Commencement Etiquette

Prohibited Items

Do not bring items into the stadium that might detract from the dignity of the ceremony, or take any action that interferes with the ceremony.

  • Balloons and noisemakers are prohibited at all ceremonies.
  • Alcohol is not to be brought to and/or consumed at the ceremony.
  • St. Thomas is a tobacco-free campus.


In keeping with the solemnity of the occasion, graduates must wear University-issued academic regalia, including cap and gown. Only University-issued honor cords, medallions, and pins are approved for wear during the ceremony. Other oversized personal adornments, such as flower leis, hats, signs, ribbons, or scarves, are not acceptable.

  • Jeans and flip-flops are not acceptable.
  • Wear comfortable shoes with low heels. You will be walking a significant distance across artificial turf from the lineup area to your seat during the procession.
  • The cap should be worn with the mortarboard parallel to the ground and without any additional modification to the appearance.
    • Undergraduate candidates should wear the tassel on the right side. It is moved to the left side at the designated time.
    • Graduate candidates should wear the tassel on the left side.

Weather Prepared

Come prepared with sunglasses, sunscreen, and/or rain ponchos/raincoats for the outdoor ceremony. Umbrellas are not permitted.

Personal Belongings

Do not leave valuables in the arena during lineup or after the procession.


Because of limited space, guests are asked to leave strollers outside of the O’Shaughnessy Stadium and Field House.

There will be a stroller corral where guests can leave strollers in the lower quad, east of the Anderson Athletic and Recreation Complex. Ushers will direct guests to the stroller corral. The corrals will supervised during the ceremony. However, St. Thomas cannot take any responsibility for lost or damaged strollers. 

Thank you for demonstrating your support and respect for others, and giving the ceremony the dignity and honor that it deserves.