USAFA Graduation Week 2014
22-28 May 2014


Graduation Info Line: (719) 333-GRAD (4723)
Email Address: special.events@usafa.edu

 
 
1.
My son/daughter is a member of the Class of (XXXX) - can you tell me what their graduation date will be? 
 
The Class of 2014 will graduate on 28 May 2014, the Wednesday after the Memorial Day weekend. For future graduations, we anticipate the ceremony will move to Thurday after Memorial Day:
Class of 2015: Thursday, 28 May 2015 (confirmed - see calendar here)
Class of 2016: Thursday, 26 May 2016 (pending calendar approval)
Class of 2017: Thursday, 25 May 2017 (pending calendar approval)
2.
What kind of security restrictions are in place at the Academy right now?
 
The public areas of the Academy are open to visitors and guests from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily. Visitors must show military ID, drivers license, and/or a photo ID to enter the base through the North Gate. Only DOD ID cardholders may enter the base through the South Gate. Guests may not enter the terrazzo or the cadet area buildings (dormitories, dining facility, Fairchild Hall) without an authorized escort (e.g., military member/civilian or cadet with a Cadet Area Badge). Guests who register for Grad Week may print parking passes or request their cadet print and send parking passes to them.

All vehicles entering the base may be subject to inspection by security personnel. Guests should refrain from bringing large bags, coolers, backpacks or other items that will require additional scrutiny or searches from security personnel. If you are driving a rental car, please keep the rental agreement and current proof of insurance in the vehicle at all times.
3.
I am bringing elderly guests to the Graduation Week events. What should I consider when bringing infirm or handicapped guests to the Academy?
 
Disabled guests should bring or rent any walkers, wheelchairs, breathing support or other special-needs or medical equipment they require (see question #36 below for more information). They should also bring their state-issued "handicapped" placard or other documentation in order to park in designated handicapped lots. Because of the high altitude and possibility of extreme (hot, cold and/or wet) weather, guests with serious medical conditions such as anemia, heart disease or pulmonary disease should consult their doctor about the need for portable oxygen or preventive medication and the advisability of traveling to the Academy. Although handicapped shuttles will be available, there may be extensive walking required from bus stops to your final destination. Please make sure to consider this when bringing elderly or infirm guests to the Academy.
4.
Where is handicapped parking for events in the Cadet Area?
 
Handicapped parking is available in the lot just north of the parade field. Guests should bring their own state handicapped placards. On Monday and Tuesday prior to graduation, handicapped shuttles will transport guests to event locations in the Cadet Area. For events on Saturday and Sunday, guests may park in the public lot closest to the event they are attending (such as the Harmon Hall lot for the Baccalaureate Services on Sunday at the Cadet Chapel).
5.
Where do handicapped park at the stadium for the Graduation Ceremony?
 
Handicapped parking is available in Lot 5 of Falcon Stadium (immediately north of the stadium). There is also another smaller handicapped parking area on the north side of Lot 1. You may use your own state handicapped placard to enter these lots.  If you do not have a handicapped placard but one or more of your guests may require some transportation assistance, you may request to park in the handicapped area from the lot attendant.
6.
How do handicapped guests get from the parking lot to the stadium?
 
Golf carts will be available to transport guests from the handicapped parking areas to the stadium.  Golf carts will not be able to accommodate standard wheelchairs, however, so please consider this when making your plans. Wheelchair guests may need to ride in the golf cart while another guest pushes their wheelchair to the gate. Following the ceremony, golf carts will transport handicapped guests back to the parking area.  If you need assistance, you may ask security staff at the gates to call for a golf cart.  Please allow plenty of extra time to get to the stadium. Although golf carts will do their best, there may be a wait for a cart to bring you to the stadium gates or to return you to parking following the ceremony. We appreciate your patience!.
7.
Is there special handicapped seating in the stadium?
 
Handicapped/wheelchair seating is available at the top of L3-L13 sections of the stadium, which are accessible via stadium gates 3 and 4. Additional handicapped/wheelchair seating is available at the top of Sections M-2, M-6, M-10, M-14, U-2, U-5, U-9 and U-12. These seats are not ticketed and are first come, first served. Wheelchair guests may sit here accompanied by one attendant. Stadium gates open at 7:30 a.m. and we recommend you arrive early if you require this seating. Please note that there are no elevators in the stadium. In addition, please remember that this is an outdoor, uncovered stadium. Whatever the weather brings on Graduation Day (very hot or very cold or even rain!), the guests in the stadium will have to tolerate for the duration of the ceremony. Once the ceremony begins, no one may leave the stadium until the end of the Thunderbirds Performance and following the departure of the commencement speaker (around 1:15 p.m.). Please take this into account when making post-graduation travel plans.
8.
My mother is in a wheelchair. Are your shuttles able to transport wheelchairs?
 
For events in the Cadet Area, the shuttle buses that pick up guests from the handicapped lot just north of Stillman Parade Field will have special hydraulic lifts for wheelchairs.  We recommend that guests bring (or rent) foldable or portable wheelchairs for convenience with the shuttles (see question #36 for more information).  For the Graduation Ceremony at Falcon Stadium, golf carts will assist guests in getting from the handicapped parking lot just north of the stadium to the stadium gates. Golf carts will not be able to accommodate standard wheelchairs, however, so please consider this when making your plans. Wheelchair guests may want to ride in the golf cart while having another guest push their wheelchair to the gate. Following the ceremony, golf carts will transport handicapped guests back to the parking area.  If you need assistance, you may ask security staff at the gates to call for a golf cart. 
9.
I need to leave the ceremony early to catch a flight? Is this a problem?
 
Once the ceremony begins, the stadium gates will be closed due to security considerations and to secure the Thunderbirds' "show box." No one is permitted in the parking areas for the duration of the ceremony and the Thunderbirds performance. Following the ceremony, the gates will open upon completion of the Thunderbirds performance at about 1:15 p.m. Please make your travel arrangements accordingly.
10.
How do guests get from the parking area to Mitchell Hall for the Graduation Reception?
 
Shuttle buses will transport guests from the Field House parking areas to Sijan Hall, where guests will be escorted through the building to the terrazzo and across to Mitchell Hall. Elevators will be available for handicapped or wheel chair guests.
11.
How do guests get from the Graduation Reception to Arnold Hall for the Graduation Ball?
 
Shuttle buses will transport guests from the Field House parking areas and Mitchell Hall to Arnold Hall. Cadet-escorted guests may walk across the terrazzo to Arnold Hall.
12.
How do handicapped guests get to the commissioning ceremonies?
 
Individual squadrons are responsible for arranging any required transportation for commissioning ceremonies. Parents or cadet guests who anticipate difficulty must contact their cadet to arrange special transportation.
13.
How many tickets can I get to the Graduation Ceremony?
 
Graduating cadets will receive as many tickets as they need for their family and guests through their squadrons. An initial allotment of 20 tickets per graduating cadet is issued; after the initial allotment, cadets may request additional tickets for their guests, however these tickets may not be in the same location as the first tickets. Cadets in other cadet classes may request tickets for their guests. Cadets will pick up the tickets and provide them to their guests upon their arrival.
14.
How can the general public get tickets for graduation?
 
Tickets may be available from the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce and USAFA's Athletic Ticket Office (at the Cadet Field House) in mid-May. An announcement will be made through local media to inform the public when tickets are available. The Association of Graduates may be able to help USAFA grads get tickets. There is no will-call for graduation ceremony tickets and tickets cannot be obtained from the Air Force Academy Athletic Ticket office.
15.
Who is speaking at Graduation this year?
 
Vice President of the United States Joe Biden is the Commencement Speaker for the Graduation Ceremony of the Class of 2014. In 2015, we anticipate inviting the Secretary of Defense and in 2016 the President of the United States.
16.
How do I make sure I'm not seated in an area with an obstructed view in the stadium? I've heard that some people sat in an area that had a tent in front of the view.
 
Please make sure you sit in the seats for the tickets you were provided. There are some areas of the stands that are not ticketed because there is an obstructed view. People who moved to these areas did not have a good view of the ceremony last year. You should have no problem if you sit in your designated seats.
17.
What can we bring into the stadium for the Grad Ceremony?
 
Due to security restrictions in Falcon Stadium, all guests will pass through metal detectors and may have purses or personal items searched. All guests must have tickets to enter the stadium. The full list of restrictions is here. No boxes, alcohol, weapons, firecrackers, beverage containers, backpacks, large handbags, coolers, thermoses or similar items will be allowed in the stadium.  Food and drink are prohibited with the exception of clear, unopened water bottles.  Cameras and video cameras are permitted; however, please be prepared to remove camera lenses for security inspection at the stadium gates.  Diaper bags will be allowed when a child is present - no strollers please.   Refreshments will be available from vendors throughout the stadium. 
18.
Are banners allowed in the stadium?
 
Large banners cannot be brought into the stadium as they may block the view of other guests. You may bring in hand-held, letter-sized signs that do not present a problem for other patrons and are appropriate in content.  We also ask that guests not wear T-shirts with potentially offensive sayings to this event. The full list of restrictions is here
19.
Can I bring a video camera or a camera with a telephoto lens into the graduation ceremony?
 
Yes, video cameras and telephoto lenses may be brought into Falcon Stadium. Guests should be prepared to turn on the camera and remove any telephoto lenses for inspection at the stadium gate upon entry.
20.
I am a diabetic and need to bring special foods into the stadium for the ceremony - how do I do this?
 
Food and drink are available from a variety of vendors at Falcon Stadium during the ceremony. If you require special food items not available from the vendors, please make sure you bring a doctor's note stating your requirement for the food items you bring in. Please note that coolers, thermoses and backpacks may not be brought into the stadium. The full list of restrictions is here
21.
My grandmother/grandfather is in bad health and will need some assistance getting around the Academy. Can you provide wheelchairs or other medical equipment assistance?
 
Unfortunately, USAFA has no means to provide such equipment for guests. Guests may bring their own wheelchairs or medical equipment, and may rent specialized medical equipment from companies in the Colorado Springs area (see question #36 below for more information). Special handicapped shuttles with hydraulic lifts will transport guests during events held in the Cadet Area. No transportation will be provided from the Cadet Area to the stadium on Graduation Day. Parking will be available at Falcon Stadium and golf carts or vans will transport handicapped guests from the handicapped parking areas to the stadium gates.  
22.
I (my parents) did not receive a graduation parent mailing and don't have the necessary information and parking passes - how do I get them?
 
We no longer send out a mailing; however guests may register on this website in April to receive current graduation information. Cadets may also print out Grad Week information and mail it to their guests or provide it to them when they arrive in the area.  Guests may also review information on this website and print the required information to bring with them for their visit to the Academy. The base is open to visitors from 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. every day.  You need only show a valid photo ID to enter the base during these hours.   Complete Graduation Week information is also available on this website.  
23.
My family is overseas. How do I get them the passes they need?
 
We no longer send out a mailing; however guests may register on this website in April to receive current graduation information. Cadets may also print out Grad Week information and mail it to their guests or provide it to them when they arrive in the area.  Guests may also review information on this website and print the required information to bring with them for their visit to the Academy. The base is open to visitors from 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. every day.  You need only show a valid photo ID to enter the base during these hours.   Complete Graduation Week information is also available on this website.  
24.
I have a baby - can I bring his/her stroller into the stadium?
 
Strollers are not allowed in the stadium for the Grad ceremony due to security and safety reasons. Depending on the age of the child, you may bring him/her in a baby carrier but must have a ticket for the baby in order to ensure a seat is available. The full list of stadium restrictions is here
25.
We'd like tickets to graduation but don't have a cadet who is graduating and don't live in Colorado Springs. How do we get tickets?
 
Tickets may be available from the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce and USAFA's Athletic Ticket Office (at the Cadet Field House) in mid-May. An announcement will be made through local media to inform the public when tickets are available. Unfortunately, we cannot mail tickets and there is no will-call. If you know a graduating cadet or a staff member at USAFA, they may be able to get tickets for you. Finally, the USAFA Association of Graduates gets a block of tickets and may be able to help you.
26.
How do I get a parking pass for the graduation ceremony?
 
There are no parking passes required for the Graduation Ceremony. Handicapped individuals should bring their state handicapped placard in order to park in the handicapped lots at the stadium (Lot 1, southwest of the stadium or Lot 5, just north of the stadium).  If you do not have a handicapped placard but one or more of your guests may require some transportation assistance, you may request to park in the handicapped area from the lot attendant..
27.
Can I bring in my own stadium seats into Falcon Stadium?
 
Stadium seats are available to rent inside the stadium. Guests may bring their own, so long as they have soft seat backs, no metal, and are 18 inches wide or smaller.
28.
Are parents or family members allowed down on the field following the grad ceremony?
 
Children ages 7-10 may come down to the field at the south-east side of the stadium floor to participate in the hat toss. Parents must escort their children and then wait for their return following the hat toss, but parents/adults will not be allowed down on the field. Following the departure of the commencement speaker and the distinguished visitor party from the stadium floor, parents/guests may be allowed to enter the floor to congratulate their cadets. Ushers at the steps to the stadium floor will control access to the floor.
29.
Which TV stations plan to live broadcast the Graduation ceremony? Where else can I watch this event?
 
The Pentagon Channel will webcast and broadcast the ceremony. Make sure to check your local broadcast or cable listings for info on the Pentagon Channel. You can also view the ceremony on their website at http://www.pentagonchannel.mil. Some local television stations may also broadcast the ceremony. As we get closer, we will post an announcement on this website letting the public know which channels will be broadcasting the ceremony. Finally, USAFA's Arnold Hall Theater offers a comfortable indoor location to view the entire ceremony. No tickets are required and seating will be first come, first served.
30.
How do I get extra parking passes? Are they required to get on base?
 
You may register for Graduation Week on this website and will receive an email with attachments that you may print at home. Please print your parking pass and place it in your windshield when you park on the base. These are parking passes only, which allow you to park in the cadet/visitor lots in the Cadet Area. This pass does not get you on base. All non-DOD ID cardholders must enter the base through the North Gate and will have driver's licenses and registrations checked prior to being allowed on base. DOD ID cardholders may enter through either gate.
31.
How do I know what the required dress is for a particular event or ceremony?
 
This website lists each event and describes the recommended dress. Click here for more information.
32.
After the graduation ceremony and Thunderbird performance, are the families allowed down on the field to meet with their cadet?
 
Yes, but only after the official party (platform guests) have departed the stadium floor. Ushers at the steps to the stadium floor will control access to the floor.
33.
Can I park my RV in the stadium parking lot for graduation? Do the shuttle buses pick up from the FamCamp?
 
The shuttle buses will only run from the Field House parking lots to various locations in the cadet area on Monday and Tuesday (not to the stadium, AOG, Falcon Club or FamCamp). There are no restrictions for parking RVs in the Field House or stadium parking lots, but recommend you arrive early and plan to park in the outer areas of the parking in order to have sufficient room to maneuver and park. Please remember that guests may not remain in vehicles in the parking lot during the graduation ceremony. Also, we ask that guests do not "tailgate" following the grad ceremony, due to heavy volume of traffic trying to exit the stadium parking lots.
34.
What is the schedule for the commissioning ceremonies? Where will my son/daughter's squadron ceremony be held?
 
There will be two "waves" of ceremonies, at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Ceremony locations and times are available here. You may also contact your cadet for this information.
35.
How can I get a picture of my cadet receiving his/her diploma, if I can't go onto the stadium floor?
 
You may order the 2014 USAFA Graduation DVD, photographs of your cadet receiving his/her diploma and the 2014 POLARIS Yearbook through the Office of Cadet Wing Media. The DVD includes every graduate, Graduation Week activities excerpts and Class of 2014 bonus material. This DVD is the only graduation product officially sanctioned by the USAF Academy. Click here to order your 2014 Polaris yearbook and/or Graduation DVD.

Prestige Portraits by Lifetouch has been contracted to provide professional photographs of your cadet at the Graduation Ball and at the Graduation Ceremony.  The contract photographer will mail proofs to each graduating cadet’s home of record within six weeks after graduation with instructions for purchasing these photographs.  If you do not receive a proof from the photographer, please contact Lifetouch directly. Click to order Graduation Ball & Grad ceremony photos. For more information call (800) 426-9533 or write to Lifetouch, 1170 Pontiac Ave, Cranston, RI 02920, Attn: AFA Grad.

You may contact Cadet Wing Media by calling (719) 333-4644, sending an email to cwmedia@usafa.edu or writing to 10 FSS/FSLAM, P.O. Box 6066, USAFA CO 80841-6066. Visit their web page at http://www.usafasupport.com/cadet-activities/cadet-media
.
36.
Who can I contact to rent equipment for my handicapped guests during Graduation Week?
 
Please click here for information about local companies that provide medical support such as wheelchairs, oxygen, etc. Please note that the USAF Academy does not provide handicapped passes and cannot pay for medical equipment for guests attending Grad Week events.

U.S. Air Force Academy, USAFA, CO 80840, (719) 333-1110 DSN: 333-1110, 23 Nov 14
Privacy & Security Notice   |   External Link Disclaimer   |   Contact Us / Submit Feedback / Webmaster | Air Force Link

Accessibility/Section 508

The U.S. Department of Defense is committed to making its electronic and information technologies accessible to individuals with disabilities in accordance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (29 U.S.C. § 794d), as amended in 1999. Send feedback or concerns related to the accessibility ofthis website to: DoDSection508@osd.mil. For more information about Section 508, please visit the DoD Section 508 website.