Ceremony Instructions

Commencement Celebration Ceremony

Any student who anticipates difficulties going down stairs or participating in the procession should contact Professor Chris Dunlap at cdunlap@saintmarys.edu to make alternate arrangements. 

Saturday, May 28

11:00 a.m. — Graduates Line Up at Angela in the Field House
11:40 a.m. — Procession Begins
12:00 p.m. — Ceremony Begins

For a detailed list of ceremony instructions, including a map of all ceremony locations, click here. 


The cap (flat on top of the head, tassel on left front), gown, and hood (velvet band by your neck facing outwards, back opened out to show College colors); shoes sensible for the event (remember you will be using stairs and walking in the grass, so pointy heels are not a good choice), preferably in black or blue. Clothing under the gown should be appropriate for the weather (it could be hot, or it could be cold). In recognition of the formality of the occasion, items of apparel such as flashy jewelry and corsages should not be worn. If you previously decorated your cap, you may keep that, but please no three-dimensional decorations.

All of the following may be worn: honor cords (for honor societies), the medals given to Presidential scholars, and a single graduation stole recognizing membership and achievement in College organizations. The latter must, however, first be approved by the Office of Student Affairs. If you have more than one, you will need to choose ONE to wear. Click here for the list of approved stoles.

Order of Procession

Lists that assign each graduate a procession number (L1, L2, L3…R1, R2, R3…and so on) will be posted in Angela by 10:00 a.m. on Saturday. These lists designate a graduate’s place in either the left-hand or right-hand line. Names of the graduates who will start a new row of seats will be designated with a star. Those graduates should identify themselves to the Marshal as they come down the aisle.

During the Ceremony

A Marshal will instruct you when it is time to leave your seats. Wait at the top of the stairs for your name to be called. Once it is read, take the envelope in your left hand and shake the hand of the President with your right. Then cross the stage and go down the other stairs. Return to your seat via the center aisle. 

Order of Recession

The faculty leads the recession, followed by the graduates starting at the front. The procession will disband in front of the Student Center.

IMPORTANT: Either outside or inside, please do not break ranks until a signal is given. If the front of the row stops, your classmates will be trapped in their seats.