Frequently Asked Questions by McNichols Campus Guests
The Commencement Committee requests your cooperation in making Commencement a memorable event for both you and your graduate. A past complaint from the graduates and their guests was the behavior of some of the guests attending the Ceremony. The Committee asks that all participants be considerate for the solemnity of the Commencement and by not trying to get your graduate’s attention during the Ceremony. Below is information that we hope you find helpful in planning for and attending the Commencement Events.
- How long is Commencement?
- What if my candidate has some existing commencement concerns?
- How many tickets are available?
- How do I get to McNichols Campus? (Opens new window)
- Where do I park?
- When and where are the Commencement Events?
- Will the Commencement Ceremony be televised?
- How can I get a good seat?
- Is there special seating for a physically disabled guest?
- Does Calihan Hall have accessible restrooms?
- Can the Ceremony be videotaped/photographed?
- What happens if it rains?
- What can’t I bring into Calihan Hall?
- What is appropriate guest behavior?
- Where will my graduate be sitting?
- What are the decorations that some graduates wear?
- What do the hood and tassel colors signify?
- Where may I get information on the Academic Procession, Order of Exercises, Academic Regalia and the Degree Recipients?
- How is the right name called when the graduates are presented their degree?
- Why are the names read at such a rapid rate?
- Why did’t my graduate:
- Where do I meet my graduate after Commencement?
- What social media hashtag should I use?
- How do I exit the Campus?
- Where can I get more information about Commencement?
- Other information
A: The actual Commencement Ceremony takes about 2 hours, 1 hour for speeches and conferring of degrees and 1 hour for degree presentation. It is not an event that most young children find interesting. With deference for the Ceremony, you are expected to stay in place for the entire event. Families with young children may find viewing the ceremony in the Fitness Center an option.
A: Commencement Day is not the time to address pre-existing concerns. These matters should be immediately brought to the attention of your candidate’s college/school office or academic advisor.
A: In the last few years, Calihan Hall has not been filled to capacity so, again this year, no tickets will be distributed and candidates are asked to be judicious in the number of invitations they extend. We ask that no more than 10 guests be invited. Remember that seating is on a first come, first served basis and once Calihan Hall is at capacity, no more guests will be admitted. Overflow seating is in the Student Fitness Center with a live feed for viewing.
A: Parking is limited. Allow extra time to park and, if possible, car pool. For parking locations, see the map provided to your candidate or visit the Commencement website. Disabled parking, in front of Calihan Hall or in Lot E, is restricted to those with valid handicapped stickers or license plate. Parking is also on a first come, first served basis.
A: The 2017 Commencement takes place on Saturday, May 13 on the McNichols Campus. See map that will be mailed to your candidate in April or visit the Commencement website.
Commencement Events Time Location Baccalaureate Line-up 9:40 a.m. Gesu Church Baccalaureate Mass 10:00 Gesu Church Continental Breakfast 11:00 - 11:45 Fitness Center Candidate Line-up 12:00 noon Designated Assembly Areas given to candidates Procession begins 12:45 p.m. Fisher Fountain Commencement 1:30 Calihan Hall
This mass is an integral part of the Commencement activities and candidates and guests of all faiths are invited to join this religious service thanking God for His blessings and praying for our future. Mass begins at 10:00 a.m. in Gesu Church, located one block north of the McNichols Campus on Santa Maria between Quincy and Oak Drive.
Breakfast will be served from 11:00 - 11:45 a.m. in the Fitness Center for candidates and their guests. NO tickets are required.
Calihan Hall is not an air-conditioned facility. If it is an extremely warm day you may be more comfortable viewing the ceremony in the air-conditioned Fitness Center.
At noon, candidates are to be in their designated procession assembly areas. Over 30 minutes are needed to line up the candidates and provide event instructions. At 12:40 p.m., the college/schools processions will move to the Fisher Fountain area north of the Student Center and at 12:45 p.m., to Calihan Hall. It is traditional for a Bagpiper to lead the procession. Rain or shine, the procession will process. Each college/ school will be led by its Banner Bearer who is followed by the Faculty, Graduate and Undergraduate Candidates. The procession arrives at Calihan Hall’s northwest doors at approximately 12:50 p.m.
Q: How can I get a good seat?
A: Family and friends unable to attend the Commencement Ceremony may watch online. For information, see the Watch Online page.
Q: Is there special seating for a physically disabled guest?
A: Calihan Hall doors open at 11:00 a.m. Seating is on a first come, first served basis. Please do not arrive at Calihan Hall before 11:00 a.m.
Q: Does Calihan Hall have accessible restrooms?
A: There is limited Calihan Hall main floor seating for disabled guests accompanied by one able bodied companion. The chance of sitting in the disabled section shortly before the procession begins is unlikely. Balcony seating can be accessed only by steep steps. An alternative viewing site, Fitness Center, will be opened to accommodate those disabled guests who cannot be seated in Calihan Hall. The Fitness Center is equipped to receive the Live Link to the ceremony. It provides approx. 200 seats with air-conditioning and plenty of space for wheelchairs and accessible restrooms. The Fitness Center is located east of the Engineering Building and north of the residence halls. The most convenient parking areas to the Fitness Center are Lot E (with handicapped sticker) and the Student/Visitor Lot east of the residence hall complex.
Q: Can the Ceremony be videotaped/photographed?
A: Restrooms are located around the main floor hallways. Accessible restrooms are located in the north corridor near the main entrance of the building.
Q: What happens if it rains?
A: Videotaping/photographing is permitted by guests from the balcony only. A professional photographer will take three shots of your graduate on the floor during the degree presentation. Guests, other than those seated in the physically disabled section, are not permitted on the main floor.
Q: What can’t I bring into Calihan Hall?
A: Candidates are to report to their assembly areas regardless of the weather. If rain is predicted, they are instructed to bring an umbrella. If the Rain Plan is put into effect, i.e., colleges/schools will come directly to the northwest doors of Calihan Hall from their assembly areas rather than organizing a formal procession at the Fisher Fountain. Implementing the rain plan will not affect the Procession within Calihan Hall.
A: Commencement is a formal academic ceremony, not an athletic event. Balloons, noise makers, air/bull horns, beach balls, signs, etc. are not permitted.
A: Since Commencement is a formal academic ceremony, guests are asked to please show proper respect for both the ceremony and the other guests by:
- Not interfering with the Procession.
- Turning off all beepers, pagers and cell phones.
- Remaining quiet and dignified during the ceremony.
- Refraining from shouting graduate names from the balcony during the Ceremony. This type of behavior is disrespectful and disruptive. Guests who choose not to respect the rights of others will be asked to be quiet and then, if the behavior continues, asked to leave.
- Conferring of Degrees - This is the most important and solemn part of the Ceremony. Although quiet should be maintained while the President confers the degrees, expressions of joy are appropriate after the conferring of degrees.
- Presentation of Degrees - A joyous expression is also appropriate when your graduate’s name is read. The celebrations should be very brief so that the next graduate’s name can be heard.
Q: What are the decorations that some graduates wear?
A: A floor-seating diagram will be available for viewing at the northeast lobby entrance when you enter Calihan Hall. The diagram is also available on the website a couple days before the ceremony. This will give the general location of where your graduate’s college/school will be seated. The candidates are seated alphabetically within their degree section.
Q: What do the hood and tassel colors signify?
A: Graduates’ gowns should not contain adornments such as jewelry, flowers, signs, emblems, etc. Gown decoration is strictly limited to university, college and school honor regalia such as cord, sashes, stoles, pins and medallions. Your graduate may obtain a listing of the approved items from their college/school office which normally involves membership or nomination into an academic honor society. Candidates with caps that are decorated or contain messages are unacceptable. Fraternity and sorority apparel is not appropriate. Faculty and University Marshals will ask graduates to remove any unauthorized items being worn. Candidates will not be permitted to march in the procession with an unapproved items.
A: The colors represent the academic degree area. The colors are:
Bachelor Degree Majors Tassel Color Accounting Golden Yellow Addiction Studies Golden Yellow Architectural Engineering Orange Architecture Blue-Violet Biochemistry Golden Yellow Biology Golden Yellow (BS) White (BA) Business Administration Drab Chemistry Golden Yellow (BS) White (BA) Civil Engineering Orange Communication Studies White Computer Science Golden Yellow Criminal Justice Golden Yellow Developmental Psychology White Digital Media Studies White Economics White Electrical Engineering Orange Elementary Education Light Blue Engineering Orange English White Financial Economics White Health Information Management Golden Yellow Health Services Golden Yellow Health Services Administration Golden Yellow History White Industrial/Organizational Psychology White Legal Administration White Liberal Studies White Mathematics
Golden Yellow (BS)
Mechanical Engineering Orange Nursing Apricot Philosophy White Political Science White Psychology White Robotics and Mechatronic Systems Engineering Orange Religious Studies White Social Studies Education Light Blue Social Work Citron Sociology White Software Engineering Golden Yellow Software Production and Management Golden Yellow Special Education - Emotionally Impair/Beh Dis Light Blue Special Education - Learning Disabled Light Blue Theater White
Master Degree Majors Tassel and Hood Color Addiction Counseling White Architecture Blue-Violet Business Administration Drab Chemistry Golden Yellow Civil and Environmental Engineering Orange Clinical Nurse Leader Apricot Clinical Psychology White Community Counseling White Community Development White Computer Science Golden Yellow Criminal Justice White Curriculum and Instruction Light Blue Economics Copper Educational Administration Light Blue Electrical and Computer Engineering Orange Engineering Management Orange Family Nurse Practitioner Apricot Financial Economics Copper Health Services Administration Golden Yellow Health Systems Management Apricot Industrial/Organizational Psychology White Information Assurance Golden Yellow Intelligence Analysis Golden Yellow Liberal Studies White Mechanical Engineering Orange Nurse Anesthesiology Golden Yellow Nursing Education Apricot Physician Assistant Golden Yellow Product Development Golden Yellow Religious Studies White School Counseling Light Blue School Psychology White Security Administration Golden Yellow Software Engineering Golden Yellow Software Management Golden Yellow Special Education - Emotionally Impair/Beh Dis Light Blue Special Education - Learning Disabled Light Blue Teaching of Mathematics Light Blue
Specialist Degree Majors Tassel and Hood Color School Psychology White
Doctoral Degree Majors Tassel and Hood Color Civil and Environmental Engineering Orange Clinical Psychology Dark Blue Electrical Engineering Orange Mechanical Engineering Orange Nursing Practice Apricot
Q: How is the right name called when the graduates are presented their degree?
A: This information appears in the Commencement Program available at the Ceremony.
A: At the Candidate Assembly, each candidate receives an identification card that contains his/her name, seat number and honors, if applicable. This card is presented to the Announcer when the graduate shakes hands with the president and is presented with diploma cover. Because in the past some candidates have exercised their creative writing talents, the Announcer will read only the college/school printing and handwritten phonetic name pronunciation.
A: Detroit Mercy personalizes its Commencement by having each participating graduate’s name read. In order not to extend the Ceremony, the graduates’ names are read rapidly. One additional second per name would lengthen the event by 15 minutes.
Q: Where do I meet my graduate after Commencement?
- Have their name in the Commencement Program?
Program copy is sent to the printer several weeks before the ceremony. A graduate’s name may not appear in the program if the Graduation Application was filed after the deadline.
Reasons for not receiving a diploma are:
- degree requirements have not been met, e.g., courses remain to be completed.
- outstanding financial balance.
- the Graduation Application was received after the diploma ordering deadline.
Graduates who have any concerns should contact their college/school office immediately.
Honors are awarded to undergraduate students who have completed all their degree requirements as of the end of Term II and all final grades have been recorded.
For students who began their studies Fall 2011 and beyond Summa cum laude - 3.90 or above, magna cum laude - 3.75 and above and cum laude - 3.50 or above. All coursework in the cumulative GPA at UDM is used in the honors calculation All students must have completed 60 hours at UDM to qualify for honors. Candidates for Term III (Summer) will not have honors read at Commencement because they have not finished their studies. Honors are not awarded at the master/doctoral degree level.
A: After the Commencement Ceremony is complete, the graduates will recess out of Calihan Hall and march to the Sacred Heart Square. Do not wait in the hallways of Calihan Hall. Graduates eligible to receive their diplomas will then proceed to their colleges/schools and pick up their diploma, if eligible. Since campus will be very crowded, to locate your graduate you may wish to pre-determine a meeting location or use your cell phone after Commencement is over.
A: Detroit Mercy is promoting the use of a social media hashtag so that people can find shared comments and photos online through services such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. For details, see the Commencement social media page.
A: All vehicles exiting the:
- McNichols (Six Mile Road) Gate are required to make a right (east) turn.
- Livernois Gate can only make a right (north) turn. A short distance up the avenue there is a turn-around.
A: Check with your graduate, visit the Commencement website (www.udmercy.edu/commencement) or call the Office of the Registrar at 313-993-3313.
- Student Center Bookstore: first floor, near south exit
- Calihan Hall Concession Stands & Gift Shop: first floor front hallway
Class of 2017 T-Shirts
Calihan Hall - first floor front hallway