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Ceremony Notes for Graduate and Doctoral Students

We are pleased that you plan to participate in the 156th Commencement Ceremony.

Below are details and instructions you will need to help you prepare for this important occasion. If you need additional information, your attendance plans have changed, or you have further questions, please call the Office of the Registrar at (515) 271-2025.

Graduate Ceremony (2:00 p.m., Sunday, May 19th, 2024) notes:

  • 12:30 p.m. the doors to the Bell Center open.
  • Please do not bring purses, phones, coats, etc... into the Bell Center gym. Please leave your possessions with your guests in the Knapp Center. You will not be returning to the Bell Center after the ceremony has recessed so do not leave any belongings on or around your chair.
  • All participants must be assembled in the Bell Center gym by 1:15 p.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 1:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.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 1:15 p.m.
  • The University Marshal will provide last-minute instructions and announcements at 1:30 p.m.
  • The processional will leave the Bell Center gym at 1:50 p.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 or outside (weather permitting), not back to the Bell Center gym.
  • The graduate ceremony general lasts approximately 1 hour.

Assembling more than 200 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.


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