Campus News

Additional Commencement, Reunion Weekend Information

May 18, 2015

Mike McComb

A string of colorful lanterns.
Photo credit: Jennifer Manna

Commencement/Reunion Weekend 2015 will take place Friday, May 22, through Monday, May 25. More than 650 students are expected to receive degrees during Monday’s Commencement exercises, and hundreds of alumni will return to campus for reunion gatherings during the weekend.

First Lady Michelle Obama will receive an honorary degree and speak at Oberlin College during the Commencement ceremony. Oberlin College is being recognized for supporting the First Lady’s higher education initiative, Reach Higher, and doing its part to answer President Obama’s call to ensure that, by the year 2020, America once again has the highest proportion of college graduates in the world. Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children's Defense Fund, will be the Commencement speaker.

Here are some details about Commencement/Reunion Weekend that should help you plan for the celebration.

Commencement/Reunion Welcome Center

The Commencement/Reunion Welcome Center is where registered guests can pick up tickets for events and meals, as well as have questions about the weekend addressed. Graduating students must pick up tickets for Commencement exercises by the close of business Sunday, May 24.

Dewy Ward ’34 Alumni Center, 65 E. College St., Suite 4, in the East College Street plaza, 440-775-8692

  • Hours:
  • Friday, May 22, 9 a.m.-1 a.m. (Ticket sales will close for the day at 11 p.m.)
  • Saturday, May 23, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
  • Sunday, May 24, 8 a.m.-7 p.m.
  • Monday, May 25, 8 a.m.-3 p.m.

Reunion Classes


  • 65th Reunion Cluster: 1949, 1950, 1951
  • 50th Reunion Class: 1965
  • 35th Reunion Cluster: 1979, 1980, 1981
  • 25th Reunion Class: 1990
  • 15th Reunion Cluster: 1999, 2000, 2001


ObieCRW App

Everything you need to know about Commencement/Reunion Weekend is available on the new ObieCRW app, designed by Guidebook. Users can find the full weekend schedule, design a personalized agenda, view schedules based on reunion groups, share photos from the weekend, receive updates about last-minute changes, and so much more. The ObieCRW app works on all web-enabled devices and can be downloaded from the App Store, Google Play, or via this webpage.

Commencement Exercises

Commencement attendees can anticipate a memorable ceremony featuring speeches by First Lady Michelle Obama and Marian Wright Edelman, president and founder of the Children’s Defense Fund. We expect the largest Oberlin College Commencement ceremony attendance ever. Heightened security measures will be in effect in preparation for Mrs. Obama’s arrival. Attendees are advised to arrive at 8 a.m. on Monday, May 25. The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. There will be no entry into the secured areas after 10 a.m. Airport security measures are to be expected for entry into Tappan Square.

Due to limited parking and possible road closures, local attendees and guests staying in Oberlin are encouraged to walk, ride bicycles, or carpool to the event. Thank you for your patience and cooperation, and congratulations to the Class of 2015.

How is access to the ceremony being managed?

  • Tickets will be required for guaranteed seating during the Commencement ceremony. Standing-room only entry into Tappan Square does not require a ticket.
  • Each graduate eligible to march during the Commencement ceremony will receive a ticket for seating. Tickets must be picked up from the Commencement/Reunion Welcome Center by 7 p.m., Sunday, May 24.
  • Due to limited seating, we encourage those who are unable to stand or to sit on the lawn and who do not have tickets to watch the Commencement ceremony via live streaming in Warner Concert Hall. Seating in Warner Concert Hall is on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets are not required. Doors will open at 8 a.m.
  • Information about the streaming of the ceremony will be posted on the Commencement website. The live stream is scheduled to begin at 9:45 a.m.


How will security procedures change our plans?

  • Tappan Square will be enclosed and secured. No one will be allowed to enter within the enclosed area of Tappan Square prior to 8 a.m.
  • All attendees will go through airport-like security and should bring as few personal items as possible. Non-traditional graduation garb may result in delays going through security. No large bags, backpacks, sharp objects, lawn chairs, umbrellas, or signs will be allowed in Tappan Square.
  • Cameras, small purses, blankets, and water bottles are permitted.
  • Any items not allowed in by security will be disposed of if left outside the secured area. Oberlin College is not responsible for unapproved items that are left outside of the secured space during the commencement ceremony.


You may also like…

Commencement and Milestone Reunion 2022

June 7, 2022

The campus was abuzz this past weekend as alumni, families, and students took part in the return of several Commencement/Reunion Weekend traditions that included a performance by OCircus!, senior conservatory students, and Illumination in Tappan Square.
Graduation caps with flowers on them.

Go Forth

May 23, 2017

Seven hundred graduates took part in commencement exercises during a sunny morning on Monday, May 22. Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation, was the speaker for the college’s...
A view of the Commencement speakers on stage under an 'Oberlin' banner. The audience in the foreground is a sea of graduation caps.