May Graduate Commencement

In keeping with the CDC guidelines regarding crowds and social distancing, we have had to postpone our May commencement ceremonies. We are actively exploring options to offer virtual ceremonies on May 1 & 2, and we are committed to providing traditional ceremonies for the Class of 2020 as soon as the CDC and DPH indicate that it is safe to do so in a large event environment.  Please see Dr. Dorman's March 19th letter to students for more information.

Please continue to reserve Friday, May 1, 2020, on your calendar.  We hope to offer a virtual commencement ceremony that evening.  A new date for the traditional ceremony will be announced after the CDC and DPH lift current restrictions on social gatherings.  

The following information pertains to the traditional ceremony and will be updated as more information becomes available and as additional decisions are made.  

 

Location

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

 

Overflow Location

Georgia College Student Activity Center
Magnolia Ballroom
231 W. Hancock St
Milledgeville, GA 31061
Campus Map

 

Time

The ceremony processional will begin promptly at 6:45 p.m.  Candidates should check in at the first-floor student line up area no later than 6:00 p.m.  Centennial Center doors will open for guests with tickets at 5:00 p.m.  We ask all guests to use the Centennial Center main entrance (next to the tennis courts) and to be seated before the processional begins.  Doors will also open at the overflow location at 5:00 p.m.

 

Tickets

Tickets are required for the graduate commencement 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 electronically.  Degree candidates will receive information about obtaining their tickets a month prior to the ceremony via their 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. 

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 page.  

 

Participants

Students who have submitted a Spring or Summer 2020 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 Summer 2020 semester are invited to participate.  Students who require summer coursework must be registered for needed courses by Friday, April 9 or they may not be included in the commencement program. 

Because final grades for the Spring and Summer semesters 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.

 

Announcements

Balfour is Georgia College's authorized vendor for commencement announcements. Ordering information is available on the Auxiliary Services webpage.

 

Regalia

In order to participate in commencement, Doctor of Nursing Practice students are required to wear a black doctoral robe, a doctoral hood with apricot or black piping, a tam, and a black, apricot, or gold tassel.  Master’s and specialist candidates are required to wear a master's gown, graduate hood with the appropriate color piping, a cap, and a black tassel.  Students will not be allowed to participate in the ceremony if they are not attired appropriately.

Regalia is available for online purchase through Oak Hall; there is a direct link to Oak Hall on the Auxiliary Services webpage.  The deadline for orders was originally Thursday, April 16, but it will be extended as a result of changes in the event date.  Orders will be assessed a $15.95 shipping and handling fee and will be shipped directly to the candidate's address. Ship-to-store orders completed earlier in the semester will be available at Barnes & Noble at Georgia College.  Please wait to receive instructions from the bookstore before picking up your regalia; like many GC offices, the bookstore will be conducting business by phone or electronic means until restrictions are lifted.

Students may also borrow all or part of their regalia from recent GC graduates rather than purchasing their own items.  If borrowing attire, students need to ensure that their hood bears the appropriate color for their discipline and that they wear a master’s gown, which has long, rectangular extensions on the sleeves. 

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

 

Cords, Stoles, and Medallions

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

Master’s and specialist students may decorate their cap.  Inspirational messages, celebrations of achievement, and expressions of gratitude are particularly appropriate.  Decorations should be limited to the top surface of the cap and should lay flat on the mortar board to prevent obstructing the view of others or interfering with the hooding ceremony.  Decorations must be consistent with Georgia College’s Code of Conduct.  The university reserves the right to require graduates to change their cap if it is deemed inappropriate. 

The tam worn by doctoral students should not be decorated.

 

Pre-Ceremony Photos on Campus

We hope you will take advantage of the time before 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.

 

Personal Attire

Proper attire is required of all students participating in the ceremony.  Please wear dark shoes; low heels are strongly encouraged.

 

Parking

Campus and parking maps are available online.

Onsite parking options are located in the Centennial Center (#1), Foundation Hall (#4), and Depot South (#43) parking lots.  Please note that parking in these three lots is limited and may fill up prior to the ceremony start time.  Additional parking within walking distance of the Centennial Center is available in the Depot West (#2), Adams (#3), Sanford (#5), and Mayfair (#8) lots.

Park-n-Ride shuttle options can be found at the shuttle stops located at or near the Irwin St. (#28), Peabody (#12), Liberty St. (#44), and West Campus Village 500/600 (#36) lots.  Park-n-Ride shuttle services for the ceremony begin when the doors open and conclude an hour after the ceremony ends.  An interactive graduation parking and shuttle map showing the locations of all onsite parking, nearby parking, and Park-n-Ride options can be found here.  To download our live shuttle map app and track the special Commencement route buses in real-time, visit www.TransLocRider.com.

Graduates may be dropped off at the back of the Centennial Center, accessible via the Franklin St. entrance to the parking lot.  

Parking for individuals with disabilities is available in the designated section of the Centennial Center lot closest to the front entrance of the Centennial Center and can be accessed via the Clarke St. entrance to the lot.  Families may also drop off guests with disabilities at the front entrance of the Centennial Center before parking.  Georgia College will provide assistance with golf carts inside the Centennial Center lot and shuttles equipped with wheelchair lifts from each of the Park-n-Ride locations.

Questions about parking and shuttle services should be directed to Parking and Transportation Services 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 the Student Disability Resource Center at 478-445-5931 or by e-mail at disability@gcsu.edu so we can best accommodate your needs.

 

Prohibited Items

Although GC 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.  Clear bags are preferred.
  • 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 outside 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 purses or bags, 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, March 27, 2020, 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, March 27.

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 (MA, MED, MBA, etc).  

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 and hand it to the scanner at the end of the stage ramp and then to the reader before they cross the stage. Students should begin to cross the stage as soon as their name is read.

 

Name Pronunciation

Graduation candidates will receive an email approximately two weeks before the ceremony that includes the name of the faculty member who will read their name as they cross the stage.  If you have a name that is routinely mispronounced, please contact your commencement reader at that time and provide the correct pronunciation of your name.  You will also have an opportunity to say your name for your reader prior to the ceremony.

 

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 and free-lance photographers/videographers will not be allowed on the Centennial Center floor to take pictures 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 will be highly visible and easy to locate.

 

Video

Video of the ceremony will be posted to Georgia College's Vimeo page.

 

Media Representatives

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

 

Recessional

Guests are asked to remain at their seats while the platform party, faculty, and students recess.  

 

Reception

Degree candidates should plan to meet their guests at the reception with Georgia College faculty, staff, and administration immediately following the ceremony.  The reception will be held on the Centennial Lawn.

 

Share Your Memories

Tag your tweets and Instagram photos with #GCSU20 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.

 

Contact Information

Registrar's Office
Georgia College
Parks Hall 107, Campus Box 069
Milledgeville, GA 31061
Office: 478-445-6286
Fax: 478-445-1914
Email: registrar@gcsu.edu

 

Last Update:  March 19, 2020