The Spring 2013 Commencement (graduation) ceremonies will be held on Saturday, May 11, 2013, in the Gymnasium on the Southern Polytechnic State University campus (Location S2 on the Campus Map). The following is intended mainly for candidates for graduation, their families, and friends.
Candidates for graduation should arrive no later than one hour before their ceremony for check in on the main level of the Architecture Building (see ceremony schedule below). Once you have checked in , you will report to your assigned assembly area. All candidates must check in at Architecture before going to the assembly areas.
School of Arts and Sciences
School of Engineering Technology and Management
School of Architecture and Construction Management
School of Computing and Software Engineering
School of Engineering
Family and Friends
There is no limit on the number of family and friends you may invite to the commencement
ceremony. They will not need tickets. Please have them go directly to the Gymnasium
to find seats as the seats will fill up quickly. We suggest that family and guests
plan to arrive at least 30 minutes early to allow time to park, walk to the gym, and
find a seat prior to the start of the ceremony. Family and other guests will not be admitted to the assembly and check-in areas.
Parking for Handicapped Guests
If your guest has a handicap license plate or window placard on their car, they may
park in the Gymnasium parking lot. There will be a police officer stationed at the
entrance to the parking lot. Your guest will need to stop and let the officer know
that they need to park there.
There is a floor level entrance door at the back of the Gymnasium. Your guest may enter there.
There are no elevators in the Gymnasium—only stairs. Seating will be mainly in the bleachers. Please notify Brenda Farrell at 678-915-7295 if you have a guest who will need special seating.
Please inform your family and friends that the gym has two levels with no elevator. The small parking area on the left side of the gym will be available for unloading physically challenged guests. The lower bleachers will be reserved for physically challenged guests. Please have them arrive early so that they can be seated before other guests fill up those spaces. Campus Safety personnel will be nearby to assist your guests.
If you or one of your guests needs assistance because of a physical limitation, please
contact Brenda Farrell at (678) 915-7295 well in advance of the ceremony. She will
be able to give you additional information regarding parking and seating.
Professional photographers from Sure Shot Photography will take formal pictures of each graduate as he or she receives their diploma and also as each graduate leaves the stage. They will contact you a few weeks after the ceremony with proofs and offer you the opportunity to purchase your pictures. If you are not contacted by Sure Shot Photography, please contact the Registrar’s Office.
If your family or friends want to take their own pictures, President Rossbacher, the Commencement speaker, and Regent Potts will be available in the gym with the University Mace after the ceremony. There will also be ample opportunity to take pictures of graduates with family, friends, and some faculty members after the ceremony.
Caps, gowns, rings, and invitations are available in the Barnes & Noble bookstore on campus and online at www.herffjones.com/college/spsu. You must have a cap and gown to participate in the ceremony. Check that you have a cap, gown, and tassel as soon as you have picked up your regalia.
Candidates for master's degrees should order a hood and be sure it is in your package when you pick up your regalia. All master's hoods are black with green and white satin lining. The color of the velvet band indicates your field of study. Bookstore representatives will help you order the correct hood for your major.
When you put on your cap and gown, please also remember to turn off your cell phone and anything else that might make noise.
Gentlemen should wear dark dress pants, a light-colored dress shirt, tie, and dark shoes and socks.
Ladies should wear a dress or skirt shorter than their gown (with pockets for car keys) and dark shoes. You may also wear dark dress pants and a light colored blouse if you wish. You will be walking up and down stairs and ramps and should choose your shoes accordingly; heels over one inch are a hazard for tripping. Ladies may want to secure their caps with hair pins. However, keep in mind that you will have to remove your cap before going on stage so that your medallion can be placed around your neck. Please leave your purse in a safe place before coming to the check-in area.
This is a formal ceremony. No jeans or athletic shoes please.
If you qualify for honors status, you will be given a gold tassel when you check in for the graduation ceremony. Masters students do not earn honors.
Master's degree candidates should not put your hoods on. You will receive instructions on the hooding ceremony at check-in.
All candidates for graduation will check in on the main level of the Architecture
Building. When you have checked in, you will be directed to your assembly area. Please
put your cap and gown on before you arrive. Also, please do not bring any personal belongings (such as cameras, jackets, purses, etc.) with you. There is no storage available
and you will not be returning to the check-in and assembly area.
Please be at the check-in area one hour prior to the start of your ceremony. Ceremonies will begin on time. Anyone arriving after the check-in desk closes will be unable to participate in the ceremony. When you check in, you will be given a walk card with your name, major, and marching order number on it. You will be briefed about what to do during the ceremony. You will line up in numerical order and be given final marching instructions.
Family members and friends should go to the gym for seating. They will not be admitted to the check-in and assembly areas.
Restrooms are located on the same floor as check-in. Please use these facilities prior to the line check. It is very important that you do not leave the line once you are in place. Masters candidates will be given hooding instructions during briefing.
The Student Marshal will lead the candidates for graduation down to the lower level of the gym 10 minutes prior to the ceremony. Please double-check to make sure that you have your walk card and are in proper numerical order. The processionals will begin promptly.
Make sure to take your walk card to the platform with you. When it is time to receive your diploma, your dean will read your name aloud from the card.
Length of Ceremony
The commencement ceremony usually lasts between an hour to an hour and a half.
A number of faculty members have volunteered to serve as Commencement Marshals. In this case, marshal does not represent law enforcement; it means to place in order, as in "marshal the troops." It is the job of the marshals to make your commencement ceremony flow as smoothly as possible. There will be a marshal in your assembly area to explain your role during the ceremony.
You can identify the marshals by their green academic stoles with the University Seal on the right side. If you are asked to do something by a marshal, please do it. Most importantly, do not argue with the marshals. They know what is supposed to happen because they have been working for months to be sure your graduation day goes off without a hitch. Please help them make that happen.
About Final Grades and Holds
Final grades are not posted until the last minute. Our staff does everything possible to try to certify graduates so you can receive your diploma at the ceremony. Students who do not meet graduation requirements and students with "holds" will be given an empty diploma cover on stage. Due to the short turn-around time, it is impossible to notify candidates who fail to meet graduation requirements prior to the ceremony. The Registrar's Office will be open for 30 minutes after the ceremony to take care of any problems.
If Your Plans Change
If you had indicated that you would attend the ceremony and your plans change, please notify Brenda Farrell using the email address you received with your graduation information. Ms. Farrell will need to know whether to mail your diploma or hold it for pick up. Your diploma will be held in the Records Office until you notify us of what to do with it.
Registrar’s Office After Ceremony
In the event that you receive the wrong diploma or have a problem relating to your
diploma, the Registrar’s Office will be open for approximately 30 minutes after each ceremony to assist you.
"Rights, Privileges, and Responsibilities"
When the President of the University confers upon you your new degree, she will confer
all the "rights, privileges, and responsibilities appertaining thereunto." Do not
let that go to your head. You have almost no new rights nor privileges; you may add
the initials of your degree after your name, but outside academia, and before the
Ph.D., almost no one does that. What you do have are the responsibilities of an educated
person. An example of which is the responsibility to help others understand the social
and political implications of what is going on which itself is a substantial amount
of work. So, enjoy your new status and exercise your new responsibilities well!
We're proud of you, SPSU grads!