Home » About Us » Policies and Procedures » 16 Admissions and Registrar » 16-10-2 Graduation Committee

16-10-2 Graduation Committee


NUMBER:  16-10-2          APPROVED DATE:  07-29-1997

The Graduation Committee is responsible for the planning, development, and implementation of the annual spring Commencement program. The College President appoints the chairperson of the committee and provides committee membership.


  1. Select Graduation committee members, with President's approval.
  2. Communicate ceremony information to faculty and staff.
  3. Assist the President's Office with arrangements for graduation speaker.
  4. Ensure academic protocol at the ceremony.
  5. Initiate  and monitor contract, communicate set-up and serve as a liaison with the selected graduation location.
  6. Schedule meeting at the ceremony location.
  7. Contact and provide arrangements to the ceremony photographer.
  8. Prepare all ceremony flyers and announcements to be posted or mailed to students.
  9. Oversee students' and president's invitation order.
  10. Conduct meetings of the Graduation Committee and provide meeting minutes. 
  11. Review and approve the ceremony agenda and printed program.
  12. Coordinate sound check on the day of the ceremony.
  13. Confirm directional signs for platform participants and graduates, faculty, and guest.
  14. Provide stage and other set-up arrangements for the diploma, platform participants, registrar, and bookstore tables and degree information for academic deans.
  15. Communicate with academic deans about seating arrangements and processional/recessional line-up.
  16. Propose and monitor a graduation budget and approve all requisitions.
  17. Monitor the activities of all subcommittees and initiate action when needed.
  18. Manage all aspects of the graduation ceremony.


The Graduation committee members' responsibilities are outlined below as "subcommittees."  "Subcommittees" and their responsibilities are established as follows:


  1. Identify mailing list for VIP's to receive invitations and coordinate the mailing of the president's invitations.
  2. Oversee arrangements of graduation speaker.  Make arrangements for graduation speaker, including correspondence. 
  3. Select and obtain female student marshal attire.  Coordinate fitting with student female marshals. 
  4. Secure gift for graduation speaker at the President's request.
  5. Obtain pricing for plants and floral arrangements for stage, platform participants room, and student marshals. 
  6. Order refreshments/replenishment for platform participants reception.
  7. Provide table on stage and at announcer podium for ice water and glasses.
  8. Determine seating arrangements and line-up for platform participants.
  9. Produce graduation script.
  10. Identify all VIPs planning to attend through RSVP for incorporation into script.
  11. Obtain ribbons for VIP section and designate VIP ushers.
  12. Welcome VIPs at graduation ceremony; ensure they have escorts to designated seating section.


  1. Order caps and gowns and assist with proper measurements for staff, faculty, and students purchasing or renting a cap and gown.
  2. Order students' and president's invitation order, with approval from the chairperson.
  3. Provide student invitations for purchase in the Bookstore.
  4. Supply the chairman with a weekly count of students picking up caps and gowns.
  5. Set up a cap and gown table (at processional entrance) at the selected location for students and as a return point for faculty.
  6. Provide input in establishing graduation ceremony deadlines.
  7. Serve as a troubleshooter prior to and during the ceremony.


  1. Identify potential student marshals for processional subcommittee consideration.
  2. Obtain ushers for graduation ceremony and assign responsibilities to ushers.
  3. Determine the number of tables needed for the distribution of programs and provide tablecloths. 
  4. Organize the student speaker selection process.
  5. Remove signs and tablecloths after the ceremony begins. 


  1. Conduct graduation rehearsal and identify graduates to assist with rehearsal.
  2. Provide a copy of rehearsal script to chairperson.
  3. Announce processional line-up at the conclusion of rehearsal.
  4. Monitor the graduation proceedings and serve as a troubleshooter.


  1. Arrange seating plan and processional and recessional flow based on number of graduates participating in the ceremony. 
  2. Monitor the line up of graduates at the ceremony.
  3. Make necessary processional/recessional arrangements for and meet with graduates with disabilities.
  4. Assign responsibilities to student marshals and conduct marshal rehearsal. 
  5. Obtain faculty marshals and meet to review duties.
  6. Post and remove program of study signs for graduate line-up.
  7. Assist with the distribution of diplomas on the stage.
  8. Serve as a troubleshooter during the ceremony. 


  1. Compile graduate list for the program and diploma order.
  2. Identify honor students, and initiate the honor medallion order, prepare and distribute medallions.
  3. Order and mail diplomas (including cardboard mailer insertions).
  4. Proofread the program and prepare graduation fliers.
  5. Type and distribute student name cards.
  6. Send student information letters.
  7. Identify graduates with disabilities.
  8. Provide participant listing to the graduation photographer.
  9. Provide a list of the graduates' names to the graduation announcer.
  10. Set up an information table (near the processional entrance) at the ceremony location.
  11. Provide input in establishing and publishing graduation deadlines.


  1. Arrange emergency first-aid with officials at the graduation location.
  2. Arrange traffic control with officials at the graduation location.
  3. Assist with lost and found items.
  4. Coordinate parking for persons with disabilities.
  5. Provide first-aid on-site as needed.
  6. Coordinate overall security for the graduation ceremony.
  7. Assist in coordinating a back-up plan for graduation in case of emergency.


  1. Identify purchase order deadlines to ensure all purchases are made in a timely manner.
  2. Assist each committee member in bidding/purchasing process.
  3. Assist with transportation to and from the graduation location of all items required on the ceremony date (diplomas, programs, etc.).


  1. Coordinate the arrangements for and communicate with graduates and guests with disabilities.
  2. Inform the chairperson and processional subcommittee of the graduate name(s), program of study, and type of accommodations to be made when identified. 
  3. Coordinate arrangements needed for any graduates with disabilities with the Graduation Committee processional team and the Graduation Committee chairperson.  Report on arrangements at Graduation Committee meetings. 
  4. Obtain an interpreter, if necessary.
  5. Meet disabled graduates and processional team members to discuss accommodations prior to rehearsal.  Assist with any accommodations needed.
  6. Meet and direct ushers assisting with disabled guests.
  7. Assist with seating guests with disabilities prior to the processional and graduates requiring assistance during the processional.
  8. Post and remove signs for reserved sections for guests with disabilities.


  1. Announce degrees conferred, graduates' names and honors during the ceremony.
  2. Assist announcer by collecting graduates' cards and relaying proper name pronunciations.
  3. Assist student marshals when possible in ensuring that graduates approach and cross the stage as instructed.


  1. Order and approve printed programs.
  2. Approve students' and president's invitation orders prior to printing and distribution.
  3. Coordinate still photography with College photographer.
  4. Prepare signs for each degree, diploma and certificate program, reserved sections (for guests with disabilities), platform participants and others as needed.
  5. Post signs prior to the ceremony.
  6. Provide media coverage 


  1. Provide and set up microphones for the platform (Trident’s podium) and announcer podiums (Coliseum’s podium).
  2. Copy music in appropriate medium for use at the graduation location.
  3. Conduct sound check and adjust sound volume to an appropriate level with the President approval prior to Rehearsal.
  4. Serve as a troubleshooter for all audio functions during the ceremony.
  5. Video graduation ceremony proceedings for use by the committee as historical information. 


  1. Arrange graduation committee meeting locations.
  2. Take and distribute minutes.
  3. Enter necessary requisitions.
  4. Prepare nametags for committee members and others permitted near the seating sections.

It is the responsibility of the College registrar to determine the deadline for applying for graduation and participation in the graduation ceremony.

Graduates participating in the ceremony receive blank diploma covers. Actual diplomas are mailed to graduates four to six weeks following the Commencement ceremony after the Registrar has reviewed each applicant's file and confirmed that degree requirements have been met.

Updated: 05-31-2007