For Guests

We are excited to have you on campus for commencement! Thank you for helping celebrate our graduates and for all the support you have given them along the way.

No ticket is required to attend Commencement. There is also no limit as to the number of guests that may attend for each graduate.

Ceremony details

Graduates will check-in for commencement at Hammons Student Center while guests are encouraged to find their seats in Great Southern Bank Arena.

Graduates will march from the main floor of Hammons Student Center to the main floor of Great Southern Bank Arena.

When all graduates have entered the arena floor, the president of the university will preside over the ceremony. After remarks from the keynote speaker, the president and the provost will introduce the various candidates for degrees:

  • The graduates will proceed forward to have their names announced and to receive a diploma cover by one of the Board of Governors.
  • A photo will be taken by a professional photographer, and your graduate will receive a proof with ordering instructions about three weeks after commencement.
  • The ceremony will end with the singing of the Alma Mater and a recessional of platform party, faculty and graduates out of the arena.
  • In fair weather the graduates will be marched out the ramp on the north side of Great Southern Bank Arena. Please prearrange a meeting place with your graduate at a location outside the arena.

Commencement decorum

Each person who achieves this goal might view it in a slightly different manner. Each student and their guests are asked to respect the rights of other graduates and to not celebrate that achievement in a way which infringes on the rights of others.

  • Commencement guests are requested to remain in their seats during the entire ceremony and to respect the rights of others to view the ceremony in its entirety, without being distracted or having their view blocked by others.
  • Please refrain from applauding except at times when invited to do so. Loud applause and cheers often cause the names of some graduates to be “drowned out.” Each graduate deserves equal recognition for his/her accomplishment.
  • Guests will be given the opportunity to applaud their graduate.

The awarding of a college degree comes at the end of many years of hard work and dedication. The dignity of the college degree and of the academic community should be recognized.

Thank you for your cooperation in observing these guidelines.


  • Commencement parking is available in Lots 25, 54, Bear Park North and Bear Park South. Please visit the parking website for additional information.

Security screening

  • Doors to Great Southern Bank Arena will open 90 minutes before both ceremonies.
  • For security purposes, guests will pass through security, upon entering Great Southern Bank Arena.
  • It is preferred that guests do NOT bring bags with them. 
    • Bag checks will take place for guests who bring any bag that is not clear/transparent.


  • All ceremonies will be livestreamed. Please visit the Commencement website for the link, which will be made available that day.

Celebrating the achievements of your Bear grad

Looking for that special gift for your graduate? Pre-order custom imprinted apparel or a bouquet of flowers for the #BearGrad in your life. Items may be picked up right before the ceremony and will be located inside the main doors of the arena. Shop for apparel and flowers now.

Special Seating/Accommodations

  • Special, non-reserved seating areas are available for guests with permanent or temporary disabilities. No stairways are encountered. Guests in wheelchairs as well as those who are unable to climb stairs are permitted in these areas.
  • Due to space limitations, we ask that only one other family member be seated with the guest in the special areas. To seek assistance in locating this seating, you may see one of the ushers located at the entrances the day of the ceremony.
  • The university must have at least two week’s notice of any disability accommodation (other than seating) in order to serve the needs identified. Submit your request to commencement chair Terry Weber.

After the ceremony

  • After the ceremony has concluded, guests will be directed by Great Southern Bank Arena staff to the nearest exit. We ask that all guests follow the direction of arena staff, to safely exit the facility.
  • Graduates will be escorted off the arena floor and directed to the east entrance (main entrance) of Great Southern Bank Arena.