Homecoming Weekend FAQ

Find additional information about Cornell Homecoming 2021 and the Class of 2020 in-person Commencement ceremony below.


  • Homecoming update

    Homecoming weekend is Friday, September 17, through Sunday, September 19, 2021.
    After careful consideration, Cornell has decided to cancel some, but not all, of the anticipated Homecoming weekend activities.

    The traditional Homecoming Fan Festival and Fireworks and Laser Light Show are now cancelled, out of an abundance of caution related to potential crowds and the difficulty of physical distancing.

    The football game and Class of 2020 Commencement ceremony will continue as planned.
    The Homecoming football game is at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 18, against Virginia Military Institute (VMI).

  • Why were the Fireworks and Laser Light Show and Big Red Fan Festival cancelled?

    Tompkins County remains in the Centers for Disease Control’s “high” zone for COVID-19 infections and transmission, and the Ithaca campus has been moved to a COVID-19 Alert Level Yellow. Campus health and safety is our primary concern.

    Event planning in the Yellow Alert phase remains challenging and subject to change based on evolving public health guidance from local health authorities, refinements in modeling, and COVID-19 case counts. Homecoming is a cherished event that many members of our campus, alumni, and local community look forward to each year. While we are encouraged that some in-person events will continue, we share in your disappointment that these events are not able to return to their pre-pandemic state at this time.

  • Why can’t we be in Schoellkopf for Fireworks but we can for football and 2020 Commencement?

    The Fireworks event typically attracts the largest crowd and most members of the surrounding community. In an effort to make the weekend safer for all attending, while preserving as much of the original weekend as possible, we determined that the Fireworks event was the most impactful to cancel.

  • Is there still tailgating?

    Individual parking and tailgate permits for Athletics parking lots are available for purchase. Visit Cornell Athletic Ticketing for tailgating policies and permits.

  • How can alumni support campus right now?

    Alumni can best support campus by following all COVID-19 guidelines for campus visitors and respecting Cornell’s mask mandate. Masks will be required for all Homecoming event attendees, regardless of vaccination status, both while indoors and outdoors. Your support helps our students stay healthy and safe on campus. Thank you! ❤🐻

  • I have a specific question that is not listed here; who do I contact?

    Please email homecoming@cornell.edu with any additional questions you may have.

Class of 2020 In-Person Commencement Ceremony

  • Class of 2020 In-Person Commencement Ceremony Details

    An in-person Commencement ceremony will be held for the Class of 2020 and their families on Sunday, September 19, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. in Schoellkopf.

  • Will the ceremony celebrate all 2020 graduates?

    Yes! If you identify as a 2020 grad (including August 2019 and December 2019 graduates, and all 2020 undergraduates, graduate students, and professional school students), and have registered for our ceremony, we’re excited to welcome you back to campus to celebrate.

  • Will the in-person ceremony include a procession? 

    Graduates will be able to process into the stadium and then sit in the middle of the stands for the ceremony. Families will sit on either side of the graduates. We plan for this ceremony to be as traditional as possible while also being conscious of any remaining COVID-19 protocols. We won’t be announcing names at the ceremony, but we will have your name in our updated commemorative program.

    Schedule of events
    Guest arrival at parking and stadium: 10:30-1:00pm
    Graduate lineup time at Hoy Baseball Field: 11:00am-12:00pm
    Procession time: 12:15-1:00pm
    Ceremony time: 1:00-2:00pm
    Exiting stadium: 2:00-3:00pm
    Please note: this schedule may change slightly based on ceremony run time.

  • Where should the graduates line up the morning of Commencement?

    Check-in by the dugout at Hoy Baseball Field between 11 am – 12 pm. High heels are not permitted on Hoy Baseball Field, so please wear comfortable shoes.

  • Will we be able to wear a cap and gown? Do we have to wear a cap and gown to participate?

    While we are planning a ceremony that is as traditional as possible, wearing a cap and gown is not required to participate. We do welcome 2020 graduates to wear your commemorative cap and gown if you elected to have one shipped to your home last spring. The deadline to order is over. Ultimately, this celebration is for you! We encourage you to wear whatever makes you feel amazing, accomplished, and social media ready. 😎
    Due to COVID-19 protocols, rental regalia is not currently an option for graduates.

    Bring any grad cords you already have! Additionally, SCL Student Organization Executive Board Leadership, Senior Class Campaign, Public Service Center, and Office of Engaged Initiatives grad cords will be available for pick-up in Lynah Parking Lot from 10-11:30am if you were a part of one of these groups.

  • Will there be additional ceremonies for individual colleges?

    We’re planning one ceremony to honor all 2020 graduates. Some colleges may host informal programming throughout the weekend. Check the Homecoming page for more info.

  • Do I need to register in advance?

    All graduates who plan to march in the ceremony had to log onto CampusGroups to check into the ceremony by September 3. When you checked-in, you should have received a QR code in your confirmation email that you'll need to bring to the ceremony line-up on Sunday, September 19. If your plans have changed and you are no longer attending the ceremony, please log back into CampusGroups and change your RSVP to “no” so we continue to have an accurate attendee count.

    To access your QR code:
    From a desktop: Log onto Cornell.CampusGroups.com, click on three white lines on the top red menu bar, scroll down to My Events, the event will pop up, click Print Ticket, save.

    From the CampusGroups Phone App: Open app, click My Events at top right, click on the event, click the green Yes box, QR code will pop up, save.

  • How many guests may I bring?

    Graduates were allowed to claim up to three guest tickets for the ceremony. At this time, guest ticketing is closed.

  • Will on-campus housing be available for 2020 graduates?  

    Since students will be back on campus and occupying the residence halls, we won’t be able to offer on-campus housing to 2020 graduates.

  • Can children come?

    Each graduate was allotted three tickets for guests. Children under two can sit on the laps of adult guests, but children over two need a ticket. Guest ticketing is closed at this time.

  • Will this event be live streamed?

    Yes! View the Class of 2020 In-Person Commencement Ceremony here.

  • Is there a severe weather plan for the ceremony?

    The commencement ceremony will be held outside, rain or shine. Should there be a serious weather event that precludes us from being outside, we will have to cancel Commencement.

  • What’s the difference between this ceremony and the 2020 Celebration during Virtual Reunion 2021?

    We know 2020 graduates are all over the world by now, so we hosted our Virtual Celebration on June 13 to make sure that everyone could celebrate regardless of whether they can return to campus. If you missed the celebration, watch the recording here to see President Pollack confer degrees, deans give well-wishes, and notable Cornellians cheer you on! For the ceremony during Homecoming weekend, we are thrilled to welcome you back to campus in person! We are planning an event that feels as close to a traditional graduation as possible. Get ready! 🎓

  • I have a specific question that is not listed here; who do I contact?

    Please email cuyoungalumni@cornell.edu with any additional questions you may have. We’re happy to help!


  • Event Accessibility

    We strive to host inclusive, accessible events that enable all individuals, including individuals with disabilities, to engage fully. If you or your guests have accessibility needs, please review the information listed below to learn about the parking plans and infrastructure of Schoellkopf Stadium.
    After reviewing the information below, and you have additional questions or want to confirm your specific needs, please email homecoming@cornell.edu for Homecoming or cuyoungalumni@cornell.edu for 2020 Commencement with details so that we may determine arrangements for you.

  • Accessible Parking

    We recommend all guests park in the B-Lot (free) and take the available shuttle buses to the stadium. Please note: all shuttles are fully accessible.

  • Crescent Seating at Schoellkopf Stadium

    Upon arrival in the Crescent Lot at the Stadium, guests will get off the bus and walk through the level lot, 100’ to the Crescent entrance gates, to show tickets with ID.
    The stadium stairs are steep, narrow, and do not have handrails.
    Most guests will need to climb up or down more than 12-20 steps to find open seating in the Crescent bleachers.
    The seats are not assigned, all general admission.

    If you or your guest is unable to do the following please email cuyoungalumni@cornell.edu with details to determine possible arrangements:

    -Unable to step one (1) step on and off a bus
    -Unable to walk 100 feet unassisted
    -Experiences vertigo or height fears
    -Cannot climb 10-20 stairs, or any stairs
    -Bringing/using a wheelchair, walker, or scooter

  • Wheelchair or Scooter Accessibility in the Crescent Seating

    There are two limited wheelchair accessible seating sections available in the Crescent. Access is through Portals EE or EJ.
    Event staff will direct you to seating once your ticket has been checked at the gates via the Crescent Lot.
    No special ticketing is required.

  • Guests with Hearing Impairments

    The 2020 Commencement ceremony will be captioned on the large jumbotron located at the South end of the field, as well as on two large video screens located on either side of the stage. Additionally, guests watching the event via livestream will have access to captions there as well.
    If other needs are required, please email cuyoungalumni@cornell.edu with details to determine possible arrangements.

  • Accessible Restrooms

    Restrooms are located inside the gates on the Crescent Concourse, to the left and right of Concessions.

COVID-19 guidelines

  • Together with campus partners, Cornell Alumni Affairs and Development staff members will follow CDC advice regarding large gatherings, consider the level of risk when deciding to host in-person events, promote healthy behaviors among attendees, and prepare for possible infections. We will also adhere to Cornell's policy for on-campus visitors and events.

  • In addition to following all COVID-19 guidelines for campus visitors, masks will be required for all Homecoming event attendees, regardless of vaccination status, both while indoors and outdoors. If COVID-19 transmission rates increase, our guidance about campus events and visitors may evolve quickly.