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  Commencement 2011

Ceremony Instructions for Graduating Undergraduate Students 

There will be no rehearsal for the commencement ceremony, so please read the following instructions carefully to fully understand the day's agenda.

Graduation Candidates - General Standards Regarding Academic Regalia

  • The cap is worn straight, the shallower part in front.
  • Degree candidates should wear their tassels over the right side of the cap, above the right eye. Tassels will be moved to the left side after candidates receive the graduation charge from the president.
  • Men should remove caps during the National Anthem.
  • Your masters and doctoral hoods should be worn over your left arm for presentation and hooding on stage.

Academic Apparel

If you did not pick up your cap and gown on the advance distribution dates, you can make arrangements with Academic Services to pick up your apparel at Sewall Center on Saturday, May 7. Please arrive early to pick up your cap and gown in the International Suite.

To be comfortable, we suggest that you do not wear a jacket underneath your academic robe. Women are advised to leave purses with guests or at home.

Your academic apparel (cap, gown, tassel and hood) is yours to keep after the ceremony.

Robing & Assembly

All graduating undergraduates must report to the upper level of Sewall Center between 8:00 and 8:45 a.m. on Saturday, May 7 for robing and assembly. Name cards, caps, gowns and honors medallions can be picked up in the International Suite.

Name Cards

Bachelor's degree candidates must pick up their name cards in the assembly area. Your card designates your particular school and honors earned. Be sure to line up in the area designated by your card. Your card will be handed to the announcers so your name may be pronounced as accurately as possible over the public address system. Please keep the card readily accessible for that purpose.

A faculty marshal will be present in each area to assist the candidates and lead them in the procession to their seating area.

Diploma Distribution

Approximately 4-6 weeks after the ceremony, all May 2011 degree recipients will receive their diplomas via U.S. mail.


All guests should go directly to Sewall Center Arena. Do not accompany your graduate to the assembly area before or after the ceremony. Guests may not approach the stage to take photos or video while the ceremony is in progress.

For families with young children:
All guests - including young children - must have tickets for admission to the ceremony. Young children may become restless during the ceremony. A play area for children ages 6 and younger is located in the Pennsylvania Suite on the third floor of Sewall Center. Children in this area must be accompanied by an adult at all times. The ceremony will be broadcast live in this room via closed-circuit TV, and tickets are not required for entry. Due to space limitations, strollers are not permitted in the arena.


Faculty should assemble in the second floor of Sewall Center, adjacent to the locker rooms. Please return your cap and gown to the attendant outside the locker rooms of Sewall Center following commencement.

Faculty and Staff - General Standards Regarding Academic Regalia

  • The cap is worn straight, the shallower part in front.
  • Faculty and staff should wear the tassel on the left.
  • Men should remove caps during the National Anthem.

Processional, Ceremony & Recessional

The processional and recessional will include two single-file columns of graduates entering and exiting the arena via the center aisle. Faculty marshals will assist the graduates to the appropriate seating locations in the arena.

The processional will be called to order at 9:15 a.m. Please be orderly and quiet and listen carefully for instructions from those in charge of the processional.


The general order of the processional will be:

  • Fife and Drum
  • American Flag Bearer
  • Alumni Flag Bearer
  • Grand Marshal
  • Degree Candidates (from the front and rear of the arena)
  • Faculty
  • Platform Party

The events of the ceremony will be:

  • National Anthem
  • Opening Remarks
  • Commencement Address
  • Conferring of Honorary Degrees
  • Presentation of the Graduating Class and Conferring of Degrees in Course
  • Alumni Association Remarks
  • Concluding Remarks
  • Recessional

The general order for the recessional will be:

  • Grand Marshal
  • Platform Party
  • Faculty
  • Graduates (to the front and rear of the arena)

Please be considerate of other graduates and their families.  Guests should remain in their seats until the entire recessional has departed the arena.

After crossing the stage, graduates should return to their seats and remain there until after the recessional.




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