Commencement is a formal celebration honoring the achievements of graduates and candidates for graduation. The annual ceremony is held after the spring semester. Participation is voluntary and does not mean a degree has been awarded.

Updated 2/2/2018

The 2018 Commencement Ceremony will take place on Saturday, May 19, 2018 at the Tinley Park Convention Center and Hotel, 18451 Convention Center Drive, Tinley Park, Illinois. More information to come!

We want to extend our congratulations and best wishes to our GSU graduates and their families!

 

  • 2018 Commencement Details

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    We're working on the details, please check back late in February.

    A live webcast will be available through GSU's website on Commencement Day.

  • Eligible Participants

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    For the 2018 Commencement ceremony, eligible participants are:

    • 2017 December graduates
    • 2018 Spring candidates for graduation (who applied by Feb. 2, 2018)
    • 2018 Summer candidates for graduation (who applied by Feb. 2, 2018)

    Participation in Commencement is voluntary.

    You must be in good financial standing with the University in order to participate in this event.

  • Doctoral Hooding - May 17, 2018, 6:30pm

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    Doctoral Hooding

    • Thursday, May 17, 2018, 6:30 pm
    • Center for Performing Arts
    • Doctoral students will receive hood to wear at Commencement
    • Graduates meet at 5 pm in the Green Room of the CPA
    • Reception immediately following the ceremony

  • Graduate Information

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    This is important information for you to ensure great Commencement experience. 

      Graduates do not need tickets to attend Commencement. 

      All guests must have tickets to be seated (including children 2 years and older) 

      • A family friendly seating area will be available to guests with children to watch on a monitor. 

      If you (or your guests) have a physical disability and are in need of special services, please contact Robin Sweeney, Disability Services, at 708.235.3968 or rsweeney@govst.edu  

      Parking is very limited, carpooling is strongly encouraged.

      Plan to arrive early.

      Late graduates will be held in the rear of the auditorium and escorted at the appropriate time (don't be THAT graduate).

      Inform guests of the college/program you are graduating from to assist with seating (i.e. College of Health and Human Services; Nursing).

      Pre-arrange a meeting location to meet family and guests after the ceremony outside of the auditorium.

      Please leave all personal items (such as purses) with your guests or leave locked in your vehicle. GSU nor the convention center are responsible for lost or stolen items. 

      Only GSU approved honors cords and stoles may be worn with regalia.

      Graduates should not leave the ceremony floor until the appropriate time.  Only Platform Guests, Faculty/Staff and Marshals will recess out.  All graduates are to remain seated throughout the ceremony unless directed otherwise by the commencement marshals or master of ceremonies.

      Cellphones should be turned off and remain off during the ceremony.

      NO BACKPACKS, NO CONCEALED WEAPONS AND NO FIREARMS ARE ALLOWED IN THE CONVENTION CENTER OR HOTEL.

    • Important Guest Information

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      This information is provided so that you and your graduate have a great Commencement experience.

         Ceremonial Etiquette  

        The University wants to ensure that commencement is a dignified academic ceremony enjoyed by both the graduates and guests. 

        Please refrain from yelling, shouting, or whistling until all graduates have been individually acknowledged on stage.     

        NO BULLHORNS ALLOWED.

        All guests must have tickets to be seated (including children 2 years and older)      

        Infants and toddlers may be seated in the lap 

        Children may not sit with graduates

        A family friendly seating area will be available to guests with children 

        Doors open at 8:30 am or 3:00 pm respectively

        Saving seats is not permitted

        Seats are not guaranteed for late arrivals

        Admission will be temporarily suspended at 9:50 am and 4:25 pm respectively in preparation for the procession of graduates.

        Remain in seats for the entire commencement ceremony  

        No balloons or large gifts are allowed in the convention center.

        No photographs or videotaping in the front, side or middle aisles.

        A live webcast will be available through GSU's website on Commencement day.    

        Cell phones should be turned off and remain off during the ceremony.

        NO BACKPACKS, NO CONCEALED WEAPONS AND NO FIREARMS ARE ALLOWED IN THE CONVENTION CENTER OR HOTEL.

        COMMENCEMENT DAY SPECIALS

        GSU Bookstore will be selling clothing apparel and gifts on commencement day by the South entrance. In honor of graduation, new graduates and guests will receive a 10% discount.

        Commencement Group will be makingvariety of fresh cut, flowers available for guests to purchase between the West and South Entrances.  All flowers will be offered in a variety of colors as half dozen or full dozen; They will also be hand wrapped on location with baby’s breath and greens with a choice of custom school colored bow; Flowers are to be given to graduates AFTER the ceremony is complete. Floral bouquets may be purchased online at www.thecommencementgroup.com

        Grad Images will be taking professional portraits and orders in the Bremen Room. Portraits and photos may be purchased online at www.gradimages.com              

        TGS Video will accept orders for the Commencement DVD at the West and South Entrances. You may place your order online as well at www.tgsvideo.com  

         

      • Commencement Checklist

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        • Participants must be in good financial standing in order to participate in Commencement.
        • Pay any outstanding financial obligations to GSU. If you have an outstanding balance with GSU, you will be unable to pick-up your cap and gown.
        • Order regalia (cap, gown, hood, if applicable) beginning, Thursday, March 1, 2018 online. Website:  TBA

        • If you ordered your regalia by 11:59 pm on Wednesday, March 21, you may pick-up your regalia on Tuesday, May 1 or Wednesday, May 2.
        • Note: Doctoral students will receive your cap and gown through their respective College - either COE or CHHS.

        Regalia WILL NOT be distributed on Commencement Day.

        If you are not able to attend cap and gown pick-up, you may send someone to pick-up your commencement items.

        That person will need:

        • A signed letter from you authorizing that person to pick-up your commencement items.
        • A copy of your photo ID;
        • That person will need to present their photo ID when checking in. 

      • Commencement Event - Cap and Gown Online Ordering and Pick-Up Information

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        REGALIA INFORMATION:  CAP AND GOWN ONLINE ORDERING AND PICK-UP

        Online regalia ordering for cap, gown, and hood (if applicable) begins, Thursday, March 1, 2018 and ends at 11:59 pm, Wednesday, March 21, 2018.

        Students who order their regalia online by March 21 may pick them up on one of these dates:

        • Tuesday, May 1, 2018, -OR- Wednesday, May 2, 2018, 2 pm - 7:00 pm
        •  Location: Hall of Honors

        Note: Doctoral students will receive their regalia through their respective Colleges - COE and CHHS.

        Regalia WILL NOT be distributed on Commencement Day.
        Students must be in good financial standing with the University in order to pick-up cap and gown.  
         

        A picture ID must be presented in order to pick-up your cap and gown.

        If you are unable to attend cap and gown pick-up, you may send someone to pick-up your commencement items.
         
        That person will need:
        • A signed letter from you authorizing that person to pick-up your commencement items.
        • A copy of your photo ID;
        • That person will need to present a photo ID when checking in
         

      • Commencement Sponsors

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        josten gradimages
                                        follet tgs

      • FAQs

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        Graduation FAQs

        1. What is the difference between graduation and commencement?
          Graduation is a process where you complete an application in order to earn your degree. A $125.00 non-refundable processing fee will be placed on your account. A graduation application is required for each degree you earn at GSU.
          Commencement is a formal ceremony and participation is voluntary. Participating in the ceremony does not mean your degree has been earned. 
            
        2. I walked across the stage, doesn't this mean I earned my degree?
          No. Only December graduates from the previous year will have earned degrees by commencement.. Since spring and summer graduation applicants are eligible to participate in the ceremony, their degrees will not be posted until after ceremony has taken place. 
            
        3. Can I use my financial aid to cover the $125 fee?
          Consult with the financial aid office.  
            
        4. What does the graduation fee cover?
          The graduation fee covers the time and paperwork it takes to post your degree. The graduation fee also covers any items related to the commencement ceremony (i.e. student regalia, diploma covers, etc.).
            
        5. When will my diploma be mailed?
          Diplomas are usually mailed out six to eight weeks after final grades have been submitted.  
            
        6. I missed the deadline to turn in a graduation application, who do I contact?
          Consult with your academic advisor.  

        Commencement FAQ's

        1. When does Commencement begin?
            Ceremonies begin at 10 am and 4:30 pm.
            
        2. How will I know which ceremony I will attend?
          Participants are grouped by Colleges.  KNOW YOUR COLLEGE.  College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business, College of Education and College of Health and Human Services.
            
        3. How many tickets will I receive?
          Graduates generally receive four tickets per ceremony for family and guests. Depending on the number of participants, additional tickets may be available.  If this is the case, this will be determined and announced one to two weeks prior to Commencement.
            
        4. Does my child need a ticket?
          Children age two or older will require tickets.
            
        5. How long is the ceremony?
          The Commencement ceremony lasts approximately two and a half hours.
            
        6. Where do I pick-up my regalia?
          Eligible participants may pick-up their regalia in the Hall of Honors on Regalia Pick-Up Days, Tuesday, May 1, 2018 from 8 am - 2 pm or Wednesday, May 2, 2018 from 2 pm - 7 pm.
          1. If you are a doctoral student, you will receive your cap and gown through your respective College - COE or CHHS.  
          2. REGALIA WILL NOT BE DISTRIBUTED ON COMMENCEMENT DAY. 
              
           
        7.  How early should I arrive at commencement?
          Participants should arrive an 90 minutes before the ceremony. Guests should arrive an hour before the ceremony. 

         

      • How to Wear Your Regalia

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        These videos show how to wear your regalia for Commencement 

      • Salute to Grads: Commencement Prep

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        Salute to Grads:  Commencement Prep

        • Wednesday, March 21, 2018
        • Hall of Governors, noon until 7 pm.
        • This event allows students to mingle with vendors, order announcements, class rings and take pictures with their regalia.

        • Faculty Information - Participation and Regalia Information

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          Faculty Participation

          Thank you for your commitment to assist us with this year’s Commencement – one of the most important and exciting events in the lives of our students! You will find this to be very rewarding, as families and friends are excited about their loved ones graduating. They will need all of our assistance. Anything we can do to make it a pleasant day for them will leave good impressions when they return home and share with others who may attend our university in the future.

          Please complete the Faculty Participation Survey indicating your level of participation by April 13, 2018.

          Please access the survey here: https://www.research.net/r/Commencement2018-Faculty

          If you have questions or wish additional information, please contact Lisa Helm at lhelm@govst.edu.

          Rental and Purchase Information

          If employees prefer to rent academic regalia rather than purchase their own personalized regalia, each individual employee can arrange rental of academic regalia with Jostens at the employee’s expense.

          Online rental orders begin, Thursday, March 1, 2018 and close at 11:59 pm, Wednesday, March 21, 2018.

          Online rental and customer orders ordered will be personally delivered by a commencement staff member or volunteer to your office or respective college for pickup.
            

          Rental Pricing: TBA:

            Group orders will not be accepted.  Only one complete package may be purchased per order.

            If you have questions or wish additional information, please contact Karen Caesar-Smith,

            708.534-6360 or kcaesar-smith@govst.edu

          • Volunteer Information

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            Let the Celebration Continue!  Volunteers Are Needed to Work! 

            GSU staff and faculty are invited and encouraged to participate in our 2018 commencement ceremony. 

            Thank you for your commitment to assist us with this year’s Commencement – one of the most important and exciting events in the lives of our students! You will find this to be very rewarding, as families and friends are excited about their loved ones graduating. They will need all of our assistance. Anything we can do to make it a pleasant day for them will leave good impressions when they return home and share with others who may attend our university in the future.

            Please take a moment to complete the 2018 Commencement Volunteer Survey by Friday, April 20, 2018.  You may access the survey by clicking this link: TBA  

            All commencement Volunteers must attend a mandatory orientation on Friday, May 11, 2018 at 10 a.m. in the Mezzanine of Center of Performing Arts.

            If you have questions or wish additional information, please contact Karen Caesar at kcaesar-smith@govst.edu

             

          • International Visitor Visa Letters

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            Available February 28, 2018.

             Complete the Invitation Form to receive a letter to be sent to your guests for visas.

            Type in the form, then print and sign and return to the Office of the Registrar, located in C-1300.