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Commencement Protocol

Commencement Dress Code

Graduates must adhere to the dress code. Students who are in violation of the dress code may be removed from the line of march and will not be allowed to participate in the ceremony. This year’s Commencement Convocation will be held outdoors in Panther Stadium.

To ensure appropriate attire and maximum comfort, please adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Males: Black or navy blue suit, white dress shirt, dark tie (black or blue); dark dress shoes. No earrings.
  • Females: All black or all white knee-length dress or suit (black pant suits are permissible), closed-toe shoes (black), flesh-colored (skin-toned) hosiery, small earrings.

Guest Accommodations

Guest seating begins at 6:00 a.m. We advise that your guests arrive no later than 30 minutes before the processional, by 7:30 a.m., to ensure they are seated comfortably. This is imperative as it also affords time for the seating of elderly relatives or those requiring special assistance.

Special areas will be reserved for the graduates, special guests, faculty, and special-needs guests. All others should please proceed to designated areas not otherwise reserved for special guests. One family member will be allowed to accompany a special-needs guest.

Transportation will be provided for elderly and special-needs guests from the entrance gate to the area designated for special-needs guests. You can submit this Special Needs Information Form to Ms. Joyce Worrell (jworrell@cau.edu) in the CAU Counseling and Disabilities Center.

Seats may not be held! We strongly encourage family and friends to arrive early in order to sit together. If possible, designate an area to meet before and after the ceremony.

Please cooperate with the ushers. They are knowledgeable volunteers who are happy to assist you. To avoid conflicts that may delay your seating or distract your attention away from the occasion, please follow their instructions.

Ceremonial Decorum

There will be no admittance once the procession has begun. Late arrivals will be seated in the upper stands of the stadium.

Individuals planning to take pictures or videotape are encouraged to secure seating in the stadium stands to avoid interrupting the ceremony and other guests. A professional photographer will take individual pictures of each student accepting his or her diploma from the University President. Graduation pictures may be ordered online at www.curtismcdowell.com.

The use of cellular phones during Commencement Convocation is prohibited. Should parents or guests be on call, we request that you set your device on vibrate mode and respond to calls outside the ceremony area. Because of safety concerns related to overhead electrical wires, balloons will not be allowed in the stadium.

Congratulations and best wishes for a wonderful commencement experience!