Navigating commencement at The Citadel

CHARLESTON, S.C. – Traffic will be heavy in Charleston on May 10 college graduations and other events underway around the city. To assist visitors attending The Citadel South Carolina Corps of Cadets commencement ceremony at 9a.m. and The Citadel Graduate College’s graduation at 3:30p.m., as well as neighbors in the community, tips to navigate commencement at The Citadel are below. Both events will be held at McAlister Field House on campus, with doors opening for seating for the morning event at 7:30a.m.


What not to bring

It is The Citadel’s highest priority to ensure the safety of our cadets and students, their families and friends, as well as our faculty and staff at any gathering. Specific items are not permitted into McAllister Field House for either ceremony. They include large bags, backpacks (to include bota bags, wine-skins, and camelbacks), large purses, hard-sided containers or items larger than 8" x 11". Small handbags will be inspected prior to entrance. Also, families are asked not to leave their seats to take personal photographs, though cameras are permitted. Professional photographs of each graduate receiving a diploma, as well as the ceremonies themselves, will be taken and made available at a later date. Further restrictions can be found at this link:


Traffic flow and campus parking

All traffic entering campus through the main gate (Lesesne Gate) will be directed to the north end of campus for parking via Avenue of Remembrance. The traffic coming in through Hagood Gate will be directed left to Kovats Field. Following the ceremonies, Hagood Gate may become an exit gate only. Inbound traffic will be redirected to the main gate. If all campus parking is filled, traffic will be directed to the parking lots at Hagood Stadium. NO PARKING IS PERMITTED IN HAMPTON PARK WHERE CARS MAY BE TICKETED OR TOWED BY THE CITY.


Handicapped Parking
Avenue of Remembrance, P-Lot (North), Coin Laundry Lot, M-Lot and the practice football field will all be reserved for handicapped parking. When all spaces in these lots are full, curb parking on Lee Ave. is suggested.


Traffic near the campus

Please note that Lockwood Blvd., Hagood Ave., and roads leading into Hampton Park will experience backups and delays. The James Island Connector will experience a significant back up both the hour before and approximately an hour after the morning graduation ceremony. The ceremony lasts from approximately 9a.m. until noon, with guests beginning to arrive from 7a.m.  Directions to The Citadel as well as detailed maps of campus and surrounding streets can be found here. 


Arrival and Seating

Seating for the Corps of Cadets’ graduation is by ticket only. All tickets have been allotted, with eight tickets provided to each cadet. No other guests will be allowed entry. Seating for ticketed guests is general admission and handicapped seating is available. All guests must be seated by 8:30a.m., with doors closing at 8:50a.m. Doors will not re-open for entry until after the national anthem and invocation. Tickets are not required to attend The Citadel Graduate College commencement.


Hate traffic? No ticket? Can’t get to Charleston? WATCH IT LIVE ON THE INTERNET

For those who cannot be in McAlister Field house, the ceremony can be viewed via the internet. The webcast of Commencement exercises can be viewed at the following URL:   The live webcast will begin airing at approximately 8:50a.m., EST.  The ceremony will be posted to Monday, May 13.



Graduation is an especially poignant day for cadets and students whose parent and/or grandparent attended The Citadel. Corps of Cadets Legacy photos will be taken at 2:15p.m. at McAlister Field House, following a briefing for alumni families, a presentation for Alumni News magazine, etc. The session is anticipated to last 45 minutes. The Citadel Graduate College Legacy photos will take place at 2:00p.m. at McAlister Field House and are anticipated to take 30 minutes. Greeters will assist guests with their respective photograph locations.


Other graduation events May 7 - 10

Star of the West finals, Awards Convocation, Baccalaureate Service for the Class of 2014, 2015 Sumerall Guards’ performance and the highly attended Long Gray Line Parade will also draw significant crowds with corresponding traffic. For a full schedule and specified parking instructions for each event, please visit this link:



The media is encouraged to attend The Citadel’s graduation ceremonies and events. Information about commencement speakers is located at or here. Media parking for both graduations will be located directly behind McAlister Field House in the rear of Vandiver Hall. Members of the media are asked to enter only through the assigned media entrance located near Vandiver’s parking lot at the back of the field house. Credentials should be displayed at check in and during event attendance. A Citadel media pass will be provided for the event and should be returned to the media registration table upon departure. Media seating is reserved on the upper west side under the scoreboard where a mult-box will also be positioned. Media is requested to be in place by 8:30 for the Corps of Cadets graduation and by 3:10 p.m. for The Citadel Graduate School ceremony.  Photographers are asked not to use flash activators which may cause interference with facility lighting. Cadets wearing media escort badges can assist media representatives with parking, locating the media entrance, sign in and positioning within the field house.


  • Need a great story? We have many – including stories of our cadets legacies who will have multi-generational Citadel alumni family members with them. 

  • HD b-roll of both graduations, including sound bites from the commencement speakers will be provided upon request to the media. An edited, stand-alone b-roll package of the Corps of Cadets graduation without supers will also be available.

  • Pictures of the graduation from nationally award-winning photographer Russell Pace will also be available late Saturday afternoon.

  • To request photos or video please email, or, call Kim Keelor at 843-475-0596.