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Your Graduation Day
Plan to arrive at the commencement venue at least 60 minutes before the official starting time of the ceremony to allow for the assembly process.
Candidates will be marching and standing a good part of the time; thus, low-heeled, comfortable dress shoes are recommended. Since there are no secure areas to leave personal belongings, it is recommended that jackets, purses, and other personal items be left with your guests.
The Assembly Process
Upon arrival, all degree candidates should follow this procedure:
- Candidates will report to the Alerus Ballroom for spring commencement or the Chester Fritz Auditorium Rehearsal Room (lower level) for summer and winter ceremonies. At the assembly site, each candidate will receive a copy of the printed program and name card. You must keep this name card as you will need to hand it to the announcer to read your name as you cross the stage.
- Candidates go immediately to the signs marking their degrees and remain there.
- Student marshals and staff members will organize each column into alphabetical order within their degree. All candidates should be lined up and ready for the processional 15 minutes prior to the beginning of the ceremony.
- Processional marshals will lead the candidates from the assembly area at approximately 10 minutes prior to the beginning of commencement and into the arena/auditorium. The candidates will be directed to assigned seating and will remain standing until the President asks them to be seated.
The Order of Commencement
- Welcome and Introductions from the President
- Singing of "America the Beautiful"
- Greetings from the State Board of Higher Education
- Conferring of Honorary Degrees (if awarded)
- Presentation of the Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor (if awarded)
- Conferring of Academic Degrees
- Alumni Greetings
- Singing of the "Alma Mater"
The length of each ceremony differs by the number of degrees granted. These events are open to the public and no tickets are required. Commencement ceremonies are broadcast live on Grand Forks Cable Channel 3. Family members and other guests who cannot attend the ceremony can watch it on television in the Greater Grand Forks area. The ceremony is always rebroadcast on Cable Channel 3, with the dates of the broadcasts printed in the commencement program. All general commencement ceremonies will be webcast. Go to www.und.edu on the day of the ceremony to connect to the event.
North Dakota Lt. Gov. and University of North Dakota alumnus Drew Wrigley will be the featured speaker at his alma mater's spring commencement ceremony set for Saturday, May 11, at 1:30 p.m., in the Alerus Center.
Drew H. Wrigley was sworn in as North Dakota's 37th lieutenant governor on Dec. 7, 2010. He was born in Bismarck and grew up in Fargo where his family founded and continues to operate a mechanical/industrial/environmental contracting company.
Wrigley graduated from Fargo South High School in 1984 and UND, where he studied economics and graduated with honors in 1988. In May 1991, he graduated from law school at American University in Washington, D.C.
The conferring of degrees takes place in three phases: doctoral degree, specialist/master's degrees, and baccalaureate degrees. A diploma scroll is presented to each candidate participating in the ceremony. Diplomas will be mailed approximately six weeks after commencement to your home address as indicated on Campus Connection. Please update your home address within 15 days after graduation.
All doctoral candidates and graduate advisors should wear proper academic regalia. Your hood should not be worn before your degree is conferred (see the Graduation Checklist for information on delivering your hood to the Registrar's Office). The tassel is worn on the left.Each candidate will hand his/her name card (given to them during assembly) to the announcer seated at the side of the stage.When your name is announced, you and your advisor will cross the stage, shake the Dean's hand, and then proceed to spot on the stage where you will receive your doctoral hood. Once you are hooded and presented a diploma scroll, the President will shake your hand and you can return to your original seat. All graduates will remain in the arena/auditorium for the duration of the ceremony.
Master's Degree and Specialist Diploma Candidates
During the assembly process, candidates for master's degrees and the specialist diploma line up in alphabetical order behind the signs for their respective degrees (such as Master of Arts, Master of Science, Master of Fine Arts, Master of Physical Therapy, etc.), all of which are awarded through the Graduate School for the processional. Candidates should follow the marshal assigned to the Graduate School for the processional. All master's degree and specialist diploma candidates will wear proper academic regalia. The tassel is worn on the left.
The candidates will be led to the stage in a single file by a marshal for the conferring of degrees.Each candidate will hand his/her name card (given to them during assembly) to the announcer seated at the side of the stage. At the direction of the stage marshal, each candidate will proceed across the stage to shake hands with the Dean of the Graduate School and receive a diploma scroll from the President. After shaking hands with the President, the graduate then will exit the stage, and another marshal will direct the graduate to his/her original seats. Graduates should remain standing until all graduates from their row have returned to their original seats. All graduates will remain in the arena/auditorium for the duration of the ceremony.
Bachelor's Degree Candidates
During the assembly process, commencement marshals and/or UND staff members will organize the baccalaureate candidates into separate columns by college, school, and by degree within that unit. Candidates receiving more than one degree must choose one college with which to march. To avoid confusion, remember that each candidate marches with the college or school that awards his/her degree. For example, students majoring in aviation management receive the Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the College of Business and Public Administration, not the Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences. Candidates will be placed in alphabetical order within the degree as listed in the commencement program.
The candidates will be led to the stage in single file by a marshal for the conferring of degrees. Each candidate will hand his/her name card (given to them during assembly) to the announcer seated at the side of the stage. At the direction of the stage marshal, each candidate will proceed across the stage to shake hands with the Dean of his/her college and receive a diploma scroll from the President. The graduate then will exit the stage, and another marshal will direct the graduate to his/her original seats. Graduates will remain standing until all graduates from their row have returned to their original seats. All graduates will remain in the arena/auditorium for the duration of the ceremony
After the President's closing remarks, the marshals will lead the platform group from the stage, followed by the graduates. Please meet your family and friends following the ceremony in a predetermined location to help minimize congestion.