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Graduate Commencement Letter

Dear Doctoral or Master’s Degree Candidate:

Congratulations on the completion of your studies at Shippensburg University.  This letter contains some important information for doctoral and master’s degree candidates planning to finish their degree requirements during the 2024 spring semester and for August graduates who wish to participate in the May ceremony.

This semester's Graduate Commencement Ceremony will be held on Friday, May 10 at 7:00 pm in the H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Center (LPAC), with a reception immediately following in the Multi-Purpose Room in the Ceddia Union Building (CUB).  Click here to view the campus map.

On the evening of the 10th, it will be important for you to plan to arrive no later than 6:15 pm and check-in at the registration table located in the Ship Rec Center to pick up your processional card.  Academic robes are required for everyone participating in the academic procession and program.  Qualifying students may wear graduation cords. More than one graduation cord may be worn at the same time.  Students qualifying academically may wear a medallion, which signifies this achievement.  Members of organizations based on academic merit are eligible to wear graduation stoles representing such honor groups or societies.  Members of organizations based on non-academic recognition are eligible to wear graduation stoles with the approval of the Dean of Students.  Please contact the Dean of Students with any questions you may have regarding non-academic stoles [Stole Request Form].  A GRADUATING STUDENT MAY WEAR ONLY ONE STOLE OF THEIR CHOOSING.  THE STUDENT WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE COST OF ANY SUCH REGALIA.  Additional information regarding cords, medallions and stoles may be found here. Pre-ordered caps and gowns will be available for distribution at the University Store in the Ceddia Union Building starting Monday, April 22, and will continue through the end of the semester.  If you did not pre-order, you may purchase your graduation attire at the University Store also from Monday, April 22, through the end of the semester.  Please note that you must have received, via email, tentative approval for graduation, and you must have indicated on your graduation application that you will be attending the commencement ceremony, before you will be eligible to purchase your cap and gown.  To review your attendance status please log on to myShip, click on the Student tab, click on the My Academics option, in the Graduation Tools section select View Application to Graduate.  If you need to make changes to your attendance status, please contact the Registrar’s office at  We strongly recommend you pick up or purchase your cap and gown well in advance of the ceremony on May 10.  Further information and details may be obtained by calling the store at (717) 477-1600.

You are invited to visit the bookstore on Tuesday, March 26, and Wednesday, March 27, from 11 am – 3 pm.  A Balfour representative will be available to assist with ordering a class ring and graduation announcements. 

Please make sure all of your guests are in their seats at the LPAC by 6:45 pm.  At that time, the theater doors will be closed and the hallways will be used by faculty and graduates to prepare for the processional.  Any guests not seated by 6:45 will need to wait until 7:15 to find seating. 


Tickets are not required for guest admission.  Seating is general admission.  Any graduate or guest that requires accessible seating accommodations should email by Monday, April 29.  In the email, please include the following:  whether the accommodation is needed for a guest or a graduate and what accommodation is requested.  If the accommodation is being requested for a guest, please provide the graduates name and number of individuals in your party. 

We encourage you to lock your personal belongings in your car before entering the building or give them to one of your guests.  Please note that if personal belongings are left in Ship Rec the doors to Ship Rec will be locked 30 minutes after the conclusion of the ceremony.  A coat check room is located in the first floor lobby of the Luhrs Performing Arts Center for the convenience of your guests.

A diploma cover will be given to students at the ceremony.  Diplomas and unofficial transcripts will be mailed to graduates approximately six weeks after graduation.  For those unable to attend the ceremony, diplomas, diploma folders, and unofficial transcripts will be mailed.  Information on requesting official transcripts may be found here

We hope that the Commencement Ceremony will be a time of celebration and fellowship for everyone and that you will be able to join us.  Feel free to call us at 717-477-1371 if you have any questions.       


Allen Dieterich-Ward
Director of The Graduate School