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Day of Commencement

When should I arrive?

Arrive no later than 30 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony and no earlier than 45 minutes before your scheduled time. After parking, enter the campus through the front gates.

What should I have with me?

You should have your academic regalia (cap, gown, and stoles/cords), along with your guest tickets, name card, and photography card (and the map of the campus if you need it!)

What to expect when you arrive

Prior to Commencement, you should have received your guest tickets, your name card, your photography card, and a map of the campus. You should have also received ceremony instructions via email.

Arrive no later than 30 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony and no earlier than 45 minutes before your scheduled time.  You should have with you your name card, guest tickets, and photography card.

After parking enter the campus on make your way to the Alumni Green. There will be Commencement staff at the entrance to the Alumni Green who will take your guest tickets and direct you to the graduate line-up area and your guests to the seating area. No-one without a ticket will be permitted into the guest seating area. 

Once you approach the line-up area you will hand in your photography card.  Hold onto your name card and Commencement staff will guide you to where you will line up.  Alumni volunteers will also be in the area to pin all of the graduates.

The Ceremony will begin promptly at your scheduled start time. You will be instructed to follow the Chairman of Commencement in a procession.  Once you arrive at the seating area, the Chairman will guide you to your seats.

When it is time for graduates to approach the stage you will be led by the Marshal of the Graduates, one row at a time, to the stage.  You will hand your name card to the reader, cross the stage to receive your diploma, exit the stage where the photographer will take your photo.  You will return to your seat entering the opposite side of the row.

At the end of the Ceremony the Platform Party, and Faculty will march out of the seating area and line up on the perimeter of the Alumni Green.  You will recess out led row by row by the Marshal of the Graduates and around the Green where Faculty will congratulate you.  That will conclude your ceremony and you will promptly exit the campus.

Where do I line up for the ceremony?

When you arrive at your scheduled ceremony time, you will be directed to line up along the walkway toward Horton Hall on the edge of the Alumni Green. There will be tents erected on the Green, so if it rains, graduates will line up at the rear of the tent.

Hashtags, Social Media, and Selfie Contest

Please use the hashtag #SOClassof2022 on your public posts. This hashtag will be used to post photos and congratulatory messages on our social media wall which will cover all three ceremonies.

We are also running Selfie Content. To enter, please also additionally tag your photos with #selfiecontest. Public photos must be tagged with both #SOClassof2022 and #selfiecontest to be entered into the contest. For full details, please see Student Grapevine dated May 12th, 2022.

Commencement Etiquette

Graduation is a dignified important event. In order not to disrupt the ceremony, please turn off any cell phones or other electronic devices you are carrying. Please wear appropriate attire and footwear with your gown as the ramp to the stage is steep. Smoking is prohibited.

No beach balls, Frisbees, balloons, etc. are allowed during the Commencement Ceremony.

When do I get my diploma?

Only diploma covers will be handed to each graduate during the ceremony. Once all degrees have been conferred diplomas will be mailed to each graduate.  December 2021 graduates have already received their diplomas.

All diplomas for May, 2022 graduates are mailed 4-6 weeks after Commencement.

August 2022 candidates for graduation who were eligible to walk, will receive their diplomas in September once they have completed all of their requirements.


Graduates will assemble in the walkway area of Horton Hall. Depending on the start of your ceremony, please arrive no later than 30 minutes before your ceremony begins.  The last call will be 5 minutes before your start time.  

Marching Order:

  • Chairman of Commencement
  • Marshal of the Graduates
  • Graduates
  • Faculty and Staff
  • Platform Party

Detailed instructions will be mailed and emailed to each graduate along with their name card, tickets, and a photography card.

Inclement Weather

The Commencement Ceremonies will be held rain or shine under tents erected on the Alumni Green. Should it rain, graduates, Faculty, and the Platform Party will line up at the rear of the tent and file in to their seats once the ceremony starts led by the Marshal and Chairman of Commencement.  At the end of the ceremony the Platform Party and Faculty will recess out of the seating area, and the graduates will leave as well and exit the campus.

Parking / Accessible Parking

All student and staff parking lots, and the parking garage will be open to all attendees. Parking is also allowed on city streets.

If you have a family member with mobility issues, or special needs, Security will be equipped with passenger golf carts to transport those individuals to the seating area.  Drivers will be directed to either Tennis Court Drive behind the Physical Education Building or the Morrison lot for handicapped parking.

Professional Photography

An official photographer (Island Photography) will take a picture of each graduate as she/he receives her/his diploma.  This will assure graduates that photographs of the event will be available for purchase.  You will receive a photography card in the mail which you will need to complete and bring with you on the day of Commencement. You will receive two color proofs with no obligation to purchase.  Their website address is www.islandphoto.com