Commencement Exercise - Colgate University Skip Navigation

Commencement Exercise

The commencement exercise consists of a processional, the invocation by the university chaplain, introductory remarks by the president and an address by the speaker.
This is followed by the awarding of honorary, master's, and bachelor's degrees. The ceremony ends with the benediction, singing of the Alma Mater and then the recessional.

Preparing for the Exercise

Time: 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, May 20
Location: Under the tent on Whitnall Field (outdoors) or The 1965 Arena (inside)

Please arrive on time!

Because your diploma will be presented to you on stage by the president, it is essential that you process and sit in the precise order in which your name is printed in the commencement program. You should appear at the line-up area no later than 9:30 a.m. and go to one of eight stations according to the first letter of your last name: A-B, C-D, E-G, H-K, L-M, N-R, S-T, U-Z. Candidates for the master's degree should line-up in front of the A's.

A marshal at each line will hand out numbered name cards to each senior so that you can form a single line in correct alphabetical order.

The Ceremony

After announcing the honorary degrees, the dean of the faculty will ask candidates for the master of arts degree to present themselves. The president will confer the degree, after which recipients will be directed to the graduation platform to accept the president's congratulations and receive their diplomas.

After the master of arts degrees have been awarded, the dean of the faculty will ask candidates for the bachelor of arts degrees to present themselves. The entire class will rise and the president will confer the degree and ask the class to once again be seated.

Marshals will now direct the class, one row at a time, toward the stage ramp. Photographers will take a photo before entering the stage. When you walk on stage, hand your card to the reader and proceed to the president to receive your diploma and shake his hand. Continue to walk across the stage and to the ramp on the opposite side where the photographer will take another photo. You will then return to your seat.