Content Loading
Skip to main content

Commencement Instructions

The Big Day

  1. Lineup for graduates is 30 minutes before each ceremony. Lineup locations are listed on the Commencement home page. Wear masks and observe social distancing.
  2. Please arrive at the appropriate lineup location early. You should be dressed in your regalia when you arrive. Signs will direct you to the correct line by your major, and you should arrange yourselves in alphabetical order by last name within each line. 
  3. Wear your tassel on the right side of your cap. At the appropriate time in the ceremony, you will be asked to move it to the left side symbolizing the completion of one stage of life and moving on to the next. It also keeps the tassel out of your face when pictures are taken.
  4. Once in line, a faculty member will give you a card with your information on it. If necessary, please correct your permanent address on this card. You will keep the card until you go across the stage. The card will serve two purposes – first to let the announcer know who you are, and then to let the photographer know who you are. All students will be photographed receiving their diploma by Blunck’s by Lifetouch (, who will mail the proof to the address on your card.  Students are under no obligation to purchase photos.
  5. During the processional, follow the instructions of the faculty marshals. When you reach your seat, you may be seated. You will receive your diploma by college, department and degrees in the order listed in the program. 
  6. Graduates will be called to the stage by colleges in the order listed in the program. Faculty marshals will direct you to the stage. As you approach the stage, give your information card to the announcer’s assistant. Please wait at the top of the ramp and proceed across the stage when your name is called.
  7. Diploma covers will be awarded by President Beutler or your college Dean. Accept the diploma with your left hand (on top) and “shake right hands” under the diploma. Your academic dean will also be present to congratulate you. Faculty marshals will assist you back to your seats.
  8. When all diplomas have been presented and the commencement exercises are completed, you will be dismissed. You may exit the seating area when the Recessional music begins.
  9. As a courtesy to those receiving their diplomas after you, please ask your relatives and friends to remain seated until the entire ceremony is completed.