57th Commencement of SUNY Old Westbury

A mortarboard that reads "Next Chapter"

The Commencement Ceremony for the Class of 2023 is scheduled for Wednesday, May 24, 2023 at 12 p.m. at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Participation in Commencement requires the approval via the Office of the Registrar of an application to graduate, which ensures all requirements for a degree have been earned. 

Learn more about applying to graduate

Questions about Commencement should be directed to commencement@oldwestbury.edu.

Frequently Asked Questions

I'm graduating in May 2023. What are my next steps? 

  • After applying for graduation, and being approved by the Office of the Registrar, you are eligible to participate in Commencement. Commencement is the academic ceremony to celebrate SUNY Old Westbury's graduates, and takes place at Nassau Coliseum on Wednesday, May 24th at 12 p.m. Once you are approved to graduate, you can pre-order a cap and gown online, and you will receive additional information about portraits, ticket pick-up and more. The most important thing to do is keep an eye on your Old Westbury email for important information and deadlines.

Are there still appointments available for graduate portraits on-campus?

  • Yes. If you wish to have a posed graduate portrait taken by Thornton Studios, you can make an appointment online. Please note, the days they are on-campus are March 6th, March 7th, May 9th, May 10th, and May 11th. Our school code is 07109 to make the appointment. The sitting fee is $5.

When do I pick-up my cap, gown, and tickets?

  • The annual Commencement Celebration Expo will take place on-campus on Wednesday, May 10th and Thursday, May 11th from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., at which point approved graduates will pick up their cap and gown and Commencement tickets. If you pre-ordered your Cap and Gown, it will be there for purchase and pick-up. If you did not pre-order a cap and gown, Jostens will be available to assist you on-site at Commencement Celebration in getting a cap and gown. 

What if I didn't pre-order a cap and gown?

  • That's OK, you will purchase and pick-up your cap and gown at the Commencement Celebration Expo on-campus on Wednesday, May 10th or Thursday, May 11th . You must be approved to graduate in order to get a cap and gown at that time.

What will happen at the Commencement Celebration Expo?

  • Students will purchase and pick up their SUNY Old Westbury cap and gowns, and Commencement tickets. Proof our purchase of a cap and gown is required to pick up Commencement tickets, and to participate in Commencement on May 24, 2023. There will also be representatives from Alumni Affairs, Student Government Association, Career Planning & Development and more. 

What if I cannot attend Commencement Celebration Expo in-person? How can I get my cap, gown, and tickets?

  • If you cannot attend in-person, we will try to accommodate late pick-up during bookstore hours the following week. If you would like to have another student or proxy purchase and pick-up your items on your behalf, you must email us from your OW account the name of the person picking up the items to commencement@oldwestbury.edu no later than May 10th.

What is the cost of the cap and gown? What do they look like?

  • The price of the items is set by our cap and gown partner, Jostens. Undergraduate sets are $58.00 and include a cap, gown and tassel; Graduate sets are $103.60 include a cap, gown, hood, and tassel. The cap and gown are black, the tassel is a custom Old Westbury medallion. The graduate hood color depends on the academic program.

When will I receive information or confirmation of my graduation application?

  • The Office of the Registrar's Degree Audit team is reviewing all graduation applications. For application questions, please contact: gradapp@oldwestbury.edu

How many Commencement tickets will each student receive?

  • The number of tickets that each graduate will receive is determined based on the amount of candidates approved for graduation. This information will be announced in Spring 2023 semester. 

What time does the Commencement Ceremony start on Wednesday, May 24th? 

  • Commencement will begin at 12 p.m. promptly on Wednesday, May 24, 2023. Participants and their guests should arrive earlier, and instructions on arrival time will be announced in Spring semester. 

What time do I have to arrive at Commencement on Wednesday, May 24th?

  • Graduates must arrive early for line-up for Commencement. This information will be shared in Spring semester.

What time should guests arrive to Commencement on Wednesday, May 24th?

  • Guests will be allowed inside Nassau Coliseum at approximately 10:30 a.m. Guests must be seated at the start of the ceremony at 12 p.m. Late entry will not be permitted during the processional. All seats are General Admission; meaning first come, first served. Tickets have barcodes on them and will be scanned at the door. All guests over the age of 1 require a ticket. Guests must enter through the Main Entrance at Nassau Coliseum. Parking is free. Masks are required.

How long is Commencement?

  • We anticipate the ceremony to take approximately three hours. All students in attendance will be called by name on the stage to receive their diploma cover. Students are called in order of academic program. Graduates should remain seated until the end of the ceremony. 

Will there be a livestream?

  • Yes. The ceremony will be livestreamed, and begin at 12 p.m. 

Can I decorate my cap?

  • Yes! We encourage you to decorate your cap. We will have supplies at Commencement Celebration for you to use, generously donated by the College's Auxiliary Service Corporation. Don't forget to snap a picture and share with us using #OWmade and tagging @sunyoldwestbury.

Is there mass transit to Nassau Coliseum?

  • Yes, the N70 bus stops right across the street from Nassau Coliseum. This bus also stops at the Hempstead Train Station on the Long Island Rail Road. Graduates experiencing any transportation hardships can email commencement@oldwestbury.edu.