FAQs

Will there be food at the ceremony?

Yes! The Professional Organization of Nursing Students (PONS) will have some breakfast items and coffee for sale prior to the ceremony. Light refreshments (juice, coffee, fruit, cookies) will also be served in the Meany Theatre lobby immediately following the Convocation ceremony at 11 a.m.

Will I get to wear honors cords, Sigma Theta Tau cords, etc.?

Baccalaureate honors (summa cum laude: 3.94, magna cum laude: 3.89, cum laude: 3.80) are awarded only to recipients of a first baccalaureate degree. These honors are earned by those students who have completed no fewer than 90 residence credits at this institution. At least 60 of the 90 credits must have been acquired on a graded basis. The University's Honors Committee determines annually the grade-point requirement for each baccalaureate honor at each campus. Those eligible based on the end of winter quarter GPA may purchase the cords for $12 on the online Registration/Order Form. Sigma Theta Tau cords: Graduates invited to join Sigma Theta Tau society will be contacted by Sigma Theta Tau prior to the convocation ceremony and receive Sigma Theta Tau cords.

Will I get my diploma?

No. Diplomas will be mailed to the address selected in MyUW (local or permanent) three to four months following graduation.

Where should I/my guests park for the School of Nursing Ceremony?

When you order parking passes through the online registration form, you should choose to park in either the Central Parking Garage (C2 - C5) or near the Burke Museum at the corner of NE 45th Street and 15th Avenue NE (N1). We do not recommend parking on level C1 of the Central Parking Garage, especially if you have guests who have difficulty travelling long distances, as it is more difficult to reach the elevator to Meany Theater.

What time should I arrive? Can I change into my graduation gown once I get to Meany Theater?

Graduates should arrive at the Studio Theater NO LATER THAN 8 a.m.  You should be already dressed in your academic apparel as there are no changing rooms.  We encourage graduates to leave purses and personal items with family members, though there will be a coat check sponsored by the Professional Organization of Nursing Students (PONS) for a small donation inside the Studio Theater lobby. Friends and family should wait near the entrance to Meany Theatre by the George Washington statue until the main doors open at 8:45 a.m.

What if my family members lose their tickets? Will they be able to attend the ceremony?

Unfortunately, no. Meany Theater requires that Convocation be a ticketed event. If there are any unclaimed tickets at Will Call, your guests may use these to enter.

What if I need more than 7 tickets?

Meany Theatre has limited seating and we must accommodate ALL graduates and their families.  Students are guaranteed three tickets with the potential of obtaining four additional tickets (subject to availability). If you have a large group, we recommend speaking directly to your peers to see if they have unused tickets they are willing to share with you.

My party has a guest that does not use a wheelchair but has difficulty walking. Does this count as priority seating?

Yes! Priority seating is set aside specifically for guests in wheelchairs or who have general difficulty walking long distances or navigating stairs. We make every attempt to seat families together who require priority seating. Please contact Stephanie Kirschner in Student and Academic Services at stann@uw.edu or 206.616.5066 as soon as possible to reserve priority seating.

My family wants to surprise me with a bouquet of flowers and/or a lei. How can they get these to me?

Convocation is a busy day with hundreds of participants, including students, staff, faculty and the friends and family of the graduates. It is easiest if leis are given to graduates prior to arriving at the Studio Theater (before 8 a.m.) so they may be worn during class photos and as they walk across the stage during the ceremony. We ask that friends and family wait until the reception following the ceremony to present flower bouquets to graduates.

My family lives outside of the US. What steps must I take to make sure they can attend?

Refer to the following instructions for the steps necessary to inviting family from abroad:

  1. Invitations have to come from the student and not from the University of Washington or officials from the UW.
  2. Refer students to the ISS website.
  3. Immigration officials told ISS that documentation and support documents should come from the student and that Immigration does not pay a lot of attention to support letters from a school or department except for official verifications such as enrollment verification from the Registration office.
  4. If we do write a letter, the information needs to be verifiable, e.g. student is earning a doctorate in nursing (verifiable) but not list family member names, etc. (cannot be verified by us).
  5. ISS does not write letters of support and neither do many departments/schools on campus. The responsibility is on part of the student.

From the ISS Website

Inviting Family Members to Visit the U.S.

As graduation approaches, you may want to invite your parents or other family members to celebrate commencement with you. Here are some suggestions to help them apply for a visitor's visa (B-2) at a US consulate or embassy in their home country. To facilitate their visa interview process you should do the following:
  • Write a letter of invitation. Include the purpose of the visit, your relationship to the individuals, a statement of your status here, itinerary details and the length of time they will be visiting (usually less than three months). It is best to emphasize the temporary nature of the invitation and to demonstrate their intention to return to their home country following the visit. If you will provide their financial support while they are here, include that information as well.
  • Include an Enrollment Verification Letter from the Registration Office in 225 Schmitz Hall to confirm your student status. Graduate students who hold an RA/TA appointment may want to also attach a departmental funding letter.
  • Provide details of the Commencement Ceremony.
  • For additional information about U.S. consulate/embassy locations and application procedures, review the U.S. Department of State visa information.
Providing your family members with this documentation may improve their chances of obtaining a visa; however, there is no guarantee a visa will be issued. The success of their request for a visa lies in their ability to prove that they have no intention of staying permanently in the U.S. Please note that ISS advisers are unable to write letter of invitation for your family members.

If the ceremony doesn’t begin until 9:30 a.m., why do I need to arrive by 8 a.m.?

We ask graduates to arrive by 8 a.m. in order to take class pictures and to walk you through the process of the Convocation ceremony.

I live out of the area and can’t come in person to pick up my tickets prior to the ceremony. What should I do?

A Will Call booth will be available in front of the Meany Theater lobby where you will be able to pick up your tickets the morning of Convocation.

I am participating in the ceremony as a graduate. Do I need a ticket?

No, tickets are only required for guests of the graduates.

How much do tickets for Convocation cost? How many may I request?

Tickets for the School of Nursing Convocation ceremony are free! Every graduate who completes our online survey by the priority deadline are guaranteed three tickets for guests. Graduates can request up to four additional guest tickets, which will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis. These four additional tickets are not guaranteed.  We encourage you to talk to your peers to see if they have additional tickets they are able to give you.

How can I find my family after the ceremony?

Faculty and graduates leave the auditorium during the recessional first. Guests in the audience follow.

Do children require tickets?

Per Meany Theater's ticket policy, every guest - regardless of age - must have a ticket. Only "babes-in-arms" do not require tickets, but must be held on a parent/guardian lap.

Are strollers or baby car seats allowed in Meany Theater?

No.  Due to fire codes, all strollers and baby car seats must be left in the lobby.

Are bottles, balloons, silly string or confetti allowed in Meany Theater?

No.  Any balloons will be confiscated by Meany staff and held in the lobby.  Bringing bottles, balloons, silly string or confetti into the theater is subject to large fines.

Does the Convocation ceremony include Bothell and Tacoma nursing graduates?

No. This ceremony is for Seattle campus nursing graduates only.