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CPHS Professional Hooding & Commencement Ceremony Instructions

Dear OTD, PharmD, MAT, MSCP, and MSHIA graduating students,

In preparation for commencement, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions and answers to assist you and your guests as you begin to plan for your commencement weekend. This information will also be posted on the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences Professional Hooding and Commencement Ceremony webpage. Please let us know if there are any other questions that you have. We look forward to celebrating your accomplishments on Saturday, May 18th at 3:00 pm! 

Questions on the Ceremony: 
When and where is the ceremony being held? · 
  • The CPHS Professional Hooding and Commencement Ceremony is being held on Saturday, May 18th at 3:00 pm in the Knapp Center.
  • The Knapp Center is on Drake's campus on the north side of Forest Ave. between 25th and 27th streets and can be found using this map. 

Who is invited?

  • All family and friends are invited to the ceremony. There is no limit to the number of attendees and there is no ticket purchase required. Should you have family members who are not able to travel to the ceremony, the event will be livestreamed closer to the event via the University's livestream webpage. Please share this webpage link with your family and friends.

When should I arrive, and what will the ceremony look like?

  • Please arrive to the Bell Center (attached to the Knapp Center) by 2:00 pm. When you arrive, please find your seat, put on your gown and tam, and review the information listed on your blue name card that is on your chair. At that time, we will provide you with additional instructions regarding what you will be doing during the ceremony. 
  • If any changes to your blue name card are needed, please mark them on the card as the information will be read as you cross the stage. Please be sure to fill in the requested phonetic pronunciation of your name if it is not already listed on the card. Also, if you will be changing your name in the next few weeks/months and would like for us to announce you by your new name when walking, please let Shelby know via email ASAP so we can ensure that your name is displayed correctly on the jumbotron screen.
  • In addition to the blue name card, there will also be a small white card with information that will be used by Grad Team photography. Please bring BOTH the blue and white cards with you along with your hood (which will be folded and draped over your arm) when you leave the Bell Center to walk in to the ceremony.
  • When it is time to be hooded, as you proceed to the platform, you will hand your white card to the photographer dressed in black standing behind our name reader at the podium. You will then hand your blue name card to the name reader at the podium before crossing the stage. Upon crossing the stage, you will hand your hood to Interim Dean Chuck Phillips and Assistant Dean Eliza Dy-Boarman and stand on the blue box on the platform and face the audience while being hooded. Please remain still while they place the hood over your head and adjust it quickly if needed. After your hood has been placed, please be sure to take a moment of pause to smile with the Deans once your hood is secured, as Grad Team will be taking your photo! So that you can have the best photo possible, do not lean forward as you are being hooded – if you feel too tall, bend at the knees. 
  • Following the hooding, you will proceed across the stage to shake hands with and collect your diploma from President Martin. Following this, you will proceed down the other stairwell and take a moment at the bottom of the stairs to have an official photo taken with a Grad Team photographer in front of a green screen before returning to your seats. Please follow the ushers who will help guide you back to your seat.
  • IMPORTANT: If you are an award recipient recognized during the ceremony, please wait at the back of the stadium following the processional and then once completed, return to the platform immediately after the ceremony for a group award recipient photo and to retrieve your physical award from the stage.
  • The ceremony will take approximately 75 minutes to complete.

What should I bring?

  • You will need to go to the University Bookstore to pick up your gown, tam, hood, and tassel that you have purchased and bring them to the ceremony (NOTE: the deadine to purchase attire is April 30, 2024! Please see the earlier email from the Bookstore if you still need to purchase regalia). Please note that, due to many changes in vendors and in order to ensure everyone has the same uniformed regalia, we will not allow the use of regalia from prior ceremonies. You will need to be sure that you take your hood with you when picking up your regalia from the Bookstore. You will want to bring your hood with you, along with the rest of your regalia, to the Knapp Center on the day of commencement. You will have your hood folded in your lap with you (simply fold it in half hotdog style so it is long and skinny and lay it across your lap) throughout the ceremony and then bring it with you to the stage for the hooding by draping it over your arm, similar to what you did previously for your white coat/blue coat ceremony.
  • IMPORTANT: Please be sure to leave all purses, keys, cameras, and other personal belongings with members of your family prior to reporting to the Bell Center. These items may NOT be in your possession during the ceremony, and there will not be anyone available in the Bell Center to watch over them for you. There will be NO exceptions--all unattended purses, personal items, etc. will be your responsibility and the College/University will not be liable for any loss suffered.
  • If you received any of the following cords, please bring these cords to the Bell Center and wear them before entering the ceremony:·       
    • Phi Lambda Sigma, Phi Theta Epsilon, and Rho Chi Honor Cords: Please contact your organization representative for information on where to pick up these cords·
    • University Honor Cords: These cords refer to academic Latin Honors (e.g., Magna Cum Laude) and are purchased and picked up through the Bookstore. 

Do you need to know what I'm doing after graduation prior to the ceremony?

  • YES! We need to know your employment plans after graduation so we may announce your plans at commencement and obtain graduate information important to the continuous improvement of our academic programs. Please use one of the following methods to provide your information to our office by Tuesday, May 14:
    • Enter your information directly into the Qualtrics survey that will be shared by Amanda Wroblewski, Assistant Director of Professional & Career Development Services and CPHS Liaison in the next few weeks.
    • Email Shelby directly at with your name, employer or postgraduate training program, and the city/state it is located.

If you do not know your definite plans by May 14, please submit to Shelby via email a general area of interest (community/hospital/clinical pharmacy) and your location preference (Kansas City, MO; Chicago, IL; etc.). You can also write it on your blue card on the day of the ceremony.

What other information should I share with my guests?

  • Parking: Please note that State Track will be taking place in the Drake Stadium on the same day as our ceremony, therefore parking will be quite limited around campus. The University Events office will be holding the Ray Promenade Lot (Lot 13 found on this map) for the CPHS commencement event. There likely will be traffic with both events taking place, therefore please have guests budget time to navigate to the lot and/or find street parking if necessary!

Photography/Video: Guests may NOT pass beyond roped areas to take pictures during the ceremony. We have secured Grad Team to take photography at the event, where they will take individual photos of each graduate before, during, and after they walk across the stage as described above. Proofs will be available for viewing and purchasing online approximately a week after the ceremony. Videotaping during the ceremony may be done from the seats. As a courtesy to other attendees, if using a tripod, please do so from the back of the facility or around the upper track so as not to block the view for other guests. Please be reminded that the ceremony will be livestreamed and recorded for viewing, and this will be posted on the University's webpage at a later date and time.

Am I also required to attend the Graduate Ceremony that is taking place on Sunday, May 19 if I am receiving another degree from the University (MBA, MPA, MSLD)? · 

  • You are not required to attend the Graduate Ceremony taking place on Sunday, May 19, which is separate from the CPHS Hooding & Commencement Ceremony. If you will be receiving a Master's degree (MBA, MPA, MSLD) from another College at Drake University in addition to your degree from CPHS, you can choose to participate in the Graduate Ceremony on Sunday. HSCI/MSHIA grads can attend the CPHS Hooding and Commencement Ceremony to be hooded and then also attend the undergrad ceremony to receive their BS degree. Additional information will be provided for double degree seeking students by the Office of the Registrar in mid to late April.  

How do I change my information in the commencement program?

  • The most current draft of the commencement program can be reviewed here. If you notice an error, please email with the corrections by 12:00 p.m. (noon) on Friday, April 5. Please include your name, student ID number, the page number in the program where the edit is needed, and what specifically should be updated on the page.  If you are NOT able to attend the CPHS Hooding and Commencement Ceremony, please email Shelby Nelson at so that we can make proper preparations for the ceremony.
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