Commencement Instructions

Hello, UAA grads. We look forward to seeing you at the Commencement ceremony on Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014. Here are a few things you need to know about the big day.


Purchase regalia

You'll need to purchase regalia–cap, gown, tassel, and if you're a graduate student, a hood-before commencement. These items are available for purchase from the Campus Bookstore, during and after the Grad Fair happening Oct. 15, 2014, 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. Please purchase these items by Nov. 28, 2014 to assure their arrival prior to the ceremony.


Attend registration at the Alaska Airlines Center

On December 14 you'll need to come to the Alaska Airlines Center at 11 a.m. for registration. Registration will take place in the auxiliary gym and signs will direct you to the student entrance. Registration is for graduates only. Main doors to the arena will open at noon for friends and family.

During registration you will pick up your reader card, which will list your full name and your degree (or degrees.) In the top right corner of your card, you'll find your college and a letter that will tell you where you'll need to line up for the processional prior to the ceremony.

The other side of your card is for the photographer who will be taking photos of you backstage with your diploma cover during the ceremony. Be sure to fill this out before you return for the ceremony in the afternoon, and make sure you write clearly. The information on this card will help the photographers match you with your photo, just in case any of the cards get out of order. Proofs of your graduation photos will be emailed to you a few weeks after the ceremony and you can order photos directly from the photographer.

Once you get your card, you can:

  • Check out where you'll need to line up for the ceremony.
  • Write a phonetic spelling of your name on your reader card if your name is difficult to pronounce.
  • Enjoy snacks and pick up your new grad gift courtesy of the UAA Alumni Association.

The Commencement Crew will be available to answer any other questions you may have about the ceremony.

cap_3_2Line up for the processional

You will begin lining up for the processional with your cap and gown and your reader card in hand at 12 p.m. You'll need to be lined up with your college in the auxiliary gym no later than 12:45 p.m.

Doors to the arena will open at 12 p.m. for your family and friends to arrive and find seating. 

The processional

Remember to start the ceremony with your tassel on the right of your cap.

college-postercap_4_2You'll line up by college in the auxiliary gym. Look for your college poster on the wall, and then look for the letter on your card. If you are earning two degrees from different colleges, you'll just need to pick which one you want to walk with. All degrees will be announced as you cross the stage. Don't worry about lining up alphabetically. Each college will be led by a flag bearer in a green robe. Within each college, graduate students wearing a graduate hood with their regalia will be first, followed by all undergraduate degrees. Other than that, there's no particular order.

For the processional, the line will move down the central staircase to the locker room level and through the doors onto the main arena floor. Once on the arena floor, Commencement Crew will direct you into a row of seats. Don't sit down until the reader instructs you to be seated. After all the students are on the floor, the faculty will enter, followed by the stage party. Once everyone is in the arena, the reader will ask everyone to be seated.


The ceremony

The first part of the ceremony will include speeches and the presentation of honorary degrees. During the second half of the ceremony, you'll come on stage in two lines to receive your diploma cover from your dean. Commencement Crew will direct you into the center aisle. As the reader calls your name, you'll walk up the ramp, receive your diploma cover, shake hands with your dean and regent or chancellor, and continue down the ramp off stage. At the bottom of the ramp, you'll be directed backstage to have your photo taken with your diploma cover, and then you'll return to your seat. Please note that friends and family will not be allowed on the floor of the Alaska Airlines Center during the ceremony.


The finale

After everyone has crossed the stage, all students will stand to sing the  UAA Alma Mater. Stay standing after the song while a regent confers your degree and the chancellor instructs you to turn your tassel from the right to the left of your cap. After that, confetti will fly and the recessional will begin. Don't go anywhere! Stay in your rows until Commencement Crew directs you. The stage party will leave first, followed by faculty, who will form an honor aisle for your exit. Students will exit into the center aisle, through the honor aisle where you can greet your teachers, ending up in the auxiliary gym where you can meet up with your family and friends.

A few things to note:

  • Your diploma will not actually be inside your diploma cover. Summer grads should already have received diplomas. Students graduating this fall have just finished finals and it'll take a few weeks to calculate grades.
  • Be aware that conferring of degrees at the ceremony is provisional, pending verification that all your degree requirements have been met. You'll receive an email from Degree Services in a few weeks when your diploma is ready to be picked up.
  • If you already have your diploma framed or think you won't use the green diploma cover you received at the ceremony, please leave it on your seat and we'll gladly get it to another student.
  • ** Remember to start the ceremony with your tassel on the right of your cap. **

Please see the Commencement website if you have further questions.