Faculty and Staff Instructions

Each participant has a meaningful role in the ceremony. Please read and follow the instructions below. If you have any questions, please contact the Office of the Registrar at (309) 298-3107.

NOTE: The faculty/staff deadline to order caps and gowns from the Union Bookstore is TBA. Please be robed and in line 15 minutes prior to the start of your ceremony in the East Arena. Reserved parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis in the Q-Lot faculty/staff rows.

College Deans march in with the stage party and are seated on the stage. From the reader’s podium, the dean recommends to the President conferral of degrees for his or her college. After the President confers degrees, please step to the right of the podium and stand on the “X”. Deans will shake hands with each graduate after the academic reader announces each name.

Department Chairs/Directors lead in their students, sit with them, and lead them to the stage. Chairs are introduced by an academic reader and proceed to the other end of the stage. Please look for an "X" on the floor. Chairs will shake hands with each graduate while awarding the diploma cover. A professional photograph will be taken. As you and the graduate pose for the professional photograph, please hold the diploma cover in an upright position with the school seal facing toward the camera. After the last graduate from your department has been photographed, please return to your seat.

It is important, for purposes of producing name cards, to notify the Office of the Registrar if a replacement is designated to walk for a department chair. Please discourage students from leaving before the end of the ceremony.

Faculty Participants will be led in during the processional by marshals and will be seated in rows behind the graduates. 

Academic Readers march in with the stage party and are seated on the stage. As the marshal leads the first department chair for the college and students to the stage, the reader proceeds to the reader’s podium at the top of the ramp. Readers introduce each department chair/director. Students hand the reader their name cards. The reader reads the students’ names, any honors designations listed (summa cum laude, magna cum laude, or cum laude), and military titles. Please do not read any other information on the card.

Students proceed to shake the dean’s hand, walk across the stage and shake the hands of the President and the Board of Trustees representative, and then to the department chair at the far side of the stage where they will receive a diploma cover and pose for a professional photograph.

Please keep the name cards in the order read. There will be a supply of rubber bands for you to use. Place the cards in the box on the podium shelf at the end of each department or whenever you have a handful.

ADDITIONAL NOTES: After the National Anthem is sung, gentlemen are asked to replace their caps and leave them on for the entire ceremony. All graduates, faculty, and department chairs are expected to remain throughout the ceremony. At the conclusion of the ceremony, marshals will lead the stage party, faculty and graduates out for the recessional.

A faculty coat room is available behind the information center (concession stand) on the north side in the East Arena. This room can be accessed near the brown entry/exit doors and will be marked with signage.