Graduates: How to accept your diploma (video courtesy of Elon University)

The Day of the Ceremony

Out of courtesy to your fellow graduates, you are expected to arrive on time and stay for the entire program, which lasts approximately 90 minutes. There is no Commencement rehearsal. Therefore, the instructions listed below and the directions that will be given to you the day of the ceremony for line-up, marching and the awarding of degrees should be followed carefully.

Students receiving Ph.D. and M.F.A. degrees should come to the lower level (basement) of Sondheim Hall by 9:15 a.m. Report to the graduate student assembly area to check in and receive your name card. If you have been certified for graduation, the name card is pre-printed with your name (and your mentorís name for Ph.D. and M.F.A. candidates.

Students receiving masterís degrees should come to the lower level (basement) of the Math/Psych building by 9:15 a.m. Report to the graduate student assembly area for line-up instructions. Your name card was inserted into your regalia package. Please remember to bring this card with you.

MASTERíS CANDIDATES: YOUR NAME CARD WILL BE INSERTED INTO YOUR REGALIA PACKAGE. PLEASE REMEMBER TO BRING THIS CARD WITH YOU. FOR PH.D. AND M.F.A. CANDIDATES, YOUR NAME CARD IS PRE-PRINTED AND WILL BE GIVEN TO YOU AT CHECK-IN.

The procession will begin promptly at 9:50 a.m. The Ph.D. and M.F.A. candidates and mentors will lead the faculty and staff and Platform Party processions into the arena. Ph.D. candidates and their mentors will be grouped by graduate program. Masterís degree candidates will then be lined up alphabetically within each degree category and program discipline.

When your academic department is acknowledged, a Commencement staff volunteer will escort each row of candidates and the mentors of the Ph.D. and M.F.A. candidates to the ramp that will be used to walk onto the stage. Be sure to bring your name card with you because you will hand it to the reader before you walk across the stage.

Ph.D. and M.F.A. candidates and their mentors will walk to center stage where Provost Rous will be standing. To be hooded, the Ph.D. and M.F.A. candidates will face the audience and the mentors will stand opposite of Provost Rous. After receiving their hoods, the candidates and their mentors should walk towards President Hrabowski and other guests on the stage to receive their degrees and a congratulatory handshake.

Masterís degree candidates will hand their name card to the Commencement volunteer and walk to the center of the stage where President Hrabowski, Provost Rous and Dean of the Graduate School Rutledge will be standing with other guests to congratulate them with a handshake. Masterís diplomas will be mailed to graduates eight weeks after commencement.

After receiving their acknowledgement, all candidates should proceed across the stage and return to their seats on the arena floor.

Important Note: Leave all valuables at home or with a friend or family member when you arrive at the RAC. There will be no secured area for personal belongings, such as coats, cameras, purses or book bags. Smoking is not permitted inside the RAC. Balloons are not allowed inside the arena.