Guest Info

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Lodging and Dining

Carbondale has many fine restaurants  to celebrate the special occasion and great hotels to house all of our guests. Please visit the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce page for more information on dining and lodging. The Carbondale Convention & Tourism Bureau’s website will also be a helpful place to find various lodging and dining sites in the Carbondale area.

Directions to the SIU Arena

You can find directions to the SIU Arena here.


Due to the large crowd anticipated for commencement, we encourage you to arrive early. We will be utilizing SIU Arena lots 18 and 56 and lots 52 and 37. Lot 52 will be ADA parking only. Click here to download a detailed SIU Campus parking map. Click here to see a 2017 May Commencement Parking graphic.

International Visas

Please contact Center for International Education at (618) 536-7771 for assistance in obtaining an international visa.


Graduate seating will be on the floor of the SIU Arena. All colleges will sit together, but there will not be a certain order on the floor within each college. Students will not line-up alphabetically, but will line-up with their college. All doctoral degree candidates will sit together with their faculty in front of the undergraduate and master’s degree candidates.

Guest seating is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis. There will be no ticketing system implemented, but we urge guests to be seated before the processional begins, 15 minutes before the ceremony.


A beautiful variety of fresh flowers and gifts will be available to browse and purchase on location on the day of commencement.  If you would like to conveniently pre order, please click the following link:


Grad Images will take individual photographs of graduates as they receive their scroll and as they leave the platform. The company will mail or email a complimentary color proof to the graduates within a week, along with instructions to order additional prints.

Special Needs

The SIU Arena is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Please click here for a diagram of the parking with accessible parking noted. Reservations are not needed for special needs seating. Seating is based on a first-come, first-served basis. For questions about accessibility or to request accommodations, please contact Disability Support Services at 618/453-5738. Requests should be made at least two weeks in advance of the event.

Sign language interpreting will be provided at all ceremonies.

Please contact the Office of University Events and Protocol (618-453-7424) if you need specific accommodations made.

Discouraged Items

To be mindful of other guests attending commencement, balloons, balloon bouquets, signs or anything that obstructs the view are discouraged in the Arena as they may obstruct the view of other guests.  Please leave these items in your car or you may check them in at the check-in area in the Arena.