Info for Families and Guests

Merrill Commencement Ceremony

Saturday, June 17th, 2017
9:30 AM
UCSC East Field

When is the Merrill Commencement?
Do I need to buy tickets? Can I reserve seats? Is there a limit to how many people can attend?
How will parking work during Commencement Weekend?
Is there a reception after the Commencement Ceremony? 
How do I get to UC Santa Cruz and the Merrill Commencement?
Will there be a professional photographer at the Commencement Ceremony?
I, or one of my guests, will require special accommodations, what steps should I take?
What will the weather be like?                                                                                            

When is Merrill Commencement?

Merrills 2015 Commencement Ceremony will be on Saturday, June 17th at 9:30am on the East Field.

Do I need to buy tickets? Can I reserve seats? Is there a limit to how many people can attend?

No tickets necessary. Seating is first-come, first serve. If you would like to get a seat in the first few rows, plan on arriving at least an hour early. There is no limit to the number of people who can attend. However, due to  extremely limited parking each graduate will only receive two (2) parking passes.

How does parking work during Commencement Weekend?

Normal parking passes are not valid during Commencement Weekend. Each graduate will be issued two parking passes during Commencement Rehearsal. Unfortunately, due to extremely limited parking and the massive influx of people during Commencement Weekend we are unable to offer additional parking passes under any circumstances. 

If you would like to have more than 2 car-loads of people attend Commencement, here are some alternative options:

  • The Santa Cruz Metro Transit District buses will be running during Commencement Weekend. Guest could park downtown and take public transport up to campus. For information about Metro buses, please visit scmtd.com. For information about parking in downtown Santa Cruz, please visit the city's parking website.

  • Your guests could meet at an off-campus location and ferry car-loads of guests up to campus.

  • You could rent a six person van* to fit more people into the two allotted parking spaces (note: eight person vans, limos and RVs have to park at the base of campus.)

There is a designated Disability parking lot, located near the East Field, with shuttle service available. In order to use this lot a Merrill Disability Parking Pass will be required, in addition to a state-issued official Handicap placards or licence plate. Merrill Disability Parking Passes can be requested by graduates when they pick up parking passes at the Commencement Rehearsal on June 16th, it will replace one of the standard parking passes they would otherwise receive.

Please observe all parking regulations. For the most current information see the TAPS website. Do not park at the Merrill Circle, as this area is reserved for emergency access. There are free Shuttle Services to the East Field, East Remote parking lot, and to the college for the reception prior to the commencement ceremony and after.

Is there a reception after the Commencement Ceremony?

All Merrill graduates and their family and guests are invited to the graduation reception that immediately follows the commencement ceremony on June 17th. The reception will be held in the Merrill Cultural Center from 11:00AM - 12:30PM. Light refreshments will be provided. Parking restrictions apply. Shuttles will run from the site of the Commencement to the reception. No RSVPs or tickets are required.

How do I get to UC Santa Cruz, and the Merrill Commencement?

Visit the UC Santa Cruz websites for maps and directions. The Merrill Commencement Ceremony will be held in the East Field, with guests parking in the East Remote Parking Lot. A shuttle service is provided to and from  East Field.

Will there be a professional photographer at the Commencement Ceremony?

Yes. As in past years, Chappell Studios, a professional commercial photographer, has been contracted to take individual photographs of the graduates as each receives a commemorative scroll. Within 10 days after graduation, students will receive a "proof," at no cost or obligation to buy. The photographer will take a posed picture of each graduate in their cap and gown before they walk across the stage. They offer students a $5 discount on any photo order over $25 when they register their e-mail address prior to commencement. Go to www.gradimages.com if you are interested in this discount. Neither Merrill College nor the University is responsible for this process; it is entirely between the graduate and Chappell Studios. The college only contracts with the vendor and provides the venue.

I, or one of my guests, will require special accommodations, what steps should I take?

Merrill College wishes to make this graduation ceremony accessible to all of our graduating seniors, their families, and guests. If you, or your guest(s) require the services of an American Sign Language interpreter, or other special accommodations, please notify the Merrill Programs Office at (831) 459-3357 by April 28th, 2017. Your earliest request is appreciated.

What will the weather be like?

Coastal Santa Cruz weather is unpredictable, especially between mornings and afternoons. Layers are highly recommended. It can be cool and damp in the mornings and sunny and hot in the afternoon.

If you have any questions or concerns about this information, please give us a call at (831) 459-3357.