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Ceremony Notes for Undergraduate 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.

Undergraduate Ceremony (10 a.m., Sunday, May 19th, 2024) 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 undergraduate ceremony generally lasts between 1.5 and 2 hours.

Assembling close to 600 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.

  • 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 Stadium.
  • Please avoid bringing personal or valuable items. Graduates may not carry anything (other than their seating card) on to the field.‌


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