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 02/26/19

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 for College of Arts and Sciences and College of Business

The Commencement Ceremony will begin at 4:30 pm for 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 six general admission guest tickets. Tickets for the Commencement Ceremony will be available online - ticketing redemption site http://www.tixGSU.com/. You may redeem your tickets between April 22 - May 3, 2019. You may redeem all or some of your allotted tickets. If after the redemption period additional tickets are available, an announcement will be made by Tuesday, May 7, 2019 and the site will be re-opened for a specific period of time.

    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 Disability Services, at 708.235.3968 or assd@govst.edu  

    Parking is very limited, carpooling is strongly encouraged.

    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.

    Plan to arrive early - 8:30am (for 10am ceremony) or 3:00pm (for the 4:30pm ceremony) respectively.

    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. 

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

    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 silenced during the entire ceremony.

    NO BACKPACKS, CONCEALED WEAPONS AND 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 Disability Services at 708.235.3968 or assd@govst.eduby 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, CONCEALED WEAPONS AND  FIREARMS ARE ALLOWED IN THE CONVENTION CENTER OR HOTEL

      COMMENCEMENT DAY SPECIALS

      Jostens not only provides the cap, gown, and/or hood, they also offer other wonderful graduation gifts that will help you celebrate the moments you'll treasure for a lifetime.  They offer; rings, announcements, fine jewelry, Uplomas and so much more! Visit www.jostens.com 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. 

      LifeTouch Special Events 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: www.lifetouch.com

      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

      The 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 places the doctoral hood over the head of the graduate, signifying his or her 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 in addition to and does not replace the Commencement Ceremony at the Tinley Park Convention Center.

      • Thursday, May 16, 2019, 6:30 pm
      • Center for Performing Arts
      • Graduates meet at 5 pm in the Green Room of the CPA
      • Graduates may take portraits with friends and faculty through LifeTouch
      • Reception immediately following the ceremony in the Hall of Governors
      • NO TICKET REQUIRED

    • 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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      • 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.

      • Cap and Gown Pickup is scheduled for Tuesday, April 30, noon - 5 pm and Wednesday, May 1, 2-7pm.
      • Note: Doctoral students will receive your cap and gown through their respective chair in either the College of Education or College of Health and Human Services.

      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 may pick them up on one of these dates:

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

       Note: Doctoral students will receive their regalia through their respective chair from the College of Education or College of Health and Human Services after May 2, 2019.

      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 six general admission guest tickets per ceremony for family and guests. Tickets will be available online at www.tixGSU.com beginning Monday, April 22, 2019 and closing on Friday, May 3, 2019. If additional tickets are available, this will be announced, Tuesday, May 7, 2019 and made available for redemption for a limited time.
            
        • 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 chair from the College of Education and College of Health and Human Services.  
          • 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 Preparation

        Stop by Salute to Grads on Wednesday, March 6, from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. in the Hall of Governors to take care of all of your graduation needs. Jostens will be on hand to measure you for your cap and gown. You may also order announcements, GSU class ring, diploma frames, and more. LifeTouch Event Photography will also be available to take professional graduation photos (with regalia) as well as business portraits.

        You will also receive important information regarding the ceremony, and assistance will be available from the Commencement Office, Career Services, the Alumni Association, the Recreation and Fitness Center, Follett Bookstore, Student Life, and Veteran's Affairs.

      2. Faculty Information - Participation and Regalia Information

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        2019 Commencement Faculty Checklist

        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 to ensure that all participants are knowledgeable in their roles and to ensure that each aspect of Commencement runs smoothly.

        Please complete the Faculty Participation Survey indicating your level of participation by April 12, 2019. You may 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 www.jostens.com. 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. Please make payments directly with Jostens.

        If you’d like to purchase a Fine Quality Academic Regalia package, visit Jostens' website here www.jostens.com 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. Please make payments directly with Jostens.

        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 at 708.534-6360 or kcaesar-smith@govst.edu

      3. Volunteer Information

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        Let the Celebration Continue! 

        Volunteers Are Needed to Assist at Commencement! 

        WE NEED YOU!!!

        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: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Preview/?sm=du_2BVdbX8nxWt4wqqsVQwIrISWrhGslCJxCE8fEsF_2BmuYpKD0z45NRO4H24kvP7Xf

        All commencement Volunteers must attend a mandatory orientation on Friday, May 10, 2019 at 10 a.m. in Engbretson Hall.

        If you have questions or wish additional information, please contact Karen Caesar at kcaesar-smith@govst.edu

         

      4. International Visitor Visa Letters

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        Available March 4, 2019

        The Invitation letter will be sent out via email to eligible participants. Please check your GSU email account.

        If you have difficulty with your GSU email, please contact the Helpdesk at 708.534.4357 (HELP).