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Ceremony Procedures and Seating

Graduate arrival time

We ask that graduates arrive promptly at 9 a.m. and line up behind Alumnae Hall. You will receive an email with your row and seat assignment. Please locate the volunteer holding a sign that corresponds to your row. The volunteer will place you in the correct spot in the lineup.

Commencement Ceremony Procedures  

Commencement is the formal ceremony at which President Chapdelaine officially confers your degree. The Commencement ceremony will be held on the residential quadrangle. The ceremony will begin promptly at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 19, 2018, and will last for approximately two and one-half hours.

Please keep in mind Hood's policy that only those who have fulfilled all academic requirements and have met all of their financial obligations to the College may participate in Commencement.

Undergraduate students who wish to be excused from the Commencement ceremony must secure permission from the registrar by Wednesday, May 16.

Degrees are awarded in this order: Master of Arts, Master of Business Administration, Master of Fine Arts, and Master of Science, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The dean of the Graduate School or provost will ask the candidates to rise by degree.

Graduates will be directed out of their seats and to the stage ramp. The college marshal will be at the ramp to assist graduates, who will then proceed to the top of the ramp and wait until their name is called. After their name is called, graduates process across the stage to President Chapdelaine to receive their diploma. As the graduate receives their diploma and shakes the President’s hand, a photographer will take a photo. After the photo, graduates will process down the ramp on the other side of the stage, another photo will be taken and any greetings by legacies will occur. Graduates will then be further directed to promptly return to their seat, remaining seated until all candidates have been awarded their degrees.

Dress Code for Commencement  

At Commencement, graduates and faculty wear academic regalia. All candidates wear a cap, tassel, robe and hood.

Under the robe, graduates should wear clothing appropriate for this special occasion. Jeans, t-shirts, flip-flops, etc. are not appropriate attire for the Commencement Ceremony.

The hood should be worn velvet side out with the velvet binding flipped to show the colors; secure the hood so that it does not fall off your shoulders.

The mortarboard should be worn flat (parallel to the ground), secured with bobby pins, if necessary.

May undergraduate candidates should wear the tassel on the right and switch after receiving diplomas. September and January undergraduate candidates should wear the tassel on the left throughout the ceremony.

Academic honor ribbons should be worn to Baccalaureate Mass and Commencement.

Commencement Seating on the Residential Quadrangle  

There will be ample seating available for the commencement ceremony. You do not need a ticket for family members and guests. Your guests may take their seats beginning at 9 a.m. Guests will be seated on a first-come, first-served basis, and should be seated by 9:45 a.m.

Handicapped Seating Requests  

Reserved seating is limited to handicapped guests and to those requiring special assistance. Please contact Julie Chalk, provost’s office,, 301-696-3623, Alumnae Hall, Room 104, no later than May 11, to make arrangements for special reserved seating. An interpreter for the hearing impaired will be available for both Baccalaureate and Commencement. Please contact Julie Chalk, 301-696-3623, no later than May 11, if you need this service.

An Important Note  

Please be aware that alcoholic beverages and smoking are prohibited during the ceremony. Graduates who do not cooperate with this policy will not be allowed to participate in the Commencement ceremony.

Dress Code for the Baccalaureate Ceremony  

Only Robes are required for the Baccalaureate ceremony; mortarboard is not worn.

The robe should be closed. Under the robe, graduates should wear clothing appropriate for this special occasion. Jeans, t-shirts, flip-flops, etc. are not appropriate attire for the Baccalaureate Ceremony.

Live Telecast  

The ceremony will be telecast in Coblentz Dining Hall if the ceremony is outdoor as well as live streamed here. If there is severe weather, the event will be live streamed from BB&T Arena to campus viewing locations in Coblentz Dining Hall, Whitaker Campus Commons and Hodson Auditorium as well as online here.