Spring Commencement and Date Change


If you are graduating in the May (spring) Commencement ceremonies, we highly recommend that you speak to your guests to plan for Commencement weekend, pending further information regarding the Grizzlies NBA Playoff Schedule. We recommend booking any return flights (transportation) either late on Sunday (depending on the graduating students college or school) or Monday morning following Commencement. Please share the spring possible back up date information with all guests (immediate and extended family and friends). We appreciate your help in helping us spread the word.

SPRING Commencement and the NBA grizzlies

The University of Memphis hosts Commencement at the FedExForum, the only indoor facility in the city big enough to permit unlimited guests for all of our graduates. The FedExForum is home to the Memphis Grizzlies. All events other than games of the Grizzlies can be cancelled should the team need the facility.

If the Grizzlies have a spectacular season like last season in future seasons and make the post-season playoffs, the Spring Commencement date MAY be affected. This would be a result of the National Basketball Association determining the Grizzlies would host a home-playoff game on the same day as graduation. This in mind, the University of Memphis has worked with the FedExForum to determine the Spring Commencement date and an alternate date in the case of a home playoff game. We hope your schedules will be clear for both dates! Please speak to your guests, family and friends to plan their schedules accordingly to avoid missing your momentous and historic event-graduation day! We look forward to having you join us to celebrate your graduation day!

Please note - if you are graduating in May of any year, please have your guests plan for the weekend of graduation (both Saturday and Sunday) to avoid missing this historical event in your life!

Frequently Asked Questions and Notes: Concerning the May Possible Date Change

  1. Why don't we move to another venue?

    This May, the UofM will confer 2,500 degrees for our students. Our students bring enough guests to nearly fill the FedExForum – 19,000 seats! In comparison, the Cannon Center seats 3,000. We have actively explored other options and unfortunately, there are no other suitable venues for our spring ceremonies.

  2. Couldn't we have Commencement the same day as a game?

    This option has been explored. This is not possible because TV has to load in and there are shoot around, game presentation, rehearsals and several other things not including the flooring, etc. Moreover, graduates are seated on the court floor, which requires time for set up and clean up after both ceremonies. An additional significant issue is filling and emptying the Forum and parking garages after each ceremony. It isn't easy to quickly move 20,000 people and their vehicles!

  3. What if the Grizzlies end up playing during Commencement weekend at the FedExForum?

    NBA Playoff games are not scheduled back-to-back, so if the Grizzlies play on our original Saturday, they will more than likely NOT play on Sunday.

  4. Why doesn't the UofM Commencement get precedence over the Grizzlies game?

    The FedExForum was built for and is operated by the Memphis Grizzlies franchise. The UofM rents the facility on an as-needed basis. Grizzlies games are scheduled by the NBA and always take precedence over other activities. 

    The NBA determines the play off and play schedule for the NBA Playoff Teams. They tell the Forum when and what date games are played, and it is not movable.

    You are allowed to walk at a later date, if you are certified for the spring term, and unable to participate due to the possible date change. Please contact commencement@memphis.edu for details.