Dress Code and Decorum
Commencement is a formal academic occasion and should be viewed
as such in dress and demeanor. The following guidelines are
provided to help you prepare for your Commencement ceremony.
Graduates choosing not to abide by these guidelines will not be
allowed in the Civic Center and may be escorted from the
The academic robe is black with a V neckline and will show part
of your clothing underneath. The recommended dress is similar
to what you would wear to a formal interview. Graduates who are
not dressed appropriately will be asked to leave the assembly
area and will not be allowed to participate in the Commencement
ceremony. Please review the following guidelines:
clothing. Shorts are not permitted.
gown should be mid-calf.
jewelry on or over the gown. Fraternity or sorority
pins/ribbons may be worn; these are academic emblems and are
not considered jewelry. Kente cloths are permissible as
flowers on the academic robe. Flowers may not be carried.
mortarboard (academic hat) should be worn with the front
point over the forehead below the front hairline, so the
flat board is parallel to the floor. (Not worn on the back
of the head with the board pointing upward.) NO
DECORATION OF ANY KIND IS PERMITTED ON THE MORTARBOARD.
students will have a gold and white hood; hoods are
distributed to honors students with the cap and gown. The
hood is worn with the gold side out and the white inner
lining turned out at the top, over the gold (like a collar).
Gold cords would be worn under the honors hood.
Candidates for the bachelor’s degree should come into the
auditorium with the tassel on the right, hanging near the
right eye. After the degrees are conferred, the tassel is
shifted to the left side. The signal for shifting the tassel
will be given by the President (and/or your faculty
Candidates for the master’s degree will wear both the robe
and hood. Faculty marshals will give you more specific
Graduation ceremonies are, by their very nature, festive
occasions. The festivity manifests itself in many ways
including the dress of the students and faculty adorned in
academic regalia and the warmth, joy and satisfaction of
accomplishment. The ceremonies are also a solemn occasion;
the actual conferring of degrees signifies long, hard work
on the part of everyone involved: students, faculty,
administrators, parents and spouses. As a consequence of the
serious nature of the ceremony, students are expected to
maintain a measure of decorum consonant with the occasion.
Applause and other recognition of the conferring of degrees
should be limited to a joint effort at the conclusion of
each graduation group. Graduates are expected to return to
their seats after receiving their diploma, and to remain
seated for the rest of the ceremony. Family and guests are
asked to remain seated for the entire ceremony, refraining
from leaving their seats in order to take pictures or to
talk to graduates.
Please note these additional rules:
alcohol or illegal drugs will be permitted in or around the
Civic Center. Graduates who appear to be under the
influence of either will be removed from the lineup and will
not participate in the ceremony.
Candidates should not chew gum or tobacco.
horns or other noisemaking devices are not permitted by
graduates or guests and will be confiscated. Balloons and
banners are not permitted inside the Civic Center during
Candidates should NOT have personal belongings in their
possession during the commencement ceremony. NO CELL PHONES
OR CAMERAS ALLOWED! If necessary, personal items can be left
in Flanders Room #1 during the graduation ceremony, when the
room will be locked. It will be unlocked when the ceremony
is over and students may pick up their possessions at that
time. SU will not be responsible for these items; students
are therefore encouraged to leave valuables with family or
NO NOISEMAKERS, BALLOONS OR BANNERS