Commencement Ceremony

Security and Safety Policies and Practices

  • Everyone (guests, students, faculty, staff) will be screened upon entering the Arena.
    • Screening by law enforcement personnel will include:
      • Purses, camera bags, strollers, diaper bags, and all ambulatory assistive devices (wheel chairs, crutches, canes, etc.)
    • Guests are permitted to enter with the following:
      • Small cameras (no tripods or stands)
      • Small purses or equivalent handbags
    • The following items are prohibited in the Arena:
      • Backpacks and umbrellas
      • Wrapped gifts
      • Coolers, alcohol and weapons

 Seating of Graduates

  • All graduates (except doctoral students) enter Arena at the north end and then proceed down to the Arena floor.
    • Doctoral students enter the Arena through the Scholarship Entrance (adjacent to the parking lot) and then proceed to Room 2120 to line up for the processional with your major professor.
  • To allow time for security screening and finding a seat on the floor, please arrive no later than 45 minutes before your scheduled ceremony.
    • The ceremonies begin promptly at the published times.
    • No one will be seated on the floor once ceremonies begin.
  • Once you arrive on the Arena floor (except doctoral students), locate where your college/school section is located and sit within that area without regard to alphabetical order.
    • Undergraduate degree recipients should seat themselves in the section for their college/school indicated by signs and rows.
    • Masters and Education Specialists degree recipients should seat themselves in the Masters section (Graduate School) indicated by signs and rows.

Seating of Guests

  • Guests will enter the Arena at the north end.
  • Carts will be available to provide rides between the parking lot and the north entrance for guests with accessibility issues.
  • Saving seats for multiple guests’ later arrival is discouraged.  If access problems necessitate saving a few seats, please limit them to no more than four seats in one row.

Number of Guests 

  • Auburn University does not limit the number of guests that graduates can invite.
  • Tickets are not required to attend the ceremony.
  • Seating is available on a first-come, first served basis.

Name Cards for Graduates

  • Bring name card with you to graduation
    • Doctoral students will receive their name card in Room 2120 before the start of the ceremony.
  • The name card provides your name to announcer for individual recognition as you walk across the stage.  (You will hand this name card to the announcer on stage.)
  • Only your first and last names will be read on stage.

Order of Ceremony

  • Once the conferring of degrees begins, the graduates will be directed to come to the stage for individual recognition.  Graduates will stand, as directed, one row at a time beginning with the Doctoral students and their major professors, then Masters and Specialist students and then Undergraduate students.
  • Graduates will walk to the stage, present their name card to the Announcer, receive the Auburn Creed from their dean, be greeted by the President and return to their seats.
  • Staff members from the Registrar’s Office will guide students to the stage during the ceremony.

During Commencement Ceremony

In order to maintain the dignity of the ceremony and ensure that each student is properly recognized, we ask for your cooperation in observing the following regulations:

  • No champagne or other alcoholic beverages are allowed in the Arena.
  • No beach balls, airplanes, or other inflatable objects are allowed at the ceremony.
  • No silly string or other toys should be taken to graduation.
  • Do not leave the Arena until the ceremony is over and the platform guests and faculty have recessed from the stage.
  • Please be courteous to others and exhibit behavior that is appropriate to recognizing academic achievement and demonstrating the spirit and words of the Auburn Creed.
  • Please turn cell phones to silent mode at the beginning of the ceremony and leave in silent mode for the duration of the ceremony.
  • Enjoy the full ceremony and spirit of closure at the end.
  • Do not leave the Arena floor until the platform guests and faculty recess from the stage at the end of the ceremony.

After Conclusion of Ceremony

  • Representatives of the Auburn University Bookstore will be located at the Arena to receive your cap and gown.
    • Caps and gowns are expected to be turned in immediately following the commencement ceremony.
    • Caps and gowns may not be turned in until the ceremony concludes.

Misc. Ceremony Information

  • The ceremonies typically last between 1 ½ - 2 hours.
  • Doors open two hours prior to the start of the ceremony.
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