Guests needing special accommodations such as wheelchair accessibility and sign language should contact Student Support Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-752-4710 to make arrangements at least 14 days prior to the graduation ceremony.
Decorum & Protocol
• The Commencement ceremony is a distinguished event
• Decorum and courtesy are very important for graduates and guests.
• Turn off cell phones and beepers for the ceremony.
• Wear cap throughout entire ceremony.
• Men should remove their caps for the National Anthem.
• No air horns, balloons, bubbles, beach balls, or similar items are allowed in the ceremony. The use of noisemakers may be intended to show one person’s pride in a graduate, but it can also ruin the chance for another family to hear the name of their graduate announced.
• No children allowed to be seated with graduates
• No unsupervised children in the guest seating area
• Be aware of the shoes you wear as graduates will go up and down stairs during the ceremony.
• Graduates and guests should be prepared for security checks upon entry to the Shriver Auditorium. Security measures may include the following:
• Increased security presence both inside and outside
• Presenting a picture ID upon entry
• Wanding of our guests or metal detection
• Inspection of all small handbags and purses
• Security reserves the right to conduct "Pat Down" searches as National-Security elevates and prohibit large bags, duffel bags, or anything larger than a shoe box to enter the building.
• The use of alcoholic beverages, including champagne, is prohibited. Persons coming to the ceremony with alcoholic beverages will be asked to surrender them to University commencement staff.
Academic regalia, full Chef Dress uniform or one of the U.S. Armed Forces dress uniform is required.
At check-in, you will receive a card with your name and degree on it to be used in the ceremony. This card will be collected by a University Marshal when you approach the stage. After check-in, you will join other graduates by program in the processional directed by University Marshals.
Stand for the procession and while the platform party is in place. Remain standing for the National Anthem.
Following the commencement address and the authorization by the Campus Dean for conferral of degrees.
All graduates are expected to stay for the entire ceremony. Please plan for an approximate 3 hour program.
Master's Candidates - University Marshals will direct the movement to the stage. Candidates give the card with their name and degree on it to the staff as you approach the stage. The University Nomenclator will then announce each candidate as he/she moves onto the stage.
The candidate will shake hands with the Director, Dean, and Graduate School Program Director and Program Director. The process moves quickly, allowing no time for conversation. University Marshals will direct graduates back to their seats.
Baccalaureate & Associate Degree
Academic dress or the uniform of one of the U.S. Armed Forces is customary.
Students receiving commissions in the armed forces will stand with their classmates when the academic degree is conferred, and also when receiving acknowledgment as a group.
Candidates for the baccalaureate and associate degrees should wear the tassel of the cap on the right front edge.
Due to the formality of this occasion and safety concerns regarding walking on the steps and stage, please wear appropriate footwear; flip flops, clogs and loose fitting shoes are not recommended. In addition, it is requested that men wear slacks and a dress shirt with tie. For women, slacks with a blouse, or a dress is appropriate. Thank you for your cooperation.
Students may order and purchase their caps, gowns, and personalized announcements from Student Support Services. You will need to allow at least 2 – 3 weeks for processing printed announcements. If you need assistance, please contact Career Services.
Please note Ornamentation representing honorary societies or nationalities is not approved attire for Stratford University academic ceremonies.
Academic regalia or the Chef Dress uniform of one of the U.S. Armed Forces is required. Advanced degree candidates wear the tassel of the cap on the left front edge.
The recessional will include all those who participated in the processional and will be directed by the University Marshal.
It is critical for the University to have the correct information for the diploma and an accurate diploma mailing address for each student. Visit the Registrar’s office for additional information on making corrections.
All undergraduate and graduate diplomas will be mailed, at no cost, approximately 16 weeks after the ceremony.
Photography and Videography
Photographers will be at the commencement ceremony to take photographs of students as they individually approach, cross and exit the stage. The photographer will contact graduates with special photo packages that can be purchased.
The ceremony will be recorded. Family and guests are welcome to bring their hand-held video devices that can be used from their seats.
For additional graduation and ceremony information contact Student Support Services.