Gonzaga University

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Frequently Asked Questions


Senior (Undergraduate) Commencement 2014

When is the Commencement ceremony, where is it held, and when is it over?

The Senior (Undergraduate) Commencement ceremony is always held on Mother's Day and for this coming year it will be held on Sunday, May 11, 2014. Seniors must be at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena (just one mile from the Gonzaga campus) in their academic attire no later than 9:00 a.m. The doors to the Arena open at 8:00 a.m. The ceremony begins with an academic procession at 9:35 a.m. and the speaking part of the ceremony is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. There is good access and seating for guests with disabilities. Students may invite as many guests as they wish and tickets are not required.   We estimate that the ceremony will be over by 12:30pm. and it is followed by a social held in the Field House of The Martin Centre back at the Gonzaga campus.  No food provided at the social.

When should parents plan to arrive and leave for the Commencement Weekend?

Parents usually start arriving on Friday afternoon. (A number of the Senior activities scheduled for the week before Commencement are really geared to the Seniors and NOT their parents.)  For those parents who have Seniors who will be engaged in volunteer or service opportunities after graduation, we invite them to attend a Social Justice Missioning ceremony at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, May 9, in University Chapel. There will be an ROTC Commissioning ceremony for those members of ROTC who will be graduating and this, too, will be held on Friday, May 9, and will be held at 5:15 p.m. in St. Aloysius Church. The first event to which all of the Seniors and their guests are invited is the Dessert Social hosted by Student Life on Friday evening. This Social is held from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. at Bozarth, our conference and retreat center just north of Spokane, and all Seniors and their parents are invited to attend - dress is casual and it is a good idea to bring a sweater or jacket.  The last scheduled event for EVERYONE for the weekend is the Champagne Social held just after the Commencement ceremony on Sunday (estimated to run from 1:15 to 2:45 p.m.).  There will be a Pinning Ceremony in St. Aloysius Church on Sunday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. for those nursing Seniors who have just received their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree and their guests.  Reminder: Commencement is held on Mother's Day and many families make plans for a combined celebration at one of our local restaurants after the social - if reservations are required, don't delay in making them.

When is the Baccalaureate Mass and who may attend?

The Baccalaureate Mass will be held on Saturday, May 10, 2014, of the Commencement Weekend and graduates and their guests of all faith traditions are invited to attend this Mass where we ask God's blessing on our graduates.  The Mass will be held in the McCarthey Athletic Center (doors will open at 12:15 p.m.) and will begin at 1:30 p.m.  Students may invite as many guests as they wish to the Mass and tickets will not be required for admission. Students wear their academic attire for the Mass and line up in the gym in The Martin Centre no later than 1:00 p.m. - the graduates will be seated with each other on the main floor of the McCarthey Athletic Center. 

Are there additional functions held during the Commencement weekend?

There are sure to be but many of these functions or activities tend to be confined to a particular group of Seniors or to a department or school and we are not always privy to these plans. Seniors will know what is going on and it is best to check with them.  On the official Commencement calendar, please make note of:  The Social Justice Missioning Ceremony for Seniors who will be engaged in volunteer or service opportunities after they graduate and before they begin a career or continue their education will be held in the University Chapel at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, May 9. The ROTC Commissioning Ceremony will take place on Friday, May 9, in St. Aloysius Church at 5:15 p.m. The Dessert Social will be held outdoors at Bozarth Retreat Center about 15 minutes north of Gonzaga on Friday, May 9, from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m.  The Presidential Reception and The Toast to the Seniors will take place on Saturday, May 10, in the Field House of The Martin Centre from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  Senior nursing students will have their Pinning Ceremony on Sunday, May 11, in St. Aloysius Church and we anticipate that this will be held at 3:00 p.m. I will post any other events here as I become of aware of them.

Do seniors need to attend rehearsal and when and where is it held?

Rehearsal will be held in the McCarthey Athletic Center (not in the Arena) on Friday, May 9, from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. All Seniors should plan to attend the rehearsal because detailed information will be given, questions are answered, and those all-important "how to wear your academic attire" instructions are given.  There are exceptions, however!  If a Senior has a final examination during that time or has work commitments, the Senior should plan on taking the exam at the regularly scheduled time or be at work.  Those few Seniors can get the information about the ceremony from friends.

Is the Dean going to pronounce my name properly as I cross the stage?

The Deans all hope and pray that they pronounce every name properly and they practice with a large stack of name cards for a month prior to Commencement. If you have a wonderful and unusual name, you could make it easier on the Deans by giving them a simple way to pronounce your name. Please bear in mind that the pronunciation explanations at the bottom of the page in the dictionary do not readily come to mind to a Dean who is having to read hundreds of names.

How does a student order academic attire?

CEWard-National  is our academic regalia/attire vendor.  Online ordering is available beginning in early December at cewardnational.com.   The ceremony attire fabric is a non-shiny royal blue with a matte finish which is almost completely wrinkle free. The undergraduate academic attire costs will $76+tax.  See the Dates & Events page for attire distribution details. 

How does a student order graduation announcements, invitations, and/or a class ring?

CEWard-National is the firm which handles the selling of academic attire and the graduation announcements and invitations. Parents of graduating Seniors are mailed order forms and information about the announcements/invitations and academic attire in early December.  CEWard-National will be at Senior Fest on Wednesday, Feb. 5, to display academic attire and announcements/invitations. Jostens will be at Senior Fest to sell class rings.

Photographs at Commencement - can family members take them and will there be a professional photographer?

Family and friends may approach the stage and take pictures or a video; we ask everyone to be aware of other photographers and audience viewing. There will be a professional photographic team that will be taking a formal picture of every graduate as well as a candid shot:  Image Studios in Moscow, Idaho (208-882-5594). You are under no obligation to order the pictures. Image Studios will offer a video copy of the Commencement ceremony for sale when they send picture proofs.




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