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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get my cap and gown?
Where do I get announcements?
Is there a rehearsal for Commencement?
Where is the Commencement processional and line-up for undergraduate and graduate degrees?
How can I be sure my name will be listed in the Commencement program?
What is the proper Commencement attire?
How are honors designations determined and recognized?
Where can I put my purse and/or other valuables during the ceremonies?
Which side of the cap is the tassel supposed to hang during the processional?
Do I need tickets for my guests to attend Commencement?
Can I reserve a seat for my guest?
What access is available for guests and graduates with a disability?
How will guests know which side of the arena to sit and see their graduate?
How long does the Commencement ceremony last?
What is the process for walking on stage?
May guests take photographs?
Can the Commencement ceremony be seen on the web Live Stream?
Where can I purchase flowers or t-shirts ahead of time?
Where do graduates meet guests after the ceremony?
When do I receive my diploma?
Who do I contact for...?

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. When are the December Commencement ceremonies?
A. The December Commencement ceremonies will be held on Friday, December 15 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, December 16, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. in the O'Neill Arena, Ryder Center. See the homepage for a listing of each college's graduation date.

Q. How do I get my cap and gown?
A.Caps, gowns, tassels, diploma frames and other graduation information will be available during the Grad Fair, Wednesday, November 8, 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. in the SVSU Bookstore. If you are not able to attend the Grad Fair, the items may be picked up from November 8 - December 15 at the Bookstore during normal business hours. For more information contact the Bookstore: 989-964-4277, jgfrye@svsu.edu.

Q. Do I need tickets for my guests to attend Commencement?
A. No, there are not tickets for any of the Commencement ceremonies. For seating capacity purposes, it is recommended that each graduate bring a maximum of 6 guests.

Q. Is there a rehearsal for Commencement?
A. No, graduates are asked to arrive at least 90 minutes before the ceremony begins. Graduates will be directed to go to East O'Neill Arena to pick-up their announcer card, assemble, and line-up for the processional. There are signs and SVSU ushers to direct you to the card pick-up tables and college line-up.

Q. Where is the Commencement processional and line-up for undergraduate and graduate degrees?
A. East O'Neill Arena is the location for both undergraduate and graduate degree students to gather, approximately 90 minutes before the ceremony. Each college (Arts & Behavioral Sciences, Education, etc.) will have a table with the announcer cards available for pick-up and there will be signage for line-up in the same area by college. SVSU Ushers will be available for assistance.

Q. How can I be sure my name will be listed in the Commencement program?
A. You MUST complete and submit a graduation application by November 10, at 4:30 p.m. to be included in the published Commencement booklet/program.

Q. How longs does the Commencement ceremony last?
A. Typically, the Commencement cereomony will last approximately between 1.5 - 2 hours.

Q. How will guests know which side of the arena to sit and be able to see their graduate?
A. Along the aisles of graduate seating (main floor) there are flags with each college name and a flag for master degrees. Guests should locate the flag for your college to determine which side you will be seated. All graduates enter the right side of the stage, walk across to shake hands with the SVSU President and exit on the left side of the stage.

Q. What is the process for walking on stage?
A. Before the Commencement ceremony, you will line up by college in the East O'Neill Arena. An usher will lead your processional line down the hall and into the main O'Neill Arena floor. From there you will directed to the row you will be seated. Following the Commencement speaker, the Deans of each college will call forward their graduates. An usher will lead your row out to the aisle, you will be directed up the right-side of the stage and will give your announcer card to the Announcer who will read your name over the sound-system. You will proceed to walk across the stage and shake the hand of the Dean and SVSU President. As you exit the stage to the left you will be stopped for a photograph. The photographer will also capture your handshake with the SVSU President. You will return down the aisle to your seat.