2014 Commencement Ceremony

136th Commencement Ceremony • Saturday, May 17, 2014 | 10 am

Nourse Theater •  275 Hayes Street, San Francisco
Reception to follow at the SFAI Chestnut Campus • 800 Chestnut Street, San Francisco

The Nourse Theater will open at 9 am for the arrival and seating of guests. A champagne reception will follow the commencement ceremony, and the festivities will take place at the Chestnut Street campus.

This page contains important information and action items for the 2014 Commencement Ceremony. Please read this information carefully, and check back often for updates and additional information. If you have any questions, please contact Anthony Molinar.

Reply Card*

Due: Friday, March 28 by 5 pm

All degree candidates are required to complete the online reply card no later than Friday, March 28. This is the most important step to take in order to participate in the commencement ceremony and to be included in the program, so please do not delay! The reply card takes just a moment to complete. If you need to make changes to a reply card that you have already submitted, please contact Anthony Molinar.

*Please note this is separate from the Petition to Graduate, which must be completed with the registrar's office.

Student Speakers

Nominations Due: Monday, March 24 by 5 pm

Submit the nomination form to the Student Affairs office or by email to Anthony Molinar. The nomination form is a fillable PDF if opened in Adobe Acrobat.

Draft Speeches Due: Friday, April 11 by 5 pm. Nominees will be contacted with more information regarding this step.

Interested in speaking at commencement? Know someone who might be? Consider nominating yourself or a fellow student to serve as a speaker at commencement. One Undergraduate student and one Graduate student will be selected.

Speeches will be heard by the Commencement Committee on Monday, April 21.

Mural Wall Submissions

Proposals Due: Friday, April 11

The Student Affairs Office invites proposals for the 2014 Commencement Mural Wall. The wall offers an opportunity to convey the emotion and celebratory nature of the day for graduating students, their family and friends, faculty, and staff. A successful proposal will combine an innovative design with careful consideration of the spirit of the event.

Proposals will be considered from any current SFAI student or group of students, but priority will be given to graduating students. A committee of faculty, staff, and students will assemble to choose the winning proposal. A small stipend will be provided to the successful applicant(s) to purchase supplies. Download a proposal form here.

Commencement Slide Show

Submission Deadline: Friday, May 2 by 5 pm

All graduating students are encouraged to submit images for use in the commencement slideshow. Instructions for submitting your images can be found here.

BFA Exhibition Submission Process

Submission Deadline: Friday, April 25 by 5 pm

View the Submission Guidelines then complete the online application. All BFA students are encouraged to apply.

Academic Honors and Awards Ceremony

Save the Date: Friday, May 9, 4 pm

The annual Academic Honors and Awards Ceremony will be held in the Chestnut Lecture Hall.

Commencement Information Sessions

Please plan to join us at one of the following information sessions. We will go over details for the ceremony, procession, and reception, and answer any questions you might have regarding graduation, exhibitions, and the Honors and Awards Ceremony:

Monday, April 7, 12–1 pm, Third Street Lecture Hall

Friday, April 11, 12–1 pm, Chestnut Lecture Hall

Financial Aid Exit Counseling

Financial Aid will host two financial aid exit counseling sessions in April. Exit counseling is mandatory for all students who received student loans while attending SFAI.

The Undergraduate Financial Aid Exit Interview will be held at the Chestnut Campus on Tuesday, April 15 from 10 am1pm in Studio 20A.

The Graduate Financial Aid Exit Interview will be held at the Third Street Campus on Friday, April 18 from 14 pm. Financial Aid Advisors will be stationed at the computers in the Student Lounge.

Cap and Gown

Caps and gowns are optional for the ceremony. If you are interested in purchasing a cap and gown for the occasion, visit this website to make your order. Use the promo code "SFAI2014" for a 20% discount. Orders must be placed by April 15 to receive the discounted rate, so don't delay! The discount covers the Bachelor and Master Caps, Gowns, and Hoods in the "Freedom" material.

Commencement Ceremony Photographs

A photographer will be on site to photograph graduates as they receive their commemorative scroll on stage. Proofs will be sent to the address noted on your Reply Card. Students are not obligated to purchase photos.

Visit the GradImages website and click on the Pre-Event Email Registration link. In the search field, enter ‘San Francisco Art Institute’. Enter your profile information and up to 6 emails of loved ones who would like to share in your accomplishment by viewing and ordering your photos. By submitting your information to GradImages early, you can rest assured that photo samples will be quickly and conveniently provided to you and all others registered as soon as they are available after the event.

Hotel Accomodations

San Francisco Art Institute Graduation Block

Thursday–Sunday, May 1518

To access the special group rate, group attendees may either call the 800#, or book online using the convenient link below, entering the online booking code.

Holiday Inn Fisherman’s Wharf1300 Columbus Avenue

Reservations: (800) 942-7348 (Specify San Francisco Art Institute Block)

Reservations for the San Francisco Art Institute Graduation Block at the Holiday Inn Fisherman's Wharf

Online Booking Code: ART

Group rate:

$235.00 per room, per night, plus tax, single/double occupancy, plus $20 per additional occupant with existing bedding.

Group Release Date: Reservations must be made and guaranteed on or before Monday, April 21

Additionally, the Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express offer preferred rates to the SFAI community all year long. If you would like to book rooms outside of the dates above, or if there are no rooms available in the designated room block, please try these links:

Reservations for the San Francisco Art Institute at the Holiday Inn Fisherman's Wharf

Reservations for the San Francisco Art Institute at the Holiday Inn Express Fisherman's Wharf

Parking Information

Ceremony: The Nourse Theater is centrally located, and close to many parking garages. Check back as the date of the ceremony approaches for more information on parking and other transportation options.

Reception: Parking near the SFAI Chestnut Street Campus is limited. Guests are encouraged to park at one of the following locations:

  • Imperial Parking, 350 Bay Street, San Francisco, CA, 415.986.9030
  • Cost Plus Garage, 455 North Point Street, San Francisco, CA, 415.441.6932

Commencement Day Details for Graduating Students

All graduates must check in no later than 9 am at the Nourse Theater. Please note that service animals are the only animals allowed on the premises at the Nourse Theater as well as the SFAI Chestnut Street Campus.

Students will receive a commemorative scroll on commencement day and the official diploma will be mailed to you at the end of the summer. Please make sure you submit your permanent mailing address to the Office of Registration and Records.

Petition to Graduate

If you have not yet filed your petition to graduate, please contact the Registrar's office right away at registrar@sfai.edu. Please note that this process is separate from the online reply card.