What to Do When You Arrive

Arrival Time for Participants

Participants should arrive at the Family Arena no later than one hour prior to the ceremony to pick up your Reader Card and to line up for the processional that precedes the commencement ceremony. It is imperative that you pick up your Reader Card prior to reporting for line up. (This card is what you will hand your Dean so your name will be announced during the ceremony.)

Anticipate delays and allow additional time for traffic and parking! Participants’ family members and guests will also be arriving at the same time.

Line Up and Seating Information

Line up and seating information is available here.

Participants will assemble by school then by degree group. (All schools/degree groups will be well marked by signs.) Participants should be in academic attire. Please leave all personal belongings with guests prior to lining up as storage for these items during the commencement ceremony is not available.

The Processional

The procession of participants begins fifteen minutes prior to the start of the ceremony to allow participants, faculty and the platform party to be in place at the ceremony start time. As participants approach the reserved seating area, faculty marshals and staff members will assist in guiding participants to the correct row.

Approaching the Platform

When your group is asked to rise and come forward:

  • Be sure to bring your Reader Card to the platform as it will be used to read your name.
  • Rise and exit your row to the right/left depending on what side of the center aisle you are sitting on
  • Proceed to the ramp to the right/left of the platform
  • A close-up photo will be taken
  • When instructed, give your Reader Card to the Dean to read your name and then walk to President Lombardi
  • Take your diploma folder from President Lombardi in your left hand, a photo will be taken
  • As you shake hands with the President, a photo will be taken
  • Then shake hands with the Board chair
  • Another photo will be taken after you exit the platform
  • Return to your seat via the center aisle, and be seated

The Recessional
At the close of the commencement ceremony, the University platform party, faculty and students recess.

Order of Ceremony

  1. National Anthem
  2. Invocation
  3. Welcome
  4. Student Speakers
  5. Commencement Address
  6. President’s Address to Graduates
  7. Presentation of Candidates for Degrees
  8. Announcement of Candidates
  9. Conferring of Degrees
  10. Benediction
  11. Recessional

Ceremony Length

  • Approximately 2.5 to 3 hours