We are happy that you will join us in celebrating the great accomplishments of your graduates. Below you will find all the information you need regarding the 2020 Commencement ceremony.
City Colleges of Chicago will hold two separate ceremonies on Saturday, May 2nd, 2020 at the Wintrust Arena, located at 200 E. Cermak Rd., Chicago, IL 60616.
Doors Open: 8:00AM
Ceremony Begins: 9:00AM
Doors Open: 1:30PM
Ceremony Begins: 2:30PM
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We encourage you to capture this special moment with your graduate. You are welcome to take pictures before or after the ceremony.
GradImages, a professional photography company, will take two photos of graduates during the Commencement Ceremony: 1) as they shake hands with their college president and 2) as they exit the stage holding their degree cover. Approximately one week after the ceremony, your graduate will receive an email from GradImages to their CCC email with instructions to view and order their photos.
No photographers will be permitted on the floor at the Wintrust Arena. Guests will NOT be allowed to access the floor to present flowers or otherwise interrupt the proceedings. Please make arrangements with your graduate to meet outside the Wintrust Arena after the ceremony.
Information & Concessions
City Colleges volunteers will be located throughout the Wintrust Arena to help direct or answer any questions you may have. Please look for the volunteer badges.
Wintrust Arena will have concessions open, with limited options, before and during the Ceremony.
Guest services is located on the second floor concourse behind section 113. We encourage our patrons to visit Guest Services immediately to take care of any concerns.
First Aid Stations
EMT staff is always present in the Arena during events. Should a mishap occur, please contact one of our Arena staff members. We will contact an EMT staffer immediately. The First Aid office is located on the Concourse level at the north end behind section 113.
Flowers for Purchase
Flowers will be available for purchase before the ceremony inside the arena on the main concourse. You are also able to save time in line by pre-purchasing your order.
Parking Lot A (200 E. Cermak Road Chicago, IL 60616)
Parking Lot A (8′ height clearance) is a six level garage with 2,000 parking spaces accessible from Cermak Road & Prairie or on Martin Luther King Drive & 24th Street. Covered walkways from Lot A lead directly into the Wintrust Arena. The parking rate is $25 for up to 16 hours and $38 from 16 to 24 hours.* There are no in-and-out privileges. Lost tickets will pay the $38 (overnight) fee per day.
Parking Lot B (3050 South Moe Drive, Chicago, IL 60616)
Parking Lot B (also known as 31st Street Lot) is an outdoor surface parking lot located at 31st Street near Lake Shore Drive South and Moe Drive. It holds over 1,800 vehicles. The parking rate is a flat fee of $16 per day with no in-and-out privileges.*
Parking Lot C (Fort Dearborn Drive, Chicago, IL 60616)
Parking Lot C (6’4″ height clearance) is an underground garage with 1,900 parking spaces and is located on Ft. Dearborn Drive, adjacent to the Lakeside Center. The parking rate is a flat fee of $25 per day with no in-and-out privileges.*
To access the Wintrust Arena – follow signs to McCormick Place and Wintrust Arena. (approx. 12-15 minute walk)
From the North:
Using the Kennedy Expressway (I-90/94), consider exiting at 18th Street, heading east over to State Street, turning south onto State Street to Cermak Road, then traveling east on Cermak Road over to the Wintrust Arena.
From the West:
Using the Eisenhower Expressway (I-290), consider exiting on Damen or Ashland Avenue, heading south to Cermak Road, then traveling east on Cermak Road over to the Wintrust Arena.
From the South:
Using the Dan Ryan Expressway (I-90/94), consider exiting on 31st Street, heading east to King Drive, then traveling north on King Drive to the McCormick Place Complex. Continue north on King Drive which will turn into Cermak Road leading to the arena. Or follow the signs directing you to Parking Lot A.
Inbound on the Stevenson Expressway (I-55):
Consider using the ramp leading to the southbound Dan Ryan Expressway (I-90/94), exiting on 31st Street, heading east to King Drive, then traveling north on King Drive to the McCormick Place Complex. Continue north on King Drive which will turn into Cermak Road leading to the arena.
Taking Public Transportation to the Wintrust Arena
Chicago Transit Authority (Bus System):
#3 King Drive bus is the most common bus route to the Wintrust Arena, running north/south along Michigan Avenue. The #3 stop is at Michigan Avenue and Cermak Road. It serves many downtown hotels, as well as the Magnificent Mile and Water Tower Place.
#21 Cermak Road bus runs East/West along Cermak Road. The #21 stop is at Michigan Avenue and Cermak Road.
#4 Cottage Grove bus runs North/South along Michigan Avenue, two blocks west of the Wintrust Arena. The #4 stop is at Michigan Avenue and Cermak Road.
Chicago Transit Authority Elevated Rail System “L”:
The CTA Cermak-McCormick Place Green Line Station (Chicago, IL) station is located at Cermak Road and State Street, 2.5 blocks (0.15 mile) west of the Wintrust Arena at Cermak Road and Indiana Ave.
The CTA Cermak-Chinatown Red Line Station (Chicago, IL) is located four blocks west (0.5 mile) of the Wintrust Arena and two blocks west of the Cermak-McCormick Place Green Line Station.
METRA Rail (Electric Line):
Located on Level 2.5 of the Grand Concourse in the South Building, the METRA Electric commuter railroad provides direct service within seven minutes to and from downtown Chicago. Service from the Millennium (Randolph St.) Station (near the Fairmont Hotel) to McCormick Place begins early morning, with more frequent pick-ups during rush hours.
Seating for Families & Guests
Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. The doors of the Wintrust Arena open one hour before the ceremony. Since seating is open, please do not save seats in any way other than sitting in the seat. Special seating is available to guests who are hearing impaired or disabled.
Children and infants will not be allowed to accompany graduates on the arena floor. For safety reasons, please arrange for family or friends to care for children in the guest seats.
Guests are not permitted on the arena floor level before, during or after the ceremony. Violators will be escorted by security from the ceremony.
All guests age 1 and older must have a ticket to enter the Wintrust Arena. Each graduate will receive an allotted number of tickets for guests. A graduation usher will direct guests to available seats. Note that guests will no longer be permitted into the arena once it reaches capacity.
Bags & Purse Policy
The safety of our guests and staff remains a top priority. The Wintrust Arena will implement the use of metal detectors and follow its policy limiting the size and style of bags allowed in the facility. Wintrust Arena approves clear plastic, vinyl, or PVC that do not exceed 12″ x 6″ x 12″. Bags may be hand carried or have a shoulder strap. To see a complete list of what you can and cannot bring into the Wintrust Arena with you, click here.
- Luggage, backpacks, purses, or bags larger than a clutch (4.5″ x 6.5″ or 6.5″ x 4.5″)
- Food or beverages
- Cans, bottles, coolers, or other similar containers
- Video cameras or audio recorders
- Laser pens, laser products, glow sticks
- Balloons or strollers (Infant car seats are ok as long as they are not blocking an aisle)
- Noise-making devices (air horns, whistles etc.)
- Projectiles (including frisbees and beach balls)
- Oversized signs (larger than 2’ x 3’) or signs on sticks. Other signs are subject to building approval and must not obstruct the view of other guests.
- Stickers of any kind
- Skateboards, skates (roller or in-line), scooters, or hover boards
- Sticks, poles, selfie sticks, or GoPro sticks
- Weapons (knives, guns, chains, or any item that can be construed as a weapon)
- Illegal substances / drugs of any kind (an exception will be made for medically necessary items after proper inspection at the entrance)
- Fireworks or any other incendiary device
- Any other item deemed unacceptable by Venue Management
Arena management reserves the right to make the final determination on prohibited items. Wintrust Arena is NOT responsible for items left behind, lost, stolen, or damaged. Possession of prohibited items will be grounds for ejection from the Arena.
There is NO RE-ADMISSION on ticket stubs.
For your protection and the protection of others, ALL patrons are subject to search as a condition of admission to event. Refusal to submit to such search may prevent admission to the Arena.
Guests with Accessibility Needs
There are accommodations for both parking and seating for disabled guests. If your guests require special seating accommodations, please stop by Wintrust Arena Guest Services located next to section 113.
The Wintrust Arena does not provide wheelchairs for guests to use during the commencement; however, we have volunteers that can assist with escorting your guests to their seats via a wheelchair or providing a handicap accessible seat.
Available services include:
- Early admission to the ceremony
- A reserved seating section for hearing impaired guests requiring sign language interpreting services
- For those with their own wheelchair, Wintrust Arena staff will help identify the accessible seating sections.
- Ushers will direct you to accessible seating sections. Only one family member may accompany the individual in these designated areas. All other family members must find seating as available. Limited seating is available for family members needing assistance.