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.

Commencement takes place May 16, 2015 at 10 am or 5pm.

Eligible participants will be:

  • December 2014 graduates
  • 2015 Spring candidates for graduation (who applied by Friday, Feb. 6, 2015)
  • 2015 Summer candidates for graduation (who applied by Friday, Feb. 6, 2015)

If you are participating in the ceremony, order your cap and gown online by Friday, April 17, 2015.
Participants must be in good financial standing with GSU in order to walk at Commencement.

  • Doctoral Hooding - May 14, 2015, 6:30p


    Doctoral Hooding

    • May 14, 2015, 6:30 pm
    • Center for Performing Arts
    • Doctoral students will receive your hood to wear at Commencement
    • Graduates meet at 5 pm in the Green Room of the CPA
    • Tickets required
    • Reception after the ceremony

  • Commencement Details


    The 2015 Commencement Ceremony will take place on Saturday, May 16, 2015.

    10 am - College of Business and Public Administration and College Health and Human Services

      5 pm - College of Arts and Science and College of Education

    Graduates should arrive about two hours before the ceremony.

    Late graduates will be held in the rear of the auditorium and escorted at the appropriate time  

    There will be an online live stream of each Commencement Ceremony.
    Governors State University Commencement is held at the:

    Tinley Park Convention Center
    18451 Convention Center Drive
    Tinley Park, IL 60477 


  • Eligible Participants


    For the 2015 Commencement ceremony, eligible participants are:

    • 2014 December graduates
    • 2015 Spring candidates for graduation (who applied by Feb 6, 2015)
    • 2015 Summer candidates for graduation (who applied by Feb 6, 2015)

    Participation in Commencement is voluntary.

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

  • Commencement Checklist


    • Order your cap and gown online through Oak Hall by Friday, April 17, 2015.
    • Pay any outstanding financial obligations to GSU.
    • Pick-Up your cap and gown on May 5 or 6pm (you will receive tickets at this event)
      • If you have a financial balance with GSU, you will not be able to pick-up your cap and gown.
      • Participants must be in good-financial standing in order to participate in Commencement
      • Caps and gowns will NOT be available for pick-up on the day of Commencement.
    • Know the time of your ceremony 10am (CBPA/CHHS) OR 5pm (CAS/COE)

  • Salute to Grads: Commencement Prep


     Salute to Grads: Commencement Prep

    • Tuesday, March 24, 2015
    • Hall of Governors, noon until 6 pm.
    • This event allows students to mingle with vendors, order announcements, class rings and take pictures with their regalia.
    • Order your cap and gown at this event or online here.

    • Online Ordering: Commencement Sponsors


       marchingorders oakhall
      signature tgs                               

    • Graduate Information


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

      • Graduates do not need tickets to attend Commencements. 

      • 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   

      • 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 personal items (such as purses) with your guests or leave locked in your vehicle. Neither GSU nor the convention center is 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.

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


      Click here for a pdf of Commencement Information

    • FAQs


      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 $50 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 $50 fee?
        You will need to check 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 does not cover any items related to the commencement ceremony (i.e. student regalia).
      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?
        You should start with your academic advisor.  

      Commencement FAQ's

      1. When does Commencement begin?
        In recent years, GSU has held two ceremonies at 10 am and 5 pm.
      2. How will I know which ceremony I will attend?
        This will be announced later depending on the number of participants. Participants are grouped by Colleges. 
      3. How many tickets will I receive?
        Participants usually receive four tickets per ceremony for family and guests. 
      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 about three hours.
      6. Where do I pick-up my regalia?
        Eligible participants may pick-up regalia at Salute to Grads: Commencement Prep event. If you order regalia online, you may pick them up the day of commencement.
        If you are a doctoral student, you will receive your cap and gown through your college/division.
      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


      These videos show how to wear your regalia for Commencement 

    • Important Guest Information


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

      •  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 a.m. or 3:30 p.m. respectively

        •  Saving seats is not permitted
        •  Seats are not guaranteed for late arrivals
        •  Admission will be temporarily suspended at 9:50 am and 4:50 pm respectively in preparation for the procession of graduates.
        • Remain in seats for the entire commencement ceremony  
      • Grad Flowers will be making  variety 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
      •  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
        •  DVD’s of both ceremonies can be purchased in advance or on the day of the ceremony from 
      • 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.

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

    • Commencement Event - Cap and Gown Pick-Up


      Cap and Gown Pick-Up

      Students who ordered their cap and gowns online by April 17, 2015 may pick them up on one of these dates:

      • Tuesday, May 5, 2015, 8 am - 2 pm -OR-
      • Wednesday, May 6, 2015, 2 pm - 7:30 pm
      • Cafeteria Annex
      A picture ID must be presented in order to pick-up your cap and gown.

      There will be no cap and gown pick-up on site the day of Commencement, May 16.


      Students must be in good financial standing with the University in order to pick-up cap and gown.

      Note: Doctoral students may receive their cap and gown through their College program ceremony. 


    • Faculty Information - Regalia Information




      The university will no longer provide employees with rented academic regalia. If employees prefer to rent academic regalia rather than purchase their own personalized regalia, each individual employee can arrange rental of academic regalia with Oak Hall Cap & Gown at the employee’s expense.

      Orders must be placed by Friday, April, 17, 2015.

      Online rental and custom orders ordered via the website or customer service line will be personally delivered by a commencement staff member to your office or to your college’s office when they arrive.
      Rental or purchase of regalia from Oak Hall Cap and Gown are at your own expense.

      Rental Pricing:

      Bachelor cap/gown/tassel/hood - $23.20

      Master cap/gown/tassel/hood - $24.60

      Optional rental tam - $20.60

      Doctor tam/gown/tassel/hood - $47.90

      University of Chicago Doctoral Rental - $49.70

       If you would like to purchase regalia, please contact Oak Hall’s Customer Service between the hours of 7:30am and 6pm central time at 800-223-0429.

      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

    • Staff Volunteer Information



    • International Visitor Visa Letters


      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.