Commencement Day Details

Ceremony Procedures

  • Plan to arrive at Western Hall approximately 1 hour prior to the ceremony. Please leave all belongings with your guests.
  • Students go to the East Arena (Q-Lot side of Western Hall) to pick up name cards and assemble behind the standard designated for their major.
  • Students need to be in line 30 minutes prior to their ceremony.
  • Students will process into the arena area as directed by commencement staff and marshals.
  • Marshals will continue to direct students throughout the ceremony. Marshals are easily recognized by their white robes.
  • Marshals will lead students to the stage by row. Exit rows to the right and re-enter rows from the left.
  • Students walk up the ramp and hand their name cards to the reader at the podium. As individual names are read, students cross the stage, shaking hands with several University dignitaries.
  • At the far end of the stage, students receive their diploma covers and pose with their department chair or leader for a professional photograph.
  • Hold the diploma cover in an upright position with the school seal facing the camera.
  • Students will be directed to move their tassels to the left side of their cap after everyone has crossed the stage.
  • At the conclusion of the ceremony, the music will begin and marshals will direct students out of the arena. Please remain seated until your row is released.


  • Cap and are gown required. View a video on properly wearing your cap and gown.
  • Decorations and writing are not allowed on the cap or gown.
  • Undergraduates wear the tassel on the right side of the cap, while graduate students wear the tassel on the left side of the cap.
  • Cords and stoles are permitted to be worn by members of:
    • Alpha Epsilon Rho
    • Alpha Phi Sigma
    • Alpha Mu Gamma
    • Alpha Sigma Lambda
    • Alpha Zeta
    • Beta Alpha Psi
    • Beta Beta Beta
    • Blue Key National Honor Society
    • Delta Psi
    • Golden Key International Honour Society
    • Iota Iota Iota
    • Kappa Delta Pi
    • Kappa Omicron Nu
    • Kappa Pi
    • Kappa Sigma
    • Lambda Pi Eta
    • Mortar Board
    • Nursing Honor Society
    • Phi Alpha Theta
    • Phi Beta Delta International Honor Society
    • Phi Epsilon Sigma
    • Phi Eta Sigma
    • Phi Kappa Phi
    • Psi Chi
    • SALUTE
    • Sigma Iota Epsilon
    • Sigma Tau Delta
    • Student Service Leadership
    • Upsilon Pi Epsilon
    • Who's Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities

Other discipline-specific honors organizations that would like to be added to this list and that have a GPA threshold at or above a 3.000 should send the name of the organization, its unit affiliation, and the GPA threshold required to be a member of the organization to

Disability Information


  • A professional photographer will take a photo as graduates receive their diploma covers.
  • DVDs of the entire ceremony will also be available for purchase from University Television.
  • Order forms and proofs will be mailed to the diploma address within two weeks following graduation. We ask that all attendees be considerate of others when taking photographs.
  • For more information, please visit

Personal Belongings

  • There is no secure storage for personal belongings available during the ceremony. Please leave excess items at home or with your family for safe keeping.


  • No tickets are needed to attend the ceremony.
  • Seating is on first-come, first-served basis. Doors open 1½ hours prior to each ceremony.
  • Ushers will monitor rows to accommodate as many guests as possible.
  • Saving seats is not permitted.

No Alcohol

  • Alcohol is not permitted. Anyone in possession of alcohol will be immediately removed from the premises by on-duty police officers.

No Noisemaking Devices

  • Noisemaking devices are prohibited. Possession of noisemaking devices, especially air horns, may result in removal from the premises. Consideration for the safety and welfare of all attendees is a priority.


  • Your diploma and a complimentary transcript will be mailed approximately 6-8 weeks after commencement, providing there are no financial encumbrances and all requirements have been met.
  • The address on your commencement name card will be used. Should there be incorrect information on your name card, please visit the information center in the East Arena commencement day or contact the Graduation Department at (309) 298-1891.
  • Participation in commencement does not guarantee graduation.

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