CUNY BA – Commencement Ceremony Important Info and Details



 Click for Google Maps:  Directions to Cooper Union – CUNY BA Commencement Ceremony


REHEARSALPrior to the ceremony, at 9:00am sharp, there will be a required rehearsal for all graduates to be held at The Cooper Union in the Auditorium at 41 Cooper Square, located on the east side of Third Avenue between 6th and 7th Streets.  This location is across the street from where the ceremony will actually be held.  Eat breakfast before you arrive for rehearsal.


YOUR GUESTS should go directly to 7 East 7th Street at Third Avenue (the Foundation Building);

YOU (the graduate) should arrive at 41 Cooper Square.


ABILITY TO WALK: Since the rehearsal is across the street from the Great Hall, the procession will involve climbing up and down stairs; if you are not able to do this, contact Jean Myers, Commencement Assistant at 212-817-8220 or so that we can make other arrangements for you.


ATTIRE: Please wear only the black cap, black gown, red tassel, and red stole that are part of this ceremony.  Refrain from wearing stoles, medals, tassels, pins, etc. from other institutions and other ceremonies (including honor societies), as well as flowers, corsages, or other decorations.  Our goal is to have our graduates look the same; you are differentiated by the concentrations and awards we announce as you cross the stage.


BAG CHECK:  We cannot provide bag check facilities.  Please do not bring anything with you that you can’t carry in the procession.


BICYLES: There are no provisions made at The Great Hall for bicycles.


BREAKFAST:  Will not be provided.  Please eat before you arrive.


CHILDREN:  Do you want to hear babies crying during your commencement?  We are sure you would rather hear words of praise from CUNY faculty and others.  Please be aware that the acoustics in the Great Hall are such that even a whimpering baby will be disruptive.  Childcare arrangements are NOT available; children under 16 are welcome as long as they remain with a responsible adult (other than yourself) for the entire ceremony.  Guests are asked to please take crying/agitated children out of the auditorium promptly.  Do your best to arrange to leave toddlers and infants at home with a babysitter if at all possible.


CEREMONY/RECEPTION: The ceremony will begin at 10:00am sharp and last approximately 90-100 minutes. A light reception of fruit and cheese will follow at The Cooper Union at approximately 11:45am.


CLASS RINGS: You may order a CUNY Baccalaureate ring through the Balfour company —, 1-877-225-3687.  Specify “THE CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK BACCALAUREATE” when you call or go to the Website.


CUNY BA MERCHANDISE FOR SALE:  Purchase various items at – tshirts, sweatshirts, mouse pads, notepads, tote bags and baseball hats, all quality materials with the CUNY Baccalaureate for Unique and Interdisciplinary Studies logo!  Not only is each item reasonably priced, but a percentage of each sale directly benefits the CUNY Baccalaureate Alumni Fund, which supports Alumni Scholarships and other alumni activities.


DIPLOMAS: Diplomas will NOT be distributed at the ceremony. June 2013 diplomas will be available by October; Sept. 2013 diplomas will be available by December.  You will be contacted with instructions on how to receive your diploma when they arrive in the program office.



7 East 7th Street at Third Avenue (in the Foundation Building):


 Click for Google Maps:  Directions to Cooper Union – CUNY BA Commencement Ceremony

By car:

From the West Side of upper Manhattan, Cooper Union is best reached by driving south on the West Side Highway to 56th Street and continuing south on 12th Avenue (which becomes West Street).  At 12th Street, turn left and take 12th Street to Third Avenue.  Turn right on Third and drive to Cooper Square, which begins at 7th Street.


From the East Side of Manhattan, Cooper Union is best reached by taking the East River Drive to Exit 6 (East 15th Street).  Take 14th Street Westbound to Second Avenue.  Turn left (south) on Second Avenue and drive to East 7th Street. Make a right on to East 7th Street and drive one block to Cooper Square.

There is limited street and garage parking in the area.


By bus: Take any of the following buses and ask the driver to let you off nearest Astor Place or Cooper Square:  The M1 (5th and Madison Avenues), the M15 (First and Second Avenues), the M6 (7th Avenue/Broadway and Avenue of the Americas), the M101 or M102 (Third and Lexington Avenues).


By subway: Take the R or N (BMT Lines) subway to 8th Street, or take the No. 6 (IRT Lexington Avenue Local) to Astor Place.


FACULTY MENTORS:  Faculty mentors have been invited, but please extend a personal invitation to your mentor(s).   Mentors interested in participating in the ceremony should contact Jean Myers, Commencement Assistant at 212-817-8220,


GRADUATES/GUESTS WHO REQUIRE SPECIAL ASSISTANCE:   The Great Hall is wheelchair accessible.  Guests who require special seating (i.e., close to the stage, on the aisle, etc.) are advised to be at the Great Hall by 9am; seating is on a first come, first served basis.


GREAT HALL HISTORY:  The historic Great Hall has been an important gathering space since it was inaugurated by Mark Twain in 1859.  It was the platform for some of the earliest workers’ rights campaigns and for the birth of the NAACP, the women’s suffrage movement, and the American Red Cross.  Presidents Lincoln, Grant, Cleveland, Taft, Theodore Roosevelt, Wilson, Clinton and Obama have all spoken there.


GUESTS: Ask your guests to arrive at The Great Hall, 7 East 7th Street at Third Avenue, by 10:00am sharp (the ceremony will begin at 10:00am sharp).  Guests will be seated starting at 9:00am.  Seating is NOT assigned for guests; it is on a first-come, first-served basis.  Picture-taking during the ceremony will be permitted, but guests will not be allowed to block any aisles while doing so.  Please let your guests know this in advance.


HONORS AND AWARDS:  If you have not already done so, or if you have more to add, please provide us with a detailed list of honors you have received (special awards, citations, scholarships and so forth).  A selection of these will be read at Commencement.  Email your information to or fax it to 212-817-1512.


INCOMPLETE COURSES:  If you find that you must take an “Incomplete” in one or more of your final courses, you may still join us for the ceremony!

NAMES:  Dr. Kim Hartswick will announce your name as you walk across the stage to receive your degree.  If you believe your name may be difficult to pronounce, please mail us a phonetic spelling of it and give us a number were we can reach you at during the day.  Please bring that phonetic spelling with you to rehearsal as well.


MINETTA GARAGE 122 West 3rd Street (777-3530)


TRAVELERS GARAGE 160 W 10th Street (929-3041)

WASHINGTON SQUARE 2 Fifth Avenue (888-7400)
enter 8th Street between 5th Avenue and MacDougal Street

PETS:  With the exception of guide dogs, pets are not permitted.


PHOTOS: We have arranged for a professional photographer from GradImages to take your photograph as you receive your diploma.  There is no obligation to purchase.  GradImages,, (800-261-2576), guarantees complete satisfaction with your photograph package or you’ll receive a full refund.  They will e-mail you a link where you can view your photos. You will have the option of ordering from a variety of packages at reasonable prices.  You can pre-register your email and friends’ and family’s emails (up to 6) and GradImages will contact them as soon as the photos are available.  To register for this service, go to; register in advance of June 2 and receive $5.00 off on your orders of $25.00 or more.


SCHOLARSHIPS:  The deadline to apply is 5pm May 24.  The information about the scholarships is under Commencement at  NB: The Alumni Scholarship requires you to be accepted to graduate school for summer or fall 2013; you can apply for the scholarship by the May 24 deadline even if you have not yet heard from graduate schools about your acceptance, however, in order to receive the scholarship, you must submit proof of your acceptance by May 29, when the scholarships recipients will be decided.


Your cooperation will help the day run more smoothly.


IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS, please call or email Ms. Jean Myers at (212) 817-8220 or jmyers@gc.cuny.eduIf you get the automated recording on her phone, speak slowly and clearly and leave a detailed message, along with your full name, your phone number, and the best times to reach you.