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 02/4/19

The 2019 Commencement Ceremony will take place on Saturday, May 18, 2019

Tinley Park Convention Center and Hotel

18451 Convention Center Drive

Tinley Park, Illinois 60477

 

The Commencement Ceremony will begin at 10:00 am

College of Arts and Sciences and College of Business

 

The Commencement Ceremony will begin at 4:30 pm

College of Education and College of Health and Human Services

 

Graduates should arrive 90 minutes before the start of the ceremony. Doors will close shortly after 10 a.m. or 4:30 p.m.

Do not be late or you will miss your opportunity to walk across the platform.

There will be a bag check line for all commencement participants and guests. 

Get Directions to the Tinley Park Convention Center from your location.

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

  • 2019 Commencement Details

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    The 2019 Commencement Ceremony will take place

    Saturday May 18, 2019

    Tinley Park Convention Center and Hotel

    18451 Convention Center Drive

    Tinley Park, Illinois.

     

    The Commencement Ceremony will begin at 10:00 am

    College of Arts and Sciences and College of Business

     

    The Commencement Ceremony will begin at 4:30 pm

    College of Education and College of Health and Human Services

     

    Each graduate will receive four tickets. Tickets for the Commencement Ceremony will be available online - ticketing redemption site TBA. You may redeem your tickets between April 22 - May 3, 2019.  If additional tickets become available, this will be announced - stay tuned...

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

  • 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 register with 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

        If you or your guests require special services, please register with Robin Sweeney, Disability Services at 708.235.3968 or rsweeney@govst.edu   by Friday, May 10, 2019  

        Saving seats is not permitted

        Seats are not guaranteed for late arrivals

        Admission will be temporarily suspended at 9:55 am and 4:25 pm respectively in preparation for the procession of graduates

        Remain seated for the entire commencement ceremony  

        Balloons or large gifts ARE NOT allowed in the convention center

        Photography or videotaping ARE NOT allowed 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.

        The Commencement Group will have a variety of fresh cut floral bouquets, graduation teddy bears, t-shirts and kukui nut leis available for guests to purchase between the West and South Entrances.  All floral bouquets will be offered in a variety of colors as half or full dozen; They will also be hand wrapped on location with baby’s breath and greens with a choice of a custom school colored bow; Floral bouquets are to be given to graduates AFTER the ceremony is complete. Floral bouquets may also be purchased online at www.thecommencementgroup.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  

         

      • Doctoral Hooding Ceremony and Reception - May 16, 2019, 6:30 pm

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        Doctoral Hooding Ceremony and Reception

        • Thursday, May 16, 2019, 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

      • Eligible Participants

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        For the 2019 Commencement ceremony, eligible participants are:

        • 2018 December graduates
        • 2019 Spring candidates for graduation (who applied by Friday, February 8, 2019)
        • 2019 Summer candidates for graduation (who applied by Friday, February 8, 2019)

        Participation in Commencement is voluntary.

      • 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.
        • Tickets for the Commencement Ceremony will be available online at www.tixGSU.com beginning Monday, April 22, 2019 and closing on Friday, May 3, 2019.

        • If you ordered your regalia by 11:59 pm on Wednesday, March 20 you may pick-up your regalia on Tuesday, April 30, noon - 5 pm or Wednesday, May 1, 2-7pm.
        • Note: Doctoral students will receive your cap and gown through their respective College - either CE 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
        • 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) will be open Tuesday, February 19, 2019 at 8:30 am and will close Wednesday, March 20, 2019 at 11:59 pm CST.  Please visit: www.jostens.com. Type in school name:  Governors State University; click Graduation Caps & Gown; click Student 2019 - then select gown package for the specific degree you'll be receiving.

        Students who order their regalia online by March 20 may pick them up on one of these dates:

        • Tuesday, April 30, 2019  noon - 5pm -OR- Wednesday, May 1, 2019, 2 pm - 7:00 pm
        •  Location: Engbretson Hall

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

        Regalia WILL NOT be distributed on Commencement Day.  
         
        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
        • To present a photo ID when checking in
         

      • Commencement Sponsors

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        josten  
                                        follet tgs

      • FAQs

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        Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs

          • 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 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. 
              
          •  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. 
              
          • Can I use my financial aid to cover the $125 fee?
            Consult with the financial aid office.  
              
          • 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.).
              
          • When will my diploma be mailed?
            Diplomas are usually mailed out six to eight weeks after final grades have been submitted.  
              
          • I missed the deadline to turn in a graduation application, who do I contact?
            Consult with your academic advisor.  
          • When does Commencement begin?
            Ceremonies begin at 10 am for the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Business and at 4:30 pm for the College of Education and the College of Health and Human Services. 
              
          • How will I know which ceremony I will attend?
            Participants are grouped by Colleges.  KNOW YOUR COLLEGE.  College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), College of Business (CB), College of Education (CE) and College of Health and Human Services (CHHS).
              
          • How many tickets will I receive?
            Graduates will 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. Tickets will be available online at www.tixGSU.com beginning Monday, April 22, 2019 and closing on Friday, May 3, 2019.
              
          • Does my child need a ticket?
            Children age two or older will require tickets.
              
          • How long is the ceremony?
            The Commencement ceremony lasts approximately two and a half hours.
              
          • Where do I pick-up my regalia?
            Eligible participants may pick-up their regalia in Engbretson Hall on Regalia Pick-Up Days, Tuesday, April 30, 2019 from noon - 5 pm or Wednesday, May 1, 2019 from 2 pm - 7 pm.

            • If you are a doctoral student, you will receive your cap and gown through your respective College - COE or CHHS.  
            • REGALIA WILL NOT BE DISTRIBUTED ON COMMENCEMENT DAY
          • How early should I arrive at commencement?
            Participants should arrive 90 minutes before the ceremony. Guests should arrive an hour before the ceremony. 

           

        1. Salute to Grads: Commencement Prep

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          Salute to Grads:  Commencement Prep

          • Wednesday, March 6, 2019
          • Hall of Governors, 11 am to 7 pm
          • Stop by Salute to Grads to take care of all of your graduation needs.  A one stop shop for everything you will need for graduation.  You can be measured for your cap and gown; order announcements, order your GSU class ring, diploma frames, and more, take professional graduation photos (with regalia) and business portraits; learn about the many benefits you will soon receive as member of the Alumni Association; contribute to the Class Gift, receive important information regarding the ceremony and much, much more.
          • GSU offices that are on hand to assist are: the Registrar's Office, Career Services, the Alumni Association, the Recreation and Fitness Center; Follett Bookstore, Relay for Life, Student Life and Veteran's Affairs

          • 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 12, 2019.

            Please access the survey here: https://www.research.net/r/Commencement2019-Faculty

            Rental and Purchase Information

            If you would like to rent faculty regalia, please visit Jostens’ website here. Online ordering will open February 19, 2019 at 8:30 am and will close March 20, 2019 at 11:59 pm CST.  All rental orders MUST be placed by March 20.  Rental of regalia with Jostens is at the employee’s expense. 

            If you’d like to purchase a Fine Quality Academic Regalia package, visit Jostens' website here and select the “Fine Quality Regalia” link. All custom orders MUST be placed by Friday, March 22, 2019.  Any custom order with Jostens is at the employee’s expense.  

            Faculty Regalia Measuring will be available at Salute to Grads, Wednesday, March 6, 2019 from 11:00 am until 7 pm in the Hall of Governors.

              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- 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 2019 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 2019 Commencement Volunteer Survey by Friday, April 19, 2019.  You may access the survey by clicking this link: TBA  

              All commencement Volunteers must attend a mandatory orientation on Friday, May 10, 2019 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 27, 2019.

              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.