Congratulations GSU Graduates!

Remember to come back and check for details on Commencement 2023 as they come! See you next year!

View our Commencement 2022 ceremonies to relive the excitement!

College of Arts & Sciences and College of Business

College of Education and College of Health & Human Services

  • COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


    Q: What is the status of the May Commencement ceremonies?

    A: GSU is thrilled to return to an in-person Commencement Ceremony at Tinley Park Convention Center. With this in mind, we are committed to maintaining a safe environment, meaning there will be additional protocols in place because of COVID-19.

    Q: 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 2022 or Summer 2022, 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.

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

    A: 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

  • Doctoral Hooding Ceremony and Reception


    Date: Thursday, May 12
    Time: 6:30 p.m.
    Location: Center for Performing Arts

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

    Graduates may take portraits with friends and faculty by Grad Images in the CPA Green Room.

    Immediately following the ceremony, there is a reception in the Hall of Governors.


    A live stream of the ceremony will be available on our website at 

  • Eligible Participants


    For the 2022 Commencement ceremony, eligible participants are:

    • • 2021 December graduates

    • • 2022 Spring candidates for graduation (who applied by Friday, February 7, 2022)

    • • 2022 Summer candidates for graduation (who applied by Friday, February 7, 2022)

    Participation in Commencement is voluntary.

  • Claim Your Tickets


    Each graduate is eligible to receive FIVE tickets. You will receive an email from MarchingOrder on behalf of Governors State University when it is time to claim your guest tickets for your commencement ceremony. The ticket redemption period is Thursday, April 14, 2022 through Sunday, April 24, 2022 at 11:55 p.m. When the ticket redemption period begins, you may redeem all or some of your 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).

    At this time you will also be prompted to record your name pronunciation for your commencement ceremony. This name pronunciation will be used to create the recording of your name that will be read when you walk the stage at your 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.

  • Cap and Gown Online Ordering


    Cap and Gown Online Ordering

    The online portal will be open for graduates to place their regalia orders from Monday, February 21, 2022 from 8 a.m. CST until Tuesday, March 23, 2022 11:59 p.m. CST through Chicago Balfour.

    Select the gown package for the specific degree you’ll be receiving. Your package will include the following:

    • Bachelor: gown, mortarboard, tassel

    • Master: gown, mortarboard, hood, tassel

    • Doctor: gown, tassel, hood and tam

    Note: ALL graduates (Bachelor, Master and Doctor) should order their regalia online before the deadline and they will be shipped directly to their homes.

    If you missed the deadline, contact for more information. 

    Regalia WILL NOT be distributed on Commencement Day.

  • GSU Graduation Celebration Week


    A complete list Grad Celebration Week activities can be found here.

  • Commencement Day Information for Graduates


    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.

    • 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)

    • Shuttle buses will be available to transport to/from remote parking lots.

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

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

    • 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 auditorium.

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

    • Please visit the office in the West Lobby for lost items or for stroller check-in.

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

    • 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 silenced during the entire ceremony.


  • Commencement Day Information for Guests


    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.


    • • 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.
    • • Saving seats is not permitted.

    • • Seats are not guaranteed for late arrivals.

    • • 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.


    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.

    • TGS Video will accept orders for the Commencement DVD at the West and South Entrances. You may place your order in advance by completing this form.

  • Disability Services Accommodations


     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

  • 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 GS2, 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.

  • Faculty and Staff Regalia


    To visually demonstrate the prestige of the event as well as to honor your achievements, we strongly encourage you to wear your own Regalia. We have options for Regalia purchase or rental. As a show of support for your participation in the May 2022 Commencement events, Governors State University is offering a Faculty Fine Regalia Purchasing Program in which the University will pay up to $200 toward your Fine Regalia purchase and up to $25 towards rental costs. You are responsible for any Faculty Fine Regalia costs greater than $200 on the purchase of Custom Regalia or greater than $25 on rental costs, including rental of a gown, tam and/or hood, if you elect to rent your Regalia. You will be responsible for the shipping fee as well. 

    If you would like to rent faculty regalia, please visit Chicago Balfour’s website. The dates for online ordering are February 21 at 8 a.m. CST - March 15 at 11:59 p.m. CST. Rental of regalia with Chicago Balfour is at the employee’s expense. Please use the website for direct ordering. 


  • 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.

    Scheduled rehearsals for the Doctoral Hooding Ceremony and Commencement are mandatory for the Marshal Coordination Team, Grand Marshal, Marshals, Faculty Excellence Awardees, and Name Announcers, in order to ensure that all participants are knowledgeable in their roles and each aspect of Commencement runs smoothly.


  • Staff and Volunteer Participation


    Staff assisting with the morning Commencement ceremony are expected to arrive at the Tinley Park Convention Center at 7 a.m. and will work until 1:30 p.m. Breakfast will be provided during this shift.  


    Staff assisting with the afternoon ceremony are expected to arrive at the Convention Center at 2 p.m. and will work until 8:30 p.m. Lunch will be provided during this shift. Please note that staff are particularly needed to assist with the afternoon ceremony.


    To confirm your participation, please complete this survey.


    If you are working on Saturday, May 14, 2022 it will be considered a work day and all non-negotiated, non-exempt employees who are assigned to work one of the two ceremonies will be granted time off for the actual hours worked (1-1 hour match). Please record the hours worked for Commencement as comp time earned (CE) and the hours taken off for this event as comp time used (CU) on your timesheet as applicable.


    Non-negotiated, non-exempt employees required to work more than 7.5 hours for graduation will be receive comp time at the usual rate. Employees covered by collective bargaining agreements will be compensated according to those agreements. All comp time earned for this event must be used by May 31, 2022.


    Exempt employees please discuss your work schedule with your supervisor.


    Please also mark your schedule for these two events leading up to Commencement:


    Commencement Orientation

    Hosted by the University Events Office

    Friday, May 6, 2022


    Engbretson Hall


    First Friday

    Hosted by the University Events Office

    Friday, May 6, 2022


    GSU – Hall of Governors


    If you have any questions regarding Commencement Day events,

    please contact the University Events Office at

    If you have questions about time off and recorded hours,

    please contact the Human Resources Department at extension - 4100.

  • General 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.

    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.


    When does Commencement take place?

    Commencement will take place on Saturday, May 14, 2022. There are two ceremonies, depending on your College:

    • • 10 a.m. College of Arts & Sciences and College of Business
    • • 4:30 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?

    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 will require tickets.

    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.

    Will the Commencement Ceremony be live streamed?

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

  • Commencement Vendors


    Balfour LogoGradImages LogoThe Commencement Group Logo