Graduate Commencement

This information reflects the 2014 commencement ceremony.

Accessibility for Students

If you are a student participating in the ceremony and have accessibility needs, please contact Kimberly Schumann in Disability Resources, (651) 962-6315. Please submit by April 19 to ensure availability of accommodations.

Accessible Parking

Please visit the Minneapolis Convention Center's website for parking information.

Accessible Seating

There are designated seating areas at the ceremony for people with limited mobility. Ushers will be available to assist people with mobility impairments.


You will receive five announcements from your graduate program coordinator. You can purchase additional announcements at the bookstore. Personalized announcements can be ordered by connecting to the following link through the St. Thomas bookstore website after April 1.


Balloons are prohibited in the Minneapolis Convention Center. Please do not bring balloons into the convention center.

Candidate Attire

In keeping with the solemnity of the occasion, graduates must wear university-issued academic regalia, including cap and gown. Only university issued honor cords and medallions are approved for wear during the ceremony. No other oversized personal adornments, such as flower leis, hats, signs, ribbons, or scarves are acceptable.

The cap should be worn with the mortarboard parallel to the ground and without any additional modification to the appearance. Candidates receiving a graduate or professional degree wear the tassel on the left side throughout the ceremony.

It is recommended that personal clothing include dark pants for men, dark pants or skirts for women, and comfortable dark shoes. For graduate ceremonies, it is recommended that shirts or blouses with buttons be worn to properly attach the hood. Jeans or flip flops are not acceptable.

Cap and Gown

Your graduation coordinator must have your measurements by March 29. Caps and gowns are provided by the university at no cost to graduates. They are yours to keep. The master's-degree hoods, however, must be returned after the ceremony.

You will need a picture ID when you pick up your cap and gown. Doctoral candidates, Opus College of Business and College of Education, Leadership and Counseling master's candidates, pick up your caps and gowns at the campus you chose on the graduation application. You will receive an email verification once you complete the application for graduation.

All other master's candidates, College of Arts and Sciences, School of Divinity, and School of Engineering pick up your caps and gowns at the St. Paul-campus bookstore.

The Minneapolis-campus bookstore will begin to distribute caps and gowns on Thursday, May 1. Store hours are Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m, and Friday 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The St. Paul-campus bookstore in the lower level of Murray-Herrick Campus Center will distribute caps and gowns on the following dates: May 12-15 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Friday, May 16 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; May 19-22 from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday, May 23 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Ceremony Schedule

Saturday, May 24, 10 a.m.

8:30 a.m. Faculty marshals report to room 102b for line up. Appropriate academic regalia is required.

8:45 a.m. Faculty marshals robed and ready to assist students.

9 a.m. Doors open for guests.

9 a.m. Graduates report to Ballroom A and B, find their name on the alpha list, then proceed to their row by 9:15 a.m.

9:30 a.m. Faculty (non-marshals) are encouraged to attend the ceremony and march in the processional to show encouragement and support to the graduates. Gather in Room 102 A on the first level of the Minneapolis Convention Center. An event staff member will escort you to the Ballroom for line up at 9:30 a.m. Academic regalia is required.

10 a.m. Commencement exercises begin with the academic procession. The ceremony will take place in exhibit halls C and D.

View the map to see the location of the ceremony, line-up area (Ballrooms A and B), faculty marshal training (room 102B) and hood return (room 102F).

Commencement Mass

The Commencement Mass, a long-standing tradition at St. Thomas, begins at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 23, at the Cathedral of St. Paul. The cathedral is located at 239 Selby Avenue. Caps and gowns are not worn during the Mass.


You will receive your diploma when all requirements for your degree are completed. In addition, your tuition account must be paid in full. Diplomas will be mailed approximately eight weeks after all requirements are verified as completed.

Diploma frames can be purchased at either of the  University of St. Thomas Bookstores or can be ordered online.

Graduate Program Coordinators

Art History
Bev Johnson

Bev Johnson

Catholic Studies
Ann Serdar

School of Divinity
Cheri Coffee
Joyce Poley

School of Engineering
Joyce Taylor

Doug Stubeda (Graduate Programs in Software)

Opus College of Business
Pam Phairas
School of Social Work
Lisa Dalsin

College of Education, Leadership and Counseling

Phyliss Dykhuizen

Laura Dupont


Hood Return

Hood return will be located in room 102F following the ceremony. Please return your hood before leaving the Minneapolis Convention Center.


Please visit the Minneapolis Convention Center's website for information on nearby hotels.

Visitors to the University of St. Thomas campuses and events receive a discounted rate at area hotels. The rates are established through arrangements with the university and a consortium of colleges in the Twin Cities.  Please review the hotels offering the rates below and follow the instructions for receiving the special rates.

Airport/Mall of America

Courtyard by Marriott Minneapolis/Bloomington
7800 Bloomington Ave S
Bloomington MN 55425
952 876-0100
Ask for University of St. Thomas Rate
Reserve Online (With Discount)

Country Inn & Suites Bloomington at Mall of America
2221 Killebrew Drive
Bloomington MN 55425
Ask for University of St. Thomas Rate
Reserve Online (With Discount)

Downtown St. Paul

Holiday Inn St. Paul Downtown
175 W 7th St
St Paul MN 55102
651 225-1515
Ask for University of St. Thomas Rate
Reserve Online (With Discount)

Embassy Suites Hotel
175 E. 10th St
St. Paul MN 55101
651 224-5400 or 1-800-embassy (362-2779)
Ask for University of St. Thomas Rate
Reserve Online (With Discount)

The Saint Paul Hotel
350 Market St
St. Paul MN 55102
651 292-9292 or 1-800 292-9292
Ask for ACTC Rate
Visit Site
Enter the Rate/Corporate ID Code of ACTC

Downtown Minneapolis

Millennium Hotel Minneapolis
1313 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis MN 55403
Ask for University of St. Thomas Rate
Reserve Online (With Discount)

Double Tree Guest Suites
1101 LaSalle Ave
Minneapolis MN 55403
800 245-8011 or 612 332-6800
Ask for University of St. Thomas Rate
Reserve Online (With Discount)

Holiday Inn Express Minneapolis Convention Center
225 S. 11th St.
Minneapolis MN 55403
800 870-0114 or 612 341-3300
Ask for University of St. Thomas Rate
Reserve Online (With Discount)

Live Streaming Video

Live streaming video will be available during the ceremonies.


Please visit the Minneapolis Convention Center's website for maps and directions.


Students and faculty members should not leave valuables in the line-up area during the ceremony.

Students and faculty should wear comfortable shoes with a low heel. You will be walking up the stairs from Schoenecker Arena to the field house during the procession.

We request that you do not bring items into the field house that might distract from the dignity of the ceremony, or create any action that interferes with the ceremony. Thank you for demonstrating your support and giving the ceremony the dignity and honor it richly deserves.

Important Note: Possession or comsumption of alcohol is strictly prohibited during the procession and ceremony.

Newspaper Announcements of Graduates

Newspaper announcements of graduates are issued for all verified undergraduate and graduate students. Please note that the list of verified students is not available until approximately one month after the end of a term. In addition, it can take two to three weeks to process and mail the list. Publication is at the discretion of local newspapers. If you have questions regarding the releases, please contact Kelly Engebretson at


Please notify your graduate program coordinator if you do not plan to attend the graduation ceremony.


Please visit the Minneapolis Convention Center's website for more information about parking.


A professional photographer from GradImages will take your picture as you receive your diploma. Proofs will be sent to your permanent address and via email within three to five days after the ceremony. There is no obligation to purchase. Pictures can be ordered online, by phone or by mail. GradImages can be contacted at (800) 261-2576 or via email at

Picture Taking

Picture-taking on or near the stage is prohibited.

Shuttle Bus

There will be a free shuttle bus for students and non-marshal faculty participating in the commencement ceremony. It will leave from outside of Flynn Hall on the north end of the St. Paul campus at 8:45 a.m. Free parking will be available in Morrison Ramp R-1 and R-2 and Lot A. The shuttle will drop off at the Minneapolis Convention Center. It will return to the St. Paul campus leaving the Minneapolis Convention Center at 11:30 a.m.


Reverend Larry Snyder, President of Catholic Charities USA, will be the commencement speaker.


To be determined.

Tassels and Hoods

Tassels will be handed out when students pick up their caps and gowns.Tassel color is determined by the degree program. The colors are listed below. Master’s-degree candidates will receive their hoods during line-up on the day of commencement. Education Specialist candidates will receive their hoods when they pick up their caps, gowns and tassels. Education Specialist hood colors represent the schools in which they received their master’s degrees. Doctoral candidates are hooded on stage during the commencement ceremony. The colors of hoods are listed below. Tassels are worn on the left side of the cap.


White: arts and letters, humanities, Catholic studies
Scarlet: theology, peace and justice
Drab: business
Light blue: education
Gold: Doctor of Education
Orange: engineering
Citron: social work
Brown: fine arts
Pink: music


White: arts and letters, English, music, Catholic studies
Scarlet: theology, Doctor of Ministry
Dark blue: business communication
Gold: software design and development
Light brown: business
Light blue: education, Doctor of Education, counseling psychology
Dark blue: Doctor of Counseling Psychology
Aqua: international studies
Citron: social work
Orange: manufacturing engineering

Hood return will be located in room 102F following the ceremony. Please return your hood before leaving the Minneapolis Convention Center.


No tickets are required for this ceremony. Unlimited seating.

Wheelchair Rental

The university does not provide wheelchairs. Wheelchairs and motorized scooters are available to rent from the Minneapolis Convention Center.  Wheelchairs and scooters should be reserved in advance.  Go to or call 888-404-5554 to reserve and pay for the item.  Wheelchairs are $20 per day and scooters are $50 per day.  You will need to bring your email confirmation and go to the Guest Services and Security department for pick up.