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Commencement Instructions

1. Each school will issue an academic clearance card to the candidate. This card will be used to call the candidate's name. Please preserve the card.

2. All candidates are required to wear caps and gowns.

3. Students in academic attire should wear auxiliary clothing that harmonizes with the black gown:

  • dresses of appropriate length 
  • dark shoes
  • dress slacks
  • dress shirt
  • tie
  • no jeans

All students must wear professional (business) clothing such as dresses, skirts or slacks. No jeans or tennis shoes may be worn. Please wear low heeled or flat shoes for your safety and comfort.

Refrain from pinning or attaching anything to the cap or gown. Fraternities/sororities shawls, can be worn with your cap or gown. Corsages, ribbons or scarves are not allowed. Academic regalia should be worn with modest jewelry, no large earrings and bangles.

4. Caps are worn with tips in a horizontal position (not tilted), and tassels on the right side. Hoods are carried on the right arm while marching in the procession.

5. Women keep their caps on throughout the ceremony. Men remove their caps during the opening; replace them thereafter; remove them again for the closing, and replace them to remain through the end of the ceremony.

6. Candidates from each school will be presented by their dean to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, who will then present them to the President. Immediately following the President's statement, conferring the degrees, the Chief Marshal indicates the hooding ceremony. Candidates will turn to the right to be hooded by the candidates on the left.

7. The President will deliver the charge to the class, followed by the National Alumni Association President leading the graduates in the Oath of Alliance.

8. After the commencement ceremony, graduates will be led by the Marshals out of the VSU Multipurpose Center.

PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE THE LINE OF MARCH UNTIL YOU ARE RELEASED BY THE MARSHAL.

9. No picture taking will be allowed where graduates, faculty and special guests are seated. No balloons, noisemakers, floral bouquets or large gifts will be allowed in the VSU Multipurpose Center. Please ask your families to save these items for after the ceremony. 

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