Congratulations 2021 & 2020 Graduates!

Commencement is just a few days away!

Join us in recognizing our graduates with personalized messages and memories!

Click the button below to upload messages, photos, and videos for your graduate. Don’t forget to share this link with friends and family or with anyone who would like to offer congratulations to your graduate.

Navigation of the site is easy: type a message, drag and drop photos or videos onto the page, and then, click "Submit".

Do it today!

In a few days, the page will be ready and graduates will receive a link to their personal web page of custom content and messages, along with video congratulations from Governors State University leadership.

Virtual Commencement Dates and Times

Thursday, 5/20/21

Classes of 2020 and 2021, All Colleges

  • Virtual Doctoral Hooding Ceremony
  • 6 p.m.

Saturday, 5/22/21

Class of 2021

  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • Virtual Commencement Ceremony
  • 10 a.m.
  • College of Business
  • Virtual Commencement Ceremony
  • 12 p.m.
  • College of Education
  • Virtual Commencement Ceremony
  • 2 p.m.
  • College of Health and Human Services
  • Virtual Commencement Ceremony
  • 4 p.m.

Sunday, 5/23/21

Class of 2020

  • All Colleges
  • Virtual Commencement Ceremony
  • 10 a.m.

  • Sunday May 23 Outdoor Celebration


    Governors State is honoring our graduates the old-fashioned way–with a (socially distanced) outdoor party!

    Join your college classmates, faculty, and staff under the tent to celebrate with food, fun, and photos!

    Wear your cap and gown–or casual attire–for selfies in IG-styled frames and mark the moment by signing your class banner or decorating your cap! 

    All colleges, departments, and programs will celebrate on Sunday, May 23, 2021 as follows:

    • College of Business 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
    • College of Education 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
    • College of Arts & Sciences 1 - 3 p.m.
    • College of Health & Human Services 4 - 6 p.m.

    *No outside guests allowed

    *No coolers or alcohol allowed

    All attendees must follow safety procedures and protocols outlined in Restore Illinois Phase 4. (Must wear face mask, maintain social distancing, wash hands, sanitize, etc.)

  • Virtual Doctoral Hooding Ceremony


    The Virtual Doctoral Hooding Ceremony is a special recognition ceremony for candidates in the following disciplines: Doctor of Education, Doctor of Nursing Practice, Doctor of Occupational Therapy, Doctor of Physical Therapy and Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy. A faculty member or special designee places the doctoral hood over the head of the graduate, signifying their success in completing the graduate program.  The virtual ceremony is similar to a graduation in that faculty and students are dressed in academic attire.  The Virtual Hooding Ceremony is a separate event and does not replace the Virtual Commencement Ceremony. 

    All doctoral students, should order your regalia online and it will be shipped to the address you provided on your online order. 

    This includes the class of 2021 and the class of 2020 graduates.

  • Online Ordering for Cap and Gown


    As of February 19, the deadline to order a cap and gown from Jostens for Commencement 2021 has passed. If you met the deadline, your cap and gown will be shipped directly to the address you provided on your order.

    If you still need to order a cap and gown, please send the following information to Stephanie Contreras-Juarez at

    • Name
    • GSU ID Number
    • Degree and major
    • Height and weight

  • Salute to Grads Graduation Fair


    Salute to Grads: Commencement Preparation

    Visit Salute to Grads on one of the following dates in the Hall of Governors to take care of all of your graduation needs:

    • Wednesday, April, 28, 2021 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    • Thursday, April, 29, 2021 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
    • Friday, April, 30, 2021 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

    LifeTouch Event Photography will be available by appointment only during Salute to Grads, Graduation Fair. Their event-certified professional photographers will capture memories that will last a lifetime. You will be able to order your photographs online a week after this event by visiting LifeTouch Event Photography's website.

    To sign up, please visit the Salute to Grads tab “Graduation Photo Appointment” to pick the date and time that works best for your schedule. You will be able to take professional graduation photos (with regalia) as well as business portraits.

    Sign up for Graduation Photo Appointment

    Jostens provides the cap, gown, and/or hood for graduates. They also offer other wonderful graduation gifts that will help you celebrate the moments you'll treasure for a lifetime–such as rings, announcements, fine jewelry, Uplomas, and so much more! Visit their website for more information.

    GSU Bookstore will be selling clothing apparel and gifts. In honor of graduation guests will receive a 10% discount.

    The Commencement Group will have a variety of fresh cut floral bouquets, graduation teddy bears, and t-shirts available for guests to purchase online. All floral bouquets will be offered in a variety of colors as half or full dozens. Floral bouquets may be purchased online.

    You will receive important information regarding the virtual ceremony, and assistance will be available from the Commencement Office, Career Services, the Alumni Association, the Recreation and Fitness Center, Follett Bookstore, Center for Student Engagement and Intercultural Programs, Veteran's Affairs and Disability Services.

  • Graduation Celebration Week



    Jax, We Did It! Senior Portraits – Post your official senior photo or favorite GSU memory to social media all day using #GovStateGrad.


    Career/Life Prep – Learn how to turn your passion into a career! Get tips from GSU alum and creator of, Jeremy Joyce, on how to build your personal brand.

    Location: Facebook
    Time: 6 p.m.


    Paint & Post – Join us for a virtual paint social in celebration of your graduation! We will provide everything you need & ship it to your home. Post your masterpiece to social media using #GovStateGrad. RSVP required by May 7, 2021. Register for Paint & Post today.

    Location: Zoom
    Time: 7 p.m.


    Grad Game Day – Grab your friends and family to enjoy a fun round of virtual games. Visa gift cards awarded to all winners.

    Location: Facebook
    Time: 12 - 1 p.m.


    Chat and Chew – Meet up with staff and students from your college/department, then enjoy a complimentary lunch from local food trucks. RSVP required via Jaguar Connection. Must RSVP by May 18th. GSU graduates only. No guests. Face coverings and social distance enforced. RSVP for Chat and Chew today.

    Location: GSU Parking Lot East 3
    Time: 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

    Contact us at with Grad Celebration questions. Please visit this webpage regularly for commencement updates.


  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


    • 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 will participate in the Virtual Ceremony, does 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?

      Please consult with the financial aid office to see if you can.

    • 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 (e.g., student regalia, diploma covers, etc.).

    • When will my diploma be mailed?

      Diplomas are usually mailed six to eight weeks after final grades have been submitted.

    • I missed the deadline to submit a graduation application, who do I contact?

      If this happens, please consult with your academic advisor.

    • How will I know which Virtual Commencement Ceremony I will attend?

      Participants are grouped by Colleges. KNOW YOUR COLLEGE. Governors State University's colleges are the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), College of Business (CB), College of Education (CE) and College of Health and Human Services (CHHS).

    • How long is the Virtual Commencement Ceremony?

      The Virtual Commencement ceremony lasts approximately 1 ½ to 2 hours.

    • Where do I pick-up my regalia?

      If regalia is ordered by Friday, February 19, 2021 at 11:59 pm, CST, regalia will be shipped directly to the graduate’s home address they provided at the time of their order placed. If graduate placed their order after the deadline, regalia may be picked up at Salute to Grads, Graduation Celebration.

      • All doctoral candidates, student, should order their regalia online and it will be shipped to the home address they provided at the time order was placed.

    • Where can I find more details about the Virtual Commencement Speaker and Vocalist application process?

      The deadline to apply has been extended until 3/31/2021

      For more information regarding the application process, please visit Jaguar Connection.

  • Faculty and Staff Participation and Information


    Thank you for your commitment to assist us with this year’s Virtual 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 share with others who may attend our university in the future.

    To participate in this year's Outdoor Celebration, please RSVP by clicking the button below.

    RSVP for Outdoor Celebration Today!

  • Graduate Information


    If you have a physical disability and are in need of special services, please register with Disability Services at 708.235.3968 or  

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

  • Commencement Sponsors


    folletjostenFogarty LogoThe Commencement Group LogoLifetouch Logo