The university welcomes family members, friends, and guests to celebrate the achievements of their graduates.

Date and time 

Graduate: Friday, May 3, 2024 at 4:00 pm

Undergraduate: Saturday, May 4, 2024 at 1:30 pm.


Concordia University, R. John Buuck Field House
12800 N Lake Shore Drive
Mequon, WI 53097

Tickets Required

Commencement staging and etiquette

Commencement is an exciting time to celebrate all of God's blessings associated with earning a degree and recognize the significant accomplishments of our graduates. With this in mind, graduating students are required to remain seated until all graduates have been given their well-deserved recognition and the ceremony ends. 


  • The graduation ceremonies last approximately 1.5 hours each. Please plan to stay for the entire ceremony.  Leaving the ceremony early is disrespectful to other graduates and their families.
  • Graduates are required to wear the approved cap or doctoral tam, gown, CUW stole, and tassel. Graduates may not alter their gowns.
  • Graduates should wear appropriate clothing underneath their academic regalia, this includes proper footwear.
  • Cell phones should be placed on vibrate or silent mode during the ceremony.
  • Graduates will not be allowed to carry small children, pets or personal items in the processional or across the stage.
  • Listen to the instructions from the marshals and the commencement team. This helps keeps the ceremony running on time.
  • Beach balls, fog horns, balloons and other items that might disrupt the ceremony (or others’ ability to view or hear the ceremony) are prohibited.
Student Staging for the Ceremony
  • Graduates are to arrive one hour prior to the start of the commencement ceremony to check-in.
  • Enter campus through the Lake Shore Drive entrance. Security will be present to direct you to available designated parking. 
  • Graduates should be appropriately robed at the time of arrival. This means they should have on their cap and gown prior to walking into the building. Faculty will be available to help with any concerns regarding commencement regalia. Graduates are encouraged to leave all valuables in their locked cars or with loved ones attending the ceremony. For a reminder on how to properly wear your cap and gown, check out the Jostens video
  • Graduates will enter through the west side of Barth Hall near the Todd Wehr Auditorium. 
  • Graduates will be provided with a note card that contains his/her name (that he/she wants to be read at the ceremony) and degree program. If there are errors on the card, students will have the opportunity to have their information corrected prior to the start of the ceremony. Each graduate must keep this note card so that it can be handed to the reader who will announce the graduate as he/she takes the stage. 
  • Faculty and staff will be available to guide students through the Todd Wehr auditorium to check-in for commencement. Once checked-in, students will be lined up for procession. 
Student Processional into Ceremony
  • When the check list has been completed, graduates will be led by the Graduation Marshal to the ceremonies. Students will follow the Graduation Marshal in the processional and will walk in two single file lines. 
  • Graduates will be seated according to the Graduation Marshal. 
  • Once graduates arrive at their seats, they should remain standing and be seated at the end of the entrance music.  
Degree Conferral
  • At the appropriate time, graduates will be requested to stand for the certification of graduates and the conferring of degrees and certificates.    
  • Graduation Marshals will guide graduates to the stage to receive their diploma cover. 
  • The graduate will hand their name card to the reader. Upon hearing his/her name called, will walk across the stage and receive a diploma cover. 
  • President Ankerberg will hand the graduate the diploma cover and shake hands with the graduate. Photographers will be available to capture the moment the graduate is handed the diploma cover, as well as when the graduate walks down the ramp from the stage.
  • After leaving the stage, graduates must return to his/her row and sit down.  


  • Cell phones should be place on vibrate or silent mode during the ceremony.
  • If possible, please remain seated throughout the ceremony.  If it is not feasible to remain seated throughout the ceremony, please consider moving to classroom across the hallway from the Field House where the ceremony will be broadcast on a large screen.  
  • Seats are first come, first served. Doors open 90 minutes prior to the ceremony. 
  • Please do not stand in the aisles. We care about the safety of our guests and it is a fire hazard.
  • No air horns or other loud noisemakers.
  • Professional photographers from Empire Photography will capture the awarding of your student’s diploma from different angles. We encourage you to sit back, enjoy the moment and leave the photos to our professional photographers.
  • Finding graduates following the ceremony can be difficult. Graduates will process out at the end of the ceremony. It is recommended that guests make plans to meet their graduates at a designated location following the ceremony.
  • Please leave extra time to exit the building and to make your way through the post-event traffic.
Arrival/Entrance to Ceremony
  • Enter campus through the Lake Shore Drive entrance. Security will be present to direct you to available designated parking. 
  • Guests are welcome to arrive 90 minutes prior to the commencement ceremony. Please arrive no earlier than the designated time for your ceremony. 
  • Guests will enter through the Field House entrance. Faculty and staff will be there to greet you and ensure you have arrived at the proper ceremony time. Guest tickets will be scanned at the Field House entrance. Please have your guest ticket printed or available on your phone for scanning. 
  • Please refer to Parking Information for more details regarding arrival to campus given construction detours.
Degree Conferral
  • Photographers from Empire Photography will be at Concordia University to capture the milestone of your graduate. If you wish to take photos, you may do so from your seat. Photos from Empire Photography will be available online for viewing following the ceremony. 
Departure/Exiting the Field House
  • After the platform party have filed off the platform, the Graduation Marshal will assist students in the recessional to maintain safe distancing. Graduates will recess to the auditorium where they originally entered for staging.
  • Once the graduates have left the Field House, guests will be directed to leave the Field House (returning to the parking lot) to meet their graduate. 

Graduation FAQs

Are tickets required for the graduation ceremony?

Tickets are required for guests. Each graduate can request up to a total of 6 tickets, which are free. Children who occupy a seat will need a ticket. Individuals without tickets will not be admitted to commencement. For details regarding how to secure your tickets, please visit here. For guests unable to attend, a livestream will be available on the CUW website on the day of commencement.

Where should we park when we arrive?

Allow plenty of time for parking. Campus Safety Officers will be directing traffic prior to and immediately following commencement. Guests are asked to use the Field House entrance for access to the ceremony. Parking on campus will be open and available to guests at no charge.

Graduates who anticipate having guests with limited mobility or wheelchairs are encouraged to use our handicapped accessible Administration Entrance. Guests can be dropped off adjacent to the door and the vehicle can be parked in lot A or B. Guests would proceed to the public elevator in Rincker Hall across from Rincker 118. The elevator will take them to level “B” and they can proceed to the Field House. This will enable our guests to use our dry and protected building for entry and exit. Guests will also avoid the need to maneuver around vehicles when attempting to exit the campus after graduation. Please see the Campus Parking Map for lot and building locations.

How is seating arranged for guests?

Seats will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Accessible seating is available for guests. Once inside the building, an usher will direct you to the designated seating areas. One family member or friend will be allowed to sit next to each special needs guest.

How long does the commencement ceremony typically last?

 The commencement ceremony will last between 1.5 to 2 hours.

I am graduating with honors, where do I pick up my honor cords?

For recognition in the commencement ceremony, undergraduate students’ GPA and credits are calculated through their second to last CUWAA semester. The final semester grades, which have not yet been finalized, cannot be included for honors to be recognized. Adjustments are made to diplomas and transcripts as warranted after the inclusion of final semester grades and credits.  

Students who have regalia shipped to CUW will have their honor cord included in the regalia bag.

Students who select Home Ship will pick up their cord during check-in and staging.

Cord colors

  • Gold Cord: Achievement of a cumulative GPA of 3.90 or better will be graduated Summa Cum Laude
  • Silver Cord: Achievement of a cumulative GPA of 3.80 or better will be graduated Magna Cum Laude
  • Bronze Cord: Achievement of a cumulative GPA of 3.60 or better will be graduated Cum Laude

Honor Society cords are distributed within some CUW approved honor societies. Should your program and/or honor society recognize such an accomplishment, you will be able to pick up your cords from your Program Director.

What if I have family members unable to attend the commencement ceremony?

For guests who are unable to attend commencement, a live stream of the ceremony will be available for online viewing here.

We have more family members that would like to attend graduation, but I only have 6 tickets.

If an additional pool of tickets becomes available, students will be notified via their CUW email account. A pool of extra tickets MAY be available 3-4 weeks prior to the ceremony.

Will flowers be available for purchase to gift to our graduate?

Grad Flowers will be selling flowers in the Field House lobby prior to the start of the ceremony. You may give the flowers to your graduate AFTER the ceremony. 

How do I locate graduation photos?

A professional photographer will be present at the commencement ceremony to take a full-length photo of each student as they walk across the stage. Students should receive samples via email within 7 days of the ceremony. To access graduation proofs, be sure to register on the Empire website. You may contact Empire Photography (608-257-2941) for more information.

Do I receive a diploma on graduation day?

Each student will receive a blank diploma cover at the commencement ceremony. Participation in the ceremony does not guarantee graduation from a program. Graduation from a program will be processed once all program requirements have been met.