General Information for Families & Guests

view of ryan field during commencement

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Comfort is key.  Let the weather be your guide. In June, Chicago-area weather conditions and temperatures can vary greatly.  Those who are sensitive to the sun should be prepared with sunscreen and appropriate protective headgear.  Comfortable shoes are recommended.  In the event of light rain, the ceremony will remain outdoors at Ryan Field, and guests and participants are advised to be prepared for the weather. 

Photo Locations

Picture taking is encouraged at two specially created photo backdrops displaying the University seal. These locations, available before and after the Commence­ment ceremony, are under the west stands of Ryan Field near Gates S and N.

Information Booths

Information booths and refreshment stands serving complimentary water and lemonade are conveniently located in the Ryan Field area.

First Aid Stations

The Ryan Field First Aid Station is located at Gate P. If the Severe Weather Plan is in effect, the First Aid Station will be located near Gate 6 in McGaw Memorial Hall.

Stroller Check

A designated place for securing strollers may be found at Gate Q.

Commencement App

Get the Commencement App and have all the necessary information regarding Commencement weekend at your fingertips.

Download the Northwestern Commencement App:

1. Download the Northwestern Commencement App:

2. When the App is open, select the “NU Commencement 2016” guide.


  • View the entire weekend schedule together or by school tracks.
  • Set up reminders for the ceremonies and events you will attend.
  • Maps, addresses, and directions are only a click away.

Make sure you accept Push Notifications for important updates about regalia pickup, transportation, weather, and more!