Commencement Prep

Congratulations to our 356th Graduating Class!

As you prepare for this wonderful day of celebrating your achievement we would like to provide you a few reminders….

356th Commencement
Thursday May 14, 2015
Processional Begins Promptly at 10:45am
Emil and Patricia A. Jones Convocation Center
Chicago State University
9501 S. King Dr.
Chicago, IL 60628

To ensure that you have sufficient time to check-in, dress in your regalia, and line up with your college all graduates should arrive at 9:30 am. Processional begins promptly at 10:45 am. If you arrive late you will not be able to sit with your College and may not be permitted to enter the floor.

It is critical that graduates bring their line-up card with them on Commencement Day. This card denotes placement in the processional line-up. Please place your email address on the back of the card before your arrive so that the photographer will be able to send you your Commencement photo proof.

Commencement Tickets

We have made every accommodation to ensure that our graduates receive a sufficient number of Commencement tickets. 

All guests, including children over two years of age, must have a ticket.

  • Admission to the arena is by ticket only
  • Lost tickets will not be replaced
  • No additional tickets are being distributed
  • There will be no tickets available on Commencement Day.

Disability Accommodations

Please indicate your disability-related needs by stopping by the Abilities Office table at the 2015 Commencement Countdown. In addition, you may contact the Abilities Office of Disabled Student Services at (773) 995-4401, or visit the office located in the Cordell Reed Student Union, Room 190, prior to Commencement day.

Listing of Graduate Names and Degree Designation in the Program Book

Your name and degree in the graduation program book is a direct reflection of the University records. It is highly encouraged that you review your personal data with your Advisor during the review of your graduation status. We cannot alter your name or degree to reflect anything other than what is in our database.


Graduates should arrive by 9:30am. Graduate Check-in will be located in the lobby of the Convocation Center. After checking-in all graduates should proceed to the lower level of the arena. All guests should turn in ticket to the doors of the arena and will be directed to the upper floors.

  • Balloons are strictly prohibited inside the Convocation Center.
  • Admission to the Commencement ceremony is by ticket only.
  • Lost tickets will not be replaced.
  • There will be no tickets available on Commencement Day.
  • Campus parking is free on Commencement Day.

Commencement Decorum

The conferring of an academic degree is a tradition that dates back to the 12th century and is regarded as an important rite of passage for students and families. While Commencement is a time for celebration, please remember this long and respected tradition, and approach the ceremony with the proper decorum and respect for you, fellow graduates and all guests.

You must bring your Commencement regalia and line-up card with you on Commencement Day. If you do not have your cap or gown you will be required to purchase a new one in order to participate in the ceremony. If you do not have the line-up card that was provided to you at Commencement Countdown please immediately notify your Faculty Marshal.

Recommended Commencement Attire

Chicago State University is proud of our graduates and the traditions that represent the academic success of our students. We want all of our students to reflect the accomplishments of their academic efforts as they graduate from our historic institution. For this reason we ask that all Graduates only wear University sanctioned regalia bestowed by your college for academic accomplishments during the Commencement Ceremony. This includes honors cords and medallions from your College.

Please consider your attire and that you will have on an additional layer with the gown. Also note there will be changes in floor level. Please note the attire recommendations listed below. Some items are included to ensure your safety:

For WomenFor Men
  • Dark dress skirt or pants, breathable fabric
  • Dark shoes low heel or flat
  • No high collars or bows at the neck
  • No sandals, No high heels
  • No white athletic shoes
  • No corsages or jewelry on the robe
  • Graduates should not carry large bags/ purses
  • Dark trousers, white shirts, tie is optional, breathable fabric
  • Dark Shoes and socks
  • No white athletic shoes, No sandals
  • No boutonnieres or jewelry on robe

All Graduates are expected to arrive no later than 9:30 a.m. It is critical that you arrive to the ceremony on time so that you are able to line up and enter the ceremony with your college. Graduates that arrive after the processional has begun will be added to the end of the processional line, and will not be able to sit with their College. This will result in their name being called outside of the order of the program book.

All graduates are expected to attend the entire ceremony and to participate in both the processional and recessional. All graduates shall remain seated for the entire ceremony. Our faculty marshals will strictly enforce this expectation.

Graduates are not to display inappropriate or exaggerated behavior. Commencement is both a joyful occasion and a solemn event. Graduates are requested to advise their family and friends to express their excitement in ways that will not prevent others from hearing the speaker and enjoying the ceremony.

Graduates are not to stop to take photos (unless directed by the University Photographer) during the Commencement Ceremony. This causes disruption to the flow of the ceremony and is disrespectful to your fellow graduates marching behind you.

Families are restricted from the Commencement floor. We will not allow access to the Commencement floor by anyone other than participants in the ceremony. Guests are not to block stairs or exit ways or congregate towards the back of the commencement floor. This is a safety hazard as well as a disruption to the ceremony and will be strictly enforced.

All cellular phones should be turned to silent mode to ensure that all guests can hear and enjoy the Commencement Ceremony. Graduates are asked not to use their cell phone once they have marched into the arena.

How to Wear Your Tassel

Wearing your cap, tassel and gown is a long standing tradition. Traditionally, the moving of the tassel at graduation is called, "turning the tassel" or "the turning of the tassel ceremony." It symbolizes one's transition from candidate to graduate. Standard protocol in the US dictates that the tassel be worn on the right side of one's mortarboard at Commencement and then, during the ceremony the tassel is moved or turned to the left side. Teachers and administrators at Commencement place their tassels on the left.

Order of the Commencement Ceremony


Commencement begins with the processional.  The audience is asked to rise and to remain standing as the procession
enters the arena until the platform party has taken its place, the time for reflection has been allowed, and the hymns have been sung. 

During Commencement Countdown each graduate will receive a line up card to denote placement in the processional line.  Faculty Marshals are designated for each college.  There will be a Marshal carrying the flag of your college.  Marshals can also be identified by the gold stoles they are wearing. Once in your respective college’s staging area, graduates are to line up in pairs as directed by the faculty marshals.  The faculty marshals will lead the graduates of their respective college into the ceremony as directed by the Grand Marshal. 

Once in the arena all graduates are to be seated as directed by the marshals.  It is critical that graduates pay attention to and follow the directions of the marshals througout the ceremony.  At the direction of the marshals graduates will ascend the stage from either the left or the right and hand their line up card to the person that is calling names from the podium nearest them.   After their name is called graduates will proceed to shake the hand and receive their diploma cover from the President or Provost (whichever is on their side of the stage).  The graduate will then proceed to descend the designated stairs located at center stage.   

Male graduates should remove mortar boards during posting of colors and National Anthem. Attendees will be directed to sit at the conclusion of the singing of the hymns.

The Commencement Ceremony Ends with the Recessional

After the singing of the CSU Alma Mater and the closing words, the audience will be asked to take their seats and to remain seated for the retrieval of colors and the recessional of the platform party, faculty, and graduates. Commencement closes with the recessional. All graduates are expected to participate in both the processional and the recessional. Graduates may not leave the Commencement floor prior to the end of the ceremony.  Guests are not allowed on the ceremony floor at any time.  All guests will be directed to remain seated until the after the recessional has concluded.  At the end of the ceremony guests will be directed to meet graduates at the New Alumni Reception.  

Special Note: Every attempt is made to keep the ceremony to a reasonable length.  However, we recommend any plans for post-ceremony celebrations are made to begin after 3 p.m. to allow for travel time.

For complete information regarding the Commencement Ceremony please refer to the complete Commencement Bulletin.