The Academic Procession

To All Participants in Commencement:

As we prepare for our 116th Commencement on Sunday, May 22, 2011, I would like to provide you with some information regarding the academic procession. The procession will form at 8:30 a.m. outside in the academic quad if it’s nice weather, or inside the enclosed walkway beginning at Job Hall and extending through the Campus Center if it is raining. Please see below for information on forming the academic procession if Commencement is indoors. The academic procession will begin at 9:00 a.m. and the Commencement ceremony will begin at 10:00 a.m. All guests will be encouraged to be seated by 8:45 a.m. The procession will be in the order noted below:

Order of Procession


Faculty and Staff

Graduate School

School of Music

School of Humanities and Sciences

School of Health Sciences and Human Performance

School of Business

School of Communications

Division of Interdisciplinary and International Studies

The Trustees/Platform Division will assemble on the 1st floor Peggy R. Williams Center, at 8:45 a.m. and will walk over to the Academic Quad and will link up in front of the faculty and staff for procession to the stadium.

The Faculty/Staff Division will line up next to the students outside of Job Hall and form a double line in random order under the direction of the Faculty Marshals. The faculty and staff will process in front of the students. The faculty and staff will pass the reviewing stand, proceed to the “chute” which leads into the stadium, and then line up on both sides of the “chute” so that all of the graduates will pass between the faculty and staff as they enter the stadium. Once all of the students have passed through, the faculty and staff will then process into the stadium in front of the platform party. Faculty and staff members should plan to provide their own umbrellas in the event of inclement weather.

The Class Division, consisting of members of the graduating class, will form in the academic quad area, or inside the enclosed hallway extending from Job Hall through to the Campus Center depending on the weather. Students from each school will form two abreast in random order. Each school will be headed by its Marshals. Signs will indicate the locations of the respective schools. (If you wish to sit next to friends in your school, you should march with them.)

Severe Weather Plan

If severe weather is anticipated, the decision to use the severe weather plan will be made as early as possible. Information will be available by calling 274-3201 (Information Desk) and announcements will be made on-campus and through local radio stations.

In an effort to accommodate seating for as many family members and guests as possible, the College will always attempt to hold the Commencement ceremony outdoors. In the case of severe weather in the morning, the outdoor ceremony will be postponed until 1:00 p.m. or 4:00 p.m., in hopes of a break in the weather. If the ceremony is held at 1:00 p.m., the receptions and diploma cover distribution will occur at the publicized locations after the ceremony, unless otherwise announced. If Commencement is held at 4:00 p.m., the receptions and diploma cover distribution will be held at 11:30 a.m., to serve as a light luncheon for graduates and their guests.

Severe weather is defined as conditions that make holding the Commencement ceremony outdoors dangerous or impossible. In the event that severe weather is predicted for the entire day, Commencement will be held in the Ben Light Gymnasium at 10:00 a.m. In this situation, only graduating students will be admitted because of space limitations. The procession will form in the basement of Hill Center. Graduates will need their cap and gown (will serve as ticket) to enter the Hill Center. Graduates will line-up beginning at 9:00 a.m. in the basement of Hill Center. The entrance for the graduates will be through the door facing the academic Quad/Job Hall. Graduates will line-up by school and will process into the gym when instructed to do so. Faculty and the platform party will take their seats immediately. Therefore, only graduates will walk in the processional into the gym. There will be a designated area for faculty for robing in the gymnasium.

The ceremony will be televised live on local cable channel 16. Those who wish to watch the cablecast from an on-campus location should go to one of the following viewing sites:

Campus Center (various locations)*

Hoerner Theatre, Dillingham Center

Ford Hall, Whalen Center*

Park Hall Auditorium*

TV lounges in all residence halls where guests are housed

Textor 101, 102 and 103

Hockett Family Recital Hall, Whalen Center

Iger Lecture Hall, Whalen Center*

*Recommended for the mobility-impaired.

The ceremony will also be shown live on the web. It may be viewed by going to beginning at 9:00 a.m. on Commencement day. Portions of the ceremony will also be available for later viewing on the web at, beginning on the Wednesday following Commencement.

If Commencement is held indoors, sign language interpretation will be provided in the Emerson Suites in the Campus Center. Receptions and diploma distribution will be held as scheduled.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact the Student Affairs and Campus Life Office at 274-3374 or reference the Special Commencement website at We are looking forward to a memorable day!

Originally published in Intercom: The Academic Procession