Spring Commencement Instructions
The 2015 Spring Commencement is scheduled Friday, May 15th in
the William P. Hytche Athletic Center Arena. Candidates should report to corridor 1510 for
instructions. The commencement will begin promptly at 10:00 am; doors will
close at 9:45 am, so arrive early.
All candidates who are participating
in the Commencement Exercises must attend the mandatory rehearsal held
Thursday, May 14, 2015 at 3:00 pm in the William P. Hytche Center. 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. Your attendance at the commencement rehearsal is mandatory. If you are not present, you will not be
able to participate in commencement. Exceptions will be made with
prior approval only (For approval to be absent from the rehearsal, contact the
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at (410)
651-8440. You do NOT need your cap and gown for rehearsal.
Immediately following the
rehearsal, the Office of Alumni Affairs invites you to enjoy complimentary
refreshments in the Rotunda of the Student Services Center, where you will also
receive a small gift in celebration of your academic achievement.
Candidates are to report to the Dr. William P. Hytche Athletic Center by 8:00 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 William Hytche P. Center. The University is not responsible for
The ceremony will last approximately 90 minutes to 2 hours. The ceremony will
start with a processional that will enter the arena. The
program begins with the invocation and is followed by the presentation and
conferral of degrees, benediction and recessional. Men 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 Provost and 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. Candidates receiving doctoral
degrees should carry the hood over their left arm and will be hooded by their
dean on the dais. Candidates receiving the Masters degree will be hooded in the
assembly area in the Hytche Center. 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
are required for the spring commencement for everyone entering the
building. Tickets will be distributed beginning Tuesday, May 4th, between the
hours of 9:30 a.m. and noon, and again between 1:30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., in the
Student Services Center, Suite 2169. Candidates are
responsible for disseminating tickets to their guests. Candidates who are away
from campus and not able to pick up their tickets in person should contact Mrs.
Linda Woolford, Executive Administrative Assistant in the Office of the Vice
President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management (410) 651-6687 to
discuss arrangements to obtain their tickets. Each candidate will receive ten
(10) tickets. Please do not request additional tickets as none are
available! Lost or stolen tickets cannot be replaced! Doors will close
to the general public 9:45 am at the start of Commencement exercises and will
remain closed throughout the exercises. Please encourage your guests to arrive
The procession will leave corridor 1510 at 9:50 am
sharp. The Commencement exercises begin promptly at 10:00 am 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.
All graduates will recess from the William P. Hytche Athletic
Center under the direction of the Grand Marshal and proceed out the building.
Graduates should arrange to meet relatives and friends in the Student Services
Center after the Commencement exercises. Guest are asked to stand during the
recessional and to remain standing at their seats until all graduates have
recessed out of the arena.
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 guests 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.
these guidelines should ensure the best possible experience for our graduates
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. Programs will be available to guests at the entrances to the
All graduating students undergraduate, master and doctoral candidates must wear
the official academic regalia. Undergraduate and master candidates (black cap
and gown, maroon and gray tassel); doctoral candidates must wear the official
doctoral robe and hood. All commencement items can be purchased during the Grad
Fair at the University Bookstore. 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. Only official
academic regalia may be worn
during the commencement exercises. No visible jewelry or other
decorations on the academic robe or mortarboard (cap) is allowed.
graduate and undergraduate 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.
The Grad Fair is the place to purchase your commencement regalia.
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
Update your Address
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 ensure that your diploma will get to you promptly. Please
allow six to eight weeks following commencement for your diploma to arrive.
will be mailed to each graduate approximately six to eight weeks following the
Commencement Exercises. Diploma 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
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. Once the doors have closed,
guests will be directed to the Theatre in the Student Services Center (SSC),
where they can watch the ceremony via closed circuit.
Access and Special Seating
Limited seating and parking are available for guests using wheelchairs, or in need of
assisted seating. Due to the limitations of seating
space, we cannot seat entire families in the special needs section, but will
permit one (1) additional person to be seated in that area with each special
needs request. Candidates
with guest needing assisted seating should contact
the Office of Disabilities Services no later than May 1st. Requests received
will be honored on a space-available basis. Guests with special needs are
particularly encouraged to arrive early.
transporting mobility-impaired visitors may use the Student Center Lane, off
College Backbone Road to drop off their passengers. Handicapped parking is
limited near the William P. Hytche Athletic Center. Drivers will be asked to
park their vehicles in a general parking area after dropping off their
passengers. For visitors who must park in handicapped spaces, please be sure to
bring, and display your personal State Handicapped Parking Tag or verification.
This tag or tag verification will allow you to park in an available handicapped
space on campus.
Parking on campus is open and free for Commencement. UMES will provide free
shuttle transportation to and from parking lot S-College Backbone Road. The best parking for
access to the William P. Hytche Athletic Center will be in lots B-Student
Development Center, C-West of the Tennis Courts, D-Wicomico Hall and S-College Backbone Road.
Commencement visitors may park in any University parking lots and spaces,
except for those designated as disabled or loading zones. Parking along College Backbone Road is not permitted.
An Aid Station will be located at the east end of the
corridor in the William P. Hytche Athletic Center. Ushers will be able to direct
you to the Aid Station.
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.
candidates for graduation, who have family members that require an invitation
letter to support family members’, obtain visitor’s visas to attend
Commencement Exercises, should contact Dr. Sarah Acquah at (410) 651-6079,
and complete a request for invitation letter. The letter from the
University is mailed directly to the parent/family member, and may be used to support
their request and application for a visitor’s visa. Please allow three weeks
for the letter to reach addresses outside the U.S. Please note that when
requesting your invitation letter, you must include a copy of your letter of
candidacy for graduation.
information must be included on the request for invitation letter form:
- graduate's name
- graduate's local
- graduate's degree
being earned; school/department
parents/family member names, relationships and mailing address
- accompany with a
copy of your letter of candidacy for graduation
Security and Safety Advisory
All bags may be subject to search
at all entrances to the commencement exercises. No large items, such as banners
or posters, or amplification equipment, such as bullhorns or megaphones, or
air horns, will be allowed; alcohol is not permitted!
the event the William P. Hytche Athletic Center reaches capacity, and/or the
doors have closed to the public (9:45 am), guest will be directed to the
Student Services Center Theatre, where they will be able to watch the ceremony
via closed circuit.
consideration for our graduates, we ask that you please turn off all cell
phones, blackberries and other digital devices when the academic procession
starts, and to keep them off throughout the exercises. Likewise, noise-making devices, banners and
posters are prohibited, as are any objects that would detract from the
formality of the event. Your cooperation
will be greatly appreciated.
Day Schedule at a Glance
Committee and security arrive at William P. Hytche Center
am Graduates start to arrive
at William P. Hytche Center, Corridor 1510
am Doors open
to the general public
am Gospel Choir
prelude; faculty and special guest begin to arrive to robe
am UMES Wind
am Line up; candidates,
faculty, platform participants and special guest
am William P.
Hytche Center doors closed
Commencement procession begins moving to the arena, led by Grand Marshall,
followed by platform,
staff and candidates
am Commencement begins with procession moving
into the arena to the platform