Commencement Instructions

Hello, UAA grads. We look forward to seeing you at the Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 4, 2014. Here are a few things you need to know about the big day.


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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 Feb. 12 - 14, 2014, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. 


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Attend registration at the Sullivan Arena

On May 4 you'll need to come to the Sullivan Arena between the hours of 9 and 10:30 a.m. for registration. At this time 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 grad photos will be emailed to you a few weeks after Commencement and you can order photos directly from the photographer.

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Once you get your card, you can:

  • Check out where you'll need to line up when you return for the ceremony in the afternoon.
  • 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 Alumni Association.

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


cap-3Return to the Sullivan Arena for the ceremony

You'll return to the Sullivan Arena with your cap and gown and your reader card in the afternoon with your family and friends for the ceremony. The  doors will open at 2 p.m and the program starts at 3 p.m. You'll need to be lined up with your college in the processional area no later than 2:45 p.m.

  


The processional

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

college-postercap-4You'll line up by college in the back hallways on the main level of the Sullivan. 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 or in single file–space is tight, so just clump together. 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 outside and down through the lower doors at the Sullivan and onto the arena floor, so as you move outside, you can start to form a single file line. 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. 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.


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The ceremony

The first part of the ceremony will be taken up with speeches and 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.


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The finale

After everyone has crossed the stage, all students will stand to sing 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 outside 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. Grads from 2013 should already have received diplomas. Students graduating this spring 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.