Purdue 2019 Spring Commencement: What locals and visitors need to know

According to Purdue, nearly 6,000 students will be participating in this weekend’s ceremonies.

Posted: May. 10, 2019 6:52 AM
Updated: May. 10, 2019 8:35 AM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Nearly 6,000 students will be participating in this weekend’s Purdue commencement ceremonies, and with all those students comes all of their family and friends to witness their achievements.

Starting Friday afternoon, thousands of students will be walking across the stage at Elliott Hall of Music to receive their diplomas, so you can say campus will be a little congested this weekend. Living in a college town, we know graduation weekend is always tough for the "townees." Are the local businesses ready for it?

News 18 reached out to Tippecanoe County hotels who had so many guests that they barely had time for a phone conversation. Hotel officials said rooms were completely booked, with little to none left. 

Scotty's Brewhouse Manager Brian Short says he's confident everything will run smoothly. Every year on graduation weekend, they change their usual policies to accommodate the crowds.

"We do a first come, first serve basis," said Short. "If we took all reservations, then our dining room would be full and the guests that were coming in and waiting for a table would not have one available to them so we just try to be as fair as we can with it. "We've been through this a few times. We run a full kitchen staff with some extra people in there so we can handle the extra business."

Purdue President Mitch Daniels told News 18 this years' commencement address will be over the topic of strength. The university's president has delivered the speech since the first commencement in 1875.

"It's strength in all its forms," said Daniels. "Not just physical, but intellectual, strength of character, and fortitude and emotional strength that we expect our graduates to take on out there in life."

If you will be attending any of this weekend’s ceremonies, here’s where you will need to park.

For those going to Friday's 3:00 p.m. commencement, the designated parking area will be the North Stadium Lot. That’s the lot next to Ross-Ade Stadium, right off of Cherry Lane. There will be shuttles for everyone from the lot to Elliott Hall.

For all other ceremonies, including Friday's 7 p.m. ceremony and all Saturday and Sunday ceremonies, university parking garages will be the designated parking spot. 

There are six total garages on campus. The nearest to Elliott Hall of Music are University Street, Northwestern Avenue and Grant Street parking garages. McCutcheon Drive, Harrison Street and Wood Street garages will also be available. There will be shuttles from the University Street garage to Elliott Hall for people who are handicap. Handicap parking is in the first two levels of the garage.

You can watch our one-on-one News 18 This Morning interview with Capt. Keen Red Elk of the Purdue Police Department above. 

For additional parking information click here. 

For a campus parking map click here

To watch commencement ceremonies live click here

* Division I — Friday, May 10. 3 p.m. Graduate School (All schools and colleges).

* Division II — Friday, May 10. 7 p.m. College of Liberal Arts and Purdue Polytechnic Institute.

* Division III — Saturday, May 11. 9:30 a.m. The colleges of Agriculture, Engineering (schools of Agricultural and Biological, Materials and Mechanical) and Pharmacy (including Pharm.D.).

* Division IV — Saturday, May 11. 2 p.m. The College of Engineering (Aeronautics and Astronautics, Biomedical, Chemical, Civil, Construction, Electrical and Computer, Engineering Education, Environmental and Ecological, and Industrial and Nuclear).

* Division V — Sunday, May 12. 9:30 a.m. The colleges of Education, Health and Human Sciences (including Doctor of Audiology and Doctor of Nursing Practice) and Veterinary Medicine (including DVM).

* Division VI — Sunday, May 12, 2 p.m. The Krannert School of Management, and the College of Science.

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