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Graduation Candidate Instructions


Assembly will be in the Performance Court. All candidates and graduates should arrive between 4:45 and 5:15pm. Use the east entrance to the Regional Sports Center directly off of the north parking lot and proceed to the check-in table.

4:45 - 5:15pm All graduates and candidates must report to the Regional Sports Center

  • Check in at the registration table in the Performance Court.
  • Verify the accuracy of the information on the card you receive.
  • Print your name phonetically if you have a difficult sounding name.
  • Hold on to this card until you approach the stage during the ceremony.

5:25pm Line-up

  • Graduates and candidates will line up by program/major; there will be signs on the rows identifying programs of study.
  • Line up alphabetically in the appropriate row; you will need to check with others in line to arrange yourselves accordingly.
  • Important: Do not wander! When you have found your place, please remain in line and make adjustments as others need to step in.

5:50pm Processional

  • The processional will be led by the color guard, followed by the stage party, faculty, faculty marshals, and then graduates and candidates.
  • Stay in rows of 2.
  • Both lines will move around the back of the curtains and march in from the opposite side of the Field House.
  • The color guard will post the colors while the stage party moves up the center aisle to watch. The faculty will create a gauntlet beginning at the center aisle and stand along the front of the bleachers. The graduates/candidates, led by faculty marshals, will proceed through the gauntlet and down the center aisle.
  • It is important for students to move to their seats as quickly as possible so the ceremony can begin on time.
  • When reaching the chairs, turn and face the stage.
  • Remain standing until after the National Anthem.

Receiving Diplomas:

  • As you face the stage, you will be going up on the left and exiting on the right.
  • Remain seated until it is your row's turn to walk to the stage; please try to stand together.
  • Faculty members will lead the graduates and candidates to the stage.
  • As the graduate/candidate before you is walking across the stage, hand your card to the announcer - proceed across the stage as your name is read.
  • You will receive your diploma cover from the vice president; take it in your left hand and shake hands with Interim President Helens with your right. Your picture will be taken as you are shaking hands.
  • When returning to your seats, remain standing until everyone in your row has received their diploma case and returned to their seat.
  • When all candidates have been acknowledged and are presented to the audience, you may move your tassel from the right to the left side of your cap.


  • At the conclusion of the ceremony, faculty marshals will lead the stage party out, followed by the faculty/staff and then the graduates.
  • Once everyone is behind the stage, the curtain will be raised and the guests will have an opportunity to locate their graduates.

Band Graduates:

  • You will not be a part of the processional.
  • Check in at the registration table, then go directly to the Field House and join the band.
  • When the time comes for you to receive your diploma, please step in line at the appropriate place according to your program of study.

Special Needs Accessibility:

  • The Regional Sports Center is special needs-accessible; however, if you have special needs, please specify this on your online RSVP, so that specific accommodations may be arranged

General Reminders:

  • All participants are required to stay for the entire ceremony (approximately 2 hours in length)
  • All participants are required to wear a cap and gown.
  • Please help maintain the dignity of this special event by demonstrating appropriate, respectful behavior throughout the proceedings.
  • There are no security services for coats, purses or other personal items. Once the candidates/graduates leave the Performance Court, it will be locked. No one should leave personal items in the Performance Court.
  • Please remember to bring pins, hair pins and other such items you may need for securing caps.
  • The Field House doors will not be closed before the processional this year but we recommend coming early in order to get the best seating.
  • Be sure all cell phones and pagers are turned to silent mode prior to the start of the processional. However, be sure your phone is on so you can tweet!
  • This is YOUR moment - enjoy!

On behalf on the entire college community, CONGRATULATIONS!

Cap & Gown Distribution

Commencement: May 11, 2017

Please stop back in the Spring for more information on Commencement 2017.

Contact Information
(507) 285-7210 or 1‑800‑247‑1296
Rochester Community and Technical College
851 30th Ave SE :: Rochester, MN 55904-4999
Rochester Community and Technical College, a member of Minnesota State.
RCTC is an affirmative action, equal opportunity educator and employer.
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