Dec. 11 and 12, 2015

Winter Commencement for graduate students is 7 p.m. Dec. 11 in the H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Center and commencement for undergraduates is 11 a.m. Dec. 12 in Heiges Field House. Graduate students will receive specific instructions from the School of Graduate Studies.


Congratulations on earning your degree. We want your commencement to be a dignified and memorable event that you will remember with pride and joy. To help accomplish this, please familiarize yourself with these instructions as there is no rehearsal.

1. Inclement weather and Hotline

Information about commencement will be available on Hotline (477‑1200) beginning Dec. 11, and will be updated as needed. Final information will be available by 7 a.m. Dec. 12. Hotline, the university’s website and the university’s Facebook and Twitter accounts are the official sources of information about commencement.

2. Family and guest information

  • Tickets — No tickets are required for guests, and seating is first‑come, first-served.
  • Parking —University Police will direct your family and guests to parking areas.
  • Guest admission — Doors to the field house arena open at 9 a.m. for guests. Light refreshments will be available. Please have your guests arrive and be seated by 10:30 a.m. The academic procession begins promptly at 11 a.m.; the ceremony ends at approximately 1 p.m.
  • Guests with special needs — You should make arrangements for any of your guests with special needs by contacting the Office of University Communications and Marketing by e-mail at by Dec. 4. The note should include the guest’s name and the name of the one person who will sit with him or her. Please indicate if your guest will use a wheelchair. THIS REQUEST MUST COME FROM THE GRADUATE. An interpreter (signer) will be at the ceremony.
  • University store — Store hours Dec. 12 are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Photographs — Family and guests are not allowed to approach the stage to photograph graduates. A roster with your name and address will be sent to Gradimages. Their photographer will photograph you as you receive congratulations from President Harpster. The firm will contact you concerning your interest in purchasing photos. The firm’s website is

3. Demeanor

  • Cap and gown — Only academic regalia approved by the Commencement Committee may be worn by graduates. Inappropriate decorations on caps and gowns must be removed prior to the ceremony. Members of academic honor societies may wear the appropriate cord or medallion as provided by their society.
  • Alcohol — Possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages are prohibited. Beverages will be confiscated and violators will be evicted from the facility. GRADUATES WHO APPEAR INTOXICATED WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO PARTICIPATE.


Special assistance — Graduates who need special assistance to participate in the ceremony are asked to call 477-1202 or send an e-mail to by Friday, Dec. 4.

Check-in — Report to the check‑in desk in the main lobby of Heiges before 10 a.m. Pick up your name card. The card assigns you to a place in the procession and a seat based on your college. During the ceremony you will hand the card to the announcer, who will read your name.

Assembly/robing — Your assigned assembly and robing areas on the second floor are:

White name cards: Room 200 Blue name cards: Room 230

Restrooms — Women use the lavatory in the basement women’s locker room. Men use the lavatory on the second floor of the field house.

Valuables — You are responsible for your valuables; leave them at home or with a relative or friend. The university is not responsible for lost, stolen or misplaced items.

Tassels — Position your tassel on the right side of your mortarboard. You will be instructed to shift it to the left side during the ceremony.


  • Line‑up — Follow the instructions of the class marshals, who will assist you in lining up according to the letter “A” or “B” and the number on your name card. Your position is alphabetical by college.
  • 10:40 a.m. — Class marshals will lead the two columns of the procession down the stairs to the lobby. The columns will move in different directions at varying speeds when you enter the arena. Please pay careful attention to your proper position and spacing.
  • 11 a.m. — The marshal carrying the mace will lead the procession into the arena followed by members of the 50-year class, graduates, faculty, academic and administrative leaders, and the platform party.
  • Seating — The class marshals will lead you into the arena and direct you to your seats. Move into your row and fill all seats. Please be seated as soon as you enter the row. Gentlemen, remove your mortarboards during the national anthem, invocation, alma mater and benediction. Students with white cards will be in Column A and students with blue cards will be in Column B. Column A will be Grove College of Business and College of Education and Human Services graduates. Column B will be College of Arts and Sciences graduates.


At a certain point in the ceremony, you will be asked to stand and will be presented to President Harpster who will confer your degree. When the president finishes saying “. . .with all the rights, privileges and responsibilities pertaining thereto,” he will instruct you to move your tassel from the right side to the left side of your mortarboard. You then will be asked to sit and await instructions from the class marshals.

Awarding of Degrees — On cue from the class marshal, rise and move into the center aisle. When released by the class marshal, move to the announcer and present your NAME CARD. Next, move to the dean to receive your diploma cover and then to President Harpster, where a handshake is extended and a photograph taken. Return to your seat and sit down immediately. Please follow the directions of the class marshals carefully.



Following the benediction, the platform party, dignitaries and faculty will leave the arena in the recessional. After they have cleared the aisle, the class marshals will release you without a recessional. This ends the ceremony.


Should you have any questions concerning participation in the ceremony, please contact Dr. Peter M. Gigliotti, Commencement Committee chair, at 477-1202 or via e-mail at


Contact Information

Undergraduate students: For information, call Dr. Peter M. Gigliotti, Commencement Committee chair, at 477-1202 or send e-mail to

Graduate students: For information, view Graduate Commencement or send e-mail to

Web Coverage

Spring 2016 graduate commencement ceremony will be available online by clicking here.

Spring 2016 undergraduate commencement ceremony is available online by clicking here.

Live coverage of the ceremonies will be on the Comcast Community Access Channel 21 and Campus Cable Channel 82.1.

Commencement Video Order Form 

Getting to Ship