Ceremony Instructions

Commencement day instructions

  • The doors to both Hammons Student Center (for graduates) and JQH Arena (for guests) will open 90 minutes prior to the beginning of each ceremony.
  • You are to check-in via the east entrance to Hammons Student Center no later than 45 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony.
  • You are expected to have your cap, gown, and tassel. If you do not, the Bookstore will be available at Hammons Student Center and you may purchase your regalia at that time.
  • Appropriate academic regalia (as purchased from the Bookstore) and regalia provided by academic departments or student organizations, such as pins, sashes and cordons, are allowed. 
  • Your mortarboard (hat) may be decorated (no 3D decorations) and should be worn flat and parallel to the ground with the pointed side in front. It will stay on at all times during the ceremony, including during the National Anthem. Your tassel goes on the left side and will remain there.
  • Please silence your cell phone for the ceremony.
  • Do not bring umbrellas, cameras, purses or any other items with you to either Hammons Student Center or JQH Arena. You are not permitted to carry them in the procession and there will be no place to secure them.

Getting prepped at Hammons Student Center

  • After passing through security, you have an area to put on your regalia.
  • Next, you will pick up your name card. If your name card indicates University Scholastic Honors, you will pick up your cordons at the Honors table. The name card will be used during the ceremony, don't misplace it.
  • Remember to silence your cell phone.

During the ceremony

  • 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 candidates for degrees.
  • You will proceed forward to have your name announced and to receive a diploma cover from one of the Board of Governors. You will not receive a diploma at this time. Diplomas are issued about four weeks later provided all graduation requirements are met and all holds cleared. 
  • At this time, your picture will be taken by a professional photographer and you will receive a proof within three weeks plus information on ordering prints.
  • When all names have been announced, 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, you will be marched out the ramp on the north side of JQH Arena. In case of inclement weather, graduates will be dismissed from the arena floor.
  • Celebrate with your family and guests!

Leaving commencement

  • Graduates will exit the arena after the ceremony and should meet their guests on the east side of JQH Arena (near the main entrance).