Information About Commencement

Valparaiso University Athletics-Recreation Center

Monday, May 18, 2015, 7 p.m.
Athletics-Recreation Center (ARC) at Valparaiso University
1009 Union Street

All candidates MUST be in their place with their degree group by 5:45 p.m.

Commencement live stream will begin at 7 p.m. on May 18, 2015.

Join us for a photo with Chancellor Dworkin under our Running Arch sculpture!
Wednesday, April xx, 12-12:30 p.m.

We have scheduled the photo to accommodate as many of you as possible. Please wear your cap and gown! If you come in via the North Entrance, soon you will see a giant golden tassel hanging from the top of the Running Arch sculpture. Next time you look at it, you’ll see how much it resembles a graduation cap. This photo will be used for a host of publicity purposes, and it will be put up on our website so you can have a fond memento of PNC. We promise to make this as quick as possible!

Graduation Application

Students who plan to graduate in the spring should apply for graduation by the end of February. The application can be found at using the Student Banner tab. It is located under Student Shortcuts.

Instructions for Participants

The Athletics-Recreation Center (ARC) will be open at 5:30 p.m. Once the academic procession begins at 7 p.m., no guests will be seated until the procession is concluded, so urge your family and friends to be in their seats early. Also, please ask your guests to remain in their seats until the conclusion of the ceremony. In deference to other guests, persons with small children are asked to take them out of the ARC if they begin to create a disturbance.


If you have questions about your eligibility as a Commencement candidate, you should contact the Office of the Registrar. If you fail to qualify for your degree due to a failing or incomplete grade, it may be necessary for you to register for the summer session or fall semester in order to complete your degree requirements. You may still participate in Commencement; however, an empty diploma cover will be presented to you in lieu of your diploma.

Cap & Gown Ordering Information

A cap and gown rental order form can be accessed here. You should complete this on-line form by March xx, 2015. After that date, orders will be taken in the bookstore and will be charged a $10.00 late fee. If the bookstore does not receive your order form, it will be assumed that you do not plan to attend Commencement. Cap & gowns are available for pick up at the bookstore April xx,2015.

Commencement Announcements

Commencement announcements may be ordered at Herff Jones to send to family and friends. The announcements will be shipped to your home or business address. Please allow 2 weeks for printing and 1 week for delivery when placing orders. The announcement web site will remain open until the day of graduation.

Class Rings

Class rings may be ordered at Balfour or by calling Balfour at 1-866-225-3687. Rings may also be ordered at the Purdue North Central Bookstore located in LSF001. Please allow 4-6 weeks production time (excluding shipping) for delivery. Sample rings may be viewed at the bookstore along with determining your ring size. Class rings may be ordered any time.

School Songs

Candidates are encouraged to learn the Purdue University official songs that are sung at Commencement. The music and words to “Hail Purdue” and the “Purdue Hymn” are available here.


Both Purdue North Central and Valparaiso University police will direct individuals to parking. There is handicapped parking available by the ARC. In addition, space will be reserved in front of the ARC to allow cars to drop off those who have difficulty walking. A shuttle service will also be provided between the parking lots and the ARC.

Persons with Physical or Hearing Impairments

Candidates having guests with physical or hearing restrictions that require special consideration should contact the Office of the Registrar as soon as possible to make special arrangements. Candidates who have physical or hearing disabilities that require special consideration also should contact the Office of the Registrar as soon as possible to make appropriate arrangements.


Camera and videotape equipment are allowed. However, we ask that your guests not create a distraction for other guests with your use of this equipment. An independent professional photographer will be taking pictures of each graduate as they receive their diploma. The studio will be in contact with you soon after the ceremony to show you a proof and provide instructions on ordering prints if you wish to have them.

Academic Attire

All candidates who participate in the Commencement exercises must be in the appropriate academic attire. For associate degree candidates, academic attire is a dark gray, full-sleeved gown and cap. For baccalaureate degree candidates it is a black baccalaureate gown and cap. For master’s degree candidates, it is a full-sleeved, black master’s gown and cap. An appropriate master’s hood will also be worn. When you pick up your academic attire at the campus bookstore, examine it immediately to be sure that you have the correct gown, cap, hood (if appropriate), and proper color tassel for the cap. Caps and gowns will be available in the bookstore after the middle of April. Gowns must be returned immediately following the ceremony. Representatives from the gown company will be collecting gowns at the Harre Union only. Students need to return gowns at the Harre Union to avoid a late fee.

All candidates participating in the commencement exercises wear a tassel on the cap, the color of which indicates the school of the University from which they are to receive their degrees. The proper tassel colors are as follows:

Graduate School – Black
Education – Light Blue
Liberal Arts – White
Nursing – Apricot
Science – Golden Yellow
Technology – Red
Business – Olive
Engineering – Orange

The tassel for the cap, which you may keep, is included with the rental of the cap and gown. Be sure to indicate the correct degree on the order form.

Order of Exercises

The order of exercises will be as follows:

Commencement Procession
National Anthem
Introduction of Platform Party and Honored Guests
Chancellor’s Address to Candidates
Singing of the “Purdue Hymn”
Conferring of Degrees
Welcome of Class into the Purdue Alumni Association
Student Response
Singing of “Hail Purdue”
Commencement Recessional

(Women are not required to remove the cap at any time during the exercises)

Suggestions for Dress for Candidates

Candidates for degrees are encouraged to wear dark clothing and shoes. Corsages should not be worn. The cap (mortarboard) should be worn horizontally with the point directly in the center front and the tassel on the right.


The graduates are urged to arrive at the ceremony already dressed in their academic attire. Restrooms are located on both floors of the ARC.

Honor Cords

University honor cords will be distributed to those graduates who will be graduating “with distinction” or “with highest distinction.”

The Commencement Exercise Procession

All candidates MUST be in their place with their degree group by 5:45 p.m. The student processional line will form in the Hilltop Gymnasium in the ARC. No candidates maybe added to the procession once it begins to form at 5:45 p.m. Candidates will be lined up in the following order: Master’s candidates, baccalaureate candidates and associate candidates.

Remember: The processional forms promptly at 5:45 p.m.

Seating for Candidates at the ARC

All degree candidates will be seated on the main floor of the ARC. Family and friends will be seated in the remainder of the ARC both on the floor and upper bleacher area.

Conferring of Degrees

All degrees will be awarded on the center platform. Candidates for the master’s degree will be hooded prior to the processional. Marshals will usher the candidates to the front for conferral of degrees. As soon as the first row of graduates has cleared their seats, the second row of graduates will rise and follow, and so on. Candidates will line up to the right of the platform area, wait until the public orator calls their name, ascend the ramp for diploma presentation, descend the ramp on the left side of the platform and return to their seats. They are to remain standing at their seats until the entire row has returned, and then sit down.


Following the awarding of all diplomas, the welcoming of all graduates into the Purdue Alumni Association, and the response by the student representative, the graduates will rise for the singing of “Hail Purdue.” A formal recessional will then conclude the ceremony. All guests will remain seated during the formal recessional.

Alumni Reception – May 19

The PNC Alumni Association will be hosting a Alumni Reception at the Harre Union ballrooms directly following the Ceremony at the ARC at Valparaiso University. Graduates and their guests are invited to celebrate with light refreshments photo opportunities and fun in the beautifully designed union facility. The Harre Union is within walking distance, just a few blocks East of the ceremony site. The foyer and terrace will also be open to guests.

The only location for rental gown return will also be at the reception in the Harre Union.

Questions? Contact the Office of the Registrar, room 40 of Schwarz Hall,
(219) 785-5341.