Graduation Ceremony

Ceremony Information

Each ceremony will be approximately one hour in length and will proceed as follows:


The academic procession will begin promptly at the designated hour, and will mark the start of the commencement ceremony. Members of the graduating class will proceed to the reserved seating on the Coliseum arena floor; your faculty usher will direct you to the appropriate seating. As you reach your row of chairs, be sure to walk to the end of the row and fill in all seats (do not skip any seats), and remain standing until signaled by the Vice President to be seated. Once everyone has entered the coliseum, you will be asked to stand for The National Anthem and invocation (men will remove their caps for this).

Presentation of Candidates

The Vice President for Academic Affairs will present the candidates for the various degrees to the President, and the President will deliver the conferral remarks. The candidates will then be asked to rise and approach the stage for diploma presentation.

Candidates, you will:
  1. walk in line to the right side of the stage;
  2. hand your Name Announcement Card to the Dean to announce your name;
  3. wait for the Dean to say your name, then
  4. walk across the stage to receive your diploma cover while you
  5. have your commemorative picture taken;
  6. exit the stage to the left (continue walking on towards the photographer, towards your row);
  7. and return directly to your seat (personnel from the Registrar's Office will be at your row to direct you).

The ceremony will conclude with a formal recessional led by the platform party, followed by the faculty, graduates, and lastly the University Marshal. Your faculty usher will direct your exit from the arena floor and coliseum.



Graduates will report to section G of Tucker Coliseum with your Name Announcement Card at least 30 minutes prior to your ceremony time. Directional signs will be posted to assist you in locating your college assembly point and place in line. Personnel from the Registrar's Office will be located in the hallways and on the arena floor to assist you throughout the ceremony. Family members and guests will also enter the Coliseum through the front entrance, but will not be permitted in the corridor beginning with section G.

Graduates Arriving Late

Graduates arriving after the start of the ceremony should proceed immediately to the Ticket Office to pick up the Name Announcement Card (if necessary), then locate Registrar's Office personnel to assist you with seating. You will be seated in the next available seat, which may not be located with your college.

Proper Attire

Academic regalia shall be worn by the student during the graduation ceremony (see University Bookstore). The academic regalia will consist only of the cap and gown. Cords, stoles, and medallions may be worn.  Decoration on caps is permitted.

Suggested attire for women includes:

  • dark slacks or dress, cool fabric
  • dark, low-heel or flat shoes (you don't want to trip when you cross the platform for your diploma!)
  • no corsages or jewelry on the robe

Suggested attire for men includes:

  • dark trousers
  • white shirt, tie optional
  • dark shoes and socks (no sandals)
Ceremony Etiquette
  • Once you have entered the Coliseum arena and have been seated you are expected to remain seated until you are called for diploma presentation, then again remain seated until all candidates recess from the arena at the close of the ceremony.
  • Improper attire, signs, and insignia will be removed prior to the ceremony.
  • Cell phones should be turned off, or left at home/in the car.
  • Valuables (purse, keys, etc.) should be left with family members or guests prior to arriving at your college assembly location. Do NOT leave purses, keys, or other personal items in the hallway or under your chair.
  • Please be respectful to the other graduates, their families/guests, and the staff and administration working this ceremony.

Emergency Medical assistance will be located in the north entrance of the Coliseum. Assistance will also be available through University Police Officers (479) 968-0222), who will be stationed in Tucker Coliseum before and during the ceremonies.