The 2024 Columbus College of Art & Design Commencement will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 11, 2024 at Wexner Center for the Arts’ Mershon Auditorium, located on The Ohio State University campus at 1871 N. High St. Columbus, Ohio, 43210. Students will gather at the assembly area no later than 9 a.m. The front doors will open for your guests at 9 a.m.


Location

Saturday, May 11, 2024,  10 a.m.–noon
Wexner Center for the Arts' Mershon Auditorium
1871 N. High St., Columbus, Ohio OH 43210
 

Parking Map

Parking information

There are many options for parking when coming to Mershon Auditorium.

On-campus parking is available at:

● Arps Garage, to the north of Mershon Auditorium on High Street, is available for visitor parking after 4 p.m. and on weekends.

● Ohio Union South Garage, just a little south of Mershon Auditorium is accessible from High Street and College Road.

● Wheelchair-accessible parking is available in the Ohio Union South Garage. There are also a very limited number of spaces in front of Mershon Auditorium; please note that some of these are reserved for Ohio State permit holders.

These are your closest options to the Mershon Auditorium. 

For additional information please visit the CampusParc website. This will provide you with the most up-to-date parking information for The Ohio State University campus and provide a list of additional parking options.

Please note Mershon Auditorium’s security policies:

Bag policy

Bags—with the exception of medical bags, diaper bags, or clutches (no larger than 8 inches by 5 inches by 1 inch)—are not permitted.

Food and beverage policy

Neither outside food nor beverages are permitted.

Security screenings

All attendees are subject to search. If prohibited or offensive items are found, guests may return them to their vehicle or surrender to Security without return.   

We appreciate your understanding and request your patience during the screening process.


 

Seating

Tickets are required to enter the commencement ceremony.

Students can pick up to eight tickets for guests and their cap and gown—Monday, April 15–Friday, April 26, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. If you need more than eight tickets, we will distribute extras per senior on a first-come, first-served basis Friday, April 26–Friday, May 3, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. in the Student Central area on the first floor of Crane Center.

Where to stay 

Visit experiencecolumbus.com to learn more about accommodations in central Ohio. 

Accessibility

Mershon Auditorium does not have an elevator. Main floor accessible seating is available for individuals with limited mobility or those using wheelchairs, and their companions. To make advance accessible seating arrangements or request accommodations, please contact Accessibility Manager at [email protected] or call 614.688.3890.

For guests with tickets, seating at the Mershon Auditorium is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Where to eat

Planning lunch or dinner after Commencement? Go to Experience Columbus for information on nearby restaurants. Want to check out a locally owned restaurant? Click here to dine local.


2024 Commencement Speaker: Andrew Levitt (a.k.a. Nina West) 

Andrew Levitt_Nina West_Headshot

Andrew Levitt is an actor, singer, songwriter, writer, producer, and LGBTQ+ activist most known for his drag queen persona Nina West, who was named the “Most Googled Drag Queen in The World” from 2020 to 2021 with over 7.8 billion unique searches. Nina West rose to national prominence in 2019 on season 11 of VH1’s Emmy-winning show RuPaul's Drag Race, placing sixth and receiving the coveted title of Miss Congeniality. Nina West returned to the show in 2021 as a guest and was anointed “America’s Sweetheart” by RuPaul herself. Nina West made history at the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards in September 2019 as the first person to walk the carpet in full drag; that year, Drag Race won five Primetime Emmy Awards, including Best Reality Competition Show.

 Nina West has released three EPs: John Goodman, a musical comedy EP, reached no. 2 on the Billboard Comedy Charts; Drag Is Magic, a children’s music album, reached no. 9 on the Billboard Children’s Charts; and The West Christmas Ever, featuring Disney legend Jim Cummings, debuted at no. 5 on the Billboard Comedy Charts. Levitt provided the sole voice for the animated short Coaster, which was shortlisted for a 2020 Oscar.

In 2021, Levitt partnered with Nickelodeon and Blue’s Clues for a series of Pride videos—Blue’s Clues Pride Parade Sing-Along ft. Nina West and The Meaning of Pride ft. Drag Queen Nina West—that went viral with over 2 million views. In June 2021, Levitt, as Nina West, hosted the Disney+ special This Is Me: Pride Celebration Spectacular, a celebration of the LGBTQ+ community with Disney classics reinterpreted by LGBTQ+ artists like Hayley Kiyoko, Todrick Hall, and Alex Newell; and  Say It With Pride: Disney+ Celebrates Pride 365, performing with the legendary composer and pianist Alan Menken. 

Levitt recently completed a two-year stint starring as Edna Turnblad in the 20th anniversary touring Broadway production of Hairspray, and made his big screen debut (billed as Nina West) as the infamous drag queen Divine in 2022's Emmy-winning Weird: The Al Yankovic Story.

Learn more about this year’s speaker at ninawest.com, on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Spotify, and Facebook


Graduation Information for Students

Congrats! All that hard work paid off, and you made it. We're excited to celebrate your awesome accomplishment at Commencement. But first, there are a few things you need to do.

Eligibility for graduation

In order to be eligible for graduation, you must: 

  • Complete a BFA degree with a a minimum of 120 term credit hours in required courses or complete a MFA degree with a minimum of 60 term credit hours in required courses. 
  • Have a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or better for a BFA degree (or 3.0 or better for an MFA).
  • Meet the appropriate residency requirements. (See student handbook for details).
  • Complete and submit an application for graduation before the deadline for the term you intend to graduate. Seniors who fail to complete an application for graduation on time will not receive their degrees.

It’s on you.

Seniors are responsible for reviewing their completed coursework, with respect to graduation requirements, to ensure fulfillment of all degree requirements. This includes both your completed work at CCAD and any transfer credit from other institutions. It is your responsibility as a graduating senior to ensure that we receive all updated transcripts from other institutions prior to your last semester of attendance. All transcripts from other institutions must be addressed to the attention of the registrar.

Your faculty, academic leaders, and academic advisors are not responsible for ensuring that you have completed the required courses.

All candidates for graduation must have all delays of service cleared no later than two weeks prior to graduation. Any graduate with a delay of service will not receive service of any kind from CCAD, including the awarding of a degree or diploma, transcript service and other services requested. If you want to participate in the commencement ceremony and actually get your diploma during the ceremony, you must meet all deadlines, complete all academic requirements successfully and clear all delay-of-service holds.

If you're a graduating senior and you have questions regarding your requirement status, contact your advisor or associate dean, or stop by the Registrar's Office.


 

Graduate clearance checklist

Please remember that if you have any outstanding debts or have not been cleared by the offices listed below, all service will be delayed and you will not receive your degree, transcripts (for employment, graduate school, etc.), and will have all other services stopped until the problem is resolved. Please use the following checklist to ensure you have cleared all areas prior to Friday May 3, 2024:

• LIBRARY
• FINANCIAL AID
• PERKINS (if applicable)
• DEPARTMENTAL FINES (if applicable)
• BURSAR

Student loan information: All students who had Federal Direct Student Loans and/or Perkins Loans while attending CCAD must complete an Exit interview with the federal government and CCAD. These are two separate loan programs. The Perkins loan exit interview can be completed by logging on to myloancounseling.com. The Federal Direct Student Loan exit interview must be completed by logging on to studentaid.gov. CCAD will be notified electronically once you complete this process.

Failure to complete the online loan exit interview process will prohibit us from giving you your degree.

Cap and gown, Commencement announcements, and tickets

Your cap, gown, and tickets will be available for pickup 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily Monday, April 15–Friday, April 26in the Student Central area on the first floor of Crane CenterIf eight tickets are not enough for your family and friends, we will try to accomodate your request on a first-come, first-served basis from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, April 26, through Friday, May 3, in the Student Central area on the first floor of Crane Center.

If you would like to order personalized announcements at your own cost you can call JOSTENS directly at 1.800.854.7464 or go to jostens.com. PLEASE make sure to allow at least two weeks processing time for Jostens for any individual announcement order.

 Dates & deadlines

  • Final grades are due from the faculty at noon, Friday May 3, 2024. We will distribute special graduate lists to faculty; however, please be sure to remind your instructors that you are a May graduate. You can check your grades and all holds online via Self Service.

 

  • Commencement rehearsal is Tuesday, May 7, 2024 at 1:30 p.m. Students can enter through the main entrance at the Wexner Center for the Arts’ Mershon Auditorium.You must arrive in the rehearsal area prior to the 1:30 p.m. rehearsal start. You will NOT need your cap, gown and hood for the rehearsal. However, you must pick up all the items prior to rehearsal day. During the rehearsal we will show you the proper manner for wearing your apparel, particularly the hood.
     
  • Commencement is Saturday, May 11, 2024 at 10:00 a.m. Students will gather at the assembly area no later than 9 a.m. The front doors will open for your guests at 9 a.m.

​​​​


Class of 2024 reception:TBD

The Class of 2024 reception will be announced soon. 


After Graduation Plans

Have you completed an internship, accepted a job offer, or enrolled in graduate school? CCAD wants to learn about your plans after graduation! Keep an eye on your CCAD email in April regarding the First Destination Survey in Handshake. You may still be searching for the best next step. If so, you may schedule a career advising appointment on Handshake at ccad.joinhandshake.com/login, by calling Career Services at 614.222.4045, or emailing [email protected].

Furthermore, if you're considering furthering your education with one of CCAD's graduate programs, there's still time to apply. All of our graduate degrees qualify for alumni scholarships and federal financial aid. To explore these opportunities further, please reach out to [email protected].

We are excited for you as you look forward to your graduation!

Here are a few boxes to check as you prepare for graduation. Keep in mind that you will NOT receive your diploma and you will not be able to get an official transcript if you have a hold due to unpaid fees or fines. You can check for holds online on Self Service.

Action: Pay your balance in full online or email [email protected] to make arrangements to pay in full. If you have a balance that will not be paid in full before the end of the term, contact the Bursar and set up new payment arrangements by signing a new extension. 

Action: Confirm amounts owed with the library and make payment either online using Self Service or email the library with any questions at [email protected] .

Action: Email [email protected] to make arrangements to bring your ticket to Student Central and make payment. If you are unsure if you have a parking fine, you can check with the Safety & Security Office. 

Action: Confirm with your instructor whether you have a fine that needs to be paid. If you have an unpaid fine, email [email protected] to make arrangements to have the fine added to your account, and make payment. 

Action: Complete your Federal Direct Student Loan exit counseling at studentaid.gov. Complete your Perkins exit counseling at myloancounseling.com. For answers to any specific questions, you can contact Financial Aid at [email protected] or call 614.222.3295.

After graduation, access to your CCAD account and services will be discontinued. Here are the important dates you need to know:

  • 90 days after graduation, your access to Moodle, Microsoft services including Office, Teams, and OneDrive, Adobe Creative Cloud, and campus WiFi will be discontinued. You will still have access to your CCAD email and Google services including Google Drive storage.
  • 6 months after graduation, your CCAD account will be disabled, so you will no longer be able to log into your CCAD email or use Google services.

Background:

CCAD had previously been able to maintain Google accounts for students after becoming alumni because Google provided higher education institutions with unlimited storage for their services. Google, however, has decided to impose limits on digital storage for colleges and universities. Because of this, CCAD will no longer maintain alumni accounts after July 15, 2022. However, as recent graduates, you will have a grace period lasting six months after graduation.

That means that all email and data in your account and Google Drive associated with CCAD will need to be transferred to a personal email account and will no longer be available six months after graduation. Purchases made with your account and third-party integrations are not able to be transferred.

Suggested next steps:

  1. Update your contact information here
     
  2. Handshake (CCAD’s job board site) You can continue to access your Handshake account by adding a new email address to your account and making it your “primary” email address. You can then use the new email address to login to your account. Follow the instructions in this guide to complete the process: 
  3. Google offers free personal accounts. Sign-up information can be found here. Have more than 15 GB of data in your CCAD account? Information about upgrading your personal account with more storage can be found here
     
  4. If you already have a personal Google account, Google has a data migration tool called Google Takeout that will help you export all of your email and data. Follow the steps here to export your CCAD email and Google Drive data to a new Gmail account or a number of different services. You can find more detailed instructions for Google Takeout here.
     
  5. You can find more information and resources about the upcoming changes to alumni Google accounts here