Arriving at the Venue

Graduates should plan to arrive no later than 11:45 a.m. on the west facing steps of the Old Capitol for a class picture. You should be wearing your cap and gown. Graduates should arrive at Hancher Auditorium no later than 45 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony.

You should arrive at your ceremony with cap and gown in hand – or plan to pick up previously ordered apparel at Hancher Auditorium. 

Personal Items

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.

Line Up

When arriving at Hancher Auditorium, report to the Strauss Rehearsal Room. College of Law staff will be on hand to distribute name cards. This card will be handed to the faculty member who announces your name as you cross the stage.

After picking up the name card, you are to assemble in alphabetical order, in the Strauss Rehearsal Room. As the time for the procession approaches, you will be asked to line up. A marshal will be there to provide direction. The procession will begin precisely at listed start time.

Seating

Your marshal will escort your group to a designated seating area on the stage. You should stand until your row is full and then be seated. A program, listing the graduates’ names will be available on your chair. A welcome address, several brief speeches, conferring of degrees, and hooding will follow. 

Ceremony 

A welcome address, several brief speeches, charge to the graduates, and conferring of degrees will follow. Reception following at Boyd Law Building.

Presentation of Graduates

Graduating students will be invited row by row to come forward to be recognized individually. Take your name card with you, hand it to the person reading names at the microphone and walk briskly to be hooded, and shake hands with the Dean and university 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, graduates should remain standing and then immediately begin to recess in an orderly fashion under the marshals’ direction.

Expectations of Graduates

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.