May Online Rehearsal

May 2020 Commencement Ceremony

Please review the information below prior to commencement day.

Colorado Mesa University offers improved commencement experience for students.

As some universities turn away from the tradition of reading graduate names during commencement, CMU announced a modified format that will keep the practice intact while improving the ceremony for attendees. The University’s new format includes two smaller ceremonies.

The University encourages students, faculty, and parents to review the revised graduation schedule before making travel plans.

May (TBA) - Regalia Pickup

  • Pick up your cap, gown, tassel, name card, and applicable academic honors cords. See the Important Dates page for details.  

Prior to the Ceremony

  • Be sure you have picked up your regalia: cap, gown, tassel, name card and any applicable honors cords.  
  • If your name is often mispronounced, you may write the phonetic spelling above the printed name on your name card. 
  • 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 stadium immediately after the ceremony.
  • You will be mailed the severe weather guest tickets for four guests to your permanent address by May 1. The limit of four guest tickets is only needed in the event the ceremony has been officially moved indoors due to known severe weather. This will be announced on the main commencement website.  

8:00am - Includes graduates from the following Academic Departments:

(Graduates should arrive by 7:15am)

  • Art and Design
  • Biology
  • Mathematics and Statistics
  • Languages, Literature, and Mass Communication
  • Kinesiology
  • Liberal Arts
  • Music
  • Physical and Environmental Sciences
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Teacher Education
  • Theatre Arts

12:00pm - Includes graduates from the following Academic Departments:

(Graduates should arrive by 11:15am)

  • Business
  • Engineering, Computer Science, Construction Management & CU Engineering
  • Health Sciences
  • Western Colorado Community College

General Information

  • The ceremony lasts between 2-3 hours.
  • What to bring? Cap, gown, tassel, name card, and honors cords (if applicable). For the outdoor ceremony, bottled water is suggested. Be sure to properly dispose of any bottles/trash as you leave the ceremony.
  • Weather - Check the weather report and plan accordingly: sunscreen, sunglasses, jackets, rain gear, etc. In the case of severe weather, the ceremony will be divided into two ceremonies by degree type.
  • Lost and Found will be located at the Maverick Store table by the southeast entrance of Stocker Stadium.
  • If you are a graduate who will need special accommodations for the ceremony, please contact Erin Rooks at Academic Affairs via email or call 970-248-1853.
  • 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 your approximate seat location on the field and/or 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

45 minutes before the ceremony - Under Baseball Grandstands

Bring your name card. You will hand your name card to the administrator as you walk on stage and they will read your name and any applicable academic honors. Replacement name cards may be picked up at the table by the northeast restrooms by the concession stand prior to the ceremony. Replacement tassels may be purchased at the Maverick Store table near the southeast main entrance.

Go to your designated meeting area

Processional Group 1 - Line up near the northeast gates of Stocker Stadium near your group's sign

  • Doctorate / Masters / Graduate Certificates 
  • CMU/CU Engineering Partnership 
  • 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., wheelchair, crutches, interpreter, etc.) - Please contact Erin Rooks at least two weeks prior to the ceremony to help ensure adequate accommodations. Meet near the 4.00 GPA Baccalaureate sign.  

Processional Group 2 - Line up under than main baseball grandstands

  • Baccalaureate (excluding 4.00 cumulative GPA candidates and others in the previous section)

Processional Group 3 - Line up at the east-most side under the baseball grandstands near the Associate/Certificate sign

  • Associate Degrees
  • Technical Certificates
  • Professional Certificates

If you qualify for multiple categories, choose the higher degree or group on the list. 

Stand by your friends within your processional group.  

North Entrance - Guest Walkway

We ask you be courteous to the guests that will be arriving through the north entrance. Leave a wide walkway to allow them to get through to Stocker Stadium.

30 minutes prior to the ceremony

Commencement Marshals will be issuing instructions. Your help is needed to create two single-file rows. If you would like to try to sit by your friends, make sure they are in the same line either in front/behind you. When you are seated in the stadium, please be aware that your group of friends may be split between two rows if a row fills.  

Fifteen minutes prior to the ceremony the graduating class must be in two single file rows and ready to proceed into the stadium. Please stay in this arrangement to help create a grand entrance.  

Ceremony Starts / 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.  Please do not leave any vacant chairs.

Ceremony Proceedings

Review the Commencement Program Booklet 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
  • Graduate Certificates
  • Masters
  • Doctorate

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:

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 a professional photographer. At the bottom of the ramp, a second picture will be taken by the professional photographer.
  • There is a photography area for your family/friends on the east side of the stage where a picture can be taken as you cross the stage and exit the ramp. Be forewarned, this photography area is very crowded. Those in the photography area are asked to limit time at the front of the area to the two-minute time frame you will be crossing the stage.
  • Return to your seat.

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 stadium.

For a condensed version of the instructions above, you can print off the Commencement Reference Guide.


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

Guests typically start arriving one hour prior to the ceremony. The east grandstands fill first.

There is limited seating for handicap guests on the east and west side of the track. 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 six 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.

Is there a limit on the number of guests?

If the ceremony is held outdoors, you can invite as many family and friends as you wish. If the severe weather plan is initiated to allow an indoor ceremony, you will be limited to four guests. The guest tickets will be mailed to you by April 30th.

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 wheelchair, 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 the prior Summer or Fall 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