Commencement Day

Get ready to celebrate

Commencement at Missouri State University is open to all friends and family. No tickets are required and there is no reserve seating.

Doors open to JQH Arena one hour prior to each ceremony. Ceremony will last approximately 90 minutes.

Ceremony details

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

Graduates will march from the main floor of Hammons Student Center to the main floor of JQH 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 JQH 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 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.

Seating for commencement

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.

Special accommodations

The University must have at least one week’s notice of any disability accommodation (other than seating) in order to serve the needs identified. Submit your request to Debbie Letterman, Commencement Chair.