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Fall Commencement 2019

In recent years, increasing numbers of Drake University students have completed degree requirements in December. To provide these students and their families and friends a timely opportunity to mark and celebrate this accomplishment, Drake University offers a December commencement ceremony. We are pleased that you plan to participate in the 147th December Commencement Ceremony. 

When: Saturday, December 14th, 2019, at 10:00 a.m.

Where: Drake Knapp Center (Forest Ave, between 25th and 27th Streets)‌

This 147th commencement ceremony will include students earning any degree from Drake University. More information about who is eligible to participate, may be found here.

Please contact if your attendance plans have changed since you submitted your graduation application as the seating charts for the ceremonies have been created with this information.

If we don't know you're planning to attend commencement, you will not have a seat. If we think you're participating and you don't, there will be an empty chair with your name on it (literally).

December 2019 Commencement Program

Extra copies of previous ceremony programs may be requested by emailing after the commencement event has taken place. If leftover programs are available after the event they will be sent out on a first come, first serve basis. You may request a maximum of 4 copies.

In case of inclement weather Drake’s University Closing Policy may be invoked.

Below are the details and instructions you will need to help you prepare for this important occasion.

Ceremony (10 a.m., Saturday, December 14th, 2019) notes:

  • 8:30 a.m. the doors to the Bell Center open.
  • If possible, please do not bring purses, phones, etc... into the Bell Center gym. Coat racks will be provided in the Bell Center. Please leave any other possessions with your guests in the Knapp Center. Additionally, you may also leave possessions with staff in the Bell Center.
  • All participants need to be assembled in the Bell Center gym by 9:15 a.m.
  • Name cards will be on the chairs--they will be organized alphabetically by college. Once you find your name card, follow the instructions printed on the back.
  • The name reader will be available from 9:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. if you would like to speak with him about the pronunciation of your name.
  • You need to be dressed in your cap and gown and in your designated seat by 9:15 a.m.
  • The Assistant University Marshal will provide last-minute instructions and announcements at 9:30 a.m.
  • The processional will leave the Bell Center gym at 9:45 a.m. for the walk through the hallway to the Knapp Center. Students who arrive late will be directed to the end of the line for their college.
  • The Marshals will direct the recessional to the lobby of the Knapp Center, not back to the Bell Center gym.
  • Remember to return to the Bell Center for your coat and if you have left any possessions with staff.
  • The December ceremony lasts approximately one hour (if you’re planning for lunch reservations, please also take into account the time that it will take to get out of the Drake area parking lots).

Assembling several hundred graduates, faculty, and special guests to proceed in an orderly, formal manner takes everyone's cooperation and attention. Therefore, please listen carefully and follow directions.

  • Stay in line for the processional! Otherwise you may have difficulties on the main floor.
  • The consumption of all alcoholic beverages at the ceremonies is prohibited. Marshals and staff have been instructed to confiscate any alcoholic beverages.
  • No decorations (flowers, jewelry, signs, etc.) are to be worn on academic caps or gowns.
  • No helium balloons or silly string will be allowed in the Drake Knapp Center. Helium is a safety issue with the lights and silly string damages the floor.
  • Please avoid bringing personal or valuable items. Graduates may not carry anything (other than their seating card) during the processional.

To view student seating chart: 2019 December Commencement Seating Chart

To view instructional PowerPoint that will be playing on the wall in the Bell Center Gym: December 2019 PowerPoint

If you have guests that are unable to attend - Drake University will stream the Commencement ceremonies live at the following website:

Graduating students: Please go here if you would like to thank a member of Drake University's faculty or staff:


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