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graduating mds

Ceremony information


Commencement etiquette

Commencement is an exciting and memorable occasion for all of our graduates, but it is also a solemn one. Leaving before the ceremony has ended is disruptive and disrespectful to others. Graduates and guests are expected to remain for the entire ceremony.


The last graduate to cross the stage should expect to receive the same honor as the first, so please show consideration for all graduates by remaining seated until the conclusion of the ceremony.


Please refrain from excessive talking, cheering, use of noisemakers and other distractions, as this takes away from the dignity of the ceremony. Watches with alarms, cellphones and beepers can be distracting as well.  Out of respect for all graduates and guests, please switch all of your electronic equipment to silent, vibrate or off.


Ceremony format

The ceremony will feature greetings by university officials, remarks from honorary degree recipients, graduate hooding, conferral of degrees and the diploma march, during which the graduates’ names will be called.



The academic processional, which marks the start of the ceremony, will start promptly at 1p.m. The Class Marshal will lead the processional of the graduates followed by the platform party and faculty.



Graduates will also be hooded during the ceremony, so you will not wear your hoods prior to the ceremony they will be draped over your arm during the processional. The SOM Deans will be hooding all students. Due to the length of the ceremony we cannot allow parents, relatives, mentors or friends to join the stage to hood you. (NO EXCEPTIONS)

  • The back loop of the hood should be unbuttoned.

  • When processing toward the stage, students should have their hood draped over their left arm.

  • As students wait to climb the stairs to the stage, they will undrape their hood and hold it out in front of them. Students will go on stage when their name is announced.

  • The point of the hood should face the student and the colors should face the Deans.

  • The Deans will place the hood over the student’s head, the student can take hold of the point and help ease the hood down over his/her shoulders.  Taller students should dip down a bit.

  • Once done, the student will get a tap on the shoulder. The student can then proceed to the diploma table.


Diploma march

Graduates’ names will be announced during the diploma march. Please be sure to record the proper pronunciation of your name via NameCoach. Each graduate is presented with their actual diploma during the diploma march.



Following the ceremonial recognition of the graduates, the platform party and faculty will leave the stage during the recessional march. Graduates will follow and be lead directly to the backstage area for disrobing and will not be allowed to interact with guests. Please take your photos in advance of the ceremony. Guests should remain seated until faculty and graduates have exited the theatre.


Graduate photographs

Graduation Foto is the photographer for commencement. They will be taking photos during the ceremony.  Photos taken will include: student hooding, receiving diploma and stand-alone photo with diploma. You will receive information from them by email and by mail with instructions for purchasing.



The appearance of a graduate’s name, recognition for academic achievement and department and/or university honors is presumptive, but not conclusive of graduation. Participation in the commencement ceremony does not constitute graduation. Academic records will show the graduation date and recognition for academic achievement when degrees have been certified. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this program’s content. Any omissions or errors are unintentional. There will be no program reprints to accommodate incorrect spelling or missing names. 

Ceremony Recording

Commencement will be livestreamed.  Watch the Ceremony here:

Meeting after the ceremony

Please be sure to communicate with your guests about where to meet after the ceremony. Approximately 5,500 people will exit at the same time and it may be difficult to locate your family and guests.

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