Things Students Need to Know

Students, here are some things you need to know about Commencement

Your stuff for graduation

  • Packets contain a graduation gown, cap, tassel, photo card, and notices about the ceremony. Try on your academic gown to make sure it fits as soon as you pick it up, and iron it before the ceremony.

What to wear

  • In recognition of the prestige of the event, we ask that you dress professionally. Please do not wear jeans, sweats, shorts, casual sandals, or sneakers. Remember, this is a significant day in your life and in the lives of your loved ones, so honor it accordingly.
  • Commencement attire consists of black robe, black mortarboard, and tassel. If you are a baccalaureate candidate, you also need to wear your hood.
  • Wearing honor society medals, ribbons, stoles, ropes designating academic achievement, and any awards through SUNY is permitted. Only approved academic ornamentation may be worn. Anything else, such as signs on the top of mortarboards, buttons, patches, corsages, jewelry, flowers, etc., is not permitted and you will be asked to remove it prior to the ceremony. If you do not, you may be removed from the ceremony.

The big day

  • You should arrive no later than 11:15 a.m. with academic regalia, assemble in the end zone of Pioneer Field, and look for a sign indicating your academic area.
  • Honor students, look for your name to be posted on a sandwich board in the end zone and be sure to receive an honor cord from the honor marshal.  Presidential Aspiring Leaders (PAL) should report to this area to receive a label to affix to their photo card.  All graduating students will be seated for the ceremony by academic area.
  • Wear your mortarboard with the tassel to the right. Men, remove your mortarboards during the national anthem and the invocation. After all candidates have walked across the stage, graduates will be inducted into the Alumni Council and the tassels will then be moved to the left. This tradition signifies the conferment of the degree.
  • Those participating in the ceremony will only receive a diploma cover at the event. The actual diploma will be mailed in mid-July.
  • Please note that attending the ceremony does not signify that you have, in fact, successfully completed all requirements; unfortunately, some will go through the ceremony, but not be recommended for graduation by the faculty because they have not met all graduation requirements.