In this fun guide, we’ve listed 5 of the best outdoor college commencement venues, found on the most beautiful college campuses in the United States. These aren’t necessarily the highest ranked schools in the country (although many of them are excellent), but they deserve a special mention for such spectacular scenery, and some of the best graduation ceremonies.
Hidden in a 2,000-acre forest near Monterey Bay, the UC Santa Cruz campus is dense with trees and wildlife. While walking to your next class, you might spot a few deer grazing in a thicket nearby. With more than 25 miles of hiking trails in the redwoods, and the Pacific Ocean just down the road, it’s a truly inspiring place to study. Likewise, the graduation ceremony takes place on a leafy lawn, surrounded by trees.
Located about a half hour from Honolulu, this satellite Brigham Young campus sits on
the gorgeous Oahu coast. You’ll find the Laie Hawaii Temple in the same town, which is
a stunning structure built with coral and lava rock. The location is total paradise, with
palm trees and lush rainforest stretching out in the distance.
Next, this coastal California school sits on the Malibu hills, with a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean. It’s some of the most prime real estate on Earth. Not surprisingly, Pepperdine has one of the best outdoor college commencement venues as well, with perfect weather to enjoy the ceremony, and the ocean right behind the stage.
History buffs, political science junkies, and proud patriots alike will love George Washington University’s graduation venue. It takes place right on the National Mall, with the Washington Monument on one side and the Capitol Building on the other. For its historical significance and sheer grandeur, it’s one of the best graduation ceremonies in the country.
Finally, this small liberal arts college in Eastern Pennsylvania has a gorgeous commencement venue filled with tulip poplar trees and evergreens. Built in 1941, the Scott Amphitheater feels like a natural extension of the forest. Only natural materials were used, and with so many trees surrounding the venue, there’s plenty of shade for everyone.