Commencement Ceremonies

Graduating student ceremony instructions

The following instructions are for both graduate and undergraduate students.

Before you arrive on campus:

  • Give your guests their tickets
  • Leave all personal belongings with family/friends
  • Make sure you have your cap, gown, tassel and
    • Stole of gratitude (white sash) - Undergraduates only
    • Hood - Master's students only - Doctoral hoods will be presented at the hooding ceremony

Arrive on campus:

  • Report to the Student Check-In area behind the stage in the Events Center one hour prior to your ceremony start time
  • Check in with staff and receive your name card
  • You must remain in the check-in area after you have signed in
  • Do not leave personal items behind; the space will not be secured during the ceremony

Processional (entering ceremony):

  • Approximately 30 minutes prior to the ceremony start time, you will begin to line up in two columns
    • Look for your school representatives for assistance in lining up correctly
    • If there is a friend you wish to sit with, make sure he/she is directly behind you in line
    • Doctoral students should stand in line behind their faculty advisor
  • Move to your seat, but do not sit until directed to do so by the Grand Marshal (on stage)


  • All students walk across the stage, shake hands with President Stenger and receive a certificate
    • Remember, diplomas are mailed 6-8 weeks following the ceremony
  • Return to your seat, but remain standing until you are instructed to be seated by your school's dean

Recessional (leaving ceremony):

  • When it is time to leave the Events Center, everyone on stage will leave first
  • Marshals will leave next
  • Students will be excused from each row, front to back
  • You will be led out the same way you entered, through the tunnel at the rear of the Events Center
  • Plan to meet your guests after the completion of the recessional; do not break the line and head into the audience

Last Updated: 5/12/14