Commencement | Instructions to Participants

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All students participating in commencement must rent or purchase academic regalia in the university’s distinctive red, white, and blue colors. Rental or purchase of regalia serves as a student’s registration to participate in commencement.

 

ASSEMBLY AND ROBING:

  • Graduates assemble in designated areas 45 minutes prior to the start of their ceremony. Look for the sign that identifies your group when you arrive at your assembly area. Click here to see the assembly locations for your school. Only graduating students will be permitted in the assembly areas in the Tavern and Bender Arena.

  • It is recommended that you arrive at your assembly area already wearing your cap and gown. Please leave handbags, coats, jackets, umbrellas, etc. with family or guests. There is no secure location to store your belongings during the ceremony. All bags are subject to search upon entry to Bender Arena.

  • Alcoholic beverages are strictly prohibited at commencement.

 

LINE UP AND PROCESSIONAL:

  • Graduates begin lining up for the processional 45 minutes before the ceremony. Choose a partner from your degree group and line up two abreast. Your partner must be receiving the same degree as you. Doctoral students will line up with their dissertation advisors.

  • You will be given a card pre-printed with your name and email address. You will hand this card to a reader during the ceremony so that your name can be announced as you cross the stage.

  • Photographers from GradImages will take two pictures of you as you approach the stage and one picture as you shake hands with President Neil Kerwin. GradImages will send proofs and order information to the email address listed on your card approximately two weeks after the ceremony. If necessary, update your address in the blank space provided on the card.

  • Your degree group will stay together throughout the processional, ceremony, and recessional. Remain in line with your partner, and you will be guided to your seat.

  • Please keep the line straight and orderly during the processional. Do not leave the line once the processional begins. When you reach your seating row, the partner on the right enters first. Proceed directly to your chair and be seated.

 

RECOGNITION OF GRADUATES:

  • Following the recognition of university student award winners, graduates will be called to the platform for individual recognition. At the appropriate time you will be led from your seat to the stairs at the right of the stage.

  • Go up the steps. Approach the reader at the microphone and hand the reader your name/address card.

  • When your name is announced, walk to your dean, who will hand you a ceremonial diploma and shake your hand. (Note for Ph.D. candidates only: when your name is announced, hand your degree hood to the dean. The dean and your advisor will place the hood over your head, and you will receive your diploma.)

  • Proceed across the stage and shake President Kerwin’s hand. A photographer will take your picture as you shake hands.

  • Continue across the stage, go down the steps, and return directly to your seat.

 

RECESSIONAL:

After members of the faculty have left the arena, ushers will direct graduates from the arena. Please stay in line and keep moving until all graduates have exited the arena. If the weather is bad, there will be no graduate recessional.

 

CAP AND GOWN RETURN:

Return your cap and gown to the Campus Store by 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 10, 2015. You must sign your name on the list as proof of return. Your account will be charged full replacement cost of the cap and gown if they are not returned.


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