University Readies for 2016 Commencement Exercises

The 2016 Commencement Ceremony is scheduled to begin at 6:30 pm, Thursday, May 5 in The Forum Auditorium located at 500 Walnut Street in Harrisburg. Guests and friends are invited to the Commencement Reception at the University, located at 326 Market Street, immediately following the ceremony. 

The Speaker for the 2016 Commencement Ceremony is Matthew Randazzo, CEO of the National Math and Science Initiative.   As CEO of the National Math and Science Initiative, Matthew leads and oversees the organization’s efforts to improve student achievement and teacher effectiveness in communities across the country.

The ceremony will last approximately 90 minutes and include special remarks by the Commencement speaker, the conferring of degrees, and individual recognition of each graduate as he or she crosses the stage.

Special seating arrangements are available for those confined to a wheelchair. Telephone Michelle Mafnas of the University Advancement Office (717.901.5160) by May 1 to make reservations for special seating or for details pertaining to local durable medical equipment vendors.The University does not loan or rent wheelchairs.

Photographs & Video

The Harrisburg University of Science and Technology has engaged a commercial photography to take an individual color photograph of each graduate receiving a diploma. You do not have to make prior arrangements for this service. The Office of University Advancement will set up a page so graduates and their families can download photos approximately eight weeks after Commencement. Guests will be permitted to take photographs from their seats but the use of flashbulbs is discouraged. We ask that guests remain seated as much as possible to avoid interrupting the ceremony.

The Commencement will be streamed live at HULive and will be available for download after the ceremony.


The Hilton-Harrisburg is approximately 3 blocks from the Commencement ceremony and two blocks from the University. For directions or to make reservation, contact the Hilton Harrisburg at (717) 233-6000 or online at Hilton Harrisburg. For a complete listing of overnight accommodations, area restaurants, and driving directions and maps, please contact the Hershey-Harrisburg Visitors Bureau online at Visit Harrisburg or call (717) 231-7788.


Parking is available for free after 7 p.m. along the street. Additionally, pay parking is available in the Hilton-Harrisburg garage and numerous other Harrisburg Parking Authority garages. We recommend that you park at the Hilton-Harrisburg garage if you plan to attend the reception. It is only a 2.5 block walk to the Forum. For additional information about parking, you may contact the Harrisburg Parking Authority at 717.255.3099 or visit HPA online. The Harrisburg Parking Authority also operates an automated garage within Harrisburg University’s building at 326 Market Street. It is accessible from 4th Street. The garage is fully automated and there is a cash-only payment machine on the first floor. If you are using the Harrisburg Parking Authority operated lot within the Academic Center, please take the elevator to Floor 1 and check in with the Security Desk. You will need to enter floor number “1” at the kiosk adjacent to the elevators; there are no buttons inside the elevator cars.

Directions to the Forum Auditorium

The Forum is located at 500 Walnut St. in Harrisburg. From points East, Pa Turnpike to exit 19 to 83 South to 2nd street exit. Proceed to Walnut. Go East on Walnut to Forum Auditorium. From points West, Pa Turnpike, to exit 19 to Rte 83 South, take 2nd Street Exit proceed to Walnut Street. Go East on Walnut to Forum. From points North, 81 South to Front Street Exit. Travel south on front to Walnut St. Travel East on Walnut to Forum. From points South, 83 North to 2nd street exit, to Walnut St. Travel East on Walnut to Forum. A Commonwealth parking garage is across the street as well as street parking.

Information for B.S. and M.S. Degree Candidates

Congratulations on achieving your academic goal–conferral of your degree! We strive to make Commencement enjoyable and special for you and your guests in keeping with the University’s proud academic heritage. If you have questions about whether you have met all degree requirements, contact Sandra Nelson, University Registrar at

The number one questions we receive: Candidates for the baccalaureate should wear the tassel of the cap on the right front edge and after students are pronounced graduated, tassels are moved to the left side of the caps. Because graduate and professional students already have graduated (with a bachelor’s degree), they should wear tassels on the left side of caps, over their hearts, throughout commencement ceremonies. Faculty members and administrators also should wear tassels on the left side of caps during processions and commencement ceremonies.

Due to the formality of this occasion and safety concerns when walking on the steps and stage, please wear appropriate footwear — flip flops, clogs, high heels, and loose-fitting shoes are not recommended. Additionally, it is requested that men wear slacks and a dress shirt with tie; for women, slacks with a blouse, or a dress. The graduates will process from the University to The Forum (approximately 1.5 blocks) on brick sidewalks. Please consider this when selecting your footwear for the ceremony.

Graduates will receive instructions regarding caps and gowns. The University does not provide graduation announcements. The University will hold several meetings with candidates for B.S. and M.S. degrees and there will be a dress rehearsal. Please check your campus email regularly. You will receive updates, instructions, information and invitations to meetings via the campus email.

Class Rings
      • Class rings are available for purchase through Jostens at
      • Prices vary, depending on the style that you choose.
      • For more information please call Jostens at 800.854.7464
Diploma Frames
      • Diploma frames are available for purchase through Framing Success at
      • Or search: Harrisburg University of Science and Technology on the home page
      • Prices vary depending on the style of moulding and glass that you select.

After looking through this site, please feel free to email Steven Infanti, AVP for Alumni Relations, with any remaining questions.