Severe Weather Ceremony Instructions

In the event of severe weather that would make an outdoor ceremony dangerous, the decision to hold the College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) Commencement ceremony indoors rather than on Healy Lawn will be posted on the College website and Twitter feed as well as the main University commencement website early in the morning on the day of the ceremony.

The CAS Commencement will be moved to McDonough Arena, broken out into consecutive ceremonies as follows:

CAS Commencement Ceremony #1: Last Names A through K

CAS Commencement Ceremony #2: Last Names L through Z

In the event of severe weather, traffic attendants will closely monitor the interior roads and car traffic may be held up to allow for pedestrian traffic approaching the gym. Campus Security Guards will direct pedestrian traffic.

Assembly and Procession

Graduates report to the Thompson Intercollegiate Athletic Center by 7:45 a.m. (last names A-K) or by 10:15 a.m. (last names L-Z) with your cap, gown, and hood.

Enter the Thompson Center by the east doors (at the corner of North and West Roads, across from Reynolds/Southwest Quad). Upon entering the Thompson Center, students will be given their name cards and lined up in alphabetical order for the procession. The procession will move through the Thompson Center and directly into McDonough Arena, followed by the faculty procession from McDonough.

Conferral of Degrees

After the commencement address, members of the faculty will “present” the candidates for degrees in groups by major. After the candidates have been presented, all graduates will cross the stage and be recognized individually. Ushers will direct the graduates up to and across the stage and then back to their seats. Graduates should carry their name cards with them as they proceed to the stage and hand the card to the dean collecting them at the podium; your name will be read directly from the card.


Faculty and deans will exit the stage first. Graduates follow, proceeding down the center aisle as directed by the ushers, followed by families and guests. All will be directed to exit the building promptly, through the main/front doors of McDonough, so that people waiting for the next event may enter the gym as soon as the way is clear. Please make arrangements to meet family and friends outside of the gymnasium, elsewhere on campus, after the ceremony has concluded.