Assembly begins at 9:00 a.m. in the sites listed below.  Enjoy complimentary breakfast brought to you by President Baenninger. Students should plan to arrive not later than 9:30.  Faculty should plan to arrive not later than 9:45. Line up begins at 10:00. Remember that the official call as to whether the ceremony will be indoors or out will be made on Monday, May 11, and communicated to you by email as well as by posting on this website. If this alters assembly sites you will be notified.

Please arrive in your academic attire. You will be asked to sign in and to pick up your name card. Each candidate is given a card with her or his name on it, along with the degree and any honors earned. The candidate’s name will be read from the card. This name card will be read as you cross the stage.  If you wish to write your name phonetically on the card for the reader, you may do so. No other hand-written markings will be read.

You will be instructed by the faculty Marshals, and volunteers, to line up in the appropriate order. The procession begins at  10:30.

Please assemble in the following locations:

Platform & Trustees Great Hall (Haselton Room if ceremony is indoors)
CLA Baldwin Gym
Theological School Bob Clark Lounge
Graduate School Lower Dance Studio
Faculty Student Lounge overlooking Forum Floor

Order of March

Within each degree group, candidates are  arranged so that they approach the dean in alphabetical order. Follow the instructions of the marshals for your group. Degrees are awarded in descending order, beginning with the doctor of philosophy and concluding with the bachelor of arts.

The procession moves as outlined below.

Chief Marshal
Associate Marshals – Faculty
Faculty – Faculty Emeriti
Associate Marshals – Caspersen School of Graduate Studies
Caspersen School of Graduate Studies
PhD Candidates
DLitt Candidates
DMH Candidates
MA Candidates
MAT Candidates
MFA Candidates
MLitt Candidates
MMH Candidates
MCT Candidates
Associate Marshals – Theological School
Theological School
PhD Candidates (GDR)
DMin Candidates
STM Candidates
MDiv Candidates
MA Candidates
MAM Candidates
Associate Marshals – College of Liberal Arts
College of Liberal Arts
BA Candidates
Associate Marshal – Trustees
Associate Marshal – Platform Party
Platform Party

Platform Procedures

When called to the platform, candidates should proceed across the stage as their names are read. The dean or president hands you a diploma cover; receive it with your left hand and shake with your right hand. Continue on across the stage and return to your seat.


As candidates cross the Mead Hall rear porch, they receive a diploma cover, no diploma inside. All candidates who are cleared academically and financially for graduation will receive their diploma via U.S. mail approximately four weeks after the ceremony.


After the ceremony, graduates do not recess. They should stand during the recession of faculty, marshals and the platform party. Faculty should follow the instructions of their marshals. Graduates should remain in place until the procession clears the balloon arch before greeting family members. (If commencement is held in the Simon Forum as a result of inclement weather, students will recess out of the commencement area.)


Professional photographs of all  graduates will be taken both on stage as well as while the graduate leaves the stage. Proofs will be emailed to the student approximately three to four days after the event and will be available for purchase. For additional information please visit Grad Images. Additionally we are setting up “Photozones” for families to take pictures of their graduating student enjoying the beautiful campus views.

Images of Commencements Past