To Graduating Seniors

In the Class of 2019

From the President's Office, ext. 3151 or email

May 5, 2019

Please see this and additional updated information posted at

We hope you are looking forward to Commencement Day,

Sunday, May 5, 2019

This year’s ceremony will be held outdoors

at the Kemp Commencement Plaza

This message provides information regarding the line-up for the Processional and a brief outline of the Ceremony itself. As always, we assume a 2-hour outdoor ceremony, even in cool weather or light rain. Please dress appropriately for the weather predicted for Commencement Day (the current forecast is partly cloudy, 70 degrees with a 0% chance of rain). The ground on the Eckley Quad is also soft from recent rains. Bring sunscreen and water as you wish. There are no storage spaces, so everything you bring will remain with you during the Ceremony.

PROCESSIONAL – Line up at 12:20 p.m. at the Ames Library Plaza

Like all ceremonies, Commencement should be conducted with dignity and respect. Coordination and instructions on Sunday, May 5 will come from the Senior Faculty Marshals—Professor Rebecca Roesner and Professor Zahia Drici. Other faculty will join them as Marshals for the day. Student Marshals are Richard Von Helms ‘19 and Kayley Rettberg ‘19, representing the Junior Class.

Line up for the Processional begins at *** 12:20 p.m. *** and you must be dressed in your academic cap and gown. You will first assemble at The Ames Plaza where President Jensen will briefly greet you. The restrooms in Ames Library will be open from noon to 12:40 p.m.

At 12:30 graduates proceed to the sidewalks on both sides of McPherson Theatre to line up in the Schools of Nursing, Art, Theatre Arts and Music, and in the College of Liberal Arts. Signs will be posted to indicate where the line-up starts for each DEGREE – B.S.N., B.F.A., B.M., B.M.E., B.A. and B.S.

In order to receive the correct diploma,

you must line up in ALPHABETICAL ORDER by DEGREE,

as listed in the Commencement Program

The programs will be available when you arrive at The Ames Plaza. All will go well if you just follow the person listed ahead of you in the program.

  1. Graduates receiving the following degrees will line up single-file ON THE SIDEWALK ON THE **WEST** (BUCK) SIDE OF McPHERSON THEATRE

B.S.N. for School of Nursing graduates

B.F.A. for Art, Theatre Arts and Music Theatre

B.M. for Music

B.M.E. for Music Education

B.A. and B.S. for Liberal Arts with last names beginning “A” through Hill, alphabetically

  1. B.A. and B.S. Liberal Arts graduates with last names beginning Hoffmann through “Z” alphabetically, will line up single-file ON THE SIDEWALK ON THE **EAST** (PRESSER) SIDE OF McPHERSON THEATRE.

At 12:45 p.m., the Processional will begin.

  • Faculty Marshals will lead the Graduating Seniors forward on the sidewalks on each side of the Quad to the crosswalk in front of State Farm Hall.
  • The processional will then stop and Graduates will step to the outside of the sidewalk. That provides a walkway so that the Mace Bearer (Professor Ferradns) and Platform Party (led by President Jensen and Provost Brodl) can walk past you to the stage.
  • Graduates stand in place while the Marshals lead the Faculty past you in a procession of honor. Please feel free to share greetings with Faculty as they pass.
  • Marshals then lead Graduates behind the Faculty and walk down a center aisle between the chairs on the Quad. Senior Marshals will direct you to your seat in rows which consist of 14 chairs on each side of the aisle.
  • Remain standing until the Invocation is completed. It is customary that men remove their caps during the Invocation.


  • The Marshals and President Jensen will guide you through this step. Follow the person listed ahead of you in the program to remain in order.
  • Degrees are awarded in the order listed in the program: B.S.N., B.F.A., B.M., B.M.E., B.A. and B.S., and to each graduate in the alphabetic order you are lined up. For each degree, President Jensen will ask the group of students to rise, will confer the degree, and will then ask the graduates receiving that degree to come forward to receive their diplomas.
  • The Marshals will direct you to the left (west) side of the Kemp Commencement Plaza where your photograph will be taken by a professional photographer as you walk toward him. You will walk up the ramp of the Kemp Plaza, give your name to the Reader (Provost Brodl or Associate Provost Duke), and walk towards President Jensen at the front of the stage as your name is announced.
  • When you reach the President you shake his right hand and receive your diploma in your left hand. Look at the President as you receive your diploma—your photograph will be taken by the photographer.
  • Follow the graduate in front of you to the rear of the Kemp Plaza, patting the "pineapple" symbol of luck, and go down the right (east) ramp where the Alumni Office will give you an alumni pin, and a third, posed photo will be taken.
  • Marshals will then direct your route back to your chair.
  • If by some chance you receive the wrong diploma tube, you can switch with the correct person or contact Registrar Leslie Betz after the ceremony.


After the ceremony ends, the Mace Bearer (Professor Ferradns) leads the Platform Party in the Recessional. The Marshals then direct the Faculty and finally the Graduates to line up and leave the seating area by using the center aisle. Please return to the McPherson sidewalks before stopping, and arrange in advance with your family where you will meet on the Quad after the ceremony. During the reception, faculty will be gathered to greet you and your family near signs listing the individual Department and School names (see the program for specific locations). Please look for the signs and visit with faculty before you depart.

By 4:00 p.m., please return your cap and gown , which the University has rented for you, to the Nell Eckley Lounge, Memorial Center. You may keep your tassel.