Rehearsal Information

Graduate Commencement Ceremony 2014

Rehearsal Notes


A.  Congratulations!

B.  Knights and Setons will be helping you:  Who are they?
They are freshmen students who have volunteered to stay on campus after their friends have left for the summer with the express purpose of helping you during Commencement.

C.  What Happens When:
Your Commencement ceremony is on Saturday, May 10, 20143, and it is held in the McCarthey Athletic Center. Your guests should proceed directly to the McCarthey and you, the Graduates, should be in the gym of The Martin Centre no later than 4:00pm in your academic robes (there will be lots of signs up to show you the way).   When you arrive at the gym, you will be given a large card with your name on it - this is what your Dean will read as you cross the stage - THE CARD IS IMPORTANT, SO DON'T LOSE THE CARD.  On the back of the card it will say Standard - then a number (1 through 12); next, it will say Position - then a number.  In the center of the gym you will see two rows of tall blue sign posts - these are Standards.  Each Standard  will have a number.  Find the Standard  that corresponds to the number on the back of your card.  Next, check in with the volunteer at that Standard  and s/he will help arrange all of the graduates at that Standard  in the proper order or Position.  As we get close to 4:35, we will be getting pretty strict about making sure that everyone is in his or her proper Position.   I will be using a whistle, so when you hear the whistle blow, please quiet down and at 4:40 we will move the line.

As you enter the gym and get your card, you will also receive a photographer's form and a pencil - fill out this form right away as you line up - we'll collect the pencils.  After the ceremony is under way and when the Marshal directs you to go to the stage, take this completed form with you (in addition to the card with your name on it) and give the form to the professional photographers who will be taking a formal picture of you and then a picture of you with the President as you get your degree.  Order forms and proofs (as well as an opportunity to purchase a copy of the video of the ceremony)  will be sent to you from the information you provide on the form.  You are under no obligation to purchase pictures but I can tell you that, in the past,  the pictures have been excellent. 

D.  Our Academic Procession:
We’ll march onto the main floor of the McCarthey Athletic Center to fabulous sounds coming from - well, that will be a surprise - we’ll start with the banner bearers, then faculty, then students, then the platform party.


E.  Where are you seated on this main floor and where might your families wish to sit??
Graduates lined up behind Standards 1 though 6 will be sitting on the north side of the McCarthey main floor and will include the following degrees:  M.A. in Philosophy and Religious Studies; Master of Accountancy and all of the MBA degrees; all of the degrees in the School of Education which include the Master of Anesthesiology Education, M.A. in Community Counseling, M.A. in Leadership and Administration, M.A. in Marriage and Family Counseling, M.A. in School Counseling, M.A. in Sport and Athletic Administration,  Master of Counselling, M.Ed. in Leadership and Administration, M.Ed. in Special Education, M.Ed. (School Administration), Master of Initial Teaching, and the Master of Initial Teaching, Special Education; the Master rof Engineering - Transmission and Distribution Engineering; and in the School of Professional Studies, the first part of the M.A. in Communication and Leadership A - Ja.   You might suggest that your family  members sit on the south side of the McCarthey so that they see your face as you cross the stage to get your degree.  

Graduates lined up behind Standards  7 through 12 will be sitting on the south side of the McCarthey main floor and will include the following degrees:  in the School of Professional Studies, the rest of the M.A. in Communication and Leadership Je-Z, M.A. in Organizational Leadership, M.S. in Nursing, all of the M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language degrees, and the Ph.D. graduates.  You might suggest that your family members sit on the north side of the McCarthey so that they see your face as you cross the stage to get your degree.    I will be sending you another "thing" e-mail telling you these important details - we want you to feel very comfortable when you get to campus. 

Have your guests check with the K & S ushers in McCarthey Athletic Center and they can tell your guests which is the north or south side. 

C. (again) Back to What Happens: 
We will process in at 4:40.  
The speaking part of the ceremony will then begin and we estimate that the entire ceremony will be over by 6:30.  Dr. Patricia O'Connell Killen, our Academic Vice President,  will be our MC, the American and Canadian national anthems will be sung, an invocation given and Dr. Thayne McCulloh, Gonzaga’s President, will say some words.  There will be a Commencement speaker and then one of your fellow students will speak next.

F.  The degrees will be awarded right after that.
We will get graduates seated on the north side up first - remember to take the card that has your name on it that the Dean will read and the form for the photographer with you when we get you up for the degree presentation.  Hand in the photographer's form when you get your formal picture taken in the back hallway - you will then continue on to the stage, and have your name read by your dean from the card you have been holding. You will go across the stage (students receiving their Ph.D. degrees will be hooded on stage), you will be greeted by the president and have a candid picture taken as you are handed a diploma cover.    You then face the audience, move your tassel, go down the front ramp and back to your seat.  We will do the same thing for those graduates seated on the south side.

G. OK - what to do when your name is read and you cross the stage to greet the president
Some graduates get a tad nervous crossing the stage to get your degree and greeting President McCulloh in front of several thousand people, so here is my formula to put you are ease:  1) do what your mom and dad always told you to do when you meet a stranger: shake his hand with your right hand, 2) this leaves your left hand free to take the diploma cover, 3) then turn to the audience and now your right hand is free, so simply raise your right hand and move your tassel from the right to the left.  In simple terms: shake, grab, & flip.

H.  At the end of the Commencement ceremony
We will have a brief  Champagne Social following the ceremony (we estimate that the ceremony will end at 6:30pm) on the south lawn of The Martin Centre.  Many of you will be leaving for dinner engagements but this is a nice time for a sip of Champagne while taking some pictures and greeting faculty members.

Tips for everyone:

1.  It can be a bit warm under gowns so dress in comfortable clothing.

2. Please do not leave anything in the gym of The Martin Centre during the ceremony as we have no security in there - leave purses, jackets, etc. with your family.

3. Remember, there are 4 component parts to your academic attire and each part is slippery so don’t lose any of them.  Your gown goes on first.  Ok, now the hood:  this is a strange item.   Our doctoral students get hooded on stage but for those of you receiving your Master's degree, here are the instructions for putting on the hood:   The blue and white satin chevron part should be tucked in – if you pull it out you will find that the edges are not hemmed so push it back in!!!   At the narrowest part of the hood – we call it the throat – there is a short black string – make sure that this string hangs down to your belly button (and not up to your nose).   Grasp the throat of the hood by one hand (with string hanging down) and fling the rest of the hood over your shoulder and put your head up through the opening so that the throat ends up resting against your own throat.  The string comes in handy now - if you have a button on the front of you (not your belly button), you can attach the string to the button and not have the hood strangle you as you sit.  If you don't have a button, we will have some safety pins available and you can anchor the hood with a pin.  Have a friend tweak the bottom wide portion of the velvet (as it hangs down your back) open so the blue and white chevron shows (these colors represent Gonzaga university). The colours of the velvet surrounding the hood represent your degree - white velvet for Arts, drab (yes, it is called drab - it is really cocoa brown) for Business, light blue for Education, orange for Engineering, apricot for Nursing, and lush dark blue for the Ph.D. hoods.  Last, secure your tassel onto the top of the cap and put the cap on your head – with the tassel on your right at this point (don't move it to the left until you formally receive your degree - remember, shake, grab and flip!) - that's it.

4. We ask you not to wear leis, scarves, stoles, or any other symbols of love and affection from your family members on top of your academic attire. We ask that your family and friends wait until after the ceremony to present you with any of these items.

5. There is parking available on the south side of the McCarthey/Martin Centre as well as the upper campus.

6.  If you are planning on going out to eat, you should think of making reservations right away as we have 3 Gonzaga ceremonies that weekend, and it is Mother's Day weekend.

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