Guests with Disabilities

Commencement ceremonies are hosted at the Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum on the campus of Sam Houston State University. See the Commencement Schedules page for more information.

The instructions below only apply to ceremonies hosted at the Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum.

  • Please arrive at least 45 minutes prior to the ceremony.
  • Enter the Coliseum through the east tunnel (see parking directions below).

If you have any questions about arrangements for parents or guests with disabilities, please contact the office of the Registrar at 936.294.1040 or

Parking for commencement guests in wheelchairs or with mobility impairment:

Refer to the university map ( and proceed to the parking area located east of the coliseum at the intersection of Avenue H (Bobby K Marks Dr.) and Bowers Boulevard (directions here).  This area is designated specifically for guests with mobility impairment or those requiring wheelchair access. Ushers will be available to direct guests to the east tunnel and then to the special seating area reserved in the coliseum for guests in wheelchairs. Limited seating is provided on the floor of the coliseum.

University Police are available to answer questions as you approach the coliseum.

Parking for all other commencement guests with disabilities:

Proceed to the parking area located in the Eleanor and Charles Garrett Teacher Education Center parking lot and the south end of the Newton Gresham Library parking (purple area on map). University police officers will be available to direct guests to the special seating area reserved in the coliseum for guests with disabilities.

Special Seating on the Coliseum Floor for Guests with Disabilities:

Those guests with disabilities who wish to sit in special sections on the coliseum floor will be directed to those areas by University Police Officers and ushers. Because space on the Coliseum floor is severely limited, each guest with a disability may be accompanied by no more than one person.

Please understand that as much as we would like to accommodate every family member or friend wanting to remain with a disabled guest on the floor, our doing so would invariably mean that some disabled guests would be deprived of seating there. Also, for reasons of safety, the general public is not allowed on the floor before, during, or after the commencement ceremony. We must ensure that the lines of graduates move rapidly and without interruption along the sides of the coliseum during the time degrees are being conferred.

Therefore, we request that you observe the rules which apply strictly to other guests in the Coliseum: Please do not step outside the area roped off for disabled guests to take pictures, and please do not visit with any of the graduates as they pass by in lines either going towards the stage to receive their degrees or headed away from the stage towards the back of the Coliseum.

Hearing devices are available (on a first come first requested basis) for checkout during the commencement ceremonies following appropriate sign-out procedures.  Please visit Office 235 in the Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum the day of the event for more information on obtaining the device.