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

Arena Safety 

The following procedures to maintain safety at major events SECU Arena were established based on a review of TU’s security measures and an assessment of best practices at similar institutions and event destinations across the country.


Guest bags will be checked prior to event entrance, and bags larger than 22 x 12 x 8 inches will not be permitted in the arena (degree candidates should review the policy regarding bag size permitted in the robing room/processional under the section on Policies for Degree Candidates below). Guests with bags or other prohibited items will not be able to stow their items, and will be asked to discard these items or return them to their vehicle. Boxes that are 22 x 12 x 8 inches will be available at the entrance to the arena for size reference. Prohibited items include:

  • alcohol, food or beverages
  • animals (with the exception of service animals)
  • audio or video recording equipment
  • bags/purses larger than 22 x 12 x 8"
  • Bota bags, wineskins or flasks
  • balloons, confetti, streamers, glitter, fireworks, etc.
  • balls, bikes, hoverboards, roller blades, scooters, etc.
  • cameras with lenses greater than 8"(including monopods and tripods)
  • cigarettes, vapes, etc.
  • containers, coolers, flasks, baskets, etc.
  • drones or airborne devices
  • illegal drugs
  • knives over 3” in length
  • laser pointers, markers, dry erase boards, paint, etc.
  • noisemaking devices
  • open umbrellas
  • sticks or poles, including selfie-sticks
  • weapons (common examples include, but are not limited to: aerosol cans, mace, pepper spray, firearms, including CCW permit holders, pocket knives, knives, spiked bracelets, brass knuckles, martial arts weapons, stun guns, and chains)

Metal Detection

Handheld metal detectors operated by Safe Management (security staff contracted by the university) employees will be used to check guests prior to event entrance. When attending an event, please give yourself adequate time for going through the safety procedures. Get more information on event procedures at Unitas Stadium and campus safety prevention

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.

Tickets and Arrival 

The SECU arena will open for guests at 8:30 a.m. for the morning ceremonies and 1:30 p.m. for the afternoon ceremonies. Families, friends and guests of participants should find seating while graduates go to their designated assembly areas. Guests are not permitted in the assembly areas.

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.

Please be advised that any guest who enters the arena will need a ticket, including infants and children (as required by the Fire Marshall). Anyone who attempts to enter the SECU arena without a ticket will be denied entrance. Please refer to the Tickets page for more information on this policy. 

All sections in the arena, with the exception of mobility impaired and interpreter services seating, are general first-come, first-served seating. To ensure that you have the best possible seat, we recommend arriving when doors open. 

Special Accomodations

Accessible Parking and Transportation*

Guests with mobility impairments 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 impairments, 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.

mobility impaired Seating*

Towson University offers mobility impaired seating areas for our guests. These areas are located on the concourse level of SECU Arena and are limited to the person with the mobility impairment plus one companion. Please inform an usher when you enter the SECU Arena if you require this accommodation.

interpreter services*

Interpreters for the deaf will be present at each ceremony. This seating (in Section 104) is clearly marked and anyone who has a hearing impairment is welcome to sit in this area. Seating in this area is on a first come, first served basis. Please inform an usher when you enter the SECU Arena if you require this accommodation.  

* These areas are limited in seating so please be courteous to other guests using these accomodations. Due to space limitations, all mobility impaired seating and interpreter services seating are available to the guest needing the service plus one additional companion only.

service animals

Service animals as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and in accordance with university policy are allowed at the ceremony.  All other animals are prohibited from the  commencement ceremonies.  See the University Policy 06-18.00 for additional information.

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.

Commemorative Keepsakes

Flowers will be available for purchase outside of the Towson U-Store tent in the SECU courtyard. Guests are encouraged to visit the Towson U-Store (in the University Union) for keepsakes. Items available for purchase include diploma frames, souvenir tassels, mugs, t-shirts, and more. For additional information, please visit Towson U-Store.