- Plan to arrive one half hour before the start of the ceremony.
- When you arrive, bring your regalia and come to the robing room.
- You will be given (or shown) a copy of the seating chart.
- You will be seated by majors in alphabetical order. You will be placed in order while in the robing room.
- Each major will be led in by a faculty marshal.
- Please stay in order during the processional.
- Pay attention to who will begin a new row. If you are the first person in a row just lift or remove the ribbons reserving the row and proceed to the end.
- The processional will be led by the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer (CAO).
- The CAO will be followed by the rest of the stage party.
- The stage party will be followed by the faculty (department heads and any others who are not acting as faculty marshals), then by your faculty marshals and you.
- We will proceed out from the rear of the auditorium, past the audience to the front of the room.
- The stage party will keep going onto the stage, the faculty will turn left into their reserved rows and you and your faculty marshals will turn right into your rows.
Standing En Masse:
- Remain standing after processing in, until the Invocation.
- You will be asked to stand en masse at several points in the ceremony:
- When the Association of Former Students’ representative inducts you into the Association,
- When the CAO confirms that the degree candidates have met the requirements of their degrees and when the Acting Vice President and CEO confers the degrees, and
- When asked to stand for Oaths of Office/Commissioning.
- Anytime you aren’t sure if you should be standing take your cue from the stage party. If they are all standing you should be too. If perchance anyone else asks you all to stand please do so.
Distribution of Diplomas:
- When we get to the actual conferring of diplomas you will be asked to rise and come forward by degrees.
- Move to the collection area to the right of the stage (as you face it) such that you aren’t blocking anyone’s view. Move by rows…we don’t need 3 rows of graduates all in that space at once.
- Be sure to stay in order.
- The faculty marshal will stay with you until the first person for that major goes onto the stage, at which point the marshal goes across to the “hand-shaking spot” where s/he will be joined by your department head or representative.
- You should wait at the bottom of the stage steps for your name to be called.
- The CEO will hand you your diploma with his left hand and offer to shake your right hand. Plan to take the diploma in your left hand.
- He will not let go of either you or your diploma until you both turn and face the camera for the first photograph.
- Proceed across the stage and shake hands with anyone who wants to. (Sometimes the speaker or a member of the Board of Regents, for example, will want to congratulate you.)
- Near the bottom of the steps another photograph will be posed, with you in front of flags. They won’t let you go back to your seat until you pose for the second photograph. (For summer graduations this second photo will have been made prior to the ceremony, so continue back to your seat.)
Returning to your seat:
- It is not essential that you remain in order once you have your diploma.
- Don’t worry about getting back to the same seat from which you came. Do plan to return to the same row, approximately in the same vicinity from whence you came. The idea is to keep everything moving smoothly and gracefully and not having people passing in front of each other and obscuring the view of the stage for the audience.
- The faculty marshal doesn’t have to be in any particular seat either.
- Graduate degrees are awarded first.
- If you are receiving a graduate degree, please give your hood to one of the stage organizers, when you arrive. One or both will be in the student robing area prior to the ceremony.
- When you are called onto stage you will be hooded first, then handed your diploma by the CEO.
- The hooding is usually done by the graduate advisors. If you have someone in particular you wish to hood you, please let Dr. Lesko (firstname.lastname@example.org) know as soon as possible so arrangements can be made.
Licensing and Commissioning:
- The licensing and commissioning portion of the ceremony will occur before the conferring of degrees.
- This is the only part of the ceremony where someone may have to excuse themselves to get out of the middle of a row. They will need to get back to their same seat afterwards.
- The cadets will be called together onto the stage for the licensing oath.
- Cadets line up in the area indicated by the Corps Commander, at a slight angle such that you are facing both the podium and the audience.
- You may organize yourselves with taller folks in the rear and shorter ones in the front if there are a sufficient number of you to merit more than one row.
- Put 6-9 in each row, depending upon the size of the area and how many cadets there are.
- Upon completion of the oath each person’s name will be called.
- Step forward and receive an envelope and shake hands with the US Coast Guard officer who administered the oath.
- Shake hands with the person calling your name, and if MARAD sends a representative, perhaps also with that person before going back to your seat.
- Anyone who is being commissioned should stay on stage but move toward the rear.
- After the licensing those being commissioned will be called forward (this will include those that have just received a license and those who are receiving a commission but not a license).
- The Officer in Charge of Naval Science will administer the commissioning oath and say a few words about those individuals.
- At the conclusion of the licensing and commissioning portion of the ceremony all cadets should have returned to their original seats with the graduates.
Benediction and Recessional:
- At the conclusion of the ceremony, everyone will stand for the benediction.
- Remain standing.
- The recessional will follow the benediction and is accompanied by the Aggie War Hymn. The stage party will be lead off by the CAO back down the center aisle and out to the hallway. The stage party will be followed by the faculty, then the student rows will file out behind them.
- Once you get into the lobby area you can leave the line.
- After everyone is out then you can go back and join your families and take photos of your own on stage or wherever.
- Please ask your parents and friends NOT to get up and take photos during the actual ceremony, as they would block the view for other folks.
- You may order the photographs taken by the professional photographers. You should receive a card with their information at rehearsal. Their contact information will also be posted with other Commencement information.
- When any of the speakers greet the audience with Howdy, please be enthusiastic in your response.
- Your tassel goes on the right before you receive your diploma. You may move it to the left afterward you exit the stage and before you take the photo with the flag. Do not move your tassel as you are walking down the stairs from the stage.