Commencement is a formal celebration honoring the achievements of graduates and candidates for graduation. The annual ceremony is held after the spring semester. Participation is voluntary and does not mean a degree has been awarded.

The 2017 Commencement Ceremony will take place on Saturday, May 20, 2017 at the Tinley Park Convention Center and Hotel, 18451 Convention Center Drive, Tinley Park, Illinois.

We want to extend our congratulations and best wishes to our GSU graduates and their families!

  • 2017 Commencement Details

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    The 2017 Commencement Ceremony will take place on Saturday, May 20, 2017.

    10 am - College of Business, College of Education and College of Health and Human Services

      5 pm - College of Arts and Sciences

    Graduates should arrive two hours prior to ceremony.

    NOTE:  Late graduates will be held in the rear of the auditorium and escorted at the appropriate time.

    A live webcast will be available through GSU's website on Commencement Day.

  • Eligible Participants

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    For the 2017 Commencement ceremony, eligible participants are:

    • 2016 December graduates
    • 2017 Spring candidates for graduation (who applied by Feb. 6, 2017)
    • 2017 Summer candidates for graduation (who applied by Feb. 6, 2017)

    Participation in Commencement is voluntary.

    You must be in good financial standing with the University in order to participate in this event.

  • Doctoral Hooding - May 18, 2017, 6:30pm

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    Doctoral Hooding

    • Thursday, May 18, 2017, 6:30 pm
    • Center for Performing Arts
    • Doctoral students will receive hood to wear at Commencement
    • Graduates meet at 5 pm in the Green Room of the CPA
    • Tickets required
    • Reception immediately following the ceremony

  • Graduate Information

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    This is important information for you to ensure great Commencement experience. 

      Graduates do not need tickets to attend Commencement. 

      All guests must have tickets to be seated (including children 2 years and older) 

      • A family friendly seating area will be available to guests with children to watch on a monitor. 

      If you (or your guests) have a physical disability and are in need of special services, please contact Robin Sweeney, Disability Services, at 708.235.3968 or rsweeney@govst.edu  

      Parking is very limited, carpooling is strongly encouraged.

      Plan to arrive early.

      Late graduates will be held in the rear of the auditorium and escorted at the appropriate time (don't be THAT graduate).

      Inform guests of the college/program you are graduating from to assist with seating (i.e. College of Health and Human Services; Nursing).

      Pre-arrange a meeting location to meet family and guests after the ceremony outside of the auditorium.

      Please leave all personal items (such as purses) with your guests or leave locked in your vehicle. GSU nor the convention center are responsible for lost or stolen items. 

      Only GSU approved honors cords and stoles may be worn with regalia.

      Graduates should not leave the ceremony floor until the appropriate time.  Only Platform Guests, Faculty/Staff and Marshals will recess out.  All graduates are to remain seated throughout the ceremony unless directed otherwise by the commencement marshals or master of ceremonies.

      Cellphones should be turned off and remain off during the ceremony.

      NO BACKPACKS, NO CONCEALED WEAPONS AND NO FIREARMS ARE ALLOWED IN THE CONVENTION CENTER OR HOTEL.

    • Important Guest Information

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      This information is provided so that you and your graduate have a great Commencement experience.

         Ceremonial Etiquette  

        The University wants to ensure that commencement is a dignified academic ceremony enjoyed by both the graduates and guests. 

        Please refrain from yelling, shouting, or whistling until all graduates have been individually acknowledged on stage.     

        NO BULLHORNS ALLOWED.

        All guests must have tickets to be seated (including children 2 years and older)      

        Infants and toddlers may be seated in the lap 

        Children may not sit with graduates

        A family friendly seating area will be available to guests with children 

        Doors open at 8:30 a.m. or 3:30 p.m. respectively

        Saving seats is not permitted

        Seats are not guaranteed for late arrivals

        Admission will be temporarily suspended at 9:50 am and 4:50 pm respectively in preparation for the procession of graduates.

        Remain in seats for the entire commencement ceremony  

        No balloons or large gifts are allowed in the convention center.

        No photographs or videotaping in the front, side or middle aisles.

        A live webcast will be available through GSU's website on Commencement day.    

        Cell phones should be turned off and remain off during the ceremony.

        NO BACKPACKS, NO CONCEALED WEAPONS AND NO FIREARMS ARE ALLOWED IN THE CONVENTION CENTER OR HOTEL.

        COMMENCEMENT DAY SPECIALS

        GSU Bookstore will be selling clothing apparel and gifts on commencement day by the South and West entrances. In honor of graduation, new graduates and guests will receive a 10% discount.

        Commencement Group will be makingvariety of fresh cut, flowers available for guests to purchase between the West and South Entrances.  All flowers will be offered in a variety of colors as half dozen or full dozen; They will also be hand wrapped on location with baby’s breath and greens with a choice of custom school colored bow; Flowers are to be given to graduates AFTER the ceremony is complete.

        Grad Images will be taking professional portraits and orders in the Bremen Room.               

        TGS Video will accept orders for the Commencement DVD at the West and South Entrances.

         

      • Commencement Checklist

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        • Participants must be in good financial standing in order to participate in Commencement.
        • Pay any outstanding financial obligations to GSU. If you have an outstanding balance with GSU, you will be unable to pick-up your cap and gown.
        • Order regalia (cap, gown, hood, if applicable) beginning, Monday, February 27, 2017 online through Oak Hall Cap and Gown.  Website:  TBA

        • If you ordered your regalia by the deadline, Sunday, April 2, pick-up your regalia on Tuesday, May 2 or Wednesday, May 3 in Engbretson Hall.
        • Note: Doctoral students will receive your cap and gown through their respective College - either COE or CHHS.

        Caps and gowns will NOT be available for pick-up on the day of Commencement.

        If you are not able to attend cap and gown pick-up, you may send someone to pick-up your commencement items.

        That person will need:

        • A signed letter from you authorizing that person to pick-up your commencement items.
        • A copy of your photo ID;
        • That person will need to present a photo ID when checking in. 

      • Commencement Event - Cap and Gown Online Ordering and Pick-Up Information

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        REGALIA INFORMATION:  CAP AND GOWN ONLINE ORDERING AND PICK-UP

        Online regalia ordering for cap, gown, and hood (if applicable) begins, Monday, February 27, 2017 and ends, Sunday, April 2, 2017.

        To place your online order, please visit: www.oakhalli.com/govst

        Students who order their regalia online by April 2, 2017 may pick them up on one of these dates:

        • Tuesday, May 2, 2017, 8 am - 2 pm -OR- Wednesday, May 3, 2016, 2 pm - 7:00 pm
        • Engbretson Hall

        Note: Doctoral students may receive their regalia through their respective Colleges - COE and CHHS.

        There will be NO cap and gown pick-up on site the day of Commencement, May 20.
        Students must be in good financial standing with the University in order to pick-up cap and gown.  
         

        A picture ID must be presented in order to pick-up your cap and gown.

        If you are not able to attend cap and gown pick-up, you may send someone to pick-up your commencement items.
         
        That person will need:
        • A signed letter from you authorizing that person to pick-up your commencement items.
        • A copy of your photo ID;
        • That person will need to present a photo ID when checking in
         

      • Commencement Sponsors - Online Orders

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         folletgradimages
         herfjonesjosten
         marchingorders oakhall
        signature tgs                               
        WithHonors 

      • FAQs

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        Graduation FAQs

        1. What is the difference between graduation and commencement?
          Graduation is a process where you complete an application in order to earn your degree. A $125.00 non-refundable processing fee will be placed on your account. A graduation application is required for each degree you earn at GSU.
          Commencement is a formal ceremony and participation is voluntary. Participating in the ceremony does not mean your degree has been earned. 
            
        2. I walked across the stage, doesn't this mean I earned my degree?
          No. Only December graduates from the previous year will have earned degrees by commencement.. Since spring and summer graduation applicants are eligible to participate in the ceremony, their degrees will not be posted until after ceremony has taken place. 
            
        3. Can I use my financial aid to cover the $125 fee?
          Consult with the financial aid office.  
            
        4. What does the graduation fee cover?
          The graduation fee covers the time and paperwork it takes to post your degree. The graduation fee also covers any items related to the commencement ceremony (i.e. student regalia, diploma covers, etc.).
            
        5. When will my diploma be mailed?
          Diplomas are usually mailed out six to eight weeks after final grades have been submitted.  
            
        6. I missed the deadline to turn in a graduation application, who do I contact?
          Consult with your academic advisor.  

        Commencement FAQ's

        1. When does Commencement begin?
            Ceremonies begin at 10 am and 5 pm.
            
        2. How will I know which ceremony I will attend?
          Participants are grouped by Colleges.  KNOW YOUR COLLEGE.  College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business, College of Education and College of Health and Human Services.
            
        3. How many tickets will I receive?
          Graduates generally receive four tickets per ceremony for family and guests. Depending on the number of participants, additional tickets may be available.  If this is the case, this will be determined and announced one to two weeks prior to Commencement.
            
        4. Does my child need a ticket?
          Children age two or older will require tickets.
            
        5. How long is the ceremony?
          The Commencement ceremony lasts approximately two and a half hours.
            
        6. Where do I pick-up my regalia?
          Eligible participants may pick-up their regalia at on Regalia Pick-Up Days, Tuesday, May 2, 2017 from 8am - 2pm or Wednesday, May 3, 2017 from 2pm - 7pm.
          1. If you are a doctoral student, you will receive your cap and gown through your respective College.  
          2. REGALIA WILL NOT BE DISTRIBUTED ON COMMENCEMENT DAY. 
              
           
        7.  How early should I arrive at commencement?
          Participants should arrive an 90 minutes before the ceremony. Guests should arrive an hour before the ceremony. 

         

      • How to Wear Your Regalia

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        These videos show how to wear your regalia for Commencement 

      • Salute to Grads: Commencement Prep

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        Salute to Grads:  Commencement Prep

        • Wednesday, March 22, 2017
        • Hall of Governors, noon until 6 pm.
        • This event allows students to mingle with vendors, order announcements, class rings and take pictures with their regalia.

        • Faculty Information - Participation and Regalia Information

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          Faculty Participation

          Thank you for your commitment to assist us with this year’s Commencement – one of the most important and exciting events in the lives of our students! You will find this to be very rewarding, as families and friends are excited about their loved ones graduating. They will need all of our assistance. Anything we can do to make it a pleasant day for them will leave good impressions when they return home and share with others who may attend our university in the future.

          Please complete the Faculty Participation Survey indicating your level of participation by April 14, 2017.

          Please access the survey here: https://www.research.net/r/Commencement2017-Faculty

          If you have questions or wish additional information, please contact Joan Johns Maloney at jjohns@govst.edu.

          Rental and Purchase Information

          If employees prefer to rent academic regalia rather than purchase their own personalized regalia, each individual employee can arrange rental of academic regalia with Oak Hall Cap & Gown at the employee’s expense.

          Online rental orders begin, Monday, February 27, 2017 and close, Sunday, April 2, 2017.

          To order regalia online, please visit:  www.oakhalli.com/govstfaculty.

          If you would like to purchase regalia, please contact Oak Hall Caps and Gown Customer Service between the hours of 7:30am - 6pm CST at 800.223.0429.

          Online rental and customer orders ordered will be personally delivered by a commencement staff member or volunteer to your office or respective college for pickup.

          Rental Pricing:

          • Bachelor cap/gown/tassel/hood - $23.70
          • Master cap/gown/tassel/hood - $25.30
          • Optional rental tam - $20.60
          • Doctor tam/gown/tassel/hood - $49.30
          • University of Chicago Doctoral Rental - $58.35

          Group orders will not be accepted.  Only one complete package may be purchased per order.

          If you have questions or wish additional information, please contact Karen Caesar-Smith,

          708.534-6360 or kcaesar-smith@govst.edu

        • Volunteer Information

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          Let the Celebration Continue!  Volunteers Are Needed to Work! 

          GSU staff and faculty are invited and encouraged to participate in our 2017 commencement ceremony. 

          Thank you for your commitment to assist us with this year’s Commencement – one of the most important and exciting events in the lives of our students! You will find this to be very rewarding, as families and friends are excited about their loved ones graduating. They will need all of our assistance. Anything we can do to make it a pleasant day for them will leave good impressions when they return home and share with others who may attend our university in the future.

          Please take a moment to complete the 2017 Commencement Volunteer Survey by Friday, April 21, 2017.  You may access the survey by clicking this link: TBA  

          All commencement Volunteers must attend a mandatory orientation on Friday, May 12, 2017 at 10 a.m. in the Mezzanine of Center of Performing Arts.

          If you have questions or wish additional information, please contact Karen Caesar at kcaesar-smith@govst.edu

           

        • International Visitor Visa Letters

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          Complete the Invitation Form to receive a letter to be sent to your guests for visas.

          Type in the form, then print and sign and return to the Office of the Registrar, located in C-1300.