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Protocols for Commencement

Smiling students in line at Commencement

Safety Measures

  • Mask/Face Coverings: Mask/Face Coverings:  Recommended for all graduates, participants and guests.  Everyone entering the Event Center is encouraged to wear a mask or face covering.


  • 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.


  • Yes, for Fall 2022 Commencement, tickets are required.

Preparation for the Event

  • Arrive 90 minutes before the ceremony with your cap, gown and/or hood.
  • 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 45 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

The university commencement ceremony is a celebration and a reflective and reverent event for all involved. Please refrain from loud expressions of pleasure for individual graduates.  Such expressions detract from the recognition due the next graduate in line.  The audience is requested to stand and remain at their places during both processionals.  As a courtesy to those around you and to our graduating students, please turn off all cellular devices during the ceremony.  Please inform family and friends that air horns and other noise makers are strictly prohibited from use during the Commencement Program