2021 Graduation Ceremony Information

The 2021 graduation ceremony schedule is as follows:

Thursday, May 20th, 2021
Lincoln East High School

  • 7:00 PM – Bryan Community Focus Program

Friday, May 28, 2021
Pinnacle Bank Arena (Map)

  • 6:00 PM – Lincoln High

Saturday, May 29, 2021
Pinnacle Bank Arena (Map)

  • 8:30 AM – Lincoln Southeast
  • 12:30 PM – Lincoln Northeast
  • 4:30 PM – Lincoln Southwest

Sunday, May 30, 2021
Pinnacle Bank Arena (Map)

  • 12:00 PM – Lincoln North Star
  • 4:00 PM – Lincoln East

For All Students and Families...

  • There is no limit to the number of guests attending per graduate and no tickets are required. The venue is available at 100% capacity. Guests will be encouraged to physically distance when and where possible.
  • Before leaving home, if you answer yes to any of these symptoms please stay home:
    • Fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Chills
    • Repeated shaking with chills
    • Repeated muscle pain
    • Headache
    • Sore throat
    • New loss of taste or smell
  • If you, anyone in your household, or anyone you have had close contact with have recently tested positive for COVID-19, please stay home.
  • Face coverings will be OPTIONAL for any one fully vaccinated. Face coverings will be REQUIRED for any one NOT fully vaccinated. According to the CDC, in general people are considered fully vaccinated:
    — Two weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
    — Two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.
    If you don’t meet these requirements, regardless of your age, you are NOT fully vaccinated. The CDC recommends you keep taking all precautions until you are fully vaccinated.
  • There will be a face coverings-only seating area (section 112) for high risk individuals and those who only want to be around individuals wearing face coverings.
  • In order to maintain a safe and secure environment, Pinnacle Bank Arena will enforce its Clear Bag Policy during Lincoln Public Schools graduation ceremonies.
  • Doors will open to the public one hour before the ceremony. Students will report to the main floor 30 minutes before the start of the ceremony.
  • In addition to the north doors, you can enter the main doors on the south side of Pinnacle Bank Arena (off R Street) and follow directions to the seating area.
  • Paid parking is available in the parking garages near Pinnacle Bank Arena to the south.
  • Free parking is available to the North in the Festival Space Parking or the Saltdogs Stadium Parking. You will have access to enter on the north side when walking across the Lincoln Pedestrian Bridge.
  • When students arrive, they will find their name card on their assigned chair (alphabetical order) and have a seat. Staff will be available to assist students.
  • Students, when directed, will take the card on their chair with them to the stage and hand it to the pronouncer as they enter the stage. 
  • Students will be able to remove their face coverings for the formal photo.

The Ceremony

  • This year’s ceremony will look different than it has in previous years as we follow the health department’s recommendations to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. There will be no live music performed, and contact between individuals will be limited to handing students their diplomas. There will not be any handshakes, hugs, elbow bumps or high fives.
  • The principal will begin the ceremony, followed by remarks from a Lincoln Board of Education member, a member of the Superintendent’s team and student speakers.
  • The principal will direct students when it is time to come to the stage to receive their diploma cover. Staff will assist students to the stage.
  • Professional pictures will be taken as students enter the stage and as students exit the stage.
  • As students finish with their photos, staff will be at nearby tables to hand students their graduation packets that contain their diploma and awards.
  • Students will return to their assigned seats.
  • At the end of the ceremony, the principal will give directions for students to dismiss starting from the back of the seating area. Students will continue until they’ve exited the building.
  • To help with reducing the amount of congestion and help with physical distancing, families and guests will dismiss from the back and top rows first.
  • We suggest each family plan a location to meet their child outside after the ceremony.

Appropriate Dress

Participating seniors must wear the traditional graduation gowns, caps and tassels. We would like all students to dress appropriately for a dignified ceremony.

  • Tassels will be worn over the right eye.  Mortarboards are to be worn with the flat surface horizontal.
  • Please leave purses or bags at home, or your clear bag with your family.
  • Nuisance items (e.g. sunglasses) will not be allowed in the arena.
  • Keep your mortarboards and gowns neat. No writing or taping will be allowed.


Distracting and discourteous behavior will not be tolerated. We request that family members and students leave air horns and other noisemakers, balloons and other items which might cause a distraction at home. Seniors who do not wish to abide by these expectations should not plan to attend the ceremony, which has always been optional. If a student is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, he/she will be ticketed by the police and will not be allowed to participate in the ceremony.

Watch the Ceremonies Live!

The 2021 Graduation ceremonies will be livestreamed on the LPS website (lps.org) or via the LNKTV Education on a variety of providers:

  • Allo: Channel 23
  • Spectrum: Channel 1303
  • Windstream Kinetic Streaming TV: Channel 31
  • Windstream Kinetic IPTV: Channel 1080
  • Apple TV: (LNKTV in app store)
  • Roku: (LNKTV in app store)

Order Your Personalized Graduation Video

Lincoln Public Schools is partnering with Team Streams to provide a video livestream of each ceremony. You can order your copy of a personalized video to share with friends and family on social media after the ceremony by going to teamstreams.net.

For Ceremonies at Bob Devaney Sports Center

1600 Court Street

There is parking north the Devaney SportsCenter off of Transformation Drive. You can reach this lot from Transformation Drive via N. Antelope Valley Parkway (traveling north or south), or (from the northeast part of Lincoln) via 27th Street and Salt Creek Roadway, take a right (turn north) onto North 21st, then to Transformation Drive (headed west). Please bring your patience and allow for time to wait in line to park.

Students should enter through the doors at Gate 10. This is where the graduation staging area will take place prior to the ceremony. First, visit one of the main tables to pick up the card with your name on it (or write your name on a card provided). It should read exactly how you want it said during the ceremony. Put on your cap and gown, and begin to line up in the processional line in the designated area.

Please enter the main doors on the north side (same side as the parking lot). Families walk up the ramp. Those needing handicap assistance should take the pathway just to the right (west) of the main ramp to the lower level where people will be waiting to assist you.

For Ceremonies at Pinnacle Bank Arena

400 Pinnacle Arena Drive

Paid parking is available in the parking garages near Pinnacle Bank Arena to the south.

Students are asked to arrive no later than 45 minutes prior to the start of their respective graduation. Please plan parking and walking to the site to avoid being late. Enter through the main entrance off of R Street and follow the signs to the area behind the stage. Pick up your alphabetized name cards (or write your name on a card provided). It should read exactly how you want it said during the ceremony. Put on your cap and gown, and begin to line up in the processional line in the designated area.

Please enter the main doors on the south side of Pinnacle Bank Arena (off of R Street) and follow directions to the seating area. This entrance has accommodations for those needing handicap assistance. Bags may be searched upon entry, and no balloons are allowed.

Graduation Tips

For those attending, here are some tips to help ensure you fully enjoy the event:

  • Be patient. This works with the actual graduation ceremony and all the activities surrounding it:  Friends and family who want those extra pictures, drivers who want in your lane, students who take too long to get ready, and so forth.
  • Traffic could be busy and slow in the downtown areas. Give yourself plenty of time to get to, park and walk to the venue. Doors open one hour prior to the ceremony
  • Identify the best parking places and directions to them (especially those one-way streets).
  • Likewise, arriving too soon could create additional slowdowns as traffic leaving the venue might not have left suitable parking spots. So find the right balance.
  • Enjoy! This is a once-in-a-lifetime event for our graduating seniors.

Clear Bag Policy In Effect

In order to maintain a safe and secure environment, Pinnacle Bank Arena and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln share a common Clear Bag Policy which will be enforced during Lincoln Public School graduations.

Clear plastic bag