Sunday, December 21, 2014
  College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

College of Liberal Arts & Sciences,
Henry B. Tippie College of Business,
University College
Commencement Ceremony
Saturday, December 20, 2014 at 9:00 a.m.
at Carver Hawkeye Arena

Doors open at 8:00 a.m.
Graduates should arrive no later than 8:15 a.m. 

All December undergraduate degree candidates from the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Tippie College of Business, College of Education, Carver College of Medicine (B.S.), and University College can attend. 

We do ask that graduates with physical disabilities who plan to participate in the ceremony call Commencements at 335–0296 to make necessary arrangements.

What should I wear?  Where can I buy cap and gown?

All graduates are required to wear a black gown and black cap with appropriate color tassel. Apparel should be purchased at the University Book Store, Old Capitol Mall, Clinton Street, downtown, Iowa City: 

Monday - Friday, December 1 – 5 from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 6 from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, December 7 from noon until 5:00 p.m.

Undergraduate apparel (cap, gown, and tassel) is $22.80 + tax ($24.17).   The University Book Store accepts cash, Visa, Master Card, American Express and Discover. 

If the graduating student is in Iowa City taking classes on campus he/she must purchase their apparel in-person at the University Book Store, Old Capitol Mall, Iowa City, IA.  Students purchasing apparel in-person may also have charges applied to their Ubill.

If the graduating student is studying abroad, student teaching or enrolled in an off campus program, they can phone in their order to (319) 335-3179, after November 24th, during business hours.  No phone orders will be processed after December 7th.  Orders will be available for pick-up at the Book Store table at Carver-Hawkeye Arena prior to the start of the ceremony.  Cap and gown can be shipped to your home for an additional $7.50 fee via UPS Ground.  Requests may be submitted and paid for with credit card over the telephone.

Seating at the ceremony is based on cap and gown sales.  You must purchase your apparel at the University Book Store at Old Capitol Mall, no later than Sunday, December 7th, to make sure there will be seating available for you at the ceremony.  Go to the University Book Store, Old Capitol Mall to check for availability.

Degree candidates planning to wear academic apparel obtained from any other source should contact Commencements at 335–0296.  Seating at commencement ceremonies is based on apparel sales, so let us know if you are borrowing apparel and plan to attend, no later than December 5th, if you would like for us to fill out a name card for you.  If you’ll be purchasing a tassel at the Book Store you will not need to call as you’ll have an opportunity to fill out a name card at that time.

Appropriate Attire:

Men are expected to wear ties although jackets are not required.  Flowers are not worn on gowns or carried in hand.   Caps or gowns decorated with inappropriate messages will not be permitted.   We also caution graduates regarding their choice of footwear, as the stairs and floor covering at the arena may be difficult to navigate. Wearing high heeled footwear is not advised.

Caps are to be worn with the mortar board horizontal and the tassel on the right.  They should be worn during the Processional, while degrees are being conferred and during the Recessional.  They may be removed other times.

How can I order graduation announcements?

Traditional announcements are now on sale at the Alumni Association, 2nd Floor, Levitt Center from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. on weekdays.  New and graduating senior members of the Alumni Association receive ten free announcements.  Call 335-3294 to join.

Personalized announcements can be specifically designed with The University of Iowa school crest and personalized with your name, degree, major, time, date, and place of your ceremony.  For personalized announcements go to:

Announcements for December commencement will be available for purchase online in September.

A graduation announcement representative will be stationed in front of the University Book Store at the Old Capitol Mall on Wednesday, October 8th from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., taking orders for December graduation announcements and class rings. 

How can I order graduation merchandise?

 Class rings and diploma frames can be ordered through the Herff Jones Website at:

Is there a rehearsal?

No, so please read this information thoroughly to get a sense of what will happen and what is expected.

Where should I park?

Parking is available in the Arena Commuter Lot (lot 75) and in the Dental Science Building Parking lot (lot 40), and other nearby UI Parking lots.  UI Public Safety will be directing traffic.

What time should I arrive for the ceremony?

 Students should plan to arrive between 8:00 and 8:15 a.m.   Traffic will be heavy so plan plenty of time for your commute and finding a parking space. 

What do I do when I arrive at Carver-Hawkeye Arena?

You should arrive for your ceremony with cap and gown in hand – or plan to pick up previously ordered apparel at the Book Store apparel table located in Section A (west side) of the upper concourse. 

Graduating students should report to the Name Card Hand-Out Table designated for your last name and college.  These tables are positioned on the upper concourse.  Tell the staff member your first and last names.  The Name Card you completed when purchasing apparel at the University Book Store will be returned to you.   Hold onto it!   You will hand it to a reader who will read your name from it when you cross the stage.

If you arrive with a coat or purse make arrangements to leave these items with a family member or friend.  You should not have anything in your hand other than your photo name card when the processional begins and throughout the ceremony.  Cell phones should be silenced or turned off.

Business graduates will process together and will be seated together on the arena floor. 

Liberal Arts & Sciences, Education, Medicine B.S., and University College students will be seated together on the arena floor. 

Maps of the seating assignments are posted at each card hand-out station and at the Processional aisles.

Join your group to line up where signs indicate by 8:45 a.m.  A marshal will be there to direct you.   Graduates need not be in strictly alphabetical order, but should sit in with their alphabetic grouping as this is how seating is arranged.  The Processional will begin promptly at 9:00 a.m.

What happens at the ceremony?

Your marshal will escort your group to a designated seating area. You should sit down as soon as you reach your chair.  A diploma cover and a program booklet listing the graduates will be on your chair.

A Welcome address, several brief speeches, charge to the graduates, conferring of degrees, and tassel turning will follow.  

For the Presentation of Graduates, the candidates will be invited to come to the stage to be recognized individually.  Your marshal will lead your group to the stage.  Take your name card with you, hand it to the person reading names at the microphone and walk briskly to center stage to shake hands with the University of Iowa official.  You will return to the opposite end of your original row of seats, cross to your original seat and be seated.

Following the closing remarks (10:30-10:45 a.m.), candidates will begin to recess in an orderly fashion under the marshals’ direction.     

What is expected of graduates who attend?

Commencement is the culminating event of University study for students who choose to attend.   An appropriate and dignified academic atmosphere is absolutely expected so that you, your family, and other guests may enjoy this important gathering.  The following rules of behavior will be enforced at all ceremonies:

  • No alcoholic beverages of any kind.
  • Inappropriate dress and costumes worn under gowns will not be allowed.
  • Cell phones must be turned off or silenced in the graduate seating area.
  • No flowers, purses, gifts, balloons, or bags will be allowed in the student seating area.
  • Marshals and security staff will be looking for intoxicated persons.  Inebriated students are not permitted to participate. 

With everyone’s cooperation, this occasion will become a proud and happy memory of your academic achievement at the University of Iowa.

Can I get professional photos from my ceremony?    

Professional photographers from Flash Photography will be taking two photos of each candidate: a more formal, “posed” photo taken prior to being recognized onstage and a “candid” photo taken while shaking hands with a University official.  

When you purchase your cap and gown you will be asked to complete a name card.  This name card is used by the photographers to identify the photos taken of you at commencement.  To receive complimentary proofs, please be sure to complete the address information on the back of the Name Card.  University Book Store personnel will complete this information for mail-in orders.  Students should check for accuracy.  Complimentary proofs will be mailed to the graduates within one week of the ceremony.  If you have any questions, please contact Flash Photography via their website.   

What information will my guests need?  Do they need tickets?

The ceremony is open to the public. Allow plenty of time to arrive at the arena as traffic for this event will be heavy.  Doors open one hour before the starting time at 8:00 a.m.  Seats are not reserved and tickets are not required. Each degree candidate is recognized on stage. The ceremony will conclude by 11:00 a.m.  Allow for traffic congestion afterward if planning lunch reservations.

Guests should use South and West entrances.  Search lanes with tables will be set up at these entrances where Public Safety officials will search any purses or bags brought into the building.  Everyone will be asked to open their coats or graduation gown for visual inspection.  No backpacks, large bags, packages, wrapped gifts, balloons, or outside food and beverages will be allowed at Carver-Hawkeye Arena during this event. No air horns or alcohol are permitted.   

Information for guests with disabilities or limited mobility

Guests with physical disabilities who have a Disabilities Parking Permit (plate, placard, or sticker) will be permitted to park in lot 46, adjacent to Carver-Hawkeye Arena.  Public Safety officers will be restricting entrance to this lot, to only those guests with these state issued permits.    

Seating for guests is accessible from the upper concourse level, which is the ground level, where you will enter the building.  Guests with disabilities or limited mobility can find seating in the Feller Club Room for themselves and up to two companions.  No food or beverage will be permitted in this room.  This room is equipped with large television screens and commencement ceremonies can be watched from here.  If you or your guest is in need of a wheel chair for use, we recommend bringing your own wheelchair.  Disabled guests are also welcome to view the ceremony from the upper concourse level.  Wheelchair and scooter spaces can be found in sections K – N on the concourse level.  If you or your guest is in need of a wheelchair, we recommend bringing your own wheelchair for use. The ceremony can be viewed from above or on large screens that can be found in these sections.  A sign language interpreter will be on-stage to interpret the ceremony.   

UITV rebroadcast and video live stream and on YouTube

Guests unable to attend the ceremony but wishing to watch their graduate participate will be able to watch a live web stream of all commencement ceremonies on IowaNow, the UI's news and information website.   Video of each ceremony will be also be posted online at the UI YouTube website within 24 hours of the event.  

In addition, ceremonies taking place at Carver-Hawkeye Arena will be broadcast live on UITV (Mediacom channel 17 in the Iowa City area) for local viewers to watch.  All ceremonies will be rebroadcast on UITV within 24 hours. 

Will my name appear in the commencement program booklet? 

If you have applied for degree for the current session (i.e. December 2014), your name will appear in the commencement program booklet. 

If you are participating in the ceremony early, or “walking”, your name will not appear in the program booklet until the session that you actually will be completing all of your degree requirements and graduating.  Names of all participants are announced when they cross the stage at the ceremony.

What if I choose not to attend my ceremony?  

Participation in commencement exercises is voluntary, and you do not need to inform us if you do not intend to participate. 

How do I get a cover for my diploma?

Students electing not to attend are invited to stop by Graduation Analysis, 30 Calvin Hall, weekdays between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to receive a complimentary diploma cover.  If you wish to have a diploma cover mailed to you, send a check for $6 to cover postage and your name/address to UI Graduation Analysis, 30 Calvin Hall, Iowa City, IA  52242-1316.

When will I receive my diploma?

Attendance at your commencement ceremony does not guarantee your graduation.  For most colleges, it is not possible to process final grades in time to present diplomas on commencement day.  Therefore, degree applicants who complete all of their degree requirements, with no past due charges on their University bill, will have a diploma mailed to them at their DIPLOMA MAILING ADDRESS (on their degree application in ISIS), approximately 8 weeks after graduation.  Students will have until December 12th to update their DIPLOMA MAILING ADDRESS in ISIS.  This is the address used specifically for diploma mailing, only.  

If you did not receive your diploma because you did not update your DIPLOMA MAILING ADDRESS, and your diploma is delivered to an incorrect address, lost, or returned to sender, your Ubill will be assessed a $10 reprocessing/re-mailing fee to send your diploma to you a second time.  Be prepared to send a notarized statement confirming your identity, before your diploma can be reissued.

If you submit a forwarding address change to the Post Office, but you do not update your DIPLOMA MAILING ADDRESS, your diploma will not reach you.  The Post Office does not forward UI diplomas.

The final academic or credentialing document will not be released if you have financial indebtedness to the University.    


Prepared by the University of Iowa
Office of the Registrar
1 Jessup Hall
Iowa City IA 52242

The University of Iowa does not discriminate in its educational programs and activities on the basis of race, national origin, color, religion, sex, age or handicap. The University also affirms its commitment to providing equal opportunities and equal access to University facilities without reference to affectional or associational preference. For additional information on nondiscrimination policies, contact the Coordinator for Title IX and Section 504 in the Office of Affirmative Action, telephone (319) 335 - 0705, 202 Jessup Hall, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242.