December Online Rehearsal

December 2018 Commencement Ceremony

Please review the information below prior to commencement day.

Commencement Ceremony - Friday, December 14, 2018 @ 9:30am at Brownson Arena in the Maverick Center

Welcome to the Commencement Rehearsal. You have much to be proud of as we approach this final ceremony. Below is the information you need to make this day as relaxed and joyous as it should be. If you have further questions after reading through the information below, please contact the Registrar's Office.

By December 13th

  • Pick up your cap, gown, tassel, and academic honors cords (if applicable). See the Important Dates page for details. Your gown will need to be ironed prior to the ceremony.
  • Make arrangements with your guests prior to the ceremony to determine where and if you will be meeting at the arena immediately after the ceremony.

General Information

  • The ceremony lasts between 2-3 hours.
  • The ceremony will take place in the Brownson Arena in the Maverick Center.
  • What to bring? Cap, gown, tassel, and honors cords (if applicable). Bottled water is suggested. Be sure to properly dispose of any bottles/trash as you leave the ceremony.
  • Lost and Found will be located at the Maverick Store table by the front entrance of Brownson Arena.
  • If you are a graduate who will need special accommodations for the ceremony, please contact the Academic Affairs Office.
  • Cell Phones - Please turn your cell phone to silent. To maintain a professional ceremony, the only cell phone usage during the ceremony should be to text your guests regarding your approximate seat location on the court and and when the row in front of you is prompted to go up to the stage.
  • For parking, photography, and special needs, check out the links on the left of this page.

Ceremony Timeline & Details

8:30 a.m. - Pick up your Name Card - Hamilton Recreation Center Gym

All graduates must pick up a name card from the tables located in the Hamilton Recreation Center Gym. You will hand the card to the administrator as you walk on stage and they will read your name and academic honors(if applicable).

Front of the card:

  • Your full diploma name - If you need to spell your name phonetically, please feel free to write on the card before you leave the table.
  • Academic honors (if applicable) - To earn academic honors, a student must be pursuing an Associate or Baccalaureate degree and earn a 3.50 or higher Colorado Mesa University cumulative GPA. Students earning academic honors should also have a gold honors cord that can be picked up in advance at the Registrar's Office or at the name card table.

Back of the card:

  • General ceremony protocol and reminders.

9:00 a.m. - Line up / Seating Order

There is no seating order beyond the categories below. You may sit by whomever you wish within your category. Line up behind the signs posted placed within the Hamilton Recreation Center Gym floor near the name card tables (view the Graduation Check In/Pre Ceremony Map).

Front of line

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
  • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
  • Master of Arts in Education (MA Ed)
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Singers performing in the ceremony / Student speaker(s)
  • Baccalaureate students graduating with a 4.00 cumulative GPA
  • Students with special needs or accommodations (i.e., wheel chair, crutches, interpreter, etc.) - Please contact Academic Affairs Office at least two weeks prior to the ceremony to help ensure adequate accommodations.


  • Baccalaureate


  • Associate / Certificate

At 9:00, we will need your assistance to create two single file rows. If you would like to sit by your friends, be sure they are in front or behind you. With approximately 300 graduates participating in the ceremony, please stay in this arrangement as lines are formed.

By 9:15, the graduating class must be in single file rows and ready to proceed into the Brownson Arena.

9:30 a.m. - Ceremony Begins / Processional

Faculty will lead the processional, followed by the students. The Commencement Marshals will direct you into the rows. When you get to your chair, remain standing until directed to sit.

Ceremony Proceedings

Review the Commencement Program Booklet between 8:30-9:30 a.m. for information on the order of speakers & degree conferral. After the speaker's presentations, degrees will be conferred in the following order:

  • Associate / Certificate
  • Bachelors
  • Masters
  • Doctorates

Name Announcement and the Walk Across Stage

Follow instructions from the Commencement Marshal standing at the right of your row. Your row will be notified when to proceed to the stage.

Basic steps:

  • Just prior to walking across the stage, you will have your first professional photograph and give the photographer your name.  At this time, you must stay in the same order.
  • Hand your name card to the reader. If your name is difficult to pronounce, whisper it to the reader.
  • Walk to the President to receive your diploma cover.
  • Hold on to the diploma cover with the left hand on top, while shaking with the right hand underneath, and smile. Your picture will be taken by the professional photographer.
  • When you leave the stage, proceed to the third professional photographer just outside the Brownson arena doors. Family/friends are encouraged to take photos from their seat or after the ceremony. 
  • After the third photograph, return to your seat.  Follow the stanchions down the hall and return to the gym through the south entrance to Brownson arena.

Turn the Tassel

The tassel starts on the right side of the cap. The 4.0 Baccalaureate Students will be asked to come forward to lead the turning of the tassel to the left side of the cap.

Recessional / End of Ceremony

Remain seated until after the platform party exits the stage. There is no recessional for the students. Feel free to congratulate your fellow graduates. At that time, if you have family and friends who want to meet you, we recommend you have a pre-arranged meeting place in the arena.


When do the guests start to arrive? What about seating for special needs?

Guests typically start arriving between 8:00 and 8:45 a.m.

There is limited seating for handicap guests. With the limited space, handicap seating is available for those who cannot sit in the stands plus one guest. See Special Needs for more information.

How will my guests know when I am about to walk across the stage?

We encourage you to use your cell phone to silently text your guests letting them know approximately what row you are sitting in. Most students text just as the row in front of them leaves for the stage.

To keep the ceremony professional, please silence your cell phone and limit using for any other purpose.

When will my diploma be mailed?

Final Graduation Check

  • After the Registrar's Office reviews final courses and grades, your degree will be awarded in the computer system. This process takes up to 6 weeks. To see if your degree was awarded during that time, check your unofficial transcript through MAVzone. Once awarded, you can use your official transcript as proof of your degree.
  • If all degree requirements were met, your diploma will be mailed by the dates below.
  • To best ensure there are no issues with awarding your degree, check your DegreeWorks report for any unmet criteria in the gray boxes or unchecked boxes.

In general, diplomas are printed three times a year based on the semester the requirements are completed:

  • Summer - Mailed by October 15
  • Fall - Mailed by March 15
  • Spring - Mailed by July 15

Contact the Registrar's Office with any questions or concerns, 970.248.1555.

Parking Reminder

As the ceremony is on a business day, please be considerate of the local businesses and residences and use the campus parking lots free of charge.

Who do I contact if I have special needs or accommodations?

Those with special needs typically sit at the front of the graduates. If you are in a wheel chair, using crutches, need an interpreter, etc., please contact Erin Rooks, 970-248-1853.

I was a December graduate and did not attend that ceremony, can I still attend the May ceremony?

Yes. Any student who finished in Summer or Fall Semester is encouraged to attend. Please let the Registrar's Office know your intentions and we will plan accordingly.

For further information, contact the Registrar's Office at 970.248.1555