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Your guide for Northeastern University’s 2024 commencement at Fenway Park

What time should I arrive? Where do I park? Where do I enter the park? Will the concession stands be open? What happens if it rains? We’ve got your answers.

Graduates wave flags from all over the world in Fenway Park.
Northeastern’s 2023 undergraduate commencement at Fenway Park. Photo by Alyssa Stone/Northeastern University

Live coverage and up-to-date reporting on Northeastern University’s 2024 commencement.

For the fourth year in a row, Boston’s iconic Fenway Park will be home to Northeastern University’s commencement exercises.

Graduate and undergraduate students from the Class of 2024 will participate in ceremonies on Sunday, May 5.

Northeastern Global News will provide live updates from start to finish. The events will also be livestreamed.

Each campus in Northeastern’s global network is also hosting commencement exercises.

Here’s everything graduates and their guests need to know about commencement at Fenway Park…

What time should I arrive?

Members of the Class of 2024 and their guests will attend either the graduate ceremony in the morning or the undergraduate ceremony in the afternoon.

The graduate ceremony begins at 10 a.m. A pre-show starts at 8:15 and the procession at 8:45. Graduates must arrive at Gate B by 8. Gates to the park also open for guests at 8.

The undergraduate ceremony begins at 4 p.m. A pre-show starts at 2:15 and the procession at 2:45. Graduates must arrive at Gate B by 2. Gates to the park also open for guests at 2.

Where do I enter Fenway? 

Graduates should enter Fenway Park at Gate B. Guests can enter at Gates A, D or E.

Where can I park? 

Parking near Fenway Park is limited. Complimentary parking is available on Northeastern’s Boston campus at the Columbus Parking Garage at 795 Columbus Ave. The garage is about a mile from Fenway.

How else can I get there?

Fenway Park is accessible via the MBTA. Take the D branch of the Green Line to the Fenway stop, then it’s a short walk to the park. You can also take the B or C branches of the Green Line to Kenmore and follow signs to Fenway Park.

How many people will attend?

The guest list for Sunday is about 50,000, but about as many people will participate in individual college ceremonies during commencement week.

Starting with Monday’s doctoral hooding and ending with Saturday night’s College of Social Sciences and Humanities celebration, Northeastern will host approximately 51,665 graduates and guests on the Boston campus.

What happens if it rains?

The ceremonies will be held rain or shine, excluding extreme weather conditions, and last about 90-120 minutes. In the event of rain, ponchos will be distributed to graduates.

What can I bring inside?

Bags larger than 12-by-12-by-6 are prohibited with the exception of medical items and diaper bags. Flowers, signs, banners, balloons and full-sized flags are also not permitted inside Fenway.

Guests may bring one unopened, clear, disposable, plastic water bottle, 16 ounces or less. Water fill stations will be available at student lineup.

Graduates are also allowed to wear Hawaiian leis and bring the small flags that were selected and provided by the university.

Certified service dogs for guests with disabilities are welcome inside the park. All other animals are prohibited.

All attendees will enter Fenway Park through metal detectors.

Where can I buy gifts for my graduate?  

Northeastern merchandise (and flowers after the ceremony) will be available for purchase outside Gates A and D of Fenway Park. 

Flowers are not permitted inside the park, but will be available for purchase as you exit the ceremony. 

Pre-order Northeastern merchandise for pickup only at Fenway.

All proceeds will support students in need through the We Care Emergency Fund.

Will concession stands be open?

Concessions will be available for purchase before the start of the ceremony and will be closed once commencement begins. All registers are cashless and will only accept credit cards.

Guests can support the Northeastern We Care Fund through a gift at concessions.

Water will be available for purchase throughout the ceremony. Alcohol will not be served.

Where can I watch the ceremony? 

Each graduate is allotted six guest tickets that can be claimed using the MLB Ballpark App and the Northeastern email address of the graduate.

Children 2 years or younger who are able to sit on an adult’s lap do not need a ticket. Extra tickets are not available. Guest tickets are general admission.

For those who cannot attend, the ceremonies will also be livestreamed.

Who are the speakers?

Sethuraman Panchanathan, director of the National Science Foundation, will address the graduate students at 10 a.m.

David A. Thomas, president of Morehouse College and a visionary leader in higher education, will address the undergraduates at 4 p.m.

Megan Carter, captain of the women’s hockey team, is the graduate student speaker. Rebecca Bamidele, a senior with a combined major in biology and political science, is the undergraduate student speaker.

Who are the honorary degree recipients?

Panchanathan and Thomas will receive honorary degrees from President Joseph E. Aoun.

An award-winning author, Thomas has co-written three books: “Race, Work, and Leadership: New Perspectives on the Black Experience,” “Breaking Through: The Making of Minority Executives in Corporate America” and “Leading for Equity: The Pursuit of Excellence in Montgomery County.”

Thomas has led Morehouse since 2018. He was previously a dean and business professor at Harvard, Georgetown and the University of Pennsylvania.

I’m graduating from a Northeastern global campus. Can I attend commencement in Boston?

Each campus in Northeastern’s global network is hosting commencement exercises. 

When are the Law School and CPS ceremonies?

Separate ceremonies for the College of Professional Studies will take place next week. 

CPS undergraduate and graduate ceremonies will be held at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Wednesday, May 8, at Matthews Arena. 

The CPS doctoral hooding will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, May 9, and the School of Law ceremony 2 p.m. on Friday, May 10, both at Matthews.