Commencement F.A.Q.

Congratulations from UAA!

Time and Date

Sunday, May 4, 2014. Ceremony begins at 3 p.m. and concludes at approximately 5:30 p.m.


George M. Sullivan Arena, 1600 Gambell Street, Anchorage, Alaska

When to Arrive

  • 9 - 10:30 a.m. - Student Registration at the Sullivan Arena (see details below)
  • 2 p.m. - Doors open at the Sullivan Arena for students, family and friends.
  • 3 p.m. - Commencement ceremony begins

Where to Report

  • Student Registration: Sullivan Arena Floor
  • Line-up for the Processional at your assigned location at the Sullivan Arena no later than 2:45 p.m.
  • Faculty: South East Lounge, no later than 2:45 p.m.
  • Deans and Stage Party: Sullivan VIP Room at 2 p.m.

Mandatory Registration

Sunday, May 4, 2014 (the same day as the ceremony) from 9 - 10:30 a.m. All students must stop by the Sullivan Arena during this time frame to register. At registration, you’ll receive your reader card listing your name and your degree(s). As you cross the stage at the ceremony, you’ll hand this card to the reader who will call out your name and degree. This card will also contain information about where you’ll need to line up for the processional prior to the ceremony.During registration, you’ll have the opportunity to:

  • Find out where you’ll line up for the processional
  • See what side of the arena your family and friends should sit on, depending on where your college will be seated on the arena floor
  • Consult with a reader and write a phoenetic spelling on your reader card if your name is difficult to pronounce.
  • Consult with commencement crew on any questions you have about the ceremony.

Note: There will not be a student rehearsal for commencement this year. Once you know where to line up, commencement crew will direct you through the remainder of the ceremony.   

Welcome New Alumni Class of 2014

Enjoy coffee and treats and receive your graduation gift from the UAA Alumni Association during registration.

Cap and Gown

A cap and gown (and hood if applicable) is required during the ceremony. They can be purchased at the UAA Bookstore. You can visit the bookstore online here.

Graduation Announcements

Graduation announcements can be ordered at the Campus Bookstore.

News Releases

Unless you have instructed us not to, we will provide your name, degree or certificate and major to the Anchorage Daily News for possible publication. If you would like another news release sent to your hometown paper, informing them of your graduation, please contact the University Advancement Office at (907) 786-1288 if you need assistance.

Tickets and Seating

Tickets are not needed, all family and guests are welcome to attend this free event. Guests should arrive early for the best seating.

Length of Ceremony

Approximately 2.5 hours.

Master's Graduates at Commencement

Master’s degree graduates and candidates will not be hooded during commencement. Instead, UAA will hold a special Hooding Ceremony for Master’s Degree Graduates and Candidates on Saturday, May 3, 2014. This special Hooding Ceremony adds to the graduation experience by making it possible to focus on advanced degree candidates and their accomplishments. It allows graduate faculty and staff, family and friends a chance to witness the ceremonial hooding of the graduate student in a more intimate setting. Please Note: This special Hooding Ceremony does not take the place of Commencement. Graduate students will march with their hoods on their shoulders, receive their diploma cover, have their degrees conferred and be recognized by name along with those earning bachelor’s and associate degrees and certificates at commencement on Sunday. For more information on the Hooding Ceremony click here.

Record the Ceremony

The commencement will be recorded and will be made available for purchase in DVD format.

Parking and Transportation

There is no charge for parking. UAA will provide shuttle service every 15 minutes to the Sullivan Arena and back before and after the ceremony. The first shuttle departs from the UAA Student Union at 1:30pm After the ceremony, the shuttle will resume. The first post-ceremony shuttle will depart from the Sullivan Arena 15 minutes after the ceremony ends. Shuttle service will continue until 7 p.m.

Special Needs

There will be American Sign Language interpreters for the ceremony. Please call Disability Support Services at (907) 786-4530 regarding other special need requirements.

There will be 40 handicap spaces reserved in the parking lot.

Commencement Photographs

Arrangements have been made with a professional photographer to take pictures of each graduate. Proofs will be e-mailed to you approximately two weeks after graduation.

Honors Cords

Honors cords are distributed to associate and baccalaureate degree seeking students at the end of the spring semester. If you received honors in the summer or fall semesters of the previous year, or if you are eligible for honors for the spring of the current year, an email will be sent to your UAA student email address, late-March/early-April informing you when you will be able to pick up your honor cord at One Stop Student Services in the University Center located at 3901 Old Seward Hwy., Anchorage, Alaska. Please note that graduate students do not receive honor cords. Click here to learn more about honors cords.

R.S.V.P. for Commencement

All graduates who plan to attend commencement must R.S.V.P.

What Not to Bring to Commencement

Do not bring horns, mechanical noise makers or helium balloons to the commencement ceremony. These items will be confiscated upon entry by Sullivan Arena security.

Children and infants will not be allowed to accompany graduates on the Sullivan Arena floor. The ceremony is long and the pace is fast and hectic as students cross the stage to receive their diploma covers and shake hands with university leadership. For safety reasons, please arrange for family and friends to care for children in the Sullivan Arena bleacher seats.

More Information

Contact Bridgett Mackey at (907) 786-1013 or by e-mail at