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Office of the Registrar

East Tennessee State University

Ceremony Information

When is the Graduation Ceremony?

Saturday, December 14, 2019 (10 am and 3 pm ceremony times)

How long does the ceremony last?

Approximately 1 to 2 hours for each ceremony (10 am and 3 pm 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, December 13, 2019 at 10 am and 3 pm (to correspond with the students' assigned ceremony time)

Is Graduation Rehearsal attendance mandatory?

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

Is Participation in the Ceremony mandatory?
No.  Students may choose not to participate in the Ceremony.  No advance notice is needed by the Graduation Office of participation, but students should pick up regalia and attend rehearsal if planning to participate. 

When can I pick up cap and gown?

Students' first opportunity to pick up regalia will be at Graduation Celebration.  Check for the time and location of this event hosted by the Alumni Office (click here for details).  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. 

Regalia will also be available for pick up in the Records Office, Room 101 Burgin E. Dossett Hall two weeks after Graduation Celebration.  It will then be available in the ETSU Mini-Dome at Graduation Rehearsal and at the Graduation Ceremony.

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. (9 am for those attending the 10 am ceremony; 2 pm for those attending the 3 pm 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 in the Dome arena for replacement name cards, safety pins, tassels, etc.  Follow the signage or ask a staff to direct you to the table if needed.

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 ETSU 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?

Eligible graduates may pick up medallions when picking up a 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 information tables (follow Information Table signage to the appropriate location).  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 ETSU Mini-Dome.  (View numbers 2 and 3 on the Parking Map)  Details are 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 3 pm.  Please keep this in mind and plan accordingly for time delays due to traffic.
  • Parking will be permitted on both the East and West sides of the ETSU Mini-Dome.  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 ETSU Mini-Dome.  (View numbers 2 and 3 on the Parking Map)  Details are available at graduation practice.
  • 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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