Commencement Frequently Asked Questions
WHEN IS THE CEREMONY?
There are three Spring 2020 Commencement ceremonies: Friday, May 8 at 7 pm; Saturday, May 9 at 10 am; Saturday, May 9 at 2 pm.
WHICH CEREMONY WILL I ATTEND?
The 7 pm ceremony on Friday, May 8 will recognize graduates from the College of Communication, Languages, Arts & Social Sciences.
The 10 am ceremony on Saturday, May 9 will recognize graduates from the College of Health Sciences and the College of Applied Science and Technology.
The 2 pm ceremony on Saturday, May 9 will recognize graduates from the College of Business and the College of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics.
WHERE DO I GO FOR THE CEREMONY?
All Spring 2020 Commencement Ceremonies will be held at the Stubblefield Center. Graduates will line up in the Echols building (building directly south of Stubblefield), and should enter the building at entrance facing Waldron Rd. To get to Echols, walk up the sidewalk from the main entrance toward the Echols building, and look for the sign marked “Graduate Entrance”.
Graduates in the 7 pm ceremony on May 8 ceremony should arrive no later than 6:15 pm.
Graduates in the 10 am ceremony on May 9 should arrive no later than 9:15 am.
Graduates in the 2 pm ceremony on May 9 should arrive no later than 1:15 pm.
I HAVE FRIENDS/FAMILY WHO WILL NOT BE ABLE TO ATTEND. HOW CAN THEY SEE ME GRADUATE?
IS THERE A REHEARSAL PRIOR TO THE CEREMONY?
No, graduates will be given instructions in the staging area during lineup. There will be a number of staff members present, so please pay attention to their directions.
WHAT SHOULD I WEAR?
All attendees, including graduates, are encouraged to wear attire appropriate to honor the occasion. Graduates wear their caps and gowns during the ceremony. Women are cautioned that shoes with very high heels may make walking difficult during the processional and the walk across the stage.
You should also remember to bring your tassel (included with cap and gown purchase) to the ceremony.
NOTE: Please do not bring personal items (purse, coat, umbrellas, etc.) to the line-up area. We understand that you will be entering directly from outdoors, but unfortunately, there is no place to store personal items during the ceremony. If at all possible, have someone come with you to the line-up and leave personal items with them.
WHAT DO I BRING?
You will need to bring your cap and gown, tassel, photographer card, and reader card. Please DO NOT bring purses, cameras, etc. to the ceremony. There is no storage for these items at the Stubblefield Center. It is recommended that you leave these with family or friends who will be attending the ceremony or lock them securely in your car. For those who don’t have a convenient pocket to put them in, keys can be pinned to the inside of the gown.
WHERE IS PARKING FOR THE CEREMONY?
Guests and graduates may park in any UAFS parking lot, with the exception of the lots directly adjacent to Stubblefield. These are either reserved or set aside for attendees with physical disabilities.
A map of the UAFS campus can be found here. Select “Parking” on the menu on the left – all areas indicated in green are open for graduate and guest parking.
WHAT HAPPENS ONCE I ARRIVE?
Each college will be represented by a faculty marshal carrying a sign with the college name in the line-up area. Graduates will line up behind the marshal/banner of their respective college (the college of each graduate is listed on his/her reader card). Those receiving bachelor degrees with honors are first, followed by others receiving bachelor degrees, then those receiving associate degrees and finally those receiving technical certificates. There will be a number of staff members present, so please pay attention to their directions.
Graduates will march into the arena behind the banner of their respective college. The marshal will hand off the banner and lead the graduates to their seats. The chairs will be in rows with a center aisle. Please move down and fill every chair, even if you have to cross the aisle. Please pay attention to the staff who will be assisting. Remain standing until the Chancellor asks all to be seated.
WHAT IS A READER CARD, AND WHAT DO I DO WITH IT?
Each graduate participating in the ceremony should pick up their reader card at the Registrar’s Office beginning May 5. On it are the student’s name, degree, college and honors if applicable. This will be given by the student to the reader as the student goes on stage to receive the diploma cover. The student’s name and degree will be read as he/she marches across the stage.
HOW WILL I KNOW IF I AM AN HONORS GRADUATE?
Tentative academic honors are noted in the commencement program, and these students will wear the honor stole and/or cord appropriate for that honor. All qualified students are informed via their UAFS email.
NOTE: Commencement honors are tentative, and are based on ALL college-level coursework, including coursework transferred from other institutions. Final honors will be calculated after Spring 2020 grades are submitted, and will be noted on the graduate’s diploma and transcript.
HOW DO I GET A CAP AND GOWN?
Regalia can be purchased at the Spring 2019 Grad Fest on March 27, or thereafter at the bookstore. The deadline for purchasing regalia is May 4, 2020. The bookstore cannot guarantee graduates will receive the correct size cap/gown after that date.
CAN I WEAR ANYTHING WITH MY REGALIA THAT IDENTIFIES AN ORGANIZATION TO WHICH I BELONG?
Graduates who are members of an honor society recognized by the University or members of a registered student organization in good standing with the Student Activities Office may display their designated stoles and/or cords during the ceremony.
CAN I DECORATE MY CAP AND GOWN?
The top of the cap may be decorated, but should not contain any offensive images or language. Be respectful, but have fun with the decorations.
The gown should not be decorated.
WHO DO I CONTACT IF I NEED SPECIAL ACCOMMODATIONS?
Graduates who need special accommodations should contact the Records Office at (479) 788-7230 or firstname.lastname@example.org before May 1.
DO MY GUESTS NEED TICKETS TO THE CEREMONY?
Tickets are not issued. The ceremony is free and you may invite as many guests as you like. However, seating and parking is on a first-come, first-served basis. Guests should plan ahead and arrive early. Doors will open 1½ hours before each ceremony.
WILL THERE BE A PHOTOGRAPHER AT COMMENCEMENT?
UAFS has contracted with Grad Images to take individual photographs at commencement. They will take two photographs of each graduate: the first is of the graduate being presented the diploma cover by the chancellor, and the second as the student walks off the stage.
Grad Images will be contacting each student via email with prices and proofs the week after the ceremony. To facilitate this, students will complete a photographer information card when they pick up their reader card. The photographer card is required even if the graduate is not ordering photographs. The student will bring both to commencement. As noted above, the reader card will be given to the college dean as the graduate goes on stage. The photographer card will be given to the photographer just before the student goes on stage.
WILL I RECEIVE MY DIPLOMA AT COMMENCEMENT?
Each graduate will receive a diploma cover containing a letter of congratulations from the Chancellor. However, it will not contain a diploma. Diplomas are printed only after completion of degree requirements is verified for all graduates, approximately eight weeks after commencement. Each graduate will be informed via UAFS email that their diploma is ready and may be picked up at the Records Office. In this email, graduates are given the option of requesting that the diploma be mailed to an address they specify. For this reason, please continue to check your UAFS email after Commencement.
ANYTHING ELSE I SHOULD KNOW?
Women will wear their caps throughout the ceremony. Men will remove their caps during the national anthem.
Tassels are worn on the right side of the cap until the degree is conferred. Graduates will be told during the ceremony when to move the tassel to the left side of the cap.
Graduates are expected to remain for the entire ceremony. Graduates will recess out through the same doors and in the same order as the processional.
Please turn off all cell phones during the ceremony. Ask your guests to turn their cell phones to vibrate during the ceremony. In the event of an emergency, we want to be able to contact them without disrupting the proceedings.
Please inform your guests that UAFS is a tobacco free campus.
For questions, please contact the Registrar's Office at (479) 788-7230 or email@example.com.