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Office of the Registrar

East Tennessee State University

Ceremony Information

When is the Graduation Ceremony?

Saturday, May 5, 2018 (10am and 2pm ceremony times)

How long does the ceremony last?

Approximately 1 to 2 hours for each ceremony (10am and 2pm ceremony times)

Am I in the morning or afternoon ceremony?

Ceremony Times will be determined about two and a half months prior to the Graduation Ceremony  and will be published on our Ceremony Page.

When is Graduation Rehearsal?

Friday, May 4, 2018 at the same time as your graduation ceremony (10am and 2pm ceremony times)

Is Graduation Rehearsal attendance mandatory?

No. Attendance is not mandatory. Students planning to attend graduation should make every effort to attend rehearsal.

When can I pick up cap and gown?

March 14, 2018 in the D.P. Culp University Center ballroom at Graduation Celebration.  Students unable to attend Graduation Celebration may designate someone to pick up regalia for them.  The designee should bring a permission letter signed by the student (including the student's ETSU ID number) and a photo ID.


Pick up in the Records Office, Room 101 Burgin E. Dossett Hall April 2, 2018 - May 3, 2018.  Regalia will then be available in the mini-dome at rehearsal, May 4, and at the ceremony, May 5.

What time should I arrive for the Graduation Ceremony?

Graduates should attempt to arrive an hour prior to the beginning of the Graduation Ceremony.  Be sure to allow additional time to accommodate security checks. (9am for those attending the 10am ceremony; 1pm for those attending the 2pm ceremony)

What time should I tell my guests to arrive?

Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.  Please remind your guests of the security requirements.  Additional time is recommended to accommodate security checks.

What if I lose my name card?

Information tables will be set up on the east side in front of the weight room for replacement name cards, safety pins, tassels, etc.

What can I bring with me other than my name card?

Please note graduates will not be allowed any carried personal items other than a name card on the floor level of the Mini-Dome.  Graduates are encouraged to leave personal items in their vehicles or utilize the coat rooms.  Security and other staff will be available to assist students in finding appropriate storage for personal items.  Exceptions may be granted for medical reasons.  Cell phones should be secured in pockets.

Be aware that students often return to a different chair after crossing the stage.  We do not recommend leaving a cell phone in a floor seat while crossing the stage.

When and where do I get my honors medallion?

You may pick up your medallion when you pick up your cap and gown. 

*Graduate students do not receive honor medallions.

*Honors are based on current GPA and does not include the current semester's final grades. Grades from your final semester will be used to determine your honors designation. It will appear on your final transcript and diploma.  Academic Honors grade point average calculations for students seeking a second or subsequent bachelor degree may include all undergraduate credit hours, even those taken for a previously earned degree.  Developmental studies/learning support hours will not be considered in grade point average calculations.  Any new transfer coursework received after Summer 2015 will not be calculated in the overall grade point average.

Do I have to stay through the entire ceremony?

We encourage attendees to plan to stay for the entire ceremony.

Can I bring my child in the line-up?

No, children are not permitted to accompany the graduation candidates in the line-up area, onto the arena floor, or across the stage.

What if I or one of my guests has lost an item?

Lost items will be taken to the regalia table behind the stage.  Items not picked up will be taken to the Public Safety Office.

Are provisions made for guests with impaired hearing or guests needing wheelchair access?

Limited seating is reserved for those requiring a sign language interpreter.  The general seating area meets all requirements for disability access and is wheelchair accessible by ramp.

Entrance for disability seating is located on the west side of the Mountain States Health Alliance Athletic Center (Minidome).  (View numbers 2 and 3 on the Parking Map)  Details and special permits available at graduation practice.

Where do I park?

The following is some information and tips to help you and your guests find convenient parking on campus.

  • Please note that there are two graduation ceremonies:  one at 10 AM and one at 2 PM.  With the first ceremony lasting nearly two hours it is probable that many parking spots will be occupied as those arrive for the second ceremony.  Please keep this in mind and plan accordingly for time.
  • Parking will be permitted on both the East and West sides of Memorial Center.  The parking garage will be open.  Access to the west end of campus and the parking garage will be from the west side only.   Enter from State of Franklin Road via Jack Vest Drive only. View Parking Map
  • All ETSU parking lots will be open and available for parking.  No permits required.  Fire lane, handicap, service vehicle and no parking areas will be enforced.
  • Parking for disabled guests is available at any appropriately marked space.  Entrance for disability seating is located on the west side of the Mountain States Health Alliance Athletic Center (Minidome).  (View numbers 2 and 3 on the Parking Map)  Details and special permits available at graduation practice.
  • Please note the elevator in the parking garage that opens into the Marketplace may not be open on Graduation Day.  Signs will be placed to direct guests to alterative elevators and exit routes.
  • We request that all guests attending Graduation Ceremonies park on ETSU's campus.  View Parking Map
  • Police, parking attendants and security personnel will be available to direct traffic and help find parking. 

Are emergency services available?

Yes. EMT (Emergency Medical Technicians) are available as needed.

Can I take pictures during the ceremony?

Yes, you may take pictures from your seat during the ceremony.  

Island Photography will take several professional pictures of your graduate before and during the ceremony.

Can I present my graduate with flowers or other personal gifts during the ceremony?

You will have an opportunity to greet your graduate immediately following the Graduation Ceremony.  This is an excellent time to present your graduate with a special gift.  Security requirements may not allow for guests to carry packages or bags that cannot be searched. 

When can I pick up my diploma?

Please check our dates page for diploma pick up and mailing dates.  Click Here to visit our dates page.



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