Commencement Ceremony

Whether a student, faculty member, family member or friend, Commencement is an important event that marks a momentous occasion in the lives of our graduates and the entire university community.


Get excited, Flashes! Commencement is going to be a Hall of Fame experience!

Kent State University at Stark
48th Annual Spring Commencement
Friday, May 14, 2021  •  4 p.m.
Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium
2331 17th St. NW, Canton

Facebook Live stream of the ceremony

Commencement Photos


Check your Kent email for updates.


  • Graduates will wear a black cap and gown. You can purchase a gown or borrow one from a friend. The only requirement is that your cap and gown must be black.
  • You can purchase your cap, gown, tassel, and order announcements from the Kent State Stark Bookstore. 
  • Direct questions to the Bookstore at 330-244-5112, or visit


Acceptable attire for under your gown is smart casual dress, such as dresses, skirts or dress pants. The weather forecast is predicting sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-60s. You may be sitting in the sun for the hour-long ceremony so wear sunscreen if needed. Make sure you're dressed comfortably under your gown. Leave any valuables you bring to the ceremony with your guests.


Graduates will be walking on the field and Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium REQUIRES all those walking on the field to wear flat-soled shoes. No heeled shoes are permitted on the field. Basically, your shoes need to be fully flat on the bottom so you do not leave behind any indentations. This is very important! You will not be permitted to walk on the field if you're wearing unacceptable footwear. We've provided an image to help you put your best foot forward! 

Flat soled shoes


Instead of a traditional graduation stage, you'll be walking across the 50-yard line to receive your diploma! When you arrive, our staff will seat you in the graduate section by degree and college. Staff will help you line up, at a safe physical distance, and you will be ushered down to the field. Sadly, during the pandemic, you will be unable to shake hands with the Dean, administrators or faculty on the "staged field." When your name is called, you'll walk across the "staged field" to pick up your diploma envelope from the table. It'll be a no-contact event for everyone's safety. And remember, everyone must wear a face covering.


You will not receive your actual diploma at the ceremony. Instead, you'll pick up an envelope from the table that includes your diploma cover and instructions on when you should expect to receive your diploma in the mail.


  • Ticket emails were sent May 8-10 from; Performing Arts Center | Kent State Tuscarawas. Our ticketing partner at the Tuscarawas Campus is assisting us with issuing tickets for Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. Do not be alarmed that your email doesn't say Kent State Stark.
  • You received two emails for your tickets. One email included the graduate's general admission ticket. The second email included your guest tickets.
  • You have the option to either download your e-tickets to print (a pdf) or you can view the mobile ticket which will have a QR code that will be scanned from your mobile device at the gate.
  • Remember, tickets are required for entry to the stadium. If you need assistance printing tickets, the Office of Student Services is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday. We will be happy to assist you there.


  • If you don't see your tickets in your email, please make sure to check your junk or spam folder. Or did you delete them by accident? Check your trash or deleted items.
  • If you have any issues with your tickets, please contact Tom Flood at the Tuscarawas Campus at He is happy to help answer your ticketing questions.


Gates open at 3 p.m. for both graduates and guests. Graduates and guests will be directed to their seats when they arrive. Plan to be settled in your seat no later than 3:15 p.m. Come dressed in your cap and gown. Kent State Stark staff will provide graduates with instructions. The ceremony will start promptly at 4 p.m.


There is ample parking but not directly adjacent to the stadium. Expect a walk to the entrance gate. Guests requiring special parking must have a valid handicapped parking permit. There will be a place to drop off guests with mobility issues near the gate.  

The best way to enter the stadium parking lot is from 17th St., coming from the west from either Broad or Clarendon. For navigation purposes, use this address: 2331 17th St. NW, Canton

View Area Map


As a courtesy to all guests, we ask that your family and friends do not bring large items like balloon bouquets and oversized signs that would block the viewing of other guests. Umbrellas are not permitted in the stadium.


If you have an old Stark parking hang tag, please bring it with you to the ceremony. We'll be able to recycle and re-use them in the future. There will be a drawing for prizes from the returned hang tags! 


For up-to-date information on facial covering requirements, please see Facial Covering and Physical Distancing Guidelines. Please practice safe physical distancing while around others and follow Flashes COVID-19 Prevention at the event. Flashes take care of Flashes!