Candidate Instructions

Assembly will be in the Performance Court. All candidates and graduates should arrive between 4:45pm 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 inside the Performance Court.

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. Be sure you are done taking pictures before we begin lining up.

5:50pm Processional

  • The processional will be led by the mace bearer, stage party, faculty/staff, and then graduates and candidates. Faculty marshals will direct everyone to their seats.
  • Both lines will move around the back of the curtains and march in from the opposite side of the Field House.
  • Stay in rows of 2, following the directions of the faculty marshals, until you have found your seat.
  • 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.
  • Please remain standing until after the color guard has posted the colors and the National Anthem has been performed.

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 the vice president and President Boyd with your right hand. Your picture will be taken as you are shaking hands with the president.
  • As you exit the stage to the right, stand on the “x” at the bottom of the ramp to have your picture taken with your diploma case.
  • 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 for the graduates to march through. The faculty marshals will lead the graduates back to the Performance Court where they will receive their gift and exit to join their guests for a reception. The reception will be held outside, or throughout the Sports Center in the case of inclement weather. Graduates and guests are encouraged to disperse and take advantage of the celebratory photo opportunities that have been created for them.

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 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. There will not be caps and gowns for purchase at the Performance Court, so please bring your cap, gown, and tassel with you to check-in.
  • 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, hairpins, and other such items you may need for securing caps or repairing clothing.
  • Due to the number of guests who attend the Commencement ceremony, we recommend they come 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.
  • This is YOUR moment – enjoy!

On behalf on the entire college community, CONGRATULATIONS!