Summer Commencement 2017 – Frequently Asked Questions

June 14, 2017

The William “Billy” J. Knicks (Baby Dome), PVAMU’s traditional location for commencement exercises, is currently undergoing construction upgrades. The upgrades have been approved by the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents.  The University is excited about the Baby Dome renovations, however, the construction displaces our traditional graduation ceremony. As a result, the graduation committee explored other venues to host the ceremony. A number of other on-campus and off-campus Commencement options were under review, including recommendations from the Student Government Association. Unfortunately, none of the on-campus options would accommodate the number of graduates that the University will have.  Committee leaders began researching off-campus facilities. The Church Without Walls (TCWW) has been a long-standing educational partner with PVAMU and facility leaders graciously agreed to host the University’s Summer 2017 ceremony. After thoughtful consideration, the graduation committee, student leaders and University Administrators chose to utilize the facility because it is both cost effective and allows the University to accommodate the volume of graduates.


Is there an estimated time-frame for the Baby Dome upgrade to be completed?

The scheduled time-frame for the completion of the upgrades is Fall 2017.  The construction will be closely monitored because the Dome must be ready to host Athletics’ Fall NCAA sports activity.


Is there a possibility that we will have future ceremonies at this location? 

There is a long-standing tradition of hosting graduation on campus, and we will continue to honor that tradition. We are monitoring the construction and anticipate being able to utilize the Baby Dome for future ceremonies.


Will the pinning ceremony remain on campus?

While we were unable to host graduation on campus, the alumni pining ceremony will remain at the Opal Johnson-Smith Auditorium in the Willie A. Tempton Memorial Student Center. We invite all of our Summer 2017 graduates and their families to participate in this wonderful event. 


Why weren’t other campus facilities explored? 

We explored the option of hosting the Summer 2017 graduation at on-campus facilities (Panther Stadium, Memorial Student Center…) however, due to cost restrictions and space limitations, the University had to seek other accommodations.


What if I practice a different religious belief? 

We acknowledge that our student body is made up of different religious backgrounds. The Church Without Walls facility was selected for its ability to house our anticipated crowd.  The University wants to assure you that this is not a religious ceremony – it is an academic ceremony that celebrates the final step in a students’ academic journey.
Will students receive the same number of graduation tickets?  

Each graduating candidate will be allotted 10 tickets for friends, family and other guests.  As is our policy, tickets are required for admission into the ceremony.


Where is graduation rehearsal being held?

The University will host a rehearsal at the Church Without Walls facility prior to the ceremony. Check for date and time updates.
What is the address to The Church Without Walls?

5725 Queenston Blvd, Houston, TX 77084

Please note: TCWW has multiple locations; the facility we are using is the Queenston location.


What is the recommended arrival time arrival time for the ceremony?  

Ceremony attendees are asked to arrive an hour before the ceremony.


Will parking be free? 

The parking lot holds over 2200 cars. Parking will be free.


Will the facility allow for live streaming of the ceremony? 

We are working with the facility to determine if live streaming is feasible. We will provide updates in the commencement guide that will be available on in the upcoming weeks.


Are there any recommended hotels around the area for families? Do you have a partner hotel? 

There are a number of hotels located in the Copperfield area  (Hwy. 6 & U.S. 290)


TCWW frequently utilizes/recommends The Omni Hotel at I-10 & Eldridge.

13210 Katy Freeway

Houston, TX 77079


The University has a partnership with the Holiday Inn Express in Cypress that offers rates between $104-124 includes breakfast and free wi-fi. Below is the link a code.


Booking Code: IE3V6

Booking Link: