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Commencement 2020 update due to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak:

"We have come to the difficult decision to cancel 2020 commencement ceremonies scheduled for May 8 and 9, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We had no choice but to make this heartbreaking decision to protect the health of students, their family members, faculty, staff, and the greater Rochester community.

The university will work hard to find a way to celebrate the Class of 2020 at a later date, when medical experts say it is safe. I invite ideas from our community on how we might best accomplish this.

In the meantime, I hope our graduating students will remember that, even though the previously scheduled ceremony is cancelled, this does not take away from your hard work and extraordinary accomplishments.”
- RIT President David Munson

President Munson’s full commencement message is available on RIT’s Coronavirus Information Website

Volunteer FAQ

When is Volunteer Registration?

Registration will open in April and  will close when all positions are filled or May 9, 2010.

What assignments are available?
  • Ceremony Staff (Greeters, Ushers and Program Table): Assist guests with seating, building information (finding restrooms, food, first aid, etc.). Make sure guests are at the correct ceremony.
  • Information Booth: Provide general campus and commencement specific information to guests. 
  • Mobility Cart Drivers: Assist guests with mobility issues in getting from shuttle stop to ceremony venue and to/from distant reception locations. NOTE: All position have been filled for 2019.

ALL volunteers should be familiar with the Commencement website and prepared to use it to answer guest questions.

Please note: In order to best serve our guests, we may need to change your specific assignment on the day of event. Thank you for your cooperation and flexibility.

Where do I register?

Volunteer Registration is here.

Was my registration successful?

You should receive a system confirmation email with the assignment(s) and training session(s) you selected. If you do not receive confirmation, please send an email to

When will my actual assignment be confirmed?

Unless you hear from us prior to the event date, you can assume you will be in the role you signed up for. Your exact position or location at a ceremony or Info Booth will be determined when you arrive for your shift at your Volunteer Check-in location (found on your confirmation). Please note that we may need to change your assignment on the day of the event due to changing circumstances. Thank you in advance for your flexibility in providing the best service we can for our graduates and their guests. 

What if I need to change or cancel my volunteer assignment?

Volunteers may login to their account on the Commencement Volunteer registration page and update their profile and/or assignment information at any time.

When is volunteer training?

All volunteers should plan to attend a training session. You will be registered for the appropriate session when you register for your shift.

Training for Ceremony Volunteers is held in each of the locations (Field House and Polisseni) so you can familiarize yourself with the building.

Volunteer Training




Polisseni Center Ceremonies

Monday, May 6, 2019

9:00  - 10:00 a.m.

Polisseni Center Club Lounge

Convocation & Field House Ceremonies

Monday, May 6, 2019

1:00 - 2:15  p.m.

Gordon Field House and Activities Center Reception Room

Info Booths/ 
Cart Driver

Monday, May 6, 2019

2:30 - 3:30 p.m.

Gordon Field House and Activities Center Reception Room

What if I cannot attend one of the training sessions?

Volunteer training materials are available on the Commencement website here. You can also contact for a quick overview and to ask questions.

Where do I check-in for my assignment?

Volunteer Assignment

Check-in Location

Gordon Field House

Gordon Field House: Volunteer Check-in Table at D Lot lower level entrance

Polisseni Center Ceremonies:


Polisseni Center: Volunteer Check-in Table in the lobby near the Barnes & Noble SpiRIT Store.

MobilityCart Drivers:

1-Shift A - pick up a  cart at Global Village Lot on Kimball Drive (near the Red Barn). Drivers for later shifts will get a cart in Lot-D.
2-Sign out your radio at Gordon Field House Ticket Office.
3-Let Mobility Cart Captain Ericka Smith-Schubart  know you have arrived via radio or in person.
4- ALL Drivers must bring the signed Golf Cart User Agreement and their driver's license.

Info Booth:

Gordon Field House: Volunteer Check-in Table at D Lot lower level entrance


What should I wear?

You represent RIT, so please dress appropriately. Business casual is fine, however no jeans or flip-flops. Do wear comfortable shoes! If you have an outdoor assignment, dress for the weather (sunscreen, rain gear, hat, gloves, etc.). If you have an RIT logo shirt, feel free to wear it.  All volunteers will be identified by a yellow ribbon attached to a name tag we will provide. If you have an RIT name tag for your job, you may use that with the ribbon.

Ceremony volunteers -  we do not have a secure location for personal items, so limit what you bring to what you can keep on your person.

Are refreshments available for volunteers?

Yes.  Come relax and refresh in the Volunteer Hospitality Room  in the Gordon Field House, Reception Room (mezzanine level near the Concession Stand). It willl be open:

  • Friday: 1:00-6:30pm | lunch til 4:00pm | hot dinner 4-6:30 pm
  • Saturday, 6:30am-4:30pm | continental breakfast til 11:00am | Lunch 11:00am-4:30pm
  • Hot and cold beverages will be available at all times
My question is not addressed here. Who should I contact?

Please email  Thank you.

Why does registration look different this year?

We are using a platform called CERVIS that enables event organizers to communicate with volunteers more efficiently.

What is the procedure for a non-exempt (hourly) employee to “volunteer” to work for university events such as Imagine RIT and Commencement?

Please see the HR procedure on Non-Exempt Employee Voluntary Participation in University Events. If the wages paid for volunteering cause a department to exceed its budget, the Budget Office will provide funding to close the gap at fiscal-year-end up to the amount of the wages paid to the non-exempt employee volunteers.