Congratulations 2021 & 2020 Graduates! Here are the date and time for your Virtual Commencement:


Classes of 2020 and 2021

Doctoral Hooding Ceremony 

Thursday, 5/20/21 



Class of 2021

College of Arts and Sciences

Virtual Commencement Ceremony 

Saturday, 5/22/21



Class of 2021

College of Business

Virtual Commencement Ceremony 

Saturday, 5/22/21



Class of 2021

College of Education 

Virtual Commencement Ceremony 

Saturday, 5/22/21



Class of 2021

College of Health and Human Services

Virtual Commencement Ceremony 

Saturday, 5/22/21



Class of 2020

All Colleges

Virtual Commencement Ceremony 

Saturday, 5/23/21



  • Dates of Virtual Commencement


    Please refer to the following list to see when your respective ceremony will take place:

    Times will be announced at a later date.

  • Virtual Doctoral Hooding Ceremony


    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. Further instructions will be given at a later date.

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

    The Virtual Doctoral Hooding Ceremony, Thursday, May 20, 2021 at 6:00pm

    This will included the class of 2021 and the class of 2020 graduates.

  • Eligible Participants RSVP Here


    For the 2021 Virtual Commencement ceremonies, eligible participants are:

    • 2020 Fall graduates
    • 2021 Spring candidates for graduation (who applied by Friday, February 12, 202)
    • 2021 Summer candidates for graduation (who applied by Friday, February 12, 2021)

    Participation in the 2021 Virtual Commencement is voluntary.

    For the Class of 2020 Virtual Commencement ceremony, participants are:

    • 2019 Fall graduates
    • 2020 Spring graduates
    • 2020 Summer graduates

    Participation in the Class of 2020 Virtual Commencement Ceremony is voluntary.

    RSVP for Virtual Commencement Ceremony

  • 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 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 11 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 in late April 2021. The specific dates will be announced at a later date. 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 website to pick the date and time that works best for your schedule

    Sign up for Graduation Photo Appointment

    Jostens will be on hand to order announcements, GSU class rings, diploma frames and much more. LifeTouch Event Photography will be available by appointment only to take professional graduation photos (with regalia) as well as business portrait.

    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, t-shirts, and kukui nut leis available for guests to purchase online. 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 may also 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.

  • Grad Celebration Sponsored by Center for Student Engagement and Intercultural Programs


    Grad Celebration

    Grad Celebration week is May 17th-21st, 2021.

    Student vocalist applications are due by March 31, 2021.

    Student speaker applications are due by March 31, 2021.

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

    Update on Outdoor Ceremony

    Thank you for your patience and enthusiasm around Commencement celebrations!

    While we would all love to gather together in May and celebrate our academic achievements as a community, we are not sure if will be safe to do so because of the lingering COVID-19 pandemic.

    As previously indicated, we are looking forward to hosting an outdoor celebration as soon as the CDC, Illinois Department of Public Health and the Will County Department of Health clear us to safely gather.

    Until then, we are planning several virtual ceremonies.

    Thank you for your patience as we work through celebration details!

  • 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


    Faculty and Staff 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 share with others who may attend our university in the future.

    More information on how you can contribute towards this special day for our graduates will be shared at a later date.

    Faculty and Staff Information

    We are thankful that the year 2020 is behind us and for the possibilities 2021 is opening all around us!

    Though it’s still not safe for us to gather in person because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are planning several virtual ceremonies for the Class of 2020 and 2021 graduates and want to keep you in the loop.

    The dates and ceremonies are as follows:

    • Thursday, May 21, 2021 - Doctoral Hooding Ceremony for classes 2020 and 2021 at 6pm
    • Saturday, May 22, 2021 - Four, virtual ceremonies for Class of 2021 – Specific times for each college will be announced shortly
    • Sunday, May 23, 2021 - One virtual ceremony for Class of 2020 – Specific time will be announced shortly

    Fogarty Services will be hosting all virtual ceremonies and promises to deliver unique experiences tailored to our very special graduates.

    This week we are reaching out to eligible graduates and planning video productions through DLMD for those heart-felt well wishes we hear every year from Trustees, administration, students, alumni, faculty and staff.

    Thank you for your patience and enthusiasm as we plan six safe and well-deserved celebrations.

  • 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 Logo