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 in 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 - Specific Colleges TBD by mid-March

      5 pm - Specific Colleges TBD by mid-March 

    Graduates should arrive about two hours prior to ceremony.

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

    There will be an online live stream of each Commencement Ceremony.
     
    Governors State University Commencement is held at the:

    Tinley Park Convention Center
    18451 Convention Center Drive
    Tinley Park, IL 60477 

     

  • 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 your 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 is 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.

    • 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.

  • 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.
    • Grad Flowers will be making  variety 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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    • Pay any outstanding financial obligations to GSU.
    • 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.
      • If you have a financial balance with GSU, you will not be able to pick-up your cap and gown.
      • Participants must be in good-financial standing in order to participate in Commencement
      • 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 Pick-Up

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    Cap and Gown Pick-Up

    Students who ordered 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. 

     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?
      You will need to check 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?
      You should start with your academic advisor.  

    Commencement FAQ's

    1. When does Commencement begin?
      In recent years, GSU has held two ceremonies at 10 am and 5 pm.
        
    2. How will I know which ceremony I will attend?
      This will be announced by mid-March depending on the number of participants. Participants are grouped by Colleges. 
        
    3. How many tickets will I receive?
      Depending on the number of participants, graduates usually receive four tickets per ceremony for family and guests. 
        
    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 about three 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 - Regalia Information

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      ATTIRE INFORMATION

      The university will no longer provide employees with rented academic regalia. 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.

      Orders must be placed by Sunday, April 2, 2017.

      Online rental and custom orders ordered via the website or customer service line will be personally delivered by a commencement staff member to your office or to your college’s office when they arrive.
       
      Rental or purchase of regalia from Oak Hall Cap and Gown are at your own expense.

      Rental Pricing:

      Bachelor cap/gown/tassel/hood - $23.20

      Master cap/gown/tassel/hood - $24.60

      Optional rental tam - $20.60

      Doctor tam/gown/tassel/hood - $47.90

      University of Chicago Doctoral Rental - $49.70

       If you would like to purchase regalia, please contact Oak Hall’s Customer Service between the hours of 7:30am and 6pm central time at 800-223-0429.

      Click here for Oak Hall's website.

      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

    • Staff Volunteer Information

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    • 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.