Dear Seniors,

Congratulations, again, on your accomplishment! In this email, I hope to share several final reminders about Commencement to the Class of 2021 list serv.

Order Caps/Gowns at the Bookstore
You may order your cap/gown in-person at the Bookstore (sooner rather than later) or, if you are away from campus, you may order your graduation regalia through this link. The Bookstore has sold 432 in store and 28 online for a total of 460. Sizes are getting low so you will want to stop by and order asap.

Please wear formal dress appropriate for this tradition. Be mindful of your footwear since you will be walking across an artificial turf surface, which will feel warmer than air temperature. Flatter shoes might be a good option. The mortarboard (cap) is worn on the level with the tassel on the right side. The hood is worn flat against your back and you can learn by viewing this video. The ceremony will be held outdoors provided there is no dangerous weather expected or occuring during the course of the event.  Dress appropriately for the weather. *You must wear a mask once on-campus. When you arrive at your seat, a second, Class of 2021 mask will be placed on your chair.

Logistics (When, When, What)
On Sunday, May 30th students participating in Commencement, will be expected to arrive at the Kirby Sports Complex no later than 9:15am. Students will enter through the Pierce Street Entrance to access the Kirby Arena.

Pierce Street Entrance

Inside, you will find chairs assembled in rows. Each chair will have a label with your name on it (these are arranged alphabetically). By the time you line up at your chair, you should be wearing your cap, gown, and hood. I will determine who is and is not present through observation of which chairs are not occupied – this is why it is essential you arrive on-time and use the bathroom prior to arriving at your seat in full regalia. Students not present at their seat will have their names read in absentia.

Once roll call is taken and those whose names will be read are confirmed, students will remain aligned in front of their chair until the word is given to assemble to process in rows of 4 students wide into the stadium. Faculty will process out of the front door of Kirby at the start of the ceremony and gather on both sides of the East entrance to Fisher Field  you will then follow the route taken by the faculty , walk through their ranks gathered on both sides of the field entrance, and arrive at your seat on Fisher Field and in front of the graduation stage. You may be merged together to fill in seats of those who did not show, HOWEVER, you should remain in alphabetical order with the same person in front and same person behind them as they had been assembled in the arena.

Once on Fisher Field, I will provide direction to one row at a time to rise (while all others remain seated) and head to the stage, I will call each row up (all other rows remain seated).

On stage you will receive a your diploma cover from President Byerly and have a professional photograph taken.  When you exit the stage ramp you will be greeted by a member of the Alumni Association who will present you with a gift.  After you receive this gift,  return to your same seat.

After the ceremony, the platform party will process from the platform stage, down the 50 yard line and off the field, followed by the students. You will pass back through the gate that you entered and exit through the exterior gate (McCracken) leading to Hamilton Street. You may then head to the Quad to pick up your grab and go lunch boxes and meet back up with their family and friends.

McCracken Gate

While on campus mask wearing is required and we ask you and your guests to be mindful of physical distance among groups.

For individuals requiring accessible seating or other accommodations, please contact Accessibility Services at 610-330-3513 or Marty Sullivan asap to help us to ensure availability.

Note about Diplomas
Since the Commencement ceremony will take place prior to final grade submission/certification, diplomas will not be distributed at the ceremony. During the week of May 17, the Registrar’s Office will send a brief survey for you to confirm/update the address to which your diploma will be mailed later in June.

Brian Samble, Ph.D.
Dean of Students