Ceremony instructions

Students are expected to arrive at check-in at the Todd Weir Auditorium at 5:00pm (Friday) or Noon (on Saturday). Ceremony instructions will be announced during this time. Please listen to these instructions carefully.

Walking on stage

When it comes time to approach the stage, take your name card that you receive during the check-in process. As you approach the stage, hand your name card to the announcer and begin walking across the stage. Personal items, such as purses, phones, etc., may NOT be worn, carried or used while walking across the stage.


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. Click here preregister your email address so you can receive your complimentary proofs quickly. You may contact Empire Photography (608-257-2941) for more information.


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. 


Tickets are required for guests. Each graduate can request up to a total of 6 tickets, which are free. The graduate does not need a ticket for him/herself. Children who occupy a seat will need a ticket. Individuals without tickets will not be admitted to commencement. For more information regarding when and where to retrieve your tickets, please see the Tickets & Seating page. 

Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Seating for guests begins at the following times:

  • Friday, May 17, 2019 commencement: doors open at 5:00pm.
  • Saturday, May 18, 2019 commencment: doors open at Noon.

Commencement etiquette and common courtesy

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. Because of the nature of the ceremony, we ask the following of students and guests:

  • No air horns or other loud noisemakers.
  • No one may take pictures from the center aisle, but rather come to the left or right side of the stage, behind the roped area.
  • No profanities, obscenities, or political statements are allowed on graduation caps.
  • Any marshal can determine whether or not a cap modification is appropriate. If a student refuses to remove an inappropriate cap modification, they will not be allowed to participate in the ceremony. Please remember that you are sharing this day with many other individuals. Any decoration should be minimal so that attention is not drawn away from the ceremony.