What happens on Commencement Day?
Where do I go and when?
- All graduates are to arrive no later than 5:00 p.m. through the Lawn Level Entrance.
- It is imperative to be lined up for the academic procession prior to the start of the ceremony.
Where do I line up?
All Doctoral candidates will line up in the Food Court, located on the Lawn Level .
All Master’s and Professional Doctoral candidates will line up in the Practice Gym, located on the Event Level.
What happens when I arrive?
- Graduates are to be dressed in their regalia and academic hood upon arrival.
- Check in at the registration desk in your assigned area to receive your name card and lanyard. Place the lanyard around your neck.
- If you have chosen to not have your name announced, you will still receive a card and lanyard designating your request not to have your name announced.
What happens during the Graduate Ceremony?
- The ceremony will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a procession of graduates, faculty, and the platform party.
- Master’s and professional doctoral candidates will wear their hoods and process onto the floor.
- Doctoral candidates will process onto the floor with their faculty advisor. Advisors will carry candidates’ hoods over their left arm. (It is advised that the candidate and advisor practice hooding before the ceremony starts. Candidates may choose to not wear their mortarboard onto the stage to assist with the hooding process.)
- As each school is announced, all candidates will be led to the stage by a marshal.
- Once the master’s and professional doctoral candidates reach the stairs, volunteers will collect their cards prior to the candidates ascending onto the stage. Name announcers will then read their names. Candidates will be congratulated by their dean before descending from the stage.
- Once the doctoral candidates, accompanied by their faculty advisor, reach the stairs, volunteers will collect their cards prior to ascending the stage. Name announcers will then read each candidate’s name, dissertation title, and faculty advisor’s name. Candidates will be hooded by their faculty advisor and congratulated by their dean before descending from the stage.
- Candidates who have chosen not to have their name announced will be congratulated by their dean before descending from the stage.
- It is important to move swiftly to ensure that you are on stage when your name is announced.
Please do not take time to have a conversation with those on stage and keep moving.
IMPORTANT NOTE: All candidates and faculty advisors should refrain from bringing bags, backpacks, or purses with them to the ceremony as they might not return to the same seat after descending from the stage.
Does everyone wear regalia?
- This is an academic ceremony and, as such, academic regalia is required to participate in the procession.
- Only those students in full academic regalia (cap, gown, and hood) will be permitted to process in the ceremony. The only exceptions will be for those graduates in military uniform.
- Choose a meeting location with your guests before they take their seats.
- No alcoholic beverages or items that can interfere with the ceremony (beach balls, bullhorns, etc.) will be permitted in the Petersen Events Center and will be confiscated.
- Arrive no later than 5:00 p.m. for the ceremony. There will be thousands of people entering and walking through the Petersen Events Center. Latecomers will not be permitted to walk with their school or college during the processional, and they will be seated in the general overflow student section.
- There will be a reception for all graduates and their guests immediately following the ceremony on the Plaza and Concourse Level.