Commencement Decorum

Commencement is a dignified ceremony marking a special time in a student’s career. Graduates and guests are asked to conduct themselves with decorum and give proper respect to fellow graduates, guests, and the speakers on the stage.

We ask your help in making the ceremony a pleasant experience for all by attentively considering the rights and feelings of the other participants and guests.

  • Please remain in your seat for the entire ceremony. Movement on the floor where graduates are seated is distracting to the guests in the stands, and it is disrespectful to the speakers. If for some important reason, you must leave the ceremony, please speak to one of the commencement assistants.
  • Although graduating classes are large, the university wishes to recognize every graduate individually by calling each student to the stage and saying their name. Graduates then return to their seats until the conclusion of the ceremonies when the entire graduating class is recognized.
  • Please turn off pagers and cellular telephones during the ceremonies, as a courtesy to those around you, our degree candidates and guests.The use of cell phones is restricted to the line up/staging area only.
  • To ensure that the ceremonies run smoothly, are safe, and honor the graduates and their families:
    • No umbrellas are allowed in the stadium.
    • The use of items that detract from the ceremonies is prohibited: signs, fireworks, bottles, beach balls, balloons, cans, drugs, and alcohol. Graduates choosing not to abide by these rules will not be allowed in the ceremony venue or will be escorted from the ceremony.


  • In light of the formality of commencement, all graduates are expected to wear the appropriate academic regalia:
  • Black academic gown
  • Mortarboard (without personal accessories or messages)
  • Recommended clothing worn under gown:
  • MEN
    Dress shirt (tie optional)
    Dark trousers
    Dress shoes and socks
    Dress, skirt or dark slacks and blouse
    Dress shoes, etc.
  • Casual wear (i.e., blue jeans, Hawaiian print shirts, fluorescent colors, etc.) is not appropriate attire for this occasion.
  • Leave gown boxes, cameras, purses, cell phones, etc. in cars or with guests.