Arrival Instructions

We cannot wait to celebrate this important milestone with you, your loved ones, and the entire JWU community. Because there is no practice ceremony, it's important that you review all of the following FAQs so you know what to expect.


Where is commencement being held?

  • It will take place inside the Amica Mutual Pavalion (AMP).
  • The AMP (formerly known as the Dunkin' Donuts Center) is located at 1 LaSalle Square, Providence, Rhode Island 02903.
  • Please refer to the venue’s website for their arena policies.
Note: Bathroom facilities are available only after passing through security and entering the concourse. Concession stands will be open to guests as well.

What time should grads and guests arrive?

  • Graduate Studies Ceremony: Arrive at 9:00 AM, which is when doors open (the ceremony starts promptly at 10:00 AM).
  • Undergraduate Ceremony: Arrive at 1:00 PM, which is when doors open (the ceremony starts promptly at 2:00 PM).
  • Allow sufficient time to park and get situated.
  • Look at the program to see the order of exercises.

Where is parking?

  • Public lots and facilities are located near the arena (fees and rates vary).
  • Refer to the AMP's website for more information.
  • As a courtesy, JWU’s Downcity Parking Garage (185 Pine Street) will be open and free of charge to JWU students and families from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM; and there will be continuous Wildcat Wheels bus shuttles between the garage and the AMP.
  • Prior to parking, you may pull up to the front of the AMP to drop off guests with physical limitations (ramps are located in front of the building).

Will the ceremony be streamed live online?

Where do grads enter the AMP?

  • All grads should follow the service road on the LEFT side of the arena (near the hotel and Starbucks).
  • Follow that road to the BACK of the area and enter there.
  • After going through the security check, follow signs to LINE UP with classmates in your college/program (it's listed on your Name Card).
  • There is no alphabetical lineup, so you can assemble with your friends and sit together.
  • We'll guide you from there, so please LISTEN to the ushers.
  • If needed, use a restroom now, because you CANNOT use one during the ceremony.

Where do guests enter the AMP?

  • All guests should proceed to the main FRONT entrance.
  • After passing through the security check, guests may sit anywhere (seats are not assigned).
  • As a reminder, tickets are required for the undergraduate ceremony.
  • Guests in wheelchairs may be brought to sections 101, 106, 110, 120, or 124 (the arena does not supply wheelchairs).

What things are NOT allowed?

  • There are security checkpoints at all entrances.
  • Baggage (such as bags, briefcases, backpacks, luggage), drugs, weapons of any kind, noisemakers, laser pointers, balloons, and outside food/beverages are strictly prohibited.

What should grads do when they get to the stage?

  • When it’s time, ushers will guide grads row-by-row to the stage.
  • PAY ATTENTION to those in front of you, and keep the line moving.
  • Steps to/from the stage are steep, so consider wearing flat footwear.
  • Before walking up the stairs to the stage, you will receive a diploma cover (yours to keep).
  • At the top, hand your NAME CARD to the announcer who will use it to read your name out loud to the arena.
  • Walk to center stage, greet the dean, exit the stage, and return to your seat.
  • Professional photographers will take a series of quick PHOTOS, which will be available online at after the ceremony.
  • Please feel free to stop by campus to take your own photos at popular spots like Gaebe Commons or the Harborside greenspace!

What if I don't have my Name Card? Or, I'm worried about my name being mispronounced?

  • When you arrive and pass through the security checkpoint, there will be a welcome table.
  • Before you line up, stop at this table to get your pre-printed name card.
  • You are welcome to write directly on the front of your card the best way to read your name out loud (ask for help at the table, if needed).

When does commencement end? When do we leave?

  • Grads and guests are expected to stay for the ENTIRE duration of the ceremony (leaving early shows extreme disrespect).
  • The ceremony ends AFTER the final name has been read and the recessional begins, which is when the stage platform party leaves, followed by graduates who will be directed and guided by ushers to leave row-by-row.
  • Make a plan where to reunite with family and friends after the ceremony!