Looking for weather updates? Check out the FAQs section below!
Abilene ISD is proud to celebrate our Class of 2023 graduates with upcoming commencement exercises on May 26 and 27. More than 950 Abilene ISD students will walk the stage at Shotwell Stadium that weekend and collect their diplomas. Please bookmark this page to save important graduation information, including any schedule changes due to inclement weather!
CHS: Approximately 415 members of the 62nd graduating class from Cooper High School will walk the stage on Friday, May 26, beginning at 8:00 PM. All gates to the stadium will open at 7:00 PM.
ATEMS: 68 members of the 11th graduating class from ATEMS will walk the stage at Shotwell Stadium beginning at 8:30 AM on Saturday, May 27. Gates will open at 7:30 AM.
AHS: The 135th graduating class from Abilene High School will celebrate approximately 515 seniors by handing out diplomas beginning at 8:00 PM on Saturday, May 27. Stadium gates will open at 7:00 PM.
To ensure the safety of our guests, we kindly ask you to observe all signage posted at Shotwell Stadium due to ongoing construction of our new stadium press box. Thank you!
AISD GRADUATION FAQs
What if bad weather happens?
With the weekend forecast calling for a chance of rainy weather, please see below for current contingency plans and ceremony start time adjustments.
Abilene High School Update (7:30 PM on 5/27): It’s happening! The weather has cleared sufficiently and commencement for the Abilene High Class of 2023 will take place as scheduled at 8:00 PM. Let’s go, Eagles!
Current Alternate Date & Time Plan: If the ceremony cannot be conducted on Saturday as planned, it will take place at 2:00 PM on Sunday, May 28, at Shotwell Stadium. Please feel free to bring rain gear, umbrellas, or towels into Shotwell Stadium should you wish to be prepared for inclement weather.
Continue to check this page for additional information about weather-related delays, postponements, or alternate site plans!
What is the dress code for graduates?
Graduation is a formal ceremony. All graduates must wear the standard cap and gown. The cap may not be decorated. Due to graduation being on an artificial turf field, heels may not be worn because they can damage the field. Graduates must follow the regular dress code concerning piercings. Facial piercings are limited to clear or small studs. No bull rings are allowed. Only approved or school awarded graduation items such as cords and stoles may be added to the standard regalia. Students will not be allowed to walk the stage wearing or carrying any non-approved items. Any non-approved items will be confiscated and returned after the ceremony.
- Standard Cap
- Standard Gown
- Standard Tassel (AHS, CHS, ATEMS)
- Standard stole (AHS, CHS, ATEMS)
- NHS stole
- Top 25 medal (AHS, CHS, ATEMS)
- Gold A award medal or C award medal
- Cords earned via campus (AHS, CHS, ATEMS, Holland)
- Cap decoration of any kind
- Congratulatory stoles, cords, or necklaces
- Picture stoles
- Military stoles
- Flags or flag stoles
- Non-graduation medals (Examples: band, choir, JROTC, art, athletics, etc.)
Where is graduation?
All commencement exercises will be held at Shotwell Stadium. Click here for directions and stadium information.
When is graduation?
CHS: Friday, May 26, 8:00 PM
ATEMS: Saturday, May 27, 8:30 AM
AHS: Saturday, May 27, 8:00 PM
Gates open 60 minutes before each ceremony.
What time do the gates open?
CHS: Gates open 7:00 PM
ATEMS: Gates open 7:30 AM
AHS: Gates open 7:00 PM
Where should I park?
All Shotwell Stadium parking lots will be available for each graduation ceremony. Ongoing construction to the Shotwell press box on the west side of the stadium will NOT affect parking access.
Parking in the Abilene Expo Center parking lots is NOT permitted for AISD graduation ceremonies.
How many guests can each graduate bring?
As many as you want! AISD graduation ceremonies are non-ticketed events. All are welcome to attend.
Can I go down on the field with my graduate?
No. Field access is restricted to graduates and assigned Abilene ISD staff members only at all times, including after commencement has ended. Graduates will recess off the field at the conclusion of each ceremony.
Will there be a concession stand?
Shotwell concessions will be open for the sale of bottled water ($1 per bottle, cash only). Outside food or drink is not permitted inside Shotwell Stadium during any graduation ceremony.
Is accessible seating available?
Yes. There are four locations for accessible seating inside Shotwell Stadium. These locations include the Northeast and Northwest platforms behind the video board, in the stands on the Southwest side, and in the stands on the Northeast side.
Please ask an usher for assistance if you or a loved one needs help locating accessible seating.
Can I save seats?
Abilene ISD graduation ceremonies are non-ticketed open seating events. We respectfully ask that our guests refrain from saving or blocking off any seats before or during the ceremonies.
The best plan is to arrive with your complete group and locate your preferred available seats together. Thank you for your cooperation!
What items are prohibited from entry?
For the safety of all guests at graduation, the same prohibited items rules apply to Shotwell Stadium that apply to all AISD campuses and facilities.
Prohibited items include firearms, alcohol, tobacco, illegal drugs, and disruptive noisemakers such as airhorns. Outside food or drink and open containers will also not be allowed in Shotwell during graduation.
Bottled water will be available for purchase during graduation at concessions stands inside the stadium ($1 per bottle, cash only).
Will press box construction affect seating or entry?
No. All seating inside Shotwell Stadium is safe, including all seats in the west side home stands. The scaffolding being used for construction undergoes daily safety inspections. It is safe for guests to sit near the scaffolding. All four stadium gate entrances and all entrance ramps will also be open for each graduation ceremony.
Construction will result in limited restroom availability on the home side of Shotwell Stadium. Alternative accesible restrooms will be provided.
Can I watch graduation online?
Yes! All three ceremonies will be livestreamed on AISD Live. Watch the ceremony of your choice by clicking the livestream buttons at the top of this page.
Are tickets required to attend graduation?
No. All AISD graduation ceremonies are non-ticketed events open to all guests.