December Commencement

Date
Saturday, December 11, 2021

Location
Georgia College Centennial Center
251 S. Clark Street
Milledgeville, GA 31061
Campus Map

Time
The ceremony processional will begin promptly at 12:45 p.m., with the ceremony beginning at 1:00 p.m.  Doors will open for guests at 11:00 a.m.

Bachelor’s, master’s, and specialist degree candidates must check in at the student line up area no later than 12 noon. Doctoral candidates and their advisors must be present no later than 11:45 a.m. in order to practice for the ceremony. 

Participants
The December commencement ceremony is a combined graduate and undergraduate ceremony.  Students who have submitted a December 2021 graduation application and who have been verified by the Registrar’s Office as on track to complete all degree requirements by the end of the Fall 2021 semester are invited to participate. Graduation applications were due Friday, September 17, 2021.  Late applications will be accepted; however, students must submit their application by Friday, November 12, 2021, for their name to be included in the commencement program.

May 2020, August 2020, December 2020, May 2021, and August 2021 graduates who were not able to attend a traditional commencement ceremony may also choose to participate in this event.  Those students are asked to complete the request to participate in a later commencement ceremony form by Friday, November 12, 2021.

Because final grades for the Fall semester are not received until after commencement, participation in the ceremony does not guarantee that all degree requirements have been completed or that the student will graduate.

COVID Considerations
As part of the University System of Georgia and Georgia College's return to normal operations for the Fall 2021 semester, this will be a traditional ceremony.  Faculty and degree recipient seats will be spaced to provide some physical distancing.  Degree candidates who do not feel comfortable participating in a traditional ceremony at this time may choose to participate in a later commencement ceremony.  To do so, graduates should submit the request to participate in a later commencement ceremony form to the Registrar's Office using their Unify login.

Tickets
Tickets are required for the ceremony.  Each degree candidate will be issued up to 6 tickets.  Children under the age of two who can sit on an adult's lap for the ceremony do not need a ticket. 

Tickets will be distributed in November.  Distribution information will be sent to graduation candidates' bobcats email address.  Students are responsible for acting on this email by the deadline provided and for distributing their tickets to their guests.  Students and guests are reminded that buying or selling commencement tickets is a violation of the Student Conduct Code, but unused tickets may be given to other students and families.   

Seating in the Centennial Center is general seating; both stadium and bleacher seats are available.  All seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.  All building occupancy restrictions will be enforced.  Individuals requiring handicapped accessible seating are encouraged to arrive early, as space for individuals using wheelchairs and individuals with mobility issues is limited.  Guests are asked to remain at their seats for the entire ceremony.   

Guests without tickets may view the ceremony on a live feed at the Student Activity Center Magnolia Ballroom.  We encourage families with young children to use this area.  Individuals with mobility or hearing issues may also find this location preferable to the Centennial Center. 

Live Internet Viewing
The commencement ceremony will be broadcast live over the Internet via web cast. You may view the ceremony from the Georgia College graduation web page.

Announcements
Balfour is Georgia College's authorized vendor for announcements. Students will receive ordering information at their bobcats email address.  Additional information is available from Barnes & Noble at Georgia College.

Regalia
In order to participate in commencement, doctoral students are required to wear a doctoral gown, graduate hood with the appropriate color piping, cap and tassel.  Graduate students are required to wear a master's gown, graduate hood with the appropriate color piping, cap and black tassel. Undergraduate students are required to wear a bachelor's gown, green collar stole (or a blue collar stole if they are receiving Latin honors), cap and black tassel. Students will not be allowed to participate in the ceremony if they are not attired appropriately.

Students will order regalia from Barnes & Noble at Georgia College.  Students received ordering information at their bobcats email address on October 20.  Regalia can be shipped to the bookstore for pickup free of change or shipped to another location for an additional fee.  The last day to order regalia online is November 20.  After this date, students should contact the bookstore directly to determine if regalia can be ordered in time for the ceremony.  Students may also borrow all or part of their regalia from recent GC graduates rather than purchasing their own items.

U.S. military personnel may wear appropriate military dress uniforms in lieu of regalia.  Regalia should not be worn over military uniform.  

Attire
Proper attire is required of all students participating in the ceremony.  We strongly encourage low-heel shoes during the ceremony, as degree candidates will be walking through grass, up and down ramped walkways, and at a fairly quick pace.  Line-up will likely be under tents outdoors, so please dress appropriately for the weather. 

Cords, Stoles, and Medallions
Undergraduate students may wear cords, stoles, or medallions that signify their participation in various honor or co-curricular organizations, affiliation with certain identity groups, or academic achievement.  All cords, stoles, and tassels should be worn under the green or blue collar stole that is a part of all baccalaureate students' regalia.  

Graduate students traditionally do not wear cords, stoles, or medallions that were received as an undergraduate, nor do they receive cords or stoles at the graduate level.  The graduate hood represents the significant accomplishment of completing a master's, specialist, or doctoral degree.  Graduate students who are members of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi may wear the medal they received at induction with their graduate regalia.  

Cap Decorating
Bachelor's, master's, and specialist students are encouraged to decorate their cap.  Inspirational messages, celebrations of achievement, university pride, and expressions of gratitude are particularly appropriate.  Decorations should be limited to the top surface of the cap and should lay flat to the mortar board to prevent obstructing the view of others.  For master's and specialist students, the decoration also must not interfere with the hooding portion of the ceremony.  Decorations should be consistent with Georgia College’s Code of Conduct and reflect our commitment to the 3Rs.  The university reserves the right to require graduates to change their cap if it is deemed inappropriate.  If you have questions about whether or not your decoration is appropriate, you may email a picture of your cap to registrar@gcsu.edu in advance of the ceremony.  

Doctoral tams should not be decorated.

Pre-Ceremony Photos on Campus
We hope you will take advantage of the time between regalia pick-up and commencement to take pictures on our beautiful Milledgeville campus.  As you do, please be respectful and environmentally conscious by not leaving confetti, glitter, or other debris behind after your photo shoot.

Parking
Guests may park in the Centennial Center lot.  Centennial Center parking spaces are limited and may fill prior the event start time. 

Overflow parking will be located in the Irwin Street lot (Lot # 28) or the Depot lot (Lot # 2), and a shuttle will provide for transportation to the event.  Shuttles will run every five minutes.  Shuttles will run two hours prior the event start and one hour after the event ends. 

ADA parking will be available in the front of the Centennial Center lot, entering through the N. Clark Street/Washington St. entrance.  Graduates can be dropped off at the back of Centennial, entering through the N. Clarke St./Washington St. entrance.  

For any parking or shuttle questions, please call the Parking and Transportation office at 478-445-7433.

Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities
Anyone requiring handicap assistance may park in the designated parking area in the front of the Centennial Center parking lot. Families may also drop off guests with disabilities at the front entrance of the Centennial Center.  Georgia College will provide assistance with golf carts and ADA accessible shuttles from each of the parking lots.

The ramp accessible entrance is located on the right side of the front entrance, near the tennis courts.  Once inside, there will be two rows of handicapped seating available on both sides of the seating area.  There are twelve wheelchair accessible spaces along the top row of seating.  We ask that one individual in your party remain with the person requiring accessible seating. In order to accommodate all who require accessible seating, all other members in your party will need to sit in the general seating areas. 

A sign language interpreter will be available and signing from the left side of the stage; reserved seating for individuals who use an interpreter will be available directly in front of this area. 

If you or your guests require special assistance or use a sign language interpreter, please notify Disability Services at 478-445-5931 or by e-mail at disability@gcsu.edu so we can be prepared to best assist you.

Prohibited Items
Although Georgia College does not anticipate any security problems during commencement, we are constantly monitoring the events to protect the safety and security of our guests. All who enter the Centennial Center for commencement are subject to search, as are all carried items. Students and their guests attending the ceremony are asked to leave behind certain items that are prohibited because of security reasons:

  • No large bags, back packs, large purses or items larger than 12 x 12, except for items pertaining to medical conditions or child care
  • No firearms, knives, explosives or other weapons
  • No artificial noise makers, air horns or megaphones
  • No large signs or flags that may obstruct views, poles, banners, balloons or laser pointers
  • No food or drinks
  • No drones or any unmanned flying vehicles allowed in the commencement venue or anywhere on the GC campus during commencement weekend without prior approval from GC Public Safety and in coordination with University Communications 
  • No animals, other than service animals as outlined by the U.S. Department of Justice.  Please refer to the ADA for common questions relating to service animals.  Please note that emotional support, therapy, comfort, or companion animals are not considered service animals under the ADA.

In addition, graduates should not bring any personal items, like drinks, purses, bags, or umbrellas, to the ceremony.  Students may bring a small camera or cell phone.  Water will be provided for graduation candidates in the line-up area.

GC Public Safety has the authority to prohibit any other items deemed to be a security risk. Prohibited items must be returned to the owner’s car or discarded, and any unlawful items are subject to confiscation.

Tobacco-Free Campus
Guests also are reminded that all facilities of Georgia College are tobacco, electronic cigarette and vaping device-free. The use of all tobacco products including but not limited to cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and smokeless tobacco, electronic cigarettes and devices that simulate the use of tobacco are prohibited anywhere on GC grounds.

Student Seating Arrangement
A map of the student seating arrangement will be posted inside the main doors of the Centennial Center.  Guests may sit on either side of the stage.  

Commencement Program
Students who submitted their graduation application by Friday, November 12, will have their name included in the commencement program. Students who have requested a directory restriction will not have their names printed in the program unless the Registrar’s Office receives the student's written permission before Friday, November 12.

During the ceremony, student names will be read and projected onto the video screens in the order listed in the commencement program.  The names of individuals not in attendance will not be read.

Lineup and Name Cards
Candidates will be lined up alphabetically by college within the degree designation they are receiving.  

Each student will be given a name card at check-in.  Students will line-up in numerical sequence as indicated on the name card.  In order to ensure your proper place in line, please be on time. 

Students will keep the name card with them during the ceremony and bring it with them when they approach the stage.  They will show it to the staff member at the end of the stage ramp so the card can be scanned, and then they will give the card to the reader before they cross the stage.  Students should begin to cross the stage as soon as their name is read. 

Name Pronunciation
If your name is routinely mispronounced, please contact your commencement reader and provide the correct pronunciation of your name.  Readers will be announced in November.

Graduation candidates will also have the opportunity to meet their reader during line-up prior to the ceremony.

Faculty Participation, Line Up, and Processional
We encourage members of the faculty to join us for this important celebration and for the reception following the ceremony.  This term, to ensure adequate, spaced seating, faculty who plan to participate will be asked to notify the Registrar's Office before the event using a short, online confirmation form.  Line up will be outside by the northwest (swimming pool) corner of the Centennial Center to avoid crowded hallways. 

Photographs
Degree candidates will be photographed by professional photographers as they cross the stage. GradImages, our graduation photographer, will provide proofs to each student at his or her bobcats email address approximately one week after the ceremony.

Guests will not be allowed on the Centennial Center floor to take pictures at any point during the ceremony. 

Following commencement, GradImages photographers will be circulating outside the commencement venue to capture additional candid photographs of our graduates with their loved ones. The GradImages staff will be wearing red vests, so they’ll be highly visible and easy to locate.

Media Representatives
Members of the media should contact Cindy O’Donnell in University Communications to obtain a press pass for the event.

Recessional
The ceremony is not complete until the platform party, faculty, and students recess.  Guests are asked to remain standing at their seats until the recessional has ended.

Reception
Degree candidates should plan to meet their guests at the outdoor reception with Georgia College faculty, staff, and administration immediately following the ceremony. 

Share Your Memories
Tag your tweets and Instagram photos with #GCSU21 and to share your favorite Georgia College experiences and your commencement photos.

Diplomas
Participating in the commencement ceremony does not guarantee that all degree requirements have been completed or that the student has graduated.  Diplomas will be mailed to the address the student has provided on his or her graduation application after the Registrar has received final grades and verified that all degree requirements were satisfied by the last day of the semester in which the degree is to be awarded.  This process normally takes 1-2 weeks following the end of the term. 

Diploma Frames
Church Hill Classics is Georgia College’s authorized vendor for diploma frames.  Students may order online, or obtain more information from Barnes & Noble at Georgia College.

Additional Questions
Please contact us at 478-445-6286 or registrar@gcsu.edu.