Institutional Events

Learn more about UAA Commencement, the master's and doctoral degree Hooding Ceremony, Convocation and other annual campus-wide events, or find out how to invite UAA's mascot, Spirit, to attend your event. Want to join us on campus for a class field trip or have one of our faculty members visit your group to speak on a specific topic? Complete our Request an Engagement form, and we'll follow up with you soon!

UAA Commencement

Commencement is an age-old academic tradition where regalia is worn and students are publicly recognized and congratulated for their achievements. Master's and doctoral degree candidates also participate in a Hooding Ceremony were they receive a ceremonial hood in honor of their advanced degree. Both events are opportunities to celebrate student success with friends, family and the community. 

  Visit the Commencement website

Invite Spirit to your special event.

UAA departments and community groups can request the use of the mascot costume for any event (rally, festival, parade, etc).

  • Please note that University Advancement will not provide someone to wear the costume—it is up to each group to recruit someone to wear the suit. It fits best on someone 5’8” or taller.

  • Read through the usage rules below for more information.

  • Check the calendar to see if the suit is available for your event.

  • Complete the request form below.

  • You will be notified by email if your request is approved. Not all requests will be granted. UAA-related activities will take priority in the scheduling of Spirit.

  • If your request is approved, you can pick up the mascot between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at UAA’s Administrative/Humanities Building, 3680 Alumni Drive, Suite 236 (map).

  • For questions, contact Michelle Hansen at or (907) 786-1288.

UAA Spirit Mascot Rules

  1. Be a positive representative of UAA and of UAA’s school spirit.

  2. Never break character. Children especially will see you as the “real” thing.

  3. No part of your body should be seen while in character.

  4. Do not remove any part of the costume while in view of an audience. (For example: Don’t remove the head in order to cool off unless you are in a private place.)

  5. If you need to rest, please go to a private area to do so.

  6. Do not allow anyone other than the assigned person to try on the costume.

  7. Do not use the costume to scare or intimidate anyone, especially children.

  8. Please provide an escort for Spirit to assist in moving through crowds and navigating an area.

  9. Never speak while in character.

  10. Do not use lewd or obscene gestures.

  11. Use extreme caution when working with children.

  12. Drink plenty of water prior to getting into costume.

  13. Do not consume alcohol before or while in costume.

  14. Do not hold signs of any kind.

  15. Do not dress Spirit in any clothing or accessories that have not been provided to you by UAA’s Office of Advancement.

  16. Do not stay in the costume for more than 30 minutes at a time in order to prevent heat exhaustion.

Spirit Mascot Request Form

Name of the organization requesting to use the Spirit costume

Name of the person to contact regarding this request

Contact person's phone number

Contact person's email address

Name of the event for mascot's appearance

Location and address of the event

Date and Time of the event

Pick up the mascot costume on a date and time

Return the mascot costume on a date and time

Description of appearance or mascot's role in the event

For example: Indoors or outdoors?

Approximate number of people expected to attend the event

Approximate number of children expected to be at this event

Is your organization or event affiliated with a political party or religion?

I acknowledge that I have read the Mascot Rules (above) and will ensure that these rules will be followed by the individual serving as Spirit. I also acknowledge that our organization will be responsible for repair costs due to any damages that occur to the Spirit costume while in our possession.


2023 Campus Welcome Weekend Events

Date Event Location Time

Friday, Aug. 25

Faculty and Staff Convocation
Reconnect with colleagues, celebrate staff and faculty milestones and welcome the start of the 2023-2024 academic year with Chancellor Parnell and UAA Leadership. Light refreshments will be served (event for faculty and staff only).

Wendy Williamson Auditorium 8:30-10 a.m.

Friday, Aug. 25

UAA Kids Day at the Alaska State Fair  Kids 12 and under get free admission.

State Fairgrounds in Palmer 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 26

Cross Country Running Throwdown - Seawolves vs. UAF

Kincaid Park Time TBA

Aug. 26

Campus Kickoff
Kick off the academic year with booths, food trucks and entertainment outside in the South Lot (in front of the Student Union/EIB). UAA clubs, departments and organizations share how to get involved as a Seawolf. Catch all the events during CKO's 20th anniversary!

South Lot 1-4 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 26

Campus Kickoff After Party The fun continues inside the Student Union and Avis Alaska Sports Complex with fun activities, games and a movie.

Student Union/Avis Alaska Sports Complex 4-6 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 26

Campus Kickoff Concert featuring Wasabi Black and H3. Doors open at 7 p.m. and shows begin at 7:45 p.m. UAA students and employees can show their WolfCard for free admission! 

Alaska Airlines Center 7:45-10 p.m.

Campus Traditions

Month Event
February-March Winterfest
May, June, July Monthly Concert in the Quad
October Homecoming
December Chancellor's Holiday Cafe & Gathering

Request an Engagement Form 

Please use this form to request a field trip on campus or arrange for a faculty member to speak to your group. If you are interested in enrolling with UAA, please see our Admissions page for Campus Visits. Contact Michelle Hansen, or 907-786-1288 with questions. We look forward to working with you!

What group are you affiliated with? If a school, please include the grade level.

Only complete if requesting a field trip.

On what date would you like this engagement to occur? If no specific date, please select the 1st of the month.

Our areas of study on campus are listed above. Please indicate which college you think will best fit your needs. We will help clarify when we follow up with you or include additional information on your request below.

What else should we know about your group to help with your request?


Hosting an Event on Campus

Our event planning checklist will help you coordinate your event on campus and direct you to people and departments who can help make your event a success.

Visit Event Planning Website


Picture of Molly Gray
Molly Gray

Senior Manager, Institutional Engagement & Events 
(907) 786-1013