Gonzaga University

Gonzaga University | 502 East Boone Avenue | Spokane, WA 99258-0102 | (800) 986.9585

Frequently Asked Questions

Senior (Undergraduate) Commencement

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 10, 2015. Students may invite as many guests as they wish and tickets are not required.

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.

We estimate that the ceremony will be over by 12:30pm.  A social in the Field House of The Martin Centre is hosted back at the Gonzaga campus - champagne, orange juice, and sweet breads.

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

Parents usually begin arriving on Friday afternoon and depart late on Sunday or early Monday.  The typical schedule:

Friday late afternoon/evening: 
   Social Justice Missioning Ceremony 4pm in the University Chapel, Reception following location TBA
   ROTC Commissioning 5pm in St. Aloysius Church, Reception following in the Cataldo Globe Room
   Senior Dessert Social 7pm at Bozarth Mansion

     Academic departments host by-invitation only functions
     Commencement Mass in McCarthey 4pm

   Ceremony 9:35am at the Spokane Arena
   Champagne Social about 12:45pm at the Martin Centre Field House
   Nursing pinning ceremony at 3pm in St. Aloysius Church, Reception following Cataldo Globe Room

When is the Baccalaureate Mass and who may attend?

The Commencement Mass will be held on Saturday, May 9, 2015 at 4pm for graduates and their guests of all faith traditions.   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 prior to the ceremony, and are processed in and seated on the main floor.

Are there additional functions held during the Commencement weekend?

Each School of the university and academic departments host celebration functions and socials at times and in locales that work for them.  See the commencement weekend schedule page for information shared with the events office.  Note that some events are by invitation only. 

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 8, from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m.  Information is shared about how to wear attire, and attendees will practice lineup and stage moments.  A protocol sheet is developed about a week prior to the ceremony with instructions as well.

How does a student order academic attire?

Graduate Services Northwest  is our academic regalia/attire vendor.  Online ordering is available beginning in early December.  The ceremony attire fabric is a non-shiny royal blue with a matte finish. The undergraduate academic attire costs about $76+tax when ordered by the deadline of March 1.   See the attire distribution schedule page for when and how to pick up attire.  

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

Graduate Services Northwest is the firm which provides approved 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. 4, to display academic attire and announcements/invitations.

Jostens is our vendor for class rings.  They have a display in the Crosby Student Center and their team is on campus at Fall Family  Weekend, Senior Fest, and Commencement weekend.

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

A professional photographic team will take a formal picture of every graduate as well as a candid shot on the stage:   Image Studios in Moscow, Idaho (208-882-5594).   Order and proof information is sent to the student's diploma address a few weeks after the ceremony.  Still photos and ceremony videos are available for purchase online from the vendor website.

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