Information for Graduates
The following information will help graduates prepare for their commencement ceremony. There are no tickets for commencement and there is no limit to the number of guests per graduate.
No rehearsal will take place prior to commencement. When graduates check-in, event staff will provide instructions and information about the ceremony run-of-show.
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.
Selecting a Chosen Name
Chosen first names can be different from your legal first name for certain purposes, regardless of whether or not you have legally changed your name. Chosen first names may not be fraudulent or misrepresent, or be inappropriate or offensive.
The name you enter on your graduation application will be:
- printed on your diploma;
- printed on your Marching Order Card;
- announced and displayed at the commencement ceremonies; and,
- published on university websites including the Commencement site and the Office of the Registrar’s Degrees Awarded page.
Please note that if you need to use your diploma as a legal document, the name listed may need to match how your name is presented on other legal documents (such as passports, birth certificates, etc.).
For more information and/or assistance with your graduation application, contact email@example.com from your App State email account and include your Banner ID or call 828-262-2050.
Visit App State’s chosen first name initiative page for more information about how chosen names are used on campus.
App State, media outlets, and family and friends film Commencement Ceremonies. Attendees may be included in photography or videos used to promote Appalachian State University.
In addition, photography vendor GradImages will use Marching Order Cards to send commencement ceremony photo proofs taken of graduates to their App State email. To opt out of receiving proofs, graduates should cross through their email and mailing address on the card.
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.