With a snowstorm predicted to arrive Thursday night, Northern Arizona University is changing its plans for Friday’s commencement in order to create a safer experience for graduates and their families.

Friday’s 9 a.m. ceremony now will move to 10 a.m., while the ceremonies scheduled for 1 and 5 p.m. are being combined into one ceremony at 3 p.m. Graduating students should plan to arrive at the Skydome no later than one hour prior to the start of their ceremony.

“Out of consideration for everyone’s travel plans, we feel that it’s important to keep commencement on Friday,” said NAU President John Haeger. “At the same time, we urge all those who are traveling, especially by car, to check the forecast updates and be as safe as possible.”

Those driving to and around Flagstaff should allow plenty of time to travel and should plan to dress appropriately for snowy conditions. Up-to-date road conditions and travel tips are available online from the Arizona Department of Transportation, and additional seasonal driving tips are available from NAU. Monitor the weather forecast through the National Weather Service.

Both ceremonies will be held in the Skydome. Some changes to familiar parking and traffic patterns may be encountered, but signage, NAU staff and volunteers will guide visitors to the venue, and shuttles will run from outlying lots to the ceremonies.

Commencement ceremonies are now scheduled as follows:

Friday, Dec. 14
10 a.m.

This ceremony is for undergraduate students in:

  • The College of Arts and Letters
  • The College of Engineering, Forestry and Natural Sciences
  • The College of Health and Human Services
  • The W.A. Franke College of Business
  • University College

Friday, Dec. 14
3 p.m.
This ceremony is for graduate students in all colleges, and for undergraduate students in the following:

  • The College of Education
  • The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Extended Campuses

Details about NAU’s fall commencement ceremonies can be found online. Watch the ceremonies live online.

NAU is asking that students who have no plans to participate in or attend commencement consider leaving campus as early as possible Thursday to avoid the expected inclement weather and to minimize campus traffic on Friday.

Two individuals will be recognized during the ceremonies with honorary degrees for their continued support of Northern Arizona University. William C. Harris, president and chief executive officer of Science Foundation Arizona, will be presented with an honorary doctoral degree during the 10 a.m. commencement ceremony, and U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Robin R. Braun, NAU alumna and first female leader of the Naval Reserve, will receive an honorary doctoral degree during the 3 p.m. ceremony.