The ceremony will be held in the O'Neill Arena of the Ryder Center. The following times are important.
5:30 p.m. - Ryder Center doors open
6 p.m. - Graduates arrive at the Ryder Center, entering at the northwest corner on the first level (user entrance). Please go immediately to the East end of O’Neill Arena for instructions and to line up for the processional.
6 -7:25 p.m. - Family and friends may be seated by entering at the north ramp to the second level
7:30 p.m. - Processional
9:30 p.m. - Deans' reception for you and your guests in the east end of the arena
SVSU official colors are Cardinal Red and Royal Blue. White is used as a highlight color.
The traditional university-issued cap and gown is required. Please iron and hang your gown to eliminate wrinkles.
The undergraduate tassel is to be placed on the right side of the mortarboard (cap). The mortarboard is to be parallel with the floor. Graduate level tassels are to be worn on the left side of the mortarboard (cap).
Please wear appropriate clothing under the gown.
Honors Cords can be worn by those who have achieved such honor.
The specific honor for each student attaining the honors is printed in the official Commencement program under each student’s name.
When the student crosses the stage during the Commencement ceremony, the honor the student received is read after his/her name.
The academic honor received is printed on the student’s diploma.
The academic honor received is printed on the student’s transcript of grades. Please note that honors designations are determined at the completion of the semester prior to the semester of graduation and are linked to the cumulative GPA at that time. Many Commencement participants are enrolled in courses during the semester of graduation and will earn grades that might alter the honors designation. The Commencement program must be prepared before the end of that semester, so the honors designations listed in the Program will pertain to the GPA as it appeared at the completion of the previous semester.
Please note that honors cords are available only for those completing bachelor’s degrees, corresponding to their Latin honors (summa cum laude, e.g.). For the purposes of Latin Honors designations and honor cords, grade point averages are not rounded as a matter of policy. This policy adheres to the GPA categories for Latin honors listed in the university Catalog. Those completing graduate degrees will wear the appropriate hood for the degree they have earned.
Stoles and other cords may be worn if they represent organizations or recognitions that are affiliated with SVSU.
There are no reserved seats. Members of the audience should arrive early for the best seating locations. Seating should be completed before the processional begins. General seating in the O'Neill Arena is bleacher seating with no back support. Please limit yourself to six (6) guests so there will be room for the guests of all graduates.
The University requests that all attendees at the Commencement Ceremony observe common courtesy and safety standards and refrain from using artificial noisemakers (such as air horns) and laser pointers, or other devices which could cause physical damage to persons in attendance.
Special Seating: Chairs or wheelchair space may be reserved for individuals with disabilities. To reserve special seating for guests, contact the Office of Disability Services at minimum two weeks prior to commencement at (989) 964-7000 or stop by 260 Wickes Hall.
Special Entrance: Guests with disabilities may be dropped off at the South entrance to Ryder Center, near the Fitness Center. Maps are available in 260 Wickes Hall.
Special Parking: Parking passes for the R Lot are available to guests who are dropping off individuals at the South entrance. To obtain a pass, please contact The Office of Disability Services at minimum two weeks prior to commencement at (989) 964-7000 or stop by 260 Wickes Hall.
Graduates: Graduates with special needs should contact The Office of Disability Services (989) 964-7000 no later than two weeks prior to commencement.
A professional photographer will take portraits as each graduate crosses the stage. For more information on ordering prints, go to http://gradimages.com. You will be under no obligation.
Please advise your guests that pictures may not be taken from any area of the arena's floor during the ceremony. Ask them not to cross the arena between the seating sections during the processional, the ceremony, or the recessional. Guests may take pictures only while remaining in their seats.
If you wish to present your graduate with flowers at the ceremony, you can conveniently pre-purchase your flowers through CommencementFlowers.com and they will be available for pick-up at Commencement. Sales also serve as a fund raiser for Alpha Phi Omega, a co-ed service fraternity at SVSU.
Diploma covers will be distributed as part of the ceremony. Graduates will be notified when their diplomas are available following grade processing, graduation verification and diploma printing. Students who do not attend Commencement will receive their diploma covers with their diplomas.