Student Commencement Day Information 


Updated Information on December 2020 Commencement:

In light of ongoing public health concerns regarding large gatherings, the Fall Commencement exercises
will be held virtually on December 12, 2020.
We know this decision is disappointing to you. We are also disappointed. The decision was a difficult one, but we are confident it is in the best interest of the campus community. 
More details on the virtual ceremony will be provided in the coming weeks. While we are saddened to not be able to celebrate in person in December, we hope you will join us for the virtual ceremony. When it is safe for us to resume in person ceremonies, you will be invited back to campus to participate with us. 


Please arrive early. This will allow plenty of time for you to park, walk to the arena, and pass through security.

Lot 20 behind McKenzie Arena is dedicated Handicap Parking on a first-come-first-available basis. Overflow Handicap Parking is available in Lot 32 across the street from the Arena. The handicap lots fill quickly, so arrive early.

Campus Parking Lot Map →

Arena Gates 2 and 3 are available for handicap drop-off needs.

Lots 7 and 35 are reserved for Commencement Officials.

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Gates and Entrance to McKenzie Arena

Entrance to the Arena requires a ticket.  Be sure to have your ticket with you when you arrive for the ceremony. 
Our goal is to offer a safe and pleasant experience at commencement while applying measures to safeguard public health and safety.

All graduates and guests will be required to pass through metal detectors for entry into McKenzie Arena. Detectors will be positioned at all public entry gates.

All bags will be checked prior to entry. No noise makers or balloons or backpacks or large bags will be allowed into the arena. Purses and diaper bags are allowed but will be checked prior to entry. You and your guests are encouraged to not bring bags if possible and bring only essential items, if necessary.

A Quick Pass entrance will be available at Gate 1 for guests who do not have bags to be checked.

These security measures can result in lines at peak times prior to commencement. Guests are encouraged to arrive early to pass through security in plenty of time for seating.

Mckenzie Arena and security policies →

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Commencement Day Etiquette

  • Report in a timely manner with your ticket and mask.

  • Continue to wear mask throughout the ceremony.
  • Locate your assigned seat.

  • Follow the Marshal’s directions.

  • Your tassel is on the right until degrees are conferred.

  • Listen for directions to stand or to be seated.

  • Return to seat after walking across stage.

  • Remain for the entire ceremony.

  • Respect your peers and others in attendance.

  • Recess as directed through the rear of the seating area – continue down the hallway or outside – do not stop at rear of seating as others are continuing to recess.

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Arrival Time

Arrive at the McKenzie Arena, 1st floor, 45 minutes prior to start time.

You will enter the main arena floor and locate your seat on the first floor of the Arena. Candidates should arrive in the arena dressed for the ceremony.

Marshals will make a final check of graduation candidates approximately 10 minutes prior to start time. All graduates not seated in the arena will be considered in absentia.  Names will be read only for those graduates participating in the ceremony.

Do not bring personal items such as purses or bags. These areas are not secured during the graduation ceremony.

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Commencement Ceremony Process

On your seat will be a name card that you will provide to the faculty reader who will read your name as you ascend the stairs and cross the stage. You will descend the stairs and return to your seat on the Arena floor for the remainder of the ceremony.

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Disability (Special Needs) Accommodations

If you are a person with a disability requiring accommodations for this event, please visit the Access for Commencement Ceremonies page through the Disability Resource Center.

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The University has arranged for a professional photographer, through GradImages, to be present at the ceremony and capture the moment for each family. In addition to the picture with the Chancellor during the ceremony, GradImages photographers will also be circulating outside McKenzie Arena to capture additional candid photographs of our graduates with their loved ones after the ceremony. The GradImages staff will be wearing red vests, so they'll be highly visible and easy to locate.

Complimentary proofs will be mailed to your home within one week. Be sure to update your addresses in your MyMocsNet account. Images will also be posted online at the photographer's website and should be available to view within 48 hours. Inexpensive, quality enlargements may be requested online or by mail, phone, or FAX. See contact information below. If you do not receive the proof in the mail within two weeks, you may wish to inquire directly. Graduates are under no obligation to order any enlargements.

Learn more at or call (800) 261-2576.

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Other Questions

For other questions please review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

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