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Commencement Etiquette

Photo of graduate smiling and applauding

Congratulations Class of 2022!

By tradition, the commencement ceremony is a formal, dignified event to honor the academic achievement of scholars. To help preserve the decorum of the event, it is requested that graduates and their families exercise etiquette appropriate to the occasion. We ask everyone to observe the following:

Graduate Seating/Attire
All graduates must be checked in by the check-in time and must be in line prior to procession.  NO late arrivals will be allowed to participate in commencement exercises. All graduates are required to be in full regalia in order to participate. Regalia items will not be sold on-site. All graduates are required to remain seated for the duration of the ceremony – graduates will need to remain seated until the recessional. All personal items should be left with family or guests during commencement to avoid losing or breaking anything that has been left on or under the seat, i.e., purses, backpacks, cameras, etc.

Disabled Seating
Disabled seating is available at all commencement ceremonies.  Guests with special seating arrangements should arrive at least 45 minutes prior to ceremonies. Disabled seating will be identified at each location as appropriate.

Stage Behavior
During the rehearsal, the appropriate way to receive your diploma will be demonstrated. Students are requested to be respectful of the solemnity of the ceremony and refrain from outbursts. Students will not be allowed to take another person, such as a child, or animals across the stage unless it is a certified service animal with prior approval from the Office of Accessibility Services, 505-454-3252.

Guest Etiquette for Virtual Attendance
Guests should log in at least 15 minutes early to ensure connectivity for the event. Guests will be allowed to participate live via the social media integration aspects of the ceremony. All social media posts will be monitored prior to being streamed. Students and guests shall refrain from posting vulgar or demeaning comments as they will not be published during the event.

Guest Etiquette for In-Person Attendance
Guests should arrive at least one hour early. Please allow additional time for security screening and ticket submission. Safety procedures will be in place for upcoming commencement ceremonies, which will include bag searches, mask requirements regardless of vaccination status, and visual checks upon entering the Wilson Complex. Graduates and guests can help with this process by bringing only essential items. Those with prohibited items will be turned away.

For safety reasons, guests are to remain seated for the duration of the ceremony. All aisles, passageways, and handicapped seating locations are to be kept open at all times. Guests are not allowed to stand at the railing at any location during any time prior to or during commencement.

Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis and is not reserved in any section (except for graduating students and faculty). Families shall consider arriving together to avoid any disruption or conflict regarding seating prior to or during the event.

Be Respectful
Commencement is both a joyous and solemn event. Please express your excitement in ways that will not prevent others from hearing the speaker and enjoying the ceremony.

Exiting After the Ceremony
Commencement closes with the recessional. All graduates are expected to participate in both the processional and the recessional. We have requested they do not make plans that will require them to leave the ceremony before it ends. We recommend any plans for post-ceremony celebrations to be made a reasonable time after the ceremony ends to allow for travel time. Guests are asked to remain seated until all graduates have exited the Wilson Complex.

It is suggested that graduating students pre-plan a meeting location outside of the Wilson Complex for themselves and their guests after the ceremony, to alleviate congestion while exiting.

Due to COVID-19, we are asking that guests social distance with a staggered exit and in an orderly manner to avoid crowding.