Information for Graduates
No rehearsal will take place prior to commencement.
Arrival and Check-In
All graduates should report to the Holmes Convocation Center one hour prior to the ceremony start time. Graduates will check in via the covered entrance on Rivers Street. Volunteers will be on-site to assist.
Check-in tables will be sorted by last name. This is where graduates will pick up their Marching Order Card — a pre-printed name card with identifying information, including name, degree program and any honors.
Volunteers will escort graduates directly to a seat on the arena floor upon check-in. All graduates must be seated no later than 15 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony.
Each commencement ceremony will be preceded by the procession of the platform party. The processional will begin about 10 minutes prior to the ceremony start time.
For the safety of everyone, the aisles must remain clear and graduates should remain in their seats until called to the stage for the Presentation of Candidates.
Marching Order Cards
Upon receiving the Marching Order Card, graduates should review it for errors:
- If corrections are needed, the staff at the check-in table can assist.
- Graduates may write a phonetic spelling of their name on the card to assist the name reader.
Graduates should keep their card with them. They will hand this card to the name reader as they walk across the stage during the ceremony. Do not discard, fold or tear the card.
Chosen Name Initiative
App State students can now elect to use a chosen first name that is different from your legal first name for certain purposes, regardless of whether or not you have legally changed your name. This includes on your diploma and when your name is announced at your commencement ceremony.
Chosen first names may not be fraudulent or misrepresent, or be inappropriate or offensive. Currently, this option applies to first names only.
Please note that if you need to use your diploma as a legal document, the name listed may need to match other legal documents. Visit the Office of the Registrar’s Graduation/Diploma Name Change page to submit a request to change your first name to a chosen name.
Graduates will not be allowed to bring any personal items, aside from a cell phone, into the Holmes Center.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, graduates will exit outside via Alumni Hall. Please make arrangements for guests to hold your personal items and valuables during the ceremony. Any items left behind will be taken to a table in section 9 on the upper concourse, where they can be claimed following the ceremony. Items left in the staging area will not be monitored and the university is not responsible for any damaged, lost or stolen items.
Recognition of Candidates
Undergraduate candidates who have earned Latin, university, college or departmental honors, as well as undergraduate and graduate candidates who are serving or have served in the United States Armed Forces will be recognized during the commencement ceremony.
Graduates will walk across the stage, have their names announced and be professionally photographed receiving their diploma covers. App State Chancellor Sheri Everts will confer degrees upon graduates at each ceremony.
During the conferral of degrees:
- Candidates will be asked to rise.
- The Provost will present the candidates to the Chancellor.
- The Chancellor will confer the degrees.
Tassels and Mortarboards
At the end of the ceremony, bachelor’s candidates will be directed to turn their tassel from the right to the left to symbolize the conferral of their degree.
DO NOT toss or throw caps into the air, as this could result in injury.
Master's candidates do not participate in the tassel ceremony. Their tassels are already positioned on the left side, indicating they have previously been awarded a bachelor’s degree.
Celebrate with the Alumni Association
The App State Alumni Association invites graduates to drive by the McKinney Alumni Center on Thursday, May 5 from noon–3 p.m. to receive a free alumni decal for your vehicle.
After each ceremony, the App State Alumni Association will celebrate the accomplishments of graduates at the alumni tent, which will feature giveaways, photo opportunities and information about staying connected as alumni.