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CPHS Doctoral Hooding and Commencement Ceremony Instructions

Dear OTD, PharmD, MAT 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 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 Friday, May 12th at 3:00 pm!

Questions on the Ceremony:

When and where is the ceremony being held?

  • The CPHS Hooding and Commencement Ceremony is being held on Friday, May 12th 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 and a link will be posted on the University's Commencement webpage closer to the event. 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.
  • In addition to the blue name card, there will also be a white card with information that will be used by Grad Team photography. Please bring BOTH the blue and white cards with you when you leave the Bell Center to walk in to the ceremony. As you proceed to the platform, you will hand your white card to the photographer standing at the stage platform entrance. You will then proceed up the stairs and then hand your blue name card to the name reader at the podium before crossing the stage.
  • IMPORTANT: If you are an award recipient recognized during the ceremony, please return to the platform immediately after the recession for a group award recipient photo and to retrieve your 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 and tam that you have purchased and bring them to the ceremony (the deadline to purchase attire is April 1, 2023!). You do not need to pick up your hood as it will be delivered to the Knapp Center. You will receive your hood during the 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 9:
    • Enter your information directly into the Qualtrics survey that will be shared by Leah Berte, Assistant Director of Professional & Career Development Services and CPHS Liaison
    • Email Shelby directly at with your name, employer/residency, and the city/state it is located
    • If you do not know your definite plans by May 9, 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.)

What other information should I share with my guests?

  • Parking: Parking is available in various lots around the Knapp Center. There are additional events taking place on campus, therefore Lots 1 and 13 will be reserved for commencement parking. Please have your guests review this map to find these lots. Handicapped parking is available in each lot.
  • 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. 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. Please be reminded that the ceremony will be livestreamed and recorded for viewing, and this will be posted on the webpage at a later date and time.

Am I also required to attend the Graduate Ceremony that is taking place on Saturday, May 13 if I am receiving another degree from the University (MBA, MPA, MSLD)?

  • You are not required to attend the Graduate Ceremony taking place on Saturday, May 13, which is separate from the CPHS Hooding & Commencement Ceremony. If you will be receiving a Master's degree (MBA, MPA, MSLD) from Drake University, 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 Thursday, April 20. 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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