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May 30, 2023


As we wrap up the year and prepare for the 2023 HAWKS to leave the nest, here is some information for how you can support and celebrate your student for their accomplishments. We are so thankful for your partnership in preparing these students for a lifetime of personal success. Go HAWKS!


Students will be celebrating the AHS Class of 2023 with a senior breakfast and slideshow, hosted by the AHS Student Council, on Thursday, June 1st, at 8:30 am in the AHS Commons. The Mandatory Commencement rehearsal will follow starting at 9:15 am at AHS in the Main Gym.


Commencement exercises for the Class of 2023 will be held at Hilton Coliseum in Ames on Saturday, June 3rd, at 1:00pm. The doors to Hilton Coliseum will open
at 12:00 pm for the public. There is seating for approximately 14,000 people, so we will not issue tickets for commencement. Graduates should be at Hilton ready to line up no later than 12:15 pm.


  • Tim McConnell Fine Photography will be our photographer during the ceremony. Ankeny Community Schools does not share parent contact information with outside vendors. In order to receive email notifications of your proofs, please fill out the photo form by using this link:


  • We recommend that you park in one of the large parking lots south of Hilton and enter through the south entrance. If you need handicap accessibility, please plan to park in Lot B-2 or in a handicap accessible spot surrounding Hilton, and then enter through the lower west doors. C Lots (C2, C3, C4, C5 and C6) are available for parking.


  • Please plan to enter through the south entrance, unless a family member needs ADA access, as our students, faculty, and board members will be utilizing other entrances. If you need ADA access, please enter through the west side of the building.


  • Seating for the ceremony will be on the south side.
  • Students will process onto the floor from the west side to the east side. Sign language interpreters will be located in front of the west side seating area (left side as you face the stage). Please let an usher know if you need to be seated near a sign language interpreter, and they will take you to this section.
  • Students will walk across the stage to receive diplomas from right to left as you face the stage.


  • Everyone who attends our ceremony does so wanting to hear the name of their loved one as they cross the stage.  For this reason, we ask that you not shout, clap, or use noisemakers when your student’s name is announced.  Doing so limits the ability of the next student’s name to be heard by their family.  Thank you in advance for helping us to honor every student who is graduating.
  • Student caps and gowns are not to be adorned with any tape, pins, or other items. Soaring Hawk medals, senior academic medals, Silver cords, and National Honor Society cords are encouraged to be worn.
  • Hilton does not permit balloons, silly string, air horns for students or their families. Items of this nature will be confiscated by Hilton ushers.


  • Students will recess out the same entrance they come in through on the west side. They will pick up their final packet which contains their diploma, transcript, and immunization card, and exit through the west ticket box doors. The diploma and immunization card CANNOT be replaced. (Please keep your diploma and immunization card in a safe place – DO NOT DESTROY). Their gowns and caps were purchased by you, not rented, so they do not need to be returned. Therefore, student departure should occur fairly rapidly.
  • This year, the ceremony will be live streamed at, where the video will also be available immediately following the commencement ceremony for those who are unable to attend in-person.
  • Tim McConnell Fine Photography will be our photographer during the ceremony.  Each graduate will have a photo taken as they receive their diploma and of them holding their diploma in front of a professional background.  After the photographs are taken, you will receive an email link directly from McConnell Fine Photography, where you can view and order pictures. You must complete the registration here to receive your proof email. All orders will be mailed directly to your home. Email any questions to

The parking lots are under construction. Please park in one of the following lots (B2, B3, B4, C2, C3, or C4). Please look over the map which is linked below.