Attendance and Assembly
The processional begins at noon (12 p.m.). Graduate students must assemble by 11:15 a.m. sharp in the Kneller Athletic Center wearing (or carrying) their caps and gowns. The Kneller will open to graduates at 11 a.m. If a last-minute emergency on the day of Commencement prevents you from joining the ceremony as planned, please call 508-793-7575.
Commencement is a formal affair. University officials reserve the right to prohibit a student from participating if the formal cap and gown are not worn, or if the student’s identity is concealed in any way. Caps may be tastefully decorated; gowns may not be altered in any way.
Backpacks or large handbags will not be allowed at Commencement. High-heeled shoes are not recommended for the procession or ceremony.
In the Kneller gymnasium, tagged seats are arranged alphabetically for all students. Graduate students will be seated in alphabetical order by degree in the sections closest to the stage. Undergraduate students will be seated in alphabetical order behind the graduate students. Please be seated. Commencement Marshals will be on hand to help. You will receive last-minute instructions at this time.
From the Kneller, students will walk in a formal procession to the Commencement area. Students must take their seats on the Campus Green, and stay in the same order in which they were seated in the Kneller.
The program will begin on the Campus Green and will include a welcome, opening remarks, the Commencement address, conferring of honorary degrees and recognition of all graduates. This portion of the ceremony will run approximately one hour.
At the conclusion of the ceremony above, designated members of the platform party, followed by graduate students, will process behind the piper and drummer to the Kneller Athletic Center for the Graduate School Commencement. Families of graduate students will be directed in an orderly fashion to either the Kneller Athletic Center or Johnson Auditorium / Sackler Science Center. Please note: Guests of graduate students with wristbands will recess to Kneller Athletic Center. Guests of graduate students without wristbands will recess to the Johnson Auditorium in Sackler Science Center to watch the graduate school ceremony via live feed. Commencement is expected to end at approximately 2:30 p.m.
After the ceremony, the formal recession of the platform party begins. You are expected to remain seated until the party has left the platform. Graduates will follow the faculty in a recession down the center aisle and out the back door of the Kneller. Faculty members will have formed a receiving line on the Kneller patio to congratulate you. To allow all attendees to hear and enjoy the Commencement ceremony without disruption, we request that students hold off celebrating until after the final recession. Drinking and raucous behavior during the ceremonies will not be permitted.