GRADUATION

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Friday, December 15 at 2:30 p.m.

Commencement Rehearsal
Smith University Center Gymnasium

Saturday, December 16 at 9 a.m.

Degree Candidates Robe
Undergraduate degree candidates
UC 228 – Fitness Room

Master’s degree candidates
(UC 207)

Saturday, December 16 at 10 a.m.

Commencement
Smith University Center Gymnasium

Reception following Commencement
The Cottage

The live feed of the Commencement Exercises may be viewed on our homepage, or on YouTube, the day of Commencement. The live feed will begin approximately 10 minutes prior to the ceremony.

GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS

The Office of the Registrar clears students for graduation after final exams have been concluded and grades have been submitted. Students will be notified prior to the Commencement Rehearsal if they have not been cleared to graduate. All graduation requirements must be completed in order to participate in the Commencement Ceremony.

NOTE CONCERNING GRADES

We realize that several degree candidates may be concerned about meeting the grade point average requirement for graduation. After the grade point averages have been calculated, the Registrar will contact you individually prior to commencement rehearsal if there is a problem. In the meantime, you do not need to call the Office of the Registrar on this matter.

TICKETS

Commencement tickets will be distributed by the Office of Student Affairs (UC 205) beginning at 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 12 – Friday, December 15, at 5:00 p.m. A limited number of tickets will be provided to each participating graduate. You must present your student ID to receive your tickets. These tickets will ensure access to seating inside the gym until 9:45 a.m. Tickets will not be accepted after this time. At 9:55 a.m., or earlier if all seats are taken, there will be no further seating of guests inside the gymnasium. Please make sure your guests understand that they must be in the gym by 9:45 a.m., not just in the parking lot or walking to the University Center.
If you exit the gym prior to 9:45 a.m., you will need a re-entry pass and your ticket stub to re-enter. Please see a marshal for a re-entry pass before exiting the gym, so that you will be allowed to re-enter. This applies only if you exit and re-enter before 9:45 a.m.  After 9:55 a.m., no entry is allowed into the gym.

CAPS, GOWNS, AND HOODS

Participating graduating candidates, who placed orders by the deadline, should plan to pick up their academic regalia from the Patriot Bookstore. The Bookstore is open Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

ACADEMIC REGALIA

Graduates frequently ask about the proper accessories to wear with the formal academic regalia. Traditionally, dark shoes and, for the men, dark trousers are worn with the robes. At the beginning of the procession, all bachelor’s degree candidates wear tassels on the right side; during the conferring of bachelor’s degrees by President Carter, tassels are moved to the left side, thereby noting the actual moment of degree conferral. (Master’s degree candidates wear tassels on the left throughout the ceremony.) Do not add decorations to your academic regalia.

COMMENCEMENT REHEARSAL

Commencement rehearsal will be held on Friday, December 15, beginning at 2:30 p.m. in the Smith University Center Gymnasium.  It is important that all degree candidates be present.It is assumed that those absent from the rehearsal will not participate in the Commencement exercises unless approval has been received from the Registrar prior to rehearsal. Please notify the Office of the Registrar immediately if you do not plan to participate.

COMMENCEMENT

Doors to the gym will open at 8:30 a.m. Commencement will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 16. Please plan to arrive by 9:00 a.m. to robe and form the processional line. Use the back stairway so that you may pick up your card to ensure your correct placement for the processional. All Undergraduate degree candidates will robe in the Room 228 (Fitness Room) of the Smith University Center and all Master’s degree candidates will robe in Room 207 of the Smith University Center. You and your family are invited to join your fellow graduates at a reception immediately following Commencement, which will be held at The Cottage. To attend, please call (843) 661-1228.
Students, staff and family at the Spring Graduation Commencement

ETIQUETTE FOR COMMENCEMENT CEREMONY

To ensure that those in attendance enjoy the ceremony and to maintain the dignity and decorum of this occasion, please observe the following requests:
  • Turn off all cell phones and pagers.
  • No artificial noise makers, no banners, and no balloons.
  • No saving of seats.
  • No entry into the gym after 9:55 a.m.  No entry into the gym during the ceremony.
  • If you must exit the gym during the ceremony, you will not be allowed to re-enter until the ceremony concludes.
  • During the presentation of individual degrees, please hold all applause until all graduates have been recognized.
  • Remain seated during the Recessional until the platform party, the faculty, and all graduates have exited the gym.
  • After the ceremony, the stage will be available for you to take photographs of your graduate.

PARKING

To provide family and guests with adequate parking near the Smith University Center, it is suggested that candidates plan to use parking lot D. This will allow family and guests to use parking lots A, C, E, and H.
The Commencement ceremony is open to the public, and your guests are welcome, providing they have a ticket.

PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

Effort will be made to ensure that programs will be accessible to individuals with disabilities. If you plan to attend the program and require assistance relating to a disability, please contact the Office of the Vice President for Administration (ADA Coordinator) at 843-661-1140, Monday-Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., preferably ten (10) days prior to the program.

MEDIA CREDENTIALS

Members of the media wishing to cover the event should contact the University Communications to obtain media credentials by 5:00 p.m. on the Friday before Commencement.

A FINAL NOTE

Please remind your relatives and friends that the Commencement program will begin promptly at 10:00 a.m. As noted above, tickets will be valid until 9:45 a.m. If guests arrive after the gym is closed at 9:55 a.m., they will find additional seating in the lobby of the Smith University Center and in the Chapman Auditorium where there is a TV broadcast of the ceremony. Please note that the Commencement Exercises will be televised live over cable channel 11, which is received in the Florence and Darlington areas, as well as streamed live on our YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/user/FrancisMarionU.