Frequently Asked Questions
The Spring Commencement Exercises will take place on Friday, May 16, at 10:00 am in the William P. Hytche Athletic Center
Who is the Commencement
The Honorable Congressman John R. Lewis, Democrat from Georgia's 5 District is this year’s commencement speaker. He was
born the son of sharecroppers on February 21, 1940, outside of Troy,
Alabama. He grew up on his family's farm and attended segregated public
schools in Pike County, Alabama. As a young boy, he was inspired by the
activism surrounding the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the words of the Rev.
Martin Luther King Jr., which he heard on radio broadcasts. In those
pivotal moments, he made a decision to become a part of the Civil Rights
Movement. Ever since then, he has remained at the vanguard of progressive
social movements and the human rights struggle in the United States. Congressman Lewis has served in the
U.S. House of Representatives since 1987; he is considered the dean of
Georgia’s congressional delegation.
I need tickets?
Tickets are required for the Spring Commencement
Exercises, and are needed by every person entering the building. Visitors are
asked to arrive early to ensure seating; doors will close to the public at 9:45
and when should I report for the Commencement Ceremony?
All candidates who are graduating must
arrive at Student Services Center (SSC) Ballroom by 8:00 am to
assemble, robe and to receive final instructions. Please, do not forget to bring your academic
What do I need to wear
Candidates may purchase
a graduation package (cap, gown, hood & tassel), regalia at the University
Book Store. Additionally, WOMEN ARE REQUESTED TO WEAR: Black dress pumps, no
open-toed shoes; black or neutral colored dress hose; black dress which does
not have a high neckline or stand-up collar, it should not show above the
zippered front v-neckline on the robe; no visible jewelry; no flowers or other
decoration on the academic robe or mortarboard/cap. MEN ARE REQUESTED TO WEAR: Black dress shoes,
no tennis shoes; black dress socks; black dress slacks; white or light-colored
dress shirt; dress (four-in-hand) tie, shirt collar and tie will show above the
v-neckline of the academic robe. A suit coat or sport coat will not be seen
under the robe and therefore is optional. No visible jewelry or other
decorations on the academic robe or mortarboard/cap is allowed.
How do I know what color
hood I should get?
The Bachelor of Arts (BA) hood has a white collar and the Bachelor of
Sciences (BS) hood has a gold collar. Personnel in the University Bookstore
will assist you in making your purchase.
do I know if I am graduating with honors?
individual school should contact you about whether you will be graduating with
academic honors. Please direct questions to the Dean of your school.
there be a rehearsal?
All candidates who are graduating are expected to attend Commencement rehearsal Thursday, May 15, 2014 at 3:00 pm in the William P. Hytche Center.
if my guests arrive late, can they get in?
doors to the William P. Hytche Center will close at 9:45 am sharp, or when the
Center has reached capacity. Once this happens, guest will be directed to the
Student Services Center, where they will be able to watch the ceremony via
Can I purchase a Senior Portrait?
There will be photographers Student Services
Center Ballroom taking individual photographs as the President hands you your
diploma during the Commencement Ceremony.
Where can graduates
put their coat, purse, etc. during the ceremony?
leave valuables, such as coats and purses, with family members during the
ceremony. Please DO NOT leave items unattended in the Arena. UMES and/or its
employees will not assume responsibility for lost, damaged, theft of any
Where do I get my
The Grad Fair is the place to pick all
your commencement needs. All
graduating students’ graduate, undergraduate and doctoral candidates should
attend the Grad Fair March 25th and 26th, between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm, in the Bookstore, located in the SSC.
happens when the Ceremony is over?
complimentary reception will follow the commencement exercises hosted for
graduates and guests by the Office of Alumni Affairs. The reception will take
place in the in the Student Services Center.
I or my family wants to stay overnight?
who would like to stay overnight should visit our website for information on
What if I want to
leave before the ceremony is over?
should plan to remain in the arena for the entire ceremony.
Where will my degree
with the Office of the Registrar and make sure you have on file the address where
you would like your degree mailed. Degrees will be mailed approximately four to
six weeks following the commencement exercise.
Security and Safety Advisory
All bags may be subject to search at all
entrances to the commencement exercises, including the overflow site. Large
items, such as banners or posters, or amplification equipment, bullhorns or
megaphones, will be allowed; alcohol is not permitted!