We will host an in-person graduation on Friday, May 21st at 10:00 AM.  It will take place at Ed Smith Stadium which will allow faculty, family members and graduates’ guests to attend while respecting CDC requirements. For those traveling outside the area, take advantage of our special lodging rates.

It will also allow us to invite back graduates of the class of 2020 who wish to receive their degrees in person.  Our commencement speaker (and honorary degree recipient) is our graduate Robert Bilott.

About Robert Bilott

A seasoned and internationally-recognized litigator, advocate, and author, Rob has handled environmental issues of regulatory compliance, permitting, and corporate/real estate transactions, as well as all aspects of litigation arising from such issues, from administrative hearings to multi-party, complex multi-district litigation, mass torts, and class actions. Rob currently a partner at Taft Law Firm in their Cincinnati office and graduate from New College in 1987. 

Rob has gained international prominence in connection with uncovering and disclosing the world-wide impact of environmental contamination by the “forever chemicals” known as PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkylated substances), particularly PFOA and PFOS. To date Rob has secured benefits in excess of $1 billion for a wide array of firm clients adversely impacted by PFAS contamination, including through key leadership positions in the nation’s first class action, personal injury, medical monitoring, and multi-district litigations, and jury trials involving PFAS. Because of this experience and knowledge on PFAS issues, Rob is frequently invited to provide keynote lectures and talks at law schools, universities, colleges, communities, and other organizations all over the world, including testimony before federal and state Congressional subcommittees, parliaments of the European Union, individual member states, and the United Kingdom, and committees of the United Nations.

In 2017, Rob received the international Right Livelihood Award (also known as the “Alternative Nobel Prize”) for his decades of work on PFAS “forever chemicals,” and was the 2020 recipient of Taft’s “Legacy Award,” which is bestowed upon a Taft attorney who has made a significant and lasting contribution to the firm, resulting in an overall positive impact on the legacy of Taft. Rob’s story is chronicled in his book, “Exposure: Poisoned Water, Corporate Greed, and One Lawyer’s Twenty-Year Battle against DuPont,” and is the inspiration for the feature film, “Dark Waters” and documentary, “The Devil We Know.”


Commencement tickets are now available for the Class of 2020 and 2021. Each graduate will receive up to four tickets with the hope we’ll be able to offer additional tickets.  To request tickets email gradtickets@ncf.edu and include your name, address to send the tickets (or pick up from the President’s Office), how many tickets you’d like and if anyone in your party needs accommodations. If you have any questions, please email Shelley Wilbur or call her at (941) 487-4100.

Ticket requests must be submitted by the graduate. 

 Directions & the Seating Chart

Gate Information

Gates will open 60 minutes prior to the start of graduation. The ceremony begins at 10:00 a.m. Guests will be permitted to enter through the Left Field Gate (located in the East Lot off Tuttle Ave and 12th St.) and Home Plate Gate (off of Euclid Ave and 12th St.). Remember to have your ticket ready to help speed up the entry into the stadium. When exiting the stadium, all guests should leave in an orderly fashion and maintain a physical distance (at least six feet) from others.


Graduates and faculty will park in the East Lot located off Tuttle Ave and 12th Street. Guests will be able to park in the North Lot and Preferred Lot off 12th Street and Stringfield Ave. Entrances to both the North Lot and Preferred Lot are off of Stringfield Ave.

Faculty/Graduate Parking
Guest Parking


Academic apparel at Commencement is optional for faculty and students. If you would like to rent regalia, it is available through the Campus Bookstore. Please contact Melissa at the bookstore (355-5252 or bookstore@sar.usf.edu) for more information.

Photography & Video

GradImages will be photographing all graduates at the graduation ceremony. Visit their website and click on registration on the top right of the page. Enter your school as New College (not New College of Florida). Enter your email and up to 6 emails of loved ones who would like to share in your accomplishment by viewing and ordering your photos. To order visit their website or call 800.261.2576 after the ceremony.

We will be livestreaming graduation, stay tuned for more information.

Ed Smith Stadium Safety Protocols

Pod Seating – Graduation tickets will be distributed in “pods” to support physical distancing between groups. Please refrain from moving to other seats or joining other groups.

Leave Your Bags At HomeBags will be prohibited in Ed Smith Stadium, with the exception of medically necessary items including diaper bags. Clutch purses no larger than 5’’ x 7’’ will be allowed.

Stay Home If You Are Feeling Sick

No Outside Food & Beverage Practice Social DistancingMaintain a physical distance of at least six feet at all times, including in the parking lots.

Wear Your MaskFace coverings must be worn properly in all areas of Ed Smith Stadium including parking lots and entry lines into the ballpark. Masks with exhalation valves and gaiters are not permitted.

Wash Your HandsFrequently wash your hands and use hand sanitizer stations located throughout the stadium.


All ticketholders must agree to the terms and conditions which require, in part, that neither ticketholders, accompanying minor(s) nor other accompanying parties may attend the game if within fourteen (14) days preceding the game, they have:

  • tested positive or presumptively positive for COVID-19 or other Communicable Disease or been identified as a potential carrier of COVID-19 or other Communicable Disease.
  • experienced any symptoms commonly associated with COVID-19 or other Communicable Disease (e.g., a fever of 100.4⁰F or higher, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking, muscle pain/achiness, headache, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, nasal congestion, runny nose, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, or any other symptoms associated with COVID-19 identified by the CDC).
  • been in close contact as defined by the CDC (15 or more minutes in a 24-hour period regardless of mask wearing by either person) with any person who is confirmed or suspected of being infected with COVID-19 or other Communicable Disease.

Please note: According to the CDC, older adults and people of any age with serious underlying medical conditions may be at higher risk of death or severe illness from COVID-19. All guests should evaluate their risk in determining whether to attend a game.

To help maintain physical distancing guidelines, ticketholders must also agree that they will not sell, transfer, or otherwise provide any of their graduation tickets to anyone other than family with whom they have been sheltering (or other trusted acquaintances), unless selling, transferring, or otherwise providing all such tickets (i.e., the full pod of tickets) to one party.