Winter Commencement

Congratulations to our December 2023 degree candidates!  We look forward to celebrating with you and your guests.

Commencement stage during the December 2021 ceremony.  Stage is decorated with poinsettias for the holiday season.


Saturday, December 16, 2023


The ceremony will begin promptly at 1:00 p.m.  Doors will open for guests at 11:00 a.m.  Tickets are required.  


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

Student Check-In and Line-Up

All degree candidates must check in on the first floor of the Centennial Center no later than 12 noon.  Family and guests may not accompany their student in this area.  

A security search will be conducted as each graduate enters the Centennial Center.  Students may not bring personal items, such as purses or bags, into the line-up area, but they may bring a phone, camera, or necessary medical equipment.  Water will be provided for students.


The December commencement ceremony is a combined graduate and undergraduate ceremony.  Students who have submitted a December 2023 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 2023 semester are invited to participate. Graduation applications were due Friday, September 15, 2023.  Late applications will be accepted; however, students must submit their application by Wednesday, November 1, 2023, to guarantee ensure inclusion in the commencement program.

Graduates from prior terms who were not able to attend their commencement ceremony may also choose to participate in this event.  These students are asked to complete the request to participate in a later commencement ceremony form by Wednesday, November 1, 2023, to ensure inclusion in the commencement program.

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.


Tickets are required for the ceremony.  Each degree candidate will be issued 8 electronic tickets.  Children under the age of two who sit on an adult's lap for the ceremony do not need a ticket.

Graduation candidates received a ticket download email at their bobcats email address on Friday, December 8.  Students should follow the directions provided in that email to claim their tickets and to distribute them to their guests.  To help us best plan for the number of visitors on campus, please claim your tickets by Thursday, December 14.

Contingent on unclaimed tickets and anticipated space in the Centennial Center, a limited number of stand-by tickets will be available on the morning of the ceremony beginning at 11:00 AM.  Individuals using stand-by tickets may enter the Centennial Center beginning at 12:45 PM.  Individuals with tickets may not hold or reserve seats for stand-by guests.

Additional advance 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 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 and may result in the student's exclusion from the ceremony. 


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, beginning two hours prior the event start and ending 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. 

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

Ceremony Guest Seating

All guests must enter the Centennial Center through the main entrance on the upper-floor of the building.  A security check will be conducted as guests enter the building.  Please see the list of prohibited items listed below.

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. 

Live Internet Viewing

The commencement ceremony will be broadcast live over the Internet via web cast. You may view the ceremony from the GCSU's graduation web page.


Balfour is Georgia College & State University'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.


In order to participate in commencement, master's and specialist students are required to wear a master's gown, graduate hood with the appropriate color piping, cap and black tassel; there is no difference in Georgia College's master's and specialist regalia.  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.  Regalia may be ordered online through Sunday, November 12, 2023; these orders will be shipped to the student's home address. Students who prefer to order in person may do so beginning Monday, October 30, at the Barnes & Noble at Georgia College Books and Brew location (Ina Dillard Russell Library, 221 N. Clarke St.) between 9:00 am and 2:00 pm Monday - Thursday and 9:00 am - 1:00 pm Fridays.   

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

Latin Honors Collars

Undergraduate students whose institutional, overall, and Regents’ institutional grade point averages are all currently at or above a 3.60 will be recognized as potential Latin honors recipients in the commencement program and will wear a blue collar stole instead of a green collar stole during the ceremony.  The Registrar's Office will notify these students of their standing at the end of October. Green collars are automatically shipped with all regalia orders, and they may be exchanged for a blue collar at Barnes & Noble at Georgia College’s Books and Brew Location in the Ina Dillard Russell Library, 221 N. Clarke St.  This location is open Monday-Thursday from 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM and Friday from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM. 

A student’s final Latin honors status is not determined until after all grades are received and their degree is awarded.  As a result, students not recognized during the ceremony may later be awarded Latin honors, and students recognized as potential honors graduates may no longer be eligible when their degree is awarded.

Other 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 in advance of the ceremony.  

Other 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 up and down ramped walkways, sometimes at a fairly quick pace.  The temperature in the student line-up area can also be quite warm once all students arrive.  Please plan for this when you select your attire for the day.

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.

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 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 so we can be prepared to best assist you. 

Prohibited Items

Although GCSU does not anticipate any security problems during commencement, we are constantly monitoring the events to protect the safety and security of our guests. A bag check will be conducted at the entrance prior to entering the Centennial Center.  Prohibited items must be returned to the owner’s car or discarded.  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 wrapped packages will be permitted in the Centennial Center.  All gift bags are subject to search.
  • 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 GCSU 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.

GCSU 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 GCSU  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 GCSU 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.  

Guests will not be allowed in the student seating area at any time.

Commencement Program

Students whose graduation applications were received in the Registrar's Office by Wednesday, November 1, 2023, 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 Wednesday, November 1.

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 see your commencement reader when you receive your name card during line-up and provide the correct pronunciation of your name.  You will also have the opportunity to provide a phonetic spelling of your name when you claim your tickets.

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.  To ensure adequate seating and parking, faculty who plan to participate will be asked to confirm their participation using a survey link distributed the week prior to the ceremony.  No name or other information is required on the survey; its purpose is to obtain a count of participating faculty so we are better prepared for the event.  Faculty will also obtain their parking pass for the event after completing the survey.

Faculty should arrive no later than 12:15 PM and enter the Centennial Center parking area from the Franklin Street entrance.  Faculty will park in a designated faculty area behind the Centennial Center by the swimming pool.  Faculty will only be able to enter the Centennial Center using the first-floor entrance by the swimming pool.

Faculty with mobility concerns should either contact the Registrar in advance or alert one of the faculty marshals when they arrive to gain earlier access to the Centennial Center or other accommodations. 


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 before, during, or after 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.


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.


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 #GCSU23 and to share your favorite Georgia College experiences and your commencement photos.


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.  Diplomas will be mailed by the end of January.

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: 478-445-8535

Posted: September 12, 2023
Update: October 24, 2023.  Dates for regalia orders, ticket information, and stand-by ticket information added.
Update: December 8, 2023.  Ticket download information, standby ticket information, and student check-in inforamtion updated.