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Instructions for participating in the ceremony

​Saturday, December 14​, 2019

9:00 a.m.

Colorado Convention Center - Hall A

CU Denver's commencement is an all-campus ceremony during which we recognize all doctoral, master's and bachelor's degree recipients. Below is a quick overview of what to expect on the morning of commencement. Please note that there is no rehearsal for the ceremony.

1) Graduates arrive to Hall B of the Colorado Convention Center (pass through Hall A to access Hall B) no later than 7:45 a.m. We know this is early, but it takes some time to check in over 900 graduates. Come dressed in your regalia. Undergraduates wear tassels on the right side of the cap until instructed to move it to the left side. Master's degree candidates wear their hoods. Doctoral candidates drape hoods over their left arm until hooded in the ceremony.

Parking is available in the convention center garage for $12 for up to 8 hours as well as in surrounding lots. Free parking is available on the Auraria Campus in the Holly, Juniper, Maple, Nutmeg, and Spruce surface lots. Alternatively, Light Rail drops off and picks up at the Colorado Convention Center on Stout St.

2) Locate the flag with your school/college's name on it and check in to receive a commencement program and a reader card (the card is what you present to have your name read as you cross the stage). Doctoral students and CLAS master's graduates will check in at the Graduate School table. All other students should check in with their respective school or college. If you don't know which school/college you are enrolled in, find out before you register for the ceremony. Seven schools and colleges, plus the Graduate School, comprise the University of Colorado Denver. If you are interested in purchasing professional photographs, confirm that your contact information is correct on the back side of the reader card.

3) At 8:30 a.m., all graduates will be directed to return to Hall B and begin lining up for the procession. Follow the instructions provided by the faculty marshals. Each school/college lines up on two colored lines taped to the floor (red/yellow or green/blue). The colors determine down which aisle you will process and ultimately in which section you are seated. Please note that you are lined up two-abreast on each line and you will be seated with the classmates in your own line. If you and your friends are standing on different colors, you will be seated in different sections. We do not line up graduates in alphabetical order since the reader card is what you use to have your name announced. Don't lose it!

Doctoral graduates process behind the Graduate School banner and lead all graduates into the hall. Behind them, banners are carried by two designated graduates at the front of each of the schools/colleges. Master's graduates line up behind the banners and bachelor's degree recipients line up behind master's grads.

Graduate Line-Up Diagram

Processional/Seating Diagram​

4) The procession begins at 9:00 a.m. sharp. Note this is the time graduates start processing into the hall - not when you are supposed to arrive. Follow the colored lines on the floor until directed down one of four aisles toward the graduate seating. Upon reaching your seating row, faculty marshals will direct you into your seats. Please fill every seat in the row. You will remain standing until the commencement marshal invites you to sit.

5) Every graduate's name is read as he or she crosses the stage and receives a diploma cover. Degrees are conferred in the following order: Doctoral and Educational Specialist degrees, master's degrees and then bachelor's degrees. The doctoral graduates are called to the stage as a single group, followed by Educational Specialists. Starting with the master's degrees, graduates are directed to both sides of the stage. Names are read alternately from each podium as printed on your reader card. Photos are taken by professional photographers at the bottom of each ramp, halfway up the ramp and then again as you receive your diploma cover and shake the Chancellor's or President's hand. After crossing the stage, you exit down the stairs and return to the same seat. As a courtesy to your fellow graduates, nobody is permitted to leave until the ceremony has concluded.  For safety and consideration for the significance of the ceremony, graduates with children are not allowed to bring their child to the stage with them.

6) At the end of the ceremony, graduates recess out of the hall in same order that they processed in - first in, first out. Gowns and hoods (if applicable) are returned downstairs in Lobby A. Caps and tassels are yours to keep.


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