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Instructions for Marshals

College/School Marshal Responsibilities

Marshals are critical for the smooth functioning of the ceremony since students have no opportunity to practice. Students need careful guidance, particularly during the processional.

Prior to the day of commencement ceremony:

  • Attend the preparation meeting related to the event. Specific time and date will be forwarded to you by an assistant university marshal.
  • Read and be familiar with the directions provided to the graduates.

The day of the ceremony:

  • For the 10:00 a.m. ceremony, arrive at the Bell Center gym by 9:00 a.m. The students have been instructed to be seated by 9:15 a.m.
  • For the 2:00 p.m. ceremony, arrive at the Bell Center gym by 1:00 p.m. The students have been instructed to be seated by 1:15 pm.

Lunch will be provided for marshals between the commencement ceremonies.

  • Become familiar with the seating arrangements. Students are seated alphabetically within their college/school.
  • Guide the students to the seat to which their name card is attached. Should changes be made in the seating arrangements, these must be finalized prior to the processional. The seating will be the same on the main floor for the ceremony. If a student does not have a seat direct him or her to the HELP sign. The coordinator will make a card for the student, and the he or she will be directed to the end of the college/school line.
  • Circulate among the students and assist them with their academic attire (caps square on the head, not tilted). Adding decorations, badges, flowers, etc. to caps and gowns is inappropriate. These must be removed.
  • Tell students to pay attention to the instructions given by the university marshal. After these instructions have been completed, circulate among the students to answer questions and clarify procedures.
  • Instruct the students how to properly present their name card to the name reader (right-side-up and towards him).
  • Direct those with concerns about the correct pronunciation of their names to the name reader, who will be located at the NAME READER sign at the front of the assembly. Emphasize that only he can mark the cards.
  • Any alcoholic beverages are not permitted and must be confiscated.

During the ceremony

  • Upon reaching your college/school area on the main floor, assist the assistant marshal with positioning the students in front of their chairs. Remember, they have the same seating arrangements in the Knapp Center as in the Bell Center.
  • Diplomatically remove spectators who are impeding traffic in the students' seating area.
  • Should someone need assistance, such as first aid, enlist the aid of the ushers or Knapp Center personnel.
  • Students do participate in the recessional.

Special note:

Please do not bring to the ceremonies any objects that contain latex.

At least one of our current Drake students has a latex allergy. Exposure to latex in certain forms may be life threatening. Therefore, we ask that you do not bring any latex objects, such as latex balloons, to any of the commencement ceremonies.

If you have latex items that are medically related and need to be used at any of the ceremonies, please contact the Student Records Office at 515-271-2025.

We appreciate your cooperation.

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