Commencement Day Instructions

Before the Ceremony

When and Where Graduating Students Should Arrive

Undergraduates: You must bring your regalia and lineup card, provided to undergraduates at packet pick-up, in order to be placed in the processional lineup.

Graduate Students: You must bring your regalia in order to be placed in the processional lineup. Bring the lineup card you received at packet pick-up to the venue.

Graduating students will enter the Pavilion through an entrance on the left of the Pavilion. There will be signs and Suffolk volunteers to guide you. Once you are inside, ushers will direct you to the appropriate student robing area. There will be separate undergraduate and graduate robing areas.

Please note that you must give your personal belongings to family members or friends before you proceed to the robing area. We are not responsible for any personal items left in the robing areas.

When and Where Guests Should Arrive

Upon entering, guests will receive a Commencement program and be directed to the open seating area. Adjacent to the turnstiles, there will be a booth for those who may have questions or need special accommodations.

Robing

Suffolk volunteers will be on hand to assist you with robing in your regalia. You must stay in this area until the ceremony begins and be in your designated place in line when we give the signal to march approximately 5 minutes before the ceremony start time. It will be important to keep noise to a minimum in this area so you can hear and follow last-minute instructions.

Graduate Student Robing Instructions

Graduates students will wear their caps as part of the Processional. Caps are not worn onstage for the Hooding. As their degree group is called to approach the stage, you will remove your cap and leave it on your seat. When you return to your seat you can put your cap back on. On your left arm you will drape the master’s hood and in your right hand you will hold your lineup card.

Lineup

You will be placed in line in alphabetical/numerical order within your degree group using your lineup card. You will present it to the card reader when you arrive on stage to be recognized.

College of Arts & Sciences

Undergraduate Degrees

Associate of Arts
Associate of Science
Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies
Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Fine Arts
Bachelor of General Studies
Bachelor of Science
Bachelor of Science in Engineering

Graduate Degrees

Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology
Master of Arts in Communication
Master of Arts in Graphic Design
Master of Arts in Interior Architecture
Master of Education in Administration of Higher Education
Master of Science in Clinical Psychology
Master of Science in Crime & Justice Studies
Master of Science in Ethics & Public Policy
Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling
Master of Science in Political Science
Certificate in Paralegal Studies
Certificate in Graphic Design
Certificate of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
Post-Baccalaureat Certificate in Medical Dosimetry
Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Mental Health Counseling
Certificate in Disability Services in Higher Education

Sawyer Business School

Undergraduate Degree

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

Graduate Degrees

Master of Business Administration
Master of Healthcare Administration
Master of Public Administration
Master of Science in Accounting
Master of Science in Business Analytics
Master of Science in Finance
Master of Science in Financial Services & Banking
Master of Science in Marketing
Master of Science in Taxation
Graduate Certificate in Accounting

During the Ceremony

Processing to Your Seat

Before you depart the robing area, please be sure to turn off/silence your cell phone.

Graduating students will begin to march 10 feet behind the University marshal. Walk slowly, stay in line, and follow the directions of the Suffolk volunteers guiding you. File into the seats reserved for your degree group as directed by the usher. Remain standing until the chairman of the Board calls the Commencement exercises to order and gives further direction.

When Your Degree Group Is Called

When your dean announces the candidates for your degree, please stand up together. Under the direction of an usher, proceed to the stage one row at a time and keep a continuous flow to the foot of the stage. You will process to the left front stairs as you face the stage. Be sure to allow the student ahead of you adequate time to go up onto the stage before you follow.

While Onstage

  • Undergraduate Students

    Once you are on stage, hand your lineup card to the reader, who will announce your name and appropriate honors at the microphone. Proceed to the dean, who will hand you a rolled scroll. Accept the scroll with your left hand and shake hands with the dean with your right hand. As you do this, your picture will be taken. You will then walk across the stage and down the second set of front stairs and return to your seat. You are expected to remain in your seat, with your degree group, throughout the entire ceremony.
  • Graduate Students—Hooding

    Once you are on stage, hand your lineup card to the reader, who will announce your name and appropriate honors at the microphone. Proceed to the middle of the stage to be hooded. You will present your master’s hood to the “hooder” and turn to face the crowd. The “hooder” will place the hood on you. You will then turn, accept a rolled scroll with your left hand, and use your right to shake hands with the “hooder,” dean, and President. As you do this, your picture will be taken. You will then walk across the stage and down the second set of front stairs and return to your seat. You are expected to remain in your seat, with your degree group, throughout the entire ceremony.

Acknowledgement of the Graduates

After all graduating students have returned to their seats, the president will ask all of you to stand and be recognized. Please stand up and sit down again together.

At the Recessional

The University marshal will raise the mace to signal the stage party and all graduates to stand for the recessional. The stage party will process down the main aisle, and the graduates will follow, moving out in two lines. Proceed slowly and remain in line until you exit the tent.

Map of the Rockland Trust Bank Pavilion

Blue Hills Bank Pavilion layout diagram

Receiving Your Official Diploma

During the ceremony, College of Arts & Sciences and Sawyer Business School graduates will receive a scroll with a welcome message from the Alumni Association. At the end of the ceremony, May graduates will receive their official diplomas at the diploma pick-up station. Diplomas cannot be picked up while the ceremony is taking place. If you do not pick up your diploma after the ceremony, you will be expected to do so the following week at the Office of the Registrar, 6th floor, 73 Tremont Street. September graduates should receive their diplomas in the mail in early October.