Winter Commencement Instructions
The 2013 Spring Commencement is scheduled Friday, May 17th in the Dr. William P. Hytche Athletic Center Arena. The commencement will begin promptly at 10:00 am; doors will close at 9:45 am, so arrive early.
While a spirit of joy and enthusiasm is encouraged, commencement is a dignified academic event that recognizes the achievements of all our graduates, honorees and our guest speakers. Students and guest who elect to participate are expected to observe some simple guidelines.
- Cell phones and other electronic devices must be turned off for the duration of the exercise.
- Noise-making devices, banners and posters are prohibited, as are any objects that would detract from the formality of the event.
- Students and guests should remain in their seats until the faculty has proceeded in and out of the arena.
- The aisles must remain clear throughout the commencement exercise.
- Applause should be held until all students have received their degrees. Names will be read quickly, and it is important that every name is heard.
- Guests are requested to cooperate with any requests by Commencement Marshals and UMES Event Staff.
Following these guidelines should ensure the best possible experience for our graduates and guests.
Candidate Arrival Time
All candidates who are graduating are invited to a complimentary breakfast in the Plateau student dining hall, located in the Student Services Center. Breakfast will be provided between the hours of 6:15 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. Candidates are to report to the Dr. William P. Hytche Athletic Center by 8:30 a.m. and assemble in corridor 1510 for robing, assembly and final instructions. Please leave all personal belongings (purses, jackets, etc.) with a family member prior to arrival at the Hytche Center. The University is not responsible for lost items.
The Commencement Exercise
The ceremony will last approximately 90 minutes to two hours. The commencement exercises will start with a processional that will enter the arena. The program begins with the invocation and concludes with the presentation and conferral of degrees, benediction and recessional. All candidates should remove their caps for the singing of the "National Anthem," invocation, benediction, and the Alma Mater. Candidates will be given a 3x5 card on which their names will be printed. The Vice President for Academic Affairs will request candidates to stand for the conferring of degrees by Schools. As directed by the Marshal, give your name card to the announcer, who will read your name to the public at the appropriate time. Once your name has been read, proceed across the stage to the President to receive your diploma. Undergraduate candidates should return and be seated immediately. When directed by the President, candidates for undergraduate degrees should move their tassel from the right to the left. Candidates receiving graduate degrees should wear tassels on the left for the entire ceremony and carry the hood over their left arm. Candidates receiving doctoral degrees will be hooded by their Dean on the dais. After your name has been announced to the public and you have been hooded, proceed across the stage to the President to receive your diploma. Graduate candidates should return and be seated immediately.
Rehearsal and Walkthrough
All candidates who are participating in the Commencement Exercises must attend the mandatory rehearsal held Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 3:00 pm in the William P. Hytche Center. Your attendance at the commencement rehearsal is mandatory. If you are not present, you will not be able to participate in commencement. Exceptions made with prior approval only (for approval to be absent from the rehearsal, please contact Dr. James White, the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at (410) 651-8440. You do NOT need your cap and gown for rehearsal. Mark this date on your calendar and do not be late, your promptness is encouraged so that we can begin and end in a timely manner.
Immediately following the rehearsal, the Office of Alumni Affairs invites you to enjoy complimentary refreshments in the William P. Hytche Center, where you will also receive a small gift in celebration of your academic achievement.
The procession will leave the corridor at 9:50 a.m. sharp. The Commencement exercises begin promptly at 10:00 a.m. with the procession led by the Grand Marshal, the President, members of the administration, honorary degree recipients and the faculty. Candidates will follow in the order of academic Schools (i.e., School of Graduate Studies, School of Agricultural and Natural Sciences, School of Arts and Professions, School of Business and Technology and School of Health Professions), as directed by the Marshal.
Caps and Gowns
All graduating students including graduate, undergraduate and doctoral candidates must wear the official approved academic regalia (black cap and gown, maroon and gray tassel); doctoral candidates must wear the official doctoral robe and hood, all items can be purchased through the UMES Bookstore, or may also be purchased at http://www.herffjones.com/umes. It is recommended that you purchase your cap and gown early to avoid any unnecessary delay or inconvenience on graduation day. Doctoral gowns and faculty gowns must be ordered at least eight weeks in advance. A representative will be on hand at the Grad Fair to take orders, or may also be purchased at http://www.herffjones.com/umes. Only official approved academic regalia may be worn during the commencement exercises. No visible jewelry or other decoration is permitted on the academic robe or mortarboard/cap. The University reserves the right to request that unacceptable attire be removed, or to exclude from the exercises any candidate who does not meet acceptable standards of dress or conduct.
Both graduate and undergraduate candidates should attend the Grad Fair March 4-5, between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm. The Grad Fair is the place to purchase your cap and gown. The Fair is also the place to purchase your announcements, class ring, and diploma frames. It’s one stop shopping with the graduate in mind. Undergraduate orders will be available for immediate pickup. Regalia may also be purchased at http://www.herffjones.com/umes. A late fee of $20 will be charged starting March 11th. For more information, please call the bookstore at (410)-651-6437.
Announcement orders will be shipped directly to the address you specify. Herff Jones representatives will be at the Graduation Fair to assist you with your on campus order. The delivery date for campus announcement orders is approximately 4 weeks. For more information, please call the bookstore at (410)-651-6437
Distribution of Diplomas
Diplomas will be mailed to each graduate approximately six to eight weeks following the Commencement Exercises. Diplomas will be mailed to the address listed on file with the Office of the Registrar. Please check with the Office of the Registrar to make sure your correct and current address is on file.
Guests should be seated 30 minutes before the start of commencement exercises, doors will close at 9:45 am. Seating will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. Tickets are required during the winter exercises. However, once the doors have closed, guests will be directed to the Theatre in the Student Services Center, where they can watch the ceremony on a video screen. Seats have been set aside for people with disabilities, or in need of special assisted seating. Those requiring assisted seating should check in with an usher when they arrive. No more than two additional guests may be seated in the area reserved for people with disabilities.
All graduates will recess from the Dr. William P. Hytche Athletic Center under the direction of the Grand Marshal and proceed out the building. Graduates should arrange to meet friends and relatives in the Student Services Center after the Commencement exercises.
A commencement program will be given to each candidate when they assemble for the procession. Candidates are asked not to pick up additional programs prior to the processional. Commencement programs are available to guests at the entrances to the arena.
In consideration for our graduates and others, guests may only take photographs from their seats during the exercises. A professional photography company will take individual pictures of each graduate prior to and during the exercises as they receive their diploma from the President. Each graduate will be contacted by the photographer, however they are not obligated to purchase photograph packages. After the ceremony (when the platform party and faculty have left the area), guests are welcome to come to the stage to take photographs with their graduates.
Update Your Address
Graduates do not forget to update your home mailing address. By informing the Office of the Registrar of changes to your local, permanent, and diploma mailing addresses, you will help ensure that your diploma will get to you promptly. Please allow six to eight weeks following commencement for your diploma to arrive.
The use of cell phones and other similar devices during the commencement exercises is not permitted. In consideration for our graduates, we ask that you please turn off all cell phones, and other digital devices when the academic procession starts, and to keep them off throughout the exercises. Your cooperation will be greatly appreciated.
Sponsored by the Office of Alumni Affairs, family and friends celebrate your graduate’s accomplishments at a festive post-commencement reception in the Student Services Center. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, please contact Walter W. Woods, M.A., Assistant Director of Alumni Affairs at (410) 651-6277.
Sign Language Interpreter
During the commencement exercises, a sign language interpreter will be available on stage.