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Graduate Instructions

Congratulations on your upcoming graduation from SIUE! We’re so proud of your accomplishments and thank you for being a part of the SIUE community. We hope that you will choose to mark this occasion by participating in  Commencement exercises and we look forward to sharing in your celebration.

Congratulations graduates!

Commencement Schedule

1. Arrive at the Vadalabene Center one hour before the start of your ceremony.

Before your ceremony, you will check in and line up in the Student Activity Gym in the Student Fitness Center. As you enter the gym you will receive an SIUE lapel pin to wear on your regalia.

2. Leave your personal belongings at home or with a family member.

Secure storage is not available for personal items (e.g. handbags, car keys, cameras, etc.) and you will not be able to carry them during the ceremony.

3. Check in with the Registrar staff to receive your marching card.

Your marching card will be used when you cross the stage during the ceremony. You will carry it to the stage. You will first have the card scanned, and then you will hand it to the reader, who will announce your name as you cross the platform. Be sure that your card is not damaged and do not leave it on your seat when you go to the stage.

4. Line up within your College/School.

Once checked in, look for your school, marshals (faculty members who will escort you) and staff volunteers in red vests. They will help you find your school and your place in line.

5. Participate in the ceremony!

The faculty marshals and Commencement staff will guide you throughout the processional, during the ceremony and the recessional. You will find a program on your seat to follow along with the ceremony.

6. Make arrangements to meet up with your guests after the ceremony.

Commencement is a large event with many guests! You will not be allowed back in the gym after the ceremony, so it will be helpful for you to choose a place to meet your guests after the event, as it will likely be difficult to find them in the crowd immediately following the ceremony. Please make sure your guests know that students will exit one end of the gym, and guests will exit the other to avoid congestion. Your guests will not be able to follow the processional of students.

7. In order to make Commencement successful and positive for everyone, please pass along a few reminders to your guests.

    • To ensure sufficient seating, each student is invited to bring up to six guests. The ceremony will also be broadcast online at for guests that are not able to attend.
    • Please note that guests will not be able to stand in aisles/walkways/doorways during the ceremony.
    • Guests are asked to remain seated until the conclusion of the ceremony and not leave early.
    • Bullhorns and noisemakers are not permitted at the ceremonies and will be confiscated.
    • Guests may take photos from their seats, but will not be permitted to approach the stage or stand in walkways and/or aisles. For the safety of all of our guests, walkways/aisles must be kept clear at all times

8. Request any special accommodations.

    • If you, the graduate, are in need of special accommodations, please contact the Commencement staff no later than two weeks prior to the ceremonies.
    • The following special accommodations for guests are available on a first come, first served basis.
      • Floor Seating
      • Wheelchairs are available from Equipment Issue in the Student Fitness Center.
      • Commencement staff will also be available with a wheelchair in the lobby to assist guests to their seats.
      • Sign language interpreters
      • Guests in need of special accommodations are encouraged to arrive at least 45 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony and seek out an usher or staff volunteer for assistance.

What if I have Questions?

    • For questions regarding your graduation eligibility, contact the Registrar’s office at or by calling 618-650- 3770.
    • For questions regarding the purchase or pick-up of academic regalia, contact the Cougar Store at or by calling 618-650-3345.
    • For all other inquiries, contact the Commencement staff by emailing or by calling 618-650-2252.

Commencement Etiquette

Commencement Photos

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