Commencement Day

Ceremony instructions

When you receive your regalia, remove it from its packaging and hang it on a hanger. Steaming the garment will help to smooth out wrinkles.

Share the live broadcast link,, with any friends and family who cannot join in person so they can celebrate virtually.

No tickets are necessary to attend the ceremony, and all guests are welcome.

Graduates should bring:

  • Your robe
  • Your cap and tassel
  • Your stole of gratitude (if you are a bachelor’s graduate)
  • Your hood (if you are a master’s graduate)

Do not bring in any bags or purses for security reasons. Please leave personal items with a friend or family member. The university cannot be responsible for items left in the venue. We also recommend you wear lightweight clothing under your gown. You may not wear anything over your cap and gown except honor cords and Honors Program medals.

Family and friends are welcome to bring a water bottle as water refill stations will be available. 

Note: All times are Central Standard Time

Please check your IU email the morning of Commencement. This is how the university will communicate any necessary updates.

Students can begin arriving at the IU Northwest Savannah Gym to check-in with their recorders at 8 a.m. Students must be completely checked in by 9:15 a.m.

GradImages will be onsite beginning at 8 a.m. for students who have requested Commencement photos.

Student and guest parking lots open at 8 a.m.

Gates open for family and guests at 8 a.m. We encourage all guests to be seated by 9:30 a.m. if they wish to see the ceremonial procession of students, faculty, staff, and the platform party. Seating is first come, first served.

Procession begins at 9:30 a.m., and the ceremony begins at 10 a.m.

Each school will be led by its faculty marshal, who will direct graduate on where and when to be seated.

The ceremony is expected to last approximately 90 minutes, and should end at 11:30 a.m.

Parking lots for students and guests open at 8:00 a.m. Refer to the parking map for traffic flow and parking lot options. Arrive early to secure parking closer to the ceremony.

If traveling from the southwest, several small parking lots south of campus will be available early. Traffic coming from the east, or north and south along Broadway will be directed to larger lots on campus first, then grass parking just east of campus later. Follow signage and parking attendants for directions on graduation day.

There will be drop-off points in front of Hawthorn and the Library. Please drop off graduates and guests at designated spots only.

If you require handicap or ADA parking, ADA spaces will be available in the main lot near the commencement ceremony.

When walking to and from Commencement, please use 34th Ave. crosswalks. The crosswalks at 33rd Ave. will not be available before or after the ceremony.

A parking map showing parking lots available on and near campus.

Graduates will be invited to the stage to have their name read and receive their diploma covers.

  • Diploma covers presented during the ceremony will not contain actual diplomas.
  • December graduates should have already received their diplomas.
  • Diplomas for May, June, and August graduates should be available approximately six weeks after you have been certified for graduation.
  • Spring and summer graduates will be notified via email by the registrar’s office when their diplomas have arrived.

Faculty marshals will lead graduates to the stage, instruct them on how to cross the stage, and return to their seats.

All graduates wear custom IU apparel, including a black gabardine robe with braided crimson piping and a cap adorned with the tassel from the school they’re graduating from.

Undergraduates receive and wear a crimson Stole of Gratitude embellished with the Indiana University seal. Master’s degree graduates receive and wear a velvet hood in a color representative of their academic discipline. There are satin accents in a chevron pattern draped down the back representing the university colors.

Tassels on the cap are worn on the right for those receiving their first degree and moved to the left after the degree conferral. Graduates who already have a degree wear their tassels on the left side.

Students graduating with Distinction, High Distinction, and Highest Distinction wear fourragères pinned to the left shoulder of their gowns. Pin the fourragères halfway between the shoulder seam and the collar. The loop will drape over the outside of the sleeve with two cords hanging in front and two in the back of the sleeve. Your arm should not go through the loop.

Questions? Our Commencement team can help!

Connect with us