Commencement 2024

Date: Saturday, May 18, 2024
Location: Tinley Park Convention Center, 18451 Convention Center Dr, Tinley Park, IL 60477*
Time (A.M. Ceremony): 10 a.m. for CAS & COB Grads
Time (P.M. Ceremony): 4 p.m. for CEHD & CHHS Grads

*REMINDER

Commencement does NOT take place on campus. Please arrive directly at the Tinley Park Convention Center on the day of Commencement before your respective ceremony begins.


Graduate and Guest Information

Eligible Participants

For the 2024 Commencement ceremony, eligible participants are:

  • • 2023 December graduates

  • • 2024 Spring candidates for graduation (who applied by Friday, February 2, 2024)

  • • 2024 Summer candidates for graduation (who applied by Friday, February 2, 2024)

Participation in Commencement is voluntary.

Ceremony Tickets

Each graduate is eligible to receive (TBD) tickets. The graduate in the Commencement Ceremony does not need a ticket to participate. Marching Order is currently closed and will open towards the end of April 2024.

Graduates should have received an email from MarchingOrder on behalf of Governors State University to claim guest tickets for your commencement ceremony. When the ticket redemption period begins, graduates may redeem all or some of their allotted tickets. Once the ticket redemption period closes, we will re-evaluate the number of tickets remaining and re-open to allow for redemption of additional tickets (if available).

On the MarchingOrder website, graduates will be prompted to record their name pronunciation for the commencement ceremony. This name pronunciation will be used to create the recording of your name that will be read when graduates walk the stage at the ceremony.

If you do not receive an email from MarchingOrder on behalf of GSU when tickets become available to claim and you have submitted a RSVP for commencement, please visit Marching Order to register. On this page you will need to select the "Register" button on the bottom left of the screen under New Users. Please register with your GSU email address.

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

Grad Celebration Week

Graduation is a huge academic and personal accomplishment for students. All members of the graduating class of 2023 are invited to participate in activities during this week-long celebration.

For more information, please visit the Grad Celebration Week page.

Commencement Day Information for Graduates

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


CEREMONY LOCATION

Your commencement will be taking place off campus. Please ensure that you allow for the time to travel to this Commencement site:

Tinley Park Convention Center
18451 Convention Center Dr
Tinley Park, Illinois
(1 block east of Harlem)


CEREMONY INFORMATION

  • • Graduates DO NOT need tickets to attend Commencement.

  • • All guests MUST have tickets to be seated (including children 2 years and older).

  • • Late arriving students will not be permitted to participate in the processional or walk across the stage–DON'T BE THAT GRADUATE.

  • • Please remember to remove your regalia out of the bag prior to graduation day and follow the instructions as to how to remove wrinkles from your grown.

  • GSU approved honors cords and stoles may be worn with regalia, including non-academic stoles signifying ethnic identity or country of origin.

  • • Cellphones should be silenced during the entire ceremony.

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

  • • Conclusion of the ceremony, the Graduates should not leave the ceremony floor until the appropriate time, Only after the 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.

Commencement Day Information for Family and Guests

It’s wonderful to have the support of your family and friends sharing in this once in a lifetime moment in your life. We are here to ensure that every one of your guests and fellow classmates guest experience this magical moment. We ask that you review the information below as well as the Commencement Day Information for Guests. As these are rules that we must follow to ensure that everyone will have a pleasant experience.


CEREMONY LOCATION

Your commencement will be taking place off campus at:

Tinley Park Convention Center
18451 Convention Center Dr
Tinley Park, Illinois
(1 block east of Harlem)

Parking is available in three locations and is very limited, so carpooling is strongly encouraged. Shuttle buses will be available to transport to/from remote parking lots (B & C).

  • a. Tinley Park Convention Center 18451 Convention Center Dr.,Tinley Park (1 block east of Harlem)

  • b. Central Middle School 18146 Oak Park Ave., Tinley Park (3 blocks east of Harlem)

  • c. 80th Avenue Metra Train Station 7760 Timber Dr., Tinley Park (4 blocks west of Harlem)

DO NOT park in the LA Fitness parking lot. Your car may be ticketed and/or towed.

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.


CEREMONY INFORMATION

  • • A family friendly seating area will be available to guests with children to watch on a monitor. Please refrain from brining in strollers as there is a limit amount of space available and no strollers are to block aisles. Please visit the office in the West Lobby for lost items or for stroller check-in.

  • • Please leave all personal items, such as purses and bags with your guests or leave locked in your vehicle. GovState and the convention center are NOT responsible for lost or stolen items.

  • • Inform guests of the college/program you are graduating from, in order to assist with seating (e.g., College of Health and Human Services).

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

CEREMONIAL ETIQUETTE

The University wants to ensure that commencement is a dignified academic ceremony enjoyed by both the graduates and guests. Please be respectful for all the graduates and their families that have worked so hard to achieve this moment.

We ask that you please refrain from yelling, shouting, or whistling until all graduates have been individually acknowledged on stage.

Please silence your cell phones, all cell phones should be turned off and remain off during the ceremony.

We will have a live webcast available through GSU's website on Commencement Day for any family members who cannot join in person.

  • NO BULLHORNS ALLOWED.

  • NO balloons or large gifts are allowed in the convention center.

  • NO photography or videotaping are allowed in the front, side, or middle aisles.

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

  • • All guests must have tickets to be seated, including children 2 years and older, Infants and toddlers may be seated in the lap.

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

  • • We ask that you refrain from bringing in strollers as the space is limited and nothing is allowed to block aisles access. Please visit the office in the West Lobby for stroller check-in.

  • • Children may not sit with graduates.

  • • Saving seats are not permitted, Seats are for first come first serve, and are not guaranteed for late arrivals.

  • • Remain seated for the entire commencement ceremony.

COMMENCEMENT DAY SPECIALS

  • Chicago Balfour 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 and so much more! Visit their website for more information.

  • 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.

  • Grad Images will be on hand at the Doctoral Hooding Ceremony as well as Commencement Day. Their event-certified professional photographers will capture memories that will last a lifetime. You will be able to order your photographs online after commencement by visiting Grad Images

  • 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 dozens; they will also be hand-wrapped on location with baby’s breath and greens, along 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 pre-ordered visiting The Commencement Group's website.

Doctoral Hooding Ceremony Information for Graduates and Guests

CEREMONY INFORMATION

The Doctoral Hooding Ceremony is held at Governors State University on the Center for Performing Arts Stage on Thursday, May 16, 2024, at 6:30 p.m.

Please enter through D Main entrance and proceed to the Center for Performing Arts.

  • • Doctoral students should arrive by 5:45 p.m. Late arriving students may not be allowed to participate.

  • • Participating faculty should arrive by 6 p.m.

  • • Graduates and guests DO NOT need tickets to attend the Doctoral Hooding Ceremony.

  • • Free parking is available in West Lot 1 and East Lot 1. Guests should enter through D Main entrance and proceed to the Center for Performing Arts.

  • • At the conclusion of the ceremony a reception for graduates and their families will be held in the Hall of Governors, where photos can be taken.

GRADUATE INFORMATION

  • • Graduates should gather in the CPA Green room; Graduates can complete robing and prepare for stage entrance. The CPA Green Room located to the left of the Box Office/Engbretson Hall (behind the Box Office.

  • • Please leave all personal items, such as purses and bags with your guests or at home. Graduates cannot take any items on stage with them. GSU is NOT responsible for lost or stolen items.

  • • Be sure to bring the gown you received when you ordered through Balfour. You will wear your gown and tam (Doctoral version of a mortar board), but you will hold your hood as the hood will be placed during the ceremony. Graduates can complete robing and prepare for stage entrance in the CPA Green Room where Mirrors will be available.

  • • GSU approved honors cords and stoles may be worn with regalia, including non-academic stoles signifying ethnic identity or country of origin.

  • • If you have not yet placed your order with Chicago Balfour, please don’t forget, you have worked way too hard to miss out on this wonderful experience to be hooded on stage in front of your family and friends, as you will not be able to take stage without the proper regalia. Please place your order early with Chicago Balfour no later than March 17, 2024, for home delivery by April 27, 2024. Chicago Balfour 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 and so much more! Visit their website for more information.

GUEST INFORMATION

  • • This event will be held at Governors State University within the Center of Performing Arts Theater.

  • • Please arrive no later than 6:25 p.m. as the doors will be closed promptly at 6:30 p.m.

  • • Graduates and guests DO NOT need tickets to attend the Doctoral Hooding Ceremony.

  • • Free parking is available in West Lot 1 and East Lot 1. Guests should enter through D Main entrance and proceed to the Center for Performing Arts.

  • • NO Balloons or Large Gifts are allowed.

  • • Group photographs of all graduates and ceremony participants will be held immediately following the ceremony. Following the photograph, graduates will join their families for the reception in the Hall of Governors.

Access Services for Students with Disabilities

ASSD is now accepting accommodation requests for commencement. Complete this Disability Services Accommodations Form if you are a student in need of an accommodation, a student whose guest is in need of an accommodation, or a staff/faculty member in need of an accommodation. GSU credentials are needed to log in to complete the form.

If you have any questions, please contact the Access Services for Students with Disabilities Office at 708.235.3968 or assd@govst.edu.

Accommodations and Area Attractions

We have arranged for GSU graduates, families and guests to enjoy special rates at the Even Hotel (connected to the Tinley Park Convention Center). By using the code GSU, the room rate is $129 per night. Book a reservation today as rooms are limited. More information on the hotel restaurant is available here.

Directions and a map to the hotel and Convention Center can be found here. If you’re looking for more information about local attractions and a broader list of things to do, this list provides opportunities and suggestions.

Directions

Directions and a map to the hotel and Convention Center can be found here.

Get directions to the Tinley Park Convention Center from your location by using the map below or visiting Google Maps.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are students considered graduates of GSU before Commencement is held?

A: Yes. Your status as a graduate of GSU will not be affected. If you complete the requirements for a degree for Spring 2024 or Summer 2024, your official transcript will reflect that you've earned a degree, and you will receive your diploma in the mail six to eight weeks after grades have been submitted at the end of the respective term.

How can students, staff, and faculty members stay updated on what’s going on?

The best way to stay informed is to regularly check your GSU email. We frequently communicate via email and this is the most effective way to stay up to date with any new or changing information. You can also stay up to date by checking our COVID 19 Updates webpage.

Will the event be livestreamed?

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

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.

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.).

Can I use my financial aid to cover the $125 fee?

Please consult with the Financial Aid Office to see if this is an option.

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.

When will I receive my diploma?

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?

If this happens, please consult with your Academic Advisor.

Where do I pick-up my regalia?

Regalia will be mailed directly to your home. If you miss the deadline for ordering and shipping to your home, please contact the Registrar.

REGALIA WILL NOT BE DISTRIBUTED ON COMMENCEMENT DAY

When does Commencement take place?

Commencement will take place on Saturday, May 18, 2024. There are two ceremonies, depending on your college:

  • • 10 a.m. College of Arts & Sciences and College of Business
  • • 4 p.m. College of Education and College of Health & Human Services

How will I know which 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 (COB), College of Education (COE) and College of Health and Human Services (CHHS).

How early should I arrive at commencement?

Participants should arrive 90 minutes before the ceremony. Guests should arrive an hour before the ceremony.

Where should I park for the Commencement ceremony?

Parking is available in three locations and is very limited, so carpooling is strongly encouraged.

  • • Tinley Park Convention Center 18451 Convention Center Dr.,Tinley Park (1 block east of Harlem)

  • • Central Middle School 18146 Oak Park Ave., Tinley Park (3 blocks east of Harlem)

  • • 80th Avenue Metra Train Station 7760 Timber Dr., Tinley Park (4 blocks west of Harlem)

Do not park in the LA Fitness parking lot. Shuttle buses will be available for transport between parking lots and convention center –near NORTH ENTRANCE.

Does my child need a ticket?

Children who are two and older are required to have a ticket.

How long is the ceremony?

The Commencement ceremony lasts approximately two and a half hours.

Where can I find more details about the Commencement Speaker and Singer application process?

Visit Jaguar Connection for more information.

Commencement Partners

Balfour LogoGradImages LogoMarching Order LogoThe Commencement Group Logo