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. 

Policies for Guests

  • Doors open for guests 90 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony (8:30 a.m. for the morning ceremonies and 1:30 p.m. for the afternoon ceremonies). All seating is first-come first -served, general seating. There is no assigned seating in any sections of the arena.

  • Guests should remain in their seats for the duration of the ceremony (approximately two hours).

  • Guests are not permitted to stand on the concourse level to watch the ceremony and will be directed to a seat.

  • Guests may not block the aisles or passageways by attempting to greet or take photos with graduates.

  • To allow for the names of all degree candidates to be heard by their family members and guests, we ask all audience members to be considerate of other graduates’ guests by providing no more than 3 seconds of celebration or applause for their graduate.

  • Guests who bring or use signs, fireworks, beach balls, balloons, air horns, bells or noisemakers will be asked to leave the 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.

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.