May Graduate Commencement

A Nursing doctoral student receives her graduate hood from her academic advisor during the commencement ceremony.

Congratulations as you near the completion of your master's, specialist, or doctoral degree!  Or, if you are a family member or friend of a graduation candidate, thank you for supporting them throughout their graduate program.  The information below is for graduation candidates, their guests, and others who may be interested in watching the ceremony remotely.  This information may be updated periodically, and a change log is included at the end of this page.

Change: Due to anticipated rain and thunderstorms this evening, students will line up on the first floor of the Centennial Center.  Please follow the signs on the first floor entrances.  Guests will continue to use the main entrances.  The post-ceremony reception has also been moved indoors.

Also, due to staffing issues, Russell Auditorium will not be available as an overflow site.  Overflow seating is available in the Student Activities Building Magnolia Ballroom.

Date
Friday, May 6, 2022

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

Time
The ceremony processional will begin promptly at 6:45 p.m., with the ceremony beginning at 7:00 p.m.  Doors will open for guests at 5:00 p.m.  

Student Check-In and Line-Up
Candidates should check at the student line up area behind the Centennial Center no later than 6:00 p.m. 

Family and guests may not accompany their student in the line-up area.

Participants
Graduate students who have submitted a Spring or Summer 2022 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 2022 semester are invited to participate. 

Graduation applications were due Friday, September 17, 2021. Late applications will be accepted; however, students must submit their application to the Registrar’s Office by Thursday, March 31, for inclusion in the commencement program. Even if a student’s name is not included in the commencement program, it will be read when the student crosses the stage.

Students who require summer coursework must register or wait list needed courses by Friday, March 18, or email the Registrar’s Office with their plans to register for their remaining requirements. Students not registered for needed summer courses may be removed from 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.

COVID Considerations
The University System of Georgia and Georgia College returned to normal operations for the Fall 2021 semester.  As such, this will be a traditional ceremony.  Masks are optional.  There will be no immunization or temperature checks prior to entry.  Degree candidates who do not feel comfortable participating in a traditional ceremony at this time may choose to participate in a ceremony during a later semester by contacting the Registrar’s Office. 

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

Tickets were distributed electronically on April 25.  Graduation candidates received information at their bobcats email address and are responsible for retrieving and distributing their tickets to their guests.  We have also posted detailed instructions for downloading tickets on our website.

Additional tickets will not be issued by any campus office. If a candidate desires additional tickets, they are encouraged to reach out to friends and classmates in the graduating class who do not plan to attend the ceremony or who are not using all of their tickets.  While candidates may donate tickets to or accept tickets from another graduating student, buying or selling commencement tickets is a violation of the Student Conduct Code.  

Guests without tickets may view the ceremony on a video feed at our overflow locations in Russell Auditorium or the Student Activities Center Magnolia Ballroom, or they may watch the ceremony online.  

Ceremony Guest Seating
All guests must enter the Centennial Center through the main entrance. Tickets are required for entry.

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.  Additional information for individuals with disabilities is included below.

Guests are asked to remain at their seats for the entire ceremony.  

Guests without tickets may view the ceremony on a live feed at Russell Auditorium or the Student Activity Center Magnolia Ballroom.  Families may find the Magnolia Ballroom to be more accommodating to the needs of young children.  

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 homepage.

Announcements
Balfour is Georgia College's authorized vendor. Additional information is available from Barnes & Noble at Georgia College.

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 piping, tam, and a black, apricot, or gold tassel.  Doctoral robes have full, gathered  sleeves and three velvet bars on each in either apricot or black.

Master’s and specialist candidates are required to wear a master's gown, graduate hood with the appropriate color piping, cap, and black tassel.  Master's and specialist owns have rectangular extensions on the sleeves.  Georgia College does not distinguish between master’s and specialist robes and hoods. 

Students will not be allowed to participate in the ceremony if they are not attired appropriately.

Regalia will be available for online purchase through Oak Hall beginning in March. Students have two options for purchasing. Regalia may be ordered online and delivered to the student’s address. To ensure delivery prior to the ceremony, the last date for online orders is April 14.  For students who prefer not to order online, regalia will be available for purchase beginning April 7 at Barnes & Noble at Georgia College’s Books and Brew Location in the Ina Dillard Russell Library, 221 N. Clarke St. 

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 the correct gown for their degree.

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

Cap Decorating
Master’s and specialist students are encouraged to 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 as flat to the mortar board as possible to prevent obstructing the view of others or interfering with the hooding 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. 

The tam worn by doctoral students should not be decorated.

Other Attire – Particularly Shoes!
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, using ramped walkways, and moving at a fairly quick pace.  Line-up will be outdoors, so please also dress appropriately for the weather.

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
Due to high traffic on the day of the event, guests are encouraged to park in either the Irwin Street lot (Lot # 28) or the Depot lot (Lot # 2) and utilize a shuttle for transportation to the event.  The parking lot address is 130 N. Irwin Street.  Shuttles will run every five minutes.  Centennial Center parking lot spaces are limited and usually fill up an hour prior the event start time.  Shuttles will be running two hours prior the event start and one hour after the event ends. 

ADA parking will be available in front of the Centennial Center lot, entering through the N. Clark Street/Washington St. entrance.  Graduates can be dropped off at the student line-up area behind the Centennial Center. 

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

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

The ramp accessible entrance is located on the right side of the main 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.  Only one individual in your party may remain with the person requiring 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 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:

  • A clear bag policy will be in effect.
  • 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, flags, poles, banners, or balloons that may obstruct the view of other guests
  • No 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 their phone or camera.  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, 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 to the Registrar’s Office by March 31, 2022, will have their names included in the commencement program. 

During the ceremony, student names will be read and projected on 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, MAcc, MEd, 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 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' names and contact information will be sent in an email to each graduation candidate approximately 7-10 days before the ceremony.  Graduation candidates will also have the opportunity to say their name for 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.  Additional information – including line-up and parking information – will be sent to faculty in late April.

Faculty Marshals and Readers
With three ceremonies, we are always appreciative to our faculty who serve as marshals and readers for each event.  If you are interested in participating with either group, please contact Kay Anderson at kay.anderson@gcsu.edu.

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 hired 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.

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.  Guests should plan to meet their students at the reception on the Centennial Lawn following the ceremony.

Reception
All degree candidates and their guests are invited to join the Georgia College faculty, staff, and administration for a reception on the Centennial Lawn immediately following the ceremony. 

Share Your Memories
Tag your tweets and Instagram photos with #GCSU22 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. May 2022 graduates’ diplomas will be mailed in May.  August 2022 graduates’ diplomas will be mailed in August. Students who complete their last requirement in any summer term (including May term) are considered August graduates.   

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

Posted: March 23, 2022
Updated: April 25, 2022 with ticket download information