straighten his tie at graduation

Tips for Navigating Commencement at UTC


Please arrive early. This will allow plenty of time for you to park, walk to the arena, and pass through security.

Lot 20 behind McKenzie Arena is dedicated Handicap Parking on a first-come-first-available basis. Overflow Handicap Parking is available in Lot 32 across the street from the Arena. The handicap lots fill quickly, so arrive early.

Campus Parking Lot Map →

Arena Gates 2 and 3 are available for handicap drop-off needs.

Lots 7 and 35 are reserved for Commencement Officials.

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Gates and Entrance to McKenzie Arena

Our goal is to offer a safe and pleasant experience at commencement.

All graduates and guests will be required to pass through metal detectors for entry into McKenzie Arena. Detectors will be positioned at all public entry gates.

All bags will be checked prior to entry. No backpacks or large bags will be allowed into the arena. Purses and diaper bags are allowed but will be checked prior to entry. You and your guests are encouraged to not bring bags if possible and bring only essential items, if necessary.

A Quick Pass entrance will be available at Gate 1 for guests who do not have bags to be checked.

These security measures can result in lines at peak times prior to commencement. Guests are encouraged to arrive early to pass through security in plenty of time for seating.

McKenzie Arena and Security Policies →

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Disability (Special Needs) Accommodations

If you are a person with a disability requiring accommodations for this event, please visit the Access for Commencement Ceremonies page through the Disability Resource Center.

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Handicap Seating 

Handicap seating at Commencement is Row E, the top row of the gold section, and Row F, the "row" (wide open space) on the concourse.

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Where will my graduate sit on Commencement Day?

The arena map will help you decide where to sit and best see your graduate walk across the stage!

Arena map →

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The University has arranged for a professional photographer, through GradImages, to be present at the ceremony and capture the moment for each family. In addition to the picture with the Chancellor during the ceremony, GradImages photographers will also be circulating outside McKenzie Arena to capture additional candid photographs of our graduates with their loved ones after the ceremony. The GradImages staff will be wearing red vests, so they'll be highly visible and easy to locate.

Complimentary proofs will be mailed to your home within one week. Be sure to update your addresses in your MyMocsNet account. Images will also be posted online at the photographer's website and should be available to view within 48 hours. Inexpensive, quality enlargements may be requested online or by mail, phone, or FAX. See contact information below. If you do not receive the proof in the mail within two weeks, you may wish to inquire directly. Graduates are under no obligation to order any enlargements.

Learn more at or call (800) 261-2576.

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Other Questions

For other questions please review our Frequently Asked Questions page. 

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