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Protocol For Participants

​All participants are expected to adhere to the guidelines outlined here.

The expected graduate must make application to participate in the Commencement ceremony, and the academic department must forward a notice to the Office of the Registrar that the academic requirements have been met.



  • Obtain the official academic attire and wear this at the Commencement ceremony.

  • Ladies - black dress or black skirt with white blouse and black shoes

  • Men - white shirt with dark tie, black pants and black shoes


Special Disability Needs

  • Participants with special disability needs during commencement should contact the Office of Academic Affairs at (256) 372-5275 for assistance.



  • Telephone essential guests early and then follow up with your personal invitations to the event at least two weeks in advance to include information concerning date, time, place, tickets (if required), parking, and accommodations.

Preparation for the Event

  • Commencement practice is mandatory. Candidates for graduation are required to attend the Commencement practice. 

  • If you are unable to attend Commencement practice you must submit by the deadline the "Request to be Excused from Commencement Ceremony"

  • Arrive 60 minutes before the ceremony with your cap, gown and/or hood, and leave your bags, cell phones, and outerwear with your guests.  Guest are not permitted in the assembly or robing areas and should go directly to the arena.

  • Graduate and undergraduates will line-up alphabetically by academic colleges at the direction of the Commencement Marshal.

  • Candidates must be in the line-up no later than 15 minutes prior to the beginning of the ceremony. There will be no entrance to the line-up after this time. 

  • The Commencement Processional and Program will begin promptly 10 minutes before the start of the ceremony.


Behavior at the Event

  • Please maintain decorum so that all may hear and view the proceedings without undue distraction.



  • Graduates should remain in place until the exit processional. Walking is not permitted during the Commencement ceremony unless absolutely necessary.
  • Diplomas will be issued immediately after commencement in the Elmore Building, room 7.
  • Contact Registrar's Office, 256.372.5254 regarding diploma distribution questions.


The members of the Commencement Planning Committee, on behalf of the members of the Board of Trustees, administration, faculty, and staff, congratulate you on having achieved this significant milestone in your life.


Please accept our wishes for a wonderful graduation day and every success from that day forward.