The following information will help prepare you for Commencement Day. You'll find information about arriving for Commencement, lining up to process, participating in the ceremony, and more.

Please read this information carefully as there will be no rehearsal. All of this information can also be found in the Commencement booklet that you picked up with your graduation packet.

Don't forget, we invite you to share in the celebration on Commencement day via Suffolk social media.

  • Arrival time for Commencement

    Please plan to be at the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion no later than 60 minutes before your ceremony on Sunday, May 18.

    You should arrive with your regalia and name card in order to be placed in the processional lineup. Both of these items were distributed at the time of the packet pickup.

    Once you enter through the student entrance, ushers will direct you to the Student Robing Areas. You must stay in this area until the ceremony. You must also be robed and in line when we give the signal to march approximately five minutes before your ceremony.

  • Before Commencement

    You will receive a 3x5 index card bearing your name, degree, and appropriate honors when you pick up your Commencement packet. Do not forget this card as it will be used to place you in alphabetical/numerical order within your degree group. Also, you should not make any changes or additions to this card.

    If you have any concerns about your lineup card, voice them when you pick up your packet. The lineup card will be presented to the card reader when you approach the stage to be recognized.

    Please see the Commencement booklet for a full lineup of degree programs for each school.

  • During Commencement

    When your degree group is called
    When the degree you are to receive is announced by Dean Greenberg of the College of Arts and Sciences or by Dean O’Neill of the Business School, 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.

    Graduate students, keep your name card in your right hand and drape your master's hood over your left arm.

    Receiving your diploma
    All Students: When the degrees are awarded, you will march up the front stairs from the left as you face the stage. Hand the typed card with your name on it to the reader, who will announce your name and appropriate honors at the microphone. Be sure the student in front of you has adequate time to go up onto the stage.

    Undergraduate Students: A scroll will be handed to your Dean, who will hand it to you. Accept the scroll with your left hand and shake hands with the Dean with your right hand. Your picture will be taken. You will then walk across the stage and walk down the second set of front stairs.

    Graduate Students: Remove your cap before ascending the stage. An Associate Dean or program representative will place your hood on your shoulders. Then, your Dean will hand you a scroll. Accept it with your left hand and shake right hands with him. Your picture will be taken. Walk across the stage and down the second set of front stairs. Now that you've been hooded, you can wear your cap again.

    After receiving your scroll
    Return to your seat and be seated. You are expected to remain in your seat throughout the entire ceremony.

    The University marshal will raise the baton to signal the stage party and students to stand for the recessional. The stage party will process down the main aisle, and the graduates will move out in two lines, following the faculty. Go slowly and remain in line.

    Receiving your official diploma
    During Commencement, you will receive an alumni welcome scroll. At the end of the ceremony, May graduates will return to the robing area to receive a diploma. If you do not pick up your diploma at this time, you will need to do so the following week at the Registrar's Office, Donahue 315. Diplomas for September graduates will be mailed by the end of September.