Frequently Asked Questions


Seating at Koessler
Ceremony Questions
Buffalo Area


Q: Where are the various venues located?
A: Koessler Athletic Center, the site of the Undergraduate Ceremony, Graduate Ceremony and the Baccalaureate Mass, is situated at the corner of Main Street and Delavan Avenue. The assembly area for students is located in the Patrick E. Lee Center which located at the back of the building.

Q: What about parking facilities at the venues?
A: All the lots near the Koessler Athletic Center (including a parking ramp) are available for those attending the Undergraduate Ceremony, Graduate Ceremony and the Baccalaureate Mass. There will be shuttle service for parking rotating around campus. Handicap parking will be available in the lot next to Koessler Athletic Center (Upper Lot). Here is a map of campus: [PDF]

Q: I have relatives who have difficulty walking long distances. Will there be a shuttle or a drop off point to assist us ?
A: Yes, both will be available. Shuttles will be rotating between parking lots to pick up any guests and bringing them to Koessler. Guests can be dropped off at the upper Koessler Atheltic Center lot. Public Safety will be available to help direct you where you need to go.

Seating at Koessler

Q. Are there areas for handicapped seating at the graduation ceremonies?
A: There are areas reserved for those in wheelchairs at Koessler Athletic Center. In order to accommodate as many people as possible, we ask that only one other family member remain in this area with the special-needs individual. There is very limited seating for those with difficulty climbing stairs in rows directly off the entrances into the main hall at both locations. No wheelchairs will be available on-site for use during the events, so please bring your own if you know you will be in need of one.

Remember that the ceremony is available for viewing in real time on the Web or may be downloaded from Canisius College iTunes, so some family members and friends may be more comfortable remaining at home for the event and watching the ceremony from there.

Ceremony Questions

Q: What time do my guests and I need to arrive for the ceremonies?
A: As noted on the schedule...

For the 2019 Graduate Ceremony (Wednesday), Graduate students are to report to the Patrick Lee Center (behind Koessler Athletic Center) by 6:00pm on Wednesday and seating for our guests will begin at the same hour.

At the Baccalaureate Mass in Koessler on Friday, students are seated with their families and we ask that you be in attendance by 4:30pm that day (remember that graduates are to wear gowns but NOT hoods or caps to the Mass).

2019 Undergraduate Ceremonies (Saturday):

  • For the General ceremony (10am), Undergraduates are to report by 9:00am on to Patrick Lee Center in the Koessler Athletic Center, and doors will open for our guests at 9:00am for general admission seating on a first-come, first-seated basis. Guests should be in their seats NO LATER THAN 9:45 am so that they may view the Academic Procession which begins precisely at that time.
  • For the School of Education and Human Services and the Wehle School of Business ceremony (12:30pm), the doors will open at 11:45am.
  • For the College of Arts & Sciences ceremony (3pm), the doors will open at 2:15pm.

Q: How long is the commencement ceremony?
A: The graduate ceremony usually lasts approximately 1-1/2 hours, the Baccalaureate Mass about 1 hour, and the undergraduate ceremonies each will last approximately 1 - 1 1/2 hours each. Knowing this time frame may assist you in making reservations for dinner or other festivities.

Q: I'm not a Catholic; may I attend the Baccalaureate Mass? May graduate students attend?
A: Absolutely yes to both questions! We invite you to join with us to honor all members of the graduating class regardless of their religious background and their degree. The Mass is a prayerful, inclusive liturgy of celebration and includes an opportunity for graduates to thank and bless their families. Richard J. Malone, DD, Bishop of Buffalo, will be the main celebrant at the Mass; he will be joined by members of the Jesuit community as con-celebrants as the college family gathers to express gratitude for all the blessings bestowed upon our graduating students.

Q: For the undergraduate ceremonies, my student will not walk across the stage until the third ceremony. What can we do in between the first and third ceremony on campus?
A: Following the General ceremony on Saturday, a brunch will be served in the Richard E. Winter Student Center, Economou Dining Hall. The bookstore will have a location in Koessler Athletic Center, but will also have the main store open for families to shop. Photo opportunities will be available all over campus - Petey will also be wearing his graduation cap for a special photo with our graduates!


Q: Will there be an ATM in the facility in case I would like to purchase gifts, flowers or refreshments?
A: Koessler Athletic Center does not have an ATM in the building. There is an ATM located in the Richard E. Winter Student Center, lower level, near the bookstore. Also, there is an M&T Bank on Main Street within walking distance of Koessler Athletic Center.

Buffalo Area

Q: Is there a list of hotels that give a reduced rate to guests who may be coming in from out of town?
A: From the Commencement web page there is a link to a list of accommodations that are quoting reduced rates for guests attending the Canisius events. Remember to identify yourself as such in making reservations.

Q: Any good ideas of where to visit while in the Buffalo area?
A: To check other points of interest in the area, go to the website for the Buffalo Niagara Convention and Visitors; Bureau:


If you have further questions, please contact the Office of Event Services at 716-888-2180 or email