Information for Families & Guests

Whether you are a family member or friend, you have played a very special role in your graduate's TU journey. Here you'll find information on directions to campus, ceremony details, parking information, and much more.

info for guests


Families, friends and guests of participants should find seating in the SECU Arena while graduates go to their designated assembly areas. Guests are not permitted in the assembly areas. There will be ample opportunity after the ceremony for personal photographs. 
Please note that all bags will be checked prior to admittance to the arena. We recommend carrying small bags to save time during bag check. Please visit Ceremony Policies & Regulations for more information.

All sections in the arena are general seating. To ensure that you have the best possible seat, we recommend arriving when doors open (8:30 am for morning ceremonies and 1:30 pm for afternoon ceremonies). Guests may hold seats for other members in your group, however ALL saved seats MUST be released 15 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony.

Transportation and Parking

All Commencement ceremonies take place on the Towson University campus in the SECU Arena. Information about Commencement day parking and transportation services may be found at Parking and Transportation Services Events.

We strongly recommend wearing comfortable shoes, due to the significant walking distance, from the parking lots and bus drop off locations, to the SECU Arena.

International Guests

Towson University encourages the families of our international students to visit their student and the U.S. for vacation, graduation or any other reason. Visitors will likely need a B-2 visitor visa which is obtained through application at the U.S. consulate nearest to their home city. Applicants should expect to be interviewed by a consular officer and must satisfactorily establish the following:

  • the purpose of their trip to the United States
  • the period of intended stay
  • evidence of funds to adequately cover their expenses
  • evidence of compelling ties to their home country
  • compelling evidence that they will return to their home country after the visit

Commonly required documents for the application include:

  • DS 160 visa application form
  • valid passport
  • passport photos
  • evidence to establish purpose of trip
  • evidence of financial support
  • letter of invitation from student (student should make request to the International Student & Scholar Office) 

Please note: All applications should check their specific U.S. Embassy website for a complete listing of visa application requirements

Helpful Resources

Hotel Accommodations

Please visit Accommodations for a listing of local hotels in the area.

Special Needs

Accessible Parking and Transportation*

Guests with mobility needs who have a state issued handicap hangtag or license plate may park in Lot 21. No additional parking permit is needed for these individuals.

Guests with mobility needs, who DO NOT have a state issued handicap license plate or hangtag, should park in the Union garage. Shuttles and Paratransit services will be available from the Union garage to the Towson Center.  

Guests parking in Lots 13 and 14 must have a lot-specific hang-tag to park in these areas.

After the ceremony, shuttles and the Paratransit will be available to transport passengers back to all parking lots. For those with mobility issues who are returning to Lots 13, 14, 21 or the  the Union Garage, please look for posted signs outside of the Towson Center to direct you to the appropriate shuttle.

More information about commencement day parking can be found at Parking and Transportation Services Events.

Special Wheelchair Transport*

Special wheelchair transport will be available to take guests from the lobby of the Towson Center to appropriate seats in the SECU Arena. At the conclusion of the ceremony, guests are asked to remain in their seats until a wheelchair transport service staff returns with a wheelchair to take guests back to the Towson Center lobby. 

Please note that the wheelchair transport service staff may not leave the building and cars may not pull up in front of the Towson Center. Therefore, families will need to make arrangements for getting individuals to and from the building and/or on shuttles without assistance or equipment from Towson University staff.


Towson University offers special needs seating areas for our guests. These areas are located on the concourse level of SECU Arena and are limited to the person with special needs plus one guest. These areas are limited in seating so please be courteous to other guests. Reserved seating will be available in Section 104 for guests who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. Sign language interpreters will interpret the entire ceremony in this section.

Please inform an usher when you enter the SECU Arena if you require any of the above accommodations.

*All special needs services and seating are available to the guest with special needs plus one additional guest only, due to space limitations

Commemorative Keepsakes

Flowers and commemorative t-shirts will be available for purchase outside of the Towson U-Store tent in the SECU courtyard. There will also be a Towson U-Store Concessions stand open in the SECU Arena throughout the duration of the ceremonies. Items available for purchase include diploma frames, souvenir tassels, mugs, t-shirts, and more.

For additional items, please visit Towson U-Store.