Assembly and Procession
General Ceremony Etiquette
By tradition, the commencement ceremony is a formal, dignified event to honor the academic achievement of scholars. To help preserve the decorum of the event, it is requested that you exercise etiquette appropriate to the occasion. Please observe the following:
- All mobile devices should be silenced. When sharing your #WCUgraduation experience, please refrain from mobile usage on the stage/platform (e.g., selfies, videos).
- Please do not use flash photography. During the ceremony, guests may take photographs only from their seats.
- As a courtesy to your fellow graduates, please do not leave your seats or engage in lengthy conversation with others during the ceremony. All graduates are requested to stay until the conclusion of the ceremony.
Saturday, May 9th, 2015: 10:00 am
Outdoor Ceremony, Farrell Stadium
College of Business & Public Affairs
College of Education
College of Health Sciences
Sunday May 10th, 2015, 10:00 am
Outdoor Ceremony, Farrell Stadium
College of Arts & Sciences
College of Visual & Performing Arts
- Assemble at the Sturzebecker Health Sciences Center parking lot, South Campus, starting at 8:30am. There will be tables and signs identifying your college. Coffee and rolls will be available for graduates. Bring your cap, gown, and hood.
- Go to the table set aside for your College. You will receive a card with your name on it, which will be read during the ceremony.
- Do not lose this card. Keep it with you and give it to your Dean when you step on stage to receive your diploma cover, as directed by the marshals.
- Do NOT add anything to the card. No hand-written additions or changes will be read.
However, if you think your name will be hard to pronounce, write a simple phonetic spelling in parenthesis. Keep it as simple as possible.
- Put on your cap, gown, and hood. The Registrar's staff will be available to help you. Baccalaureate candidates place the tassel on the right side of the cap. (You will move it to the left side during the tasseling ceremony).
- Line up in a double line behind the marshals leading your college. The procession will begin promptly at 9:30 a.m.
- As the process begins, follow your Marshals as you process from the parking lot staging area into Farrell Stadium. You will process down the center aisle, behind the Mace Bearer and Marshals, to your seats, as directed by the Marshals. Remain standing at your seats until the Provost invites everyone to be seated.
Faculty and Marshals Instructions
- Assemble at the Faculty Table at the Sturzebecker Health Science Center parking lot, South Campus, by 9:00 a.m. Coffee and rolls will be available for graduates and faculty in the staging area. Bring your cap, gown, and hood.
- The procession will begin promptly at 9:30 a.m.
- When the procession begins, follow the Faculty Marshals out of the parking lot and down the path into Farrell Stadium.
As you near the rows of seats, the faculty will form two rows, one on either side of the aisle, to allow the students to pass through.
- As the final students pass by, the faculty will follow the students to their seats in the first two rows of the seating area. Please sit on both sides of the aisle. Remain standing at your seats until the Provost invites everyone to be seated.
Marshals for Students
- Come to the blacktop (parking) area, just south of the Sturzebecker Health Sciences Center, at 8:15 am for the 10:00 am ceremony. There will be tables and signs identifying your college. You will need to bring your cap, gown, and hood (either one you own or have rented or borrowed).
- Go to the table set aside for your college. A member of the Registrar’s staff will give you the cards with the student’s names (and honors) printed on them the way they will be read during the ceremony. Give the cards to the graduates and tell them:
- To give the card to their dean when they step on the stage to receive their diploma cover.
- That they should not add anything to the card. Hand written additions or changes will not be read.
- That if a student thinks their name is difficult to pronounce, they can write a simple phonetic spelling in parenthesis. Tell them to keep it as simple as possible.
- Line up the students in a double line behind your college sign. Students who want to sit together should line up behind each other. Marshals should be at both the front and the back of the line. Wait for the signal to start the procession. Keep the cards that you haven’t given out in case any of your students arrive late.
- The procession starts at 9:30 am. You will be led by the faculty and staff. The procession will march down the pathway between Sturzbecker and Farrell stadium.
- When the music starts, the faculty will enter the stadium and will form a double line before the rows of seats. Lead your students through the faculty lines to their seats. PLEASE stay on the field covering and ask that students do so as well. Students from each college will sit on both sides of the seats. Leave the first two rows of both sides for the faculty to sit. Have the students remain standing at their seats. Save a few seats for yourselves at both ends of the aisles in the student section.
- When the students are at their seats, the faculty will go to their seats and remain standing. Once the faculty are seated, go to your seats. The platform party will go to the stage and the Provost will ask everyone to be seated.
- When the graduates in your college are called by the dean to receive their diploma covers, lead them up the outside aisles to the ramps on both sides of the stage. Send the graduates up the ramps, one at a time, and instruct them to give their cards to their deans. They will have their pictures taken before they go up the ramps. The students will receive their diploma covers, shake hands with the president or provost, and leave the stage by the center ramp. Lead them back to their seats by the center aisle.
- At the end of the ceremony, the platform party will recess from the stage and the faculty will leave the stadium through the south entrance. Lead your students out the north entrance and up the pathway to Sturzbecker. Again, please stay on the field covering and ask that students do so as well as they process out of the stadium. Also, based on past experience, most students will have left the stadium once they receive their diploma covers so the number of students participating in the recessional will likely be modest.
Marshals for Faculty
- Come to the blacktop (parking) area, just south of the Sturzebecker Health Sciences Center, at 8:15 am for the 10:00 am ceremony. There will be a table and a sign for faculty. Bring your cap, gown, and hood.
- Go to the faculty table. Line up the faculty in a double line, with the emeriti faculty (if any) in front of the active faculty.
- Wait for John Rhein’s signal to start the procession at 9:30 am. Lead the faculty down path between Sturzbecker and Farrell stadium. This is the path the football team uses when entering the field.
- When the processional music starts, you will be signaled to lead the faculty to enter the stadium and to form two lines behind the students’ seating sections. PLEASE stay on the field covering and ask that faculty do so as well. Remain standing as the students from each college march between the faculty lines to their seats on both sides of the stadium floor.
- When the students are at their seats, lead the faculty to their seats in the front two aisles on both sides and remain standing. The platform party will then process to the stage and the Provost will ask everyone to be seated.
- At the end of the ceremony, the platform party will recess from the stage and lead the faculty out of the stadium through the north entrance. Again, please stay on the field covering and ask that faculty do so as well as they process out of the stadium.
Instructions for Ushers: Saturday May 9th and Sunday, May 10th Outdoor Ceremony
Severe Weather: Abridged Indoor Ceremony in Hollinger
Read the full set of severe weather assembly and procession instructions for students, faculty and marshals, and ushers.
If severe weather is expected on either day, the outdoor ceremony at Farrell Stadium will be canceled with as much notice as possible, preferably at least 24 hours in advance. Graduating students will be invited to Hollinger Field House for an abridged program where they will hear the commencement speaker, student speaker and Alumni Association President and receive their diploma covers. Due to limited seating in Hollinger Field House, only graduating students will be admitted.