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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/staff, 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/staff will be led by faculty marshals to the faculty/staff seating to the left of the stage. The graduates/candidates, led by faculty marshals, will proceed down the center aisle and find their seats.
  • 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 to the stage on the left and exiting the stage 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 Davenport 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 will be directed from the podium to 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, who will form a gauntlet in front of the bleachers and then the graduates marching through the gauntlet and out the doors. In case of inclement weather, graduates will be led around to the back side of the curtain and will stay indoors. 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 in your email RSVP, so that specific accommodations may be arranged. In addition, if you have guests with special needs, please indicate that in your RSVP email as well. No tickets are needed but it helps us to plan for an appropriate number of seats in that section.

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 or repairing clothing.
  • 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

Starting April 17:

Mondays-Thursdays from 11:00am-1:00pm
Fridays from 11:00am-12:00pm
Tuesday and Wednesday, May 9 and 10 from 5:00pm-6:00pm

Heintz Center Commons
Thursday, April 27 and May 4 from 10:00am-11:00am

  • Pay $13 for regalia at the Cashier’s Window.
  • Present your $13 receipt to the gown table.
  • Honors Tassels – Honors based on Fall 2016 GPA.
  • PTK graduates – see PTK Advisor for PTK tassels.

Distance Learners: If you have difficulty getting to campus to pick up your cap and gown, please contact the Cashier at 507-285-7311 to make arrangements. We can accept Visa or MasterCard payments via phone call; please be sure to have your Student ID number ready and have verified that your mailing address on record with RCTC is accurate.

Gown Sizes Information:








4’10” – 5’

5’ – 5’3”

5’4 – 5’6”

5’7” – 5’ 9”

5’10” – 6’

6’1” – 6’3”


Plus Size Orders:  Must be submitted with your paid receipt by April 28.
Closer to graduation, sizes are limited.



Contact Information
(507) 285-7210 or 1‑800‑247‑1296
Rochester Community and Technical College
851 30th Ave SE :: Rochester, MN 55904-4999
Celebrating 100 years!    1915-2015    www.rctc.edu/100th
Rochester Community and Technical College, a member of Minnesota State.
RCTC is an affirmative action, equal opportunity educator and employer.
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