Student instructions

Pre-Convocation checklist

Before you leave in the morning, make sure you have the following:

  1. Tickets for your guests (if you are not collecting them from the box office)
  2. Parking passes
  3. Your gown
  4. Your mortarboard (BSN/MS/Certificate) or tam (DNP/PhD)
  5. Your tassel
  6. Your hood (MS/Certificate/DNP/PhD)
  7. Any honors cords or stoles you plan to wear
  8. If you or your family have purchased any floral leis, please plan to wear them first thing in the morning

Remember: you must wear graduation apparel to participate in the Convocation ceremony.

Start early

Start your day early. Consider morning traffic and the extra time it will take to park the car and walk to Meany Theater.

Check in at 7:30 a.m.

All graduates meet in the Studio Theater behind Meany Theater (signs will be posted).

  • Arrive wearing your graduation regalia, including any floral leis that you intend to wear for the ceremony.
  • Leave tickets with your guests; you do not need a ticket for yourself.
  • You are encouraged to not bring bags, purses, etc., as there is limited room in Meany and they are not allowed in the auditorium. A coat check run by PONS will be available at the entrance to the Studio Theater for a small donation.
  • Guests who arrive with you should wait at the front of Meany Theater across from By George (near the George Washington statue).
  • Important directions will be announced in the Studio Theater, so please visit with friends and family after the ceremony.

Award winners and student speakers

If you are receiving or presenting an award or speaking on stage, plan to arrive around 7:15 a.m. After checking in at the Studio Theater, student award winners and student speakers should report to the Green Room entrance at 7:30 a.m. Staff will meet you to take you to the auditorium for special instructions.

Class photos

When you arrive in the Studio Theater, please look for signs showing where your program’s seating area is and wait for further instructions.

You will receive a numbered name card and photo card. When instructed, line up by program in numerical order and complete the photo card if you wish to purchase class or personal photos from the official Convocation photographers.

To facilitate the lineup process, remember who is before and after you.

A staff member will collect your completed photo cards when they lead you to your class photo. Hold onto your name card for use during the ceremony.

Lining up

After your class photo, the staff member who led you to the photo location will return you to the main lineup outside Meany Theater (or inside if it’s raining).

Please do not leave the line to visit with friends and family! We need graduates ready to go and are not able to track you down if you are not in place when the processional begins.

The lineup forms in the following order:

  1. Award winners
  2. Student speakers
  3. Bachelor of Science in Nursing graduates
  4. Master of Science graduates
  5. Graduate Certificate graduates
  6. Doctor of Nursing Practice graduates
  7. Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing Science graduates


Staff will direct you during the processional. Please follow their lead and do not step out of the line. They will lead you into the auditorium and help guide you to your seats.

Just before the processional begins, staff will count off and tell you if you begin or end a row (e.g., begin row A, end row A, begin row B, etc.). A staff member will insert themselves in the line with graduates who begin a row to facilitate seating and prevent bottlenecks.

The processional begins promptly at 9:30 a.m. The lights in the auditorium will dim, an announcement asks the audience to quiet cell phones, and the processional music will start. The graduate leading the processional should begin walking as soon as the music starts.

Inside the auditorium, staff will guide you to the inner set of stairs (closest to the audience). Descend the stairs and continue to your designated row.

Move to the end of the row and stand in front of your seat so as not to impede others. Do not skip or leave open seats; there are just enough reserved seats for registered graduates. Please remain standing until the dean and faculty are on stage and the dean asks you to be seated.

If you arrive late you will fall in at the end of the processional. We cannot guarantee seats for graduates who do not RSVP by the deadline.

The walk to the stage

After the presentation of awards and student speeches, graduates will be honored by program. Stand by program and line up in numerical order according to your name cards.

Award winners and speakers should join their class lineup at the appropriate time.

Staff members will guide you to the stage.

Bachelors, masters, and certificate graduates

  1. Hand your name card to the faculty reader.
  2. When your name is announced, cross the stage to shake the dean’s hand and pose for a photo.
  3. Continue across the stage to receive a pin from distinguished program donors.
  4. Pose for a final photo at the top of the stairs. Descend the stairs and return to your seat.

Doctoral graduates

  1. Hold your hood over your right arm. Hand your name card to the faculty reader. When your name is announced, cross the stage to hand your hood to the faculty member who will confer the hood.
  2. After being hooded, continue across the stage to shake the dean’s hand and pose for a photo.
  3. Continue across the stage to receive a pin from distinguished program donors.
  4. Pose for a final photo at the top of the stairs. Descend the stairs and return to your seat.


At the conclusion of the ceremony, the recessional music will begin. Faculty will lead the recessional out each side of the auditorium.

After faculty have recessed, you will follow them out to the lobby by row (signs will direct you to the side you should exit from).

Family and friends will exit after the graduates and meet you in the Meany Theater lobby for a brief reception.