The ceremony will be held in the O'Neill Arena of the Ryder Center. The following times are important.
11:30 a.m. - Ryder Center doors open
Noon - Graduates arrive at the Ryder Center, entering at the northwest corner on the first level (user entrance). Please go immediately to the East end of O’Neill Arena for instructions and to line up for the processional.
Noon -12:55 p.m. - Family and friends may be seated by entering at the north ramp to the second level
1:00 p.m. - Processional
3:00 p.m. - Deans' reception for you and your guests in the east end of the arena
SVSU official colors are Cardinal Red and Royal Blue. White is used as a highlight color.
Iron and hang your gown to eliminate wrinkles.
The tassel is to be placed on the right side of the mortarboard (cap). The mortarboard is to be parallel with the floor. Graduate Level tassels are to be worn on the left side of the mortarboard (cap).
Wear black shoes to match the gown.
Women, if you wear skirts they must not hang below the gown.
Corsages and/or jewelry are not to be worn on gowns.
The official policy to not allow the wearing of honors cords during the Commencement ceremony was approved in 1988 and formally reconsidered by ad-hoc policy committees in 1993 and 1998. The policy is as follows:
“All bachelor level students graduating Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude and Summa Cum Laude will be designated in the Commencement program, be recognized when called to the podium and have their degree status printed on their degree certificate. They shall wear no ornamentation of any kind.”
The primary concern expressed by the ad-hoc committees is uniformity of commencement attire for all graduating students. Our intent is to unify – not classify – graduates. The University does wish to give appropriate recognition to its honors students; therefore, students who are graduating “with honors” are recognized in the following manner:
The specific academic honor for each student attaining the honors is printed in the official Commencement program under the student’s name;
When the student crosses the stage during the Commencement ceremony, the honor the student received is read after her/his name;
News releases are sent to all students’ hometown newspapers indicating the names of those graduating with honors;
The academic honor received is printed on the student’s diploma;
The academic honor received is printed on the student’s transcript of grades; and
Students who graduate with honors are invited to participate in the prestigious Honors Convocation held in April.
There are no reserved seats. Members of the audience should arrive early for the best seating locations. Seating should be completed before the processional begins. General seating in the O'Neill Arena is bleacher seating with no back support. Please limit yourself to six (6) guests so there will be room for the guests of all graduates.
The University requests that all attendees at the Commencement Ceremony observe common courtesy and safety standards and refrain from using artificial noisemakers (such as air horns) and laser pointers, or other devices which could cause physical damage to persons in attendance.
Special Seating: Chairs or wheelchair space may be reserved for individuals with disabilities. To reserve special seating for guests, contact the Office of Disability Services at minimum two weeks prior to commencement at (989) 964-7000 or stop by 112 Curtiss Hall.
Special Entrance: Guests with disabilities may be dropped off at the South entrance to Ryder Center, near the Fitness Center. Maps are available in 112 Curtiss Hall.
Special Parking: Parking passes for the R Lot are available to guests who are dropping off individuals at the South entrance. To obtain a pass, please contact The Office of Disability Services at minimum two weeks prior to commencement at (989) 964-7000 or stop by 112 Curtiss Hall.
Graduates: Graduates with special needs should contact The Office of Disability Services (989) 964-4168 no later than two weeks prior to commencement.
A professional photographer will take portraits as each graduate crosses the stage. For more information on ordering prints, go to http://gradimages.com. You will be under no obligation.
Please advise your guests that pictures may not be taken from any area of the arena's floor during the ceremony. Ask them not to cross the arena between the seating sections during the processional, the ceremony, or the recessional. Guests may take pictures only while remaining in their seats.
Diploma covers will be distributed as part of the ceremony. Graduates will be notified when their diplomas are available following grade processing, graduation verification and diploma printing. Students who do not attend Commencement will receive their diploma covers with their diplomas.