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What Graduates Need to Know

Graduation Day

Class Photo & More

A Class of 2020 photo will be taken on the front steps of the Hall of Pioneers immediately following the Baccalaureate service. Graduates must be on the steps no later than 11:50 a.m. To better allow families to enjoy the commencement ceremony and ensure the safety of all guests in the arena, a professional photographer will take the photos of all graduates as they receive their MBA hood and/or diploma from the President. All graduates will be able to download their FREE and PROFESSIONAL graduation photos (including the class photo) in the days following graduation. Specific instructions will be made available on the main graduation page as soon as possible.  

Academic Attire and Honor Cords

Caps and gowns are ordered by the K-Dub Hub based on information submitted on the graduation application, and will be distributed on April 2. Please try on your cap and gown to ensure a proper fit.

Undergraduate candidates should wear their tassels on the RIGHT side until the president of the university confers the degree, at which time the tassel is moved to the left side. The mortarboard on the cap should be parallel to the ground (FLAT), not sitting on the back of the head. Bobby pins will be available in the second-floor hallway of the Hall of the Pioneers and at Mabee Arena. Faculty will be glad to help you position your cap appropriately.

Your cap MUST be worn during the academic procession, ceremony and recessional. Men should remove caps during prayer, National Anthem, or other specified times as noted by the president.

M.B.A. candidates will be “hooded” at Commencement and may not wear their hood until presented with it during the Commencement ceremony.

Undergraduate candidates with tentative graduation honors (based on residence and cumulative grade point averages after the fall semester) will wear an honor cord over their gowns. Honor cords will be awarded at the Commencement Ceremony.

Undergraduate candidates may keep their caps and gowns as well as honor cords. Graduate candidates may keep their caps, gowns and hoods.

Honor Cord Colors

Summa Cum Laude (3.90- 4.00 GPA) candidates wear a purple and gold braided honor cord.

Magna Cum Laude (3.75- 3.89 GPA) candidates wear a purple honor cord.

Cum Laude (3.50-3.74 GPA) candidates wear a gold honor cord.

Caps, Gowns & Graduation Packet

Caps, gowns and information for all graduates will be distributed on April 2 in the Student Activities Center.

After that, they can be picked up in the K-Dub Hub along with the graduation packet by May 1.

A marching order will be distributed at graduation.

Commencement Ceremony

Academic Procession

Assembly for the academic procession will begin at 2:15 p.m. according to the published “marching order” for candidates, faculty, administration, trustees, and platform party. There will be two lines of processional march. Please know which line you are in and who the line marshal is for your group.

The procession will form in Sams Chapel, second floor of the Hall of Pioneers. BE ON TIME. If an emergency causes you to arrive after the start of the procession, DO NOT ENTER THE PROCESSION LINE. Instead, report to an usher who will seat you. Please leave all purses and valuables with family or friends. Please silence your cell phones. 

Recognition of Candidates

The line marshals will direct each row to proceed to the stage area. Each candidate will hand the name ard found on your seat to the graduation assistant. After their names are called, candidates will walk across the stage, receive their diploma covers from the president, shake the president’s hand, pause for photos at the bottom of stairs, and then return to their appropriate rows and seats, staying in the same order.


At Commencement, you will receive a diploma cover. The diploma inserts will be mailed after the Registrar has verified that all requirements have been met (approximately June 1). They will be mailed to your “permanent” address on file in the Office of Student Financial Planning.

Conferring of Degrees

At the direction of the provost, the candidates rise, face the platform, and remain standing. The provost presents the class to the president of the university. The president confers the degrees (all at the same time) and the candidates move their tassel from the right to the left side of their cap. The provost will signal when to be seated.


Following the benediction, the marshals will direct the participants in the recessional into Muir Gymnasium. Prior to the ceremony, candidates should arrange with their family members a location where they will meet outside the arena once the ceremony has ended and the participants have recessed from the arena. Please advise family and friends to keep the arena entrances clear to allow room for graduates to recess out of the arena and into the reception area in Muir Gymnasium.

A reception will be held in Muir Gymnasium following Commencement.

Baccalaureate & More

About Baccalaureate

Baccalaureate is a service of worship for members of the graduating class, their families, faculty, administration, staff, trustees and friends. It is a traditional time of seeding the presence and power of God at a unique moment in the graduate’s life.

The term “baccalaureate” also is the name of the degree colleges and universities confer as a bachelor’s degree. Sometimes a degree is referenced as being at the “baccalaureate” level.

The Baccalaureate Service

The Baccalaureate service will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 9, 2020, at the University United Methodist Church. The church is across the street from the KWU Memorial Library on the corner of Santa Fe Avenue and Claflin Avenue.

Degree candidates, faculty, administration and trustees should meet in the second-floor hallway of The Hall of the Pioneers by 10:30 a.m. for preparing for the march to the church. You should wear your cap and gown.

At the Baccalaureate service, you will not have a numbered seat but will be seated in the reserved pews. The degree candidates will march in first and remain standing at their seats. The marshals will then lead in the faculty and platform party.