May Online Rehearsal

May 2019 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 a morning ceremony and an evening ceremony.

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

By May 17th

  • 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 stadium immediately after the ceremony.

Commencement Ceremony - Saturday, May 18, 2019 

8:30 AM Morning Ceremony will include graduates from the following Academic Departments:

(Graduates should arrive at 7:45 AM)

  • Art and Design
  • Computer Science, Mathematics, and Statistics
  • Languages, Literature, and Mass Communication
  • Liberal Arts
  • Music
  • Physical and Environmental Sciences
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Teacher Education
  • Theatre Arts
  • Western Colorado Community College

4:00 PM Evening Ceremony will include graduates from the following Academic Departments:

(Graduates should arrive at 3:15 PM)

  • Business
  • Engineering/CU Engineering
  • Health Sciences
  • Kinesiology

General Information

  • The ceremony lasts between 2-3 hours.
  • What to bring? Cap, gown, tassel, 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

Graduates should arrive 45 minutes before the ceremony - Pick up your Name Card - North Entrance (under baseball grandstands)

All graduates must pick up a name card from the tables located at the north entrance. 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.

30 minutes before the ceremony - 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 under the baseball grandstands near the name card tables.

Morning Ceremony

Students will line up in the following order:

  • Master of Arts in Education (MA Ed)
  • Graduate Certificate in Education
  • 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.
  • Baccalaureate
  • Associate / Certificate

Evening Ceremony

Students will line up in the following order:

  • Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP)
  • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • 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.
  • Baccalaureate
  • Associate / Certificate

Thirty minutes before the ceremony, 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. Rows will be filled in the order of the line and you may find that your group may be split into two rows. Please stay in this arrangement as lines are formed.

Fifteen minutes prior to the ceremony the graduating class must be in single file rows and ready to proceed into the stadium.

Note: Be courteous to the guests that will be arriving through the north entrance. Leave a wide walkway to allow them to get through to the stadium.

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.

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.


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