Commencement Ceremony

Commencement: Saturday, May 14, 2016

Commencement is a formal event that provides public recognition of your academic achievement. The ceremony will last approximately two hours. Participants are to remain in the hall for the duration of the program.


The Commencement Committee asks that you and your guests please show proper respect for the ceremony and the other candidates by adhering to the following:

  • Remain quiet and dignified during the ceremony. Shouting between balcony guests and floor candidates is disrespectful and disruptive.
  • Cellular/mobile phones/pagers should be turned off during the entire ceremony.
  • Bottles, cups or cans will not be allowed in the processional or into the arena.
  • Those with alcoholic beverages are subject to removal from the procession and ceremony.
  • Candidates are expected to remain in their seats and stay for the entire ceremony.
  • Due to risk of injury, caps should not be thrown in the air.

Photographs and videotapes will only be allowed from the upper seats. No floor photographs.

Although celebration by graduates and guests is appropriate, air horns, balloons, screaming, banners, etc. are not. At the Presentation of Degrees, so that each graduate's name may be heard, please ask your guests to refrain from prolonged expressions of joy when your name is read.

The ceremony in Calihan is expected to last about two hours. To add dignity to the event, all candidates/graduates are to remain in their position throughout the event. Restroom facilities are located in the hall to the left of the door you used to enter the arena. It is to be noted however, if you leave the arena prior to the end of the ceremony, a marshal will retain your diploma folder until you return to your position. 


For program details, review the Commencement Program which will be on your seat in Calihan Hall.

Conferring of Degrees

This is the most important and solemn part of the ceremony. After the doctoral degrees have been conferred, the grand marshal will ask, in turn, each college/school candidates to rise. Stand in place. The dean will then recommend to the president that the degrees be conferred. The president will comply. After all of the degrees have been conferred, the grand marshal will then direct all of the graduates at once to change their tassels from the right to the left side of their caps.

Awarding of Degree

Follow marshals' directions. Each college/school graduate will move to the stage in single file in seat card number order to receive his/her degree folder. A photograph is taken as you walk forward in line towards the front of the arena. When you arrive at the front, present your ID card to the faculty gatekeeper who will present it to the Announcer. When your name is read, proceed to the president. Receive your envelope with your left hand and shake hands with the president with your right hand. You will be photographed a second time at this point. Move down the line and shake hands with your dean. Proceed down the last aisle (third photograph is taken) to the rear of the arena and then back to your seat via the same aisle used in the processional.


The recessional will be orderly and dignified. Follow marshal's directions. The grand marshal will excuse the colleges/schools one by one. Graduates will recess out of Calihan Hall. Those receiving their diplomas will process to their respective college/schools to pick up their diplomas.  Please make sure you have photo ID with you to pick up your diploma. 


To expedite campus egress after the Commencement, all vehicles exiting the McNichols Gate will be required to make a right turn. Please advise your guests.