May Graduation

Graduation Schedule & LIVE stream can be found here.

Information & Instructions

Before Graduation

Graduate Breakfast

Is a "Come & Go" breakfast for graduate's ONLY. This meal is provided by the Alumni Office.

Exit Interview

If you have a federal loan, government regulations require that you complete an exit interview. Before graduation please go to for instructions on completing the exit interview or visit your Student Finance Counselor.


Order regalia (gown, cap, hood, tassel) at before April 16. Orders after that date may incur an extra cost to receive your regalia on time. Being a celebration of your academic achievements, you are not allowed to march with items beyond items through your academic department. If your parents have flowers or wreaths for you, do not hold or carry them during the service. There will not be room for these extra items in your seating area, and it creates a risk that others could trip over or step on your special memento(s). Please also note that Southern's official dress code still applies.

Honor Cords

Those eligible to receive honor cords should pick them up at the Records Office during test week at the posted normal working hours. (Honor cords are for Associates and Bachelors graduates.)


Visit for University rates. If you would like to stay in Ooltewah, negotiated rates are available at the Holiday Inn and Hampton Inn off Exit 11. Go to for additional information.  Staybridge Suites near the Convention Center also may have negotiated rates for Southern, and reservations can be made by calling 855.743.7676.

Graduation Party at the Convention Center

Enjoy the convenience of celebrating your graduate’s achievement with a delicious buffet luncheon, in private meeting space in the convention center, following Commencement.  Please email to secure your reservation, including advance payment, no later than May 2. The cost of $24p/p is all inclusive. Tickets will be distributed on Sunday morning. Your payment in advance will secure the reservation, and you will be notified of the room number assigned.

Graduation Weekend

Food Service Hours

Cafeteria Hours: Click here

Village Market Deli Hours: Click here

IMPORTANT: No Helium Balloons inside the facility

These are not allowed by the Convention Center due to potential hazards to their ventilation system. Those who break the restriction will be fined $200. Please make sure your family and friends are aware.

Graduation Practice 

It is important that you attend the practice on Friday a.m. Detailed instructions will be given regarding the procedures for Sunday morning. We will not have an opportunity to practice at the Convention Center, so you need to know in what order you will be marching and find out who will be sitting next to you.

Graduate's Commencement Line-Up 

Graduates need to go to Halls C-D by 8:30 a.m. and no later than 9:00am to line up.  Be sure to bring regalia (gown, cap, tassel and hood) as it is required to march.  Please allow enough time to drive, park and be at the appropriate place on time.

ID Required: In an effort to provide security and safety in the graduate line-up area, we are asking all graduates to please bring a form of ID (either Southern ID or Driver’s License) with you, in order to enter the line-up area in Hall C-D. You may want to arrive a little earlier, in case this causes some delay. For those who may not have pockets in which to carry your ID, a lanyard will be provided at the check-in table just inside the doors for your use. For any who may arrive late, thus missing the processional, please see the usher who will be stationed at the far left side of the stage, at the very front to help you past the barriers and to your seat. You will need to show her your ID so that she can check you in. Thank you for your understanding and patience during this entry process.

Convention Center Parking

The Convention Center's parking garage has been reserved for graduates and guests to enjoy free parking on a first come, first served basis for Sabbath School, Baccalaureate, and Commencement services. The walk from the parking garage to where services will be held in Exhibit Hall A/B is long (south end of the building), but there is a passenger drop-off area in front of the entrance to Exhibit Hall A/B.  Directions to the Convention Center are found at the top of this page and below this information.

Noisemakers, etc.

In our pursuit of a respectful graduation service that is honorable, respects all graduates equally, and protects guests with sensitive ears and/or hearing aids, we ask that there be no use of noisemakers or mess- making devices including but not limited to: air horns, silly string, poppers, etc. These items will be respectfully confiscated if found, and may be returned after the ceremony. Thank you for abiding by this policy and making family and friends aware of this restriction to assure a smooth, pain-free graduation service for everyone. 


Spring bouquets of flowers from Grafe's Studio may be purchased at the Convention Center for $15.00 (tax included). Checks/cash/credit will be accepted. 

Facility Map

This map shows the locations where each school or department will be meeting after the recessional. View it here

Professional Photography

GradImages is the official photographer for our Commencement. Proofs will be sent to your home and via email within three to five days after graduation. Pictures can be ordered online, by phone or by mail. Graduation Images can be contacted at 800-261-2576 or via email at

Registering your graduate with GradImages provides them with the information they need to deliver your graduation proofs to you in a timely manner. Giving them an accurate mailing address and email address will allow them to get your proofs to you on the first try. You may also provide them with email addresses of up to six friends and family members to allow them to celebrate in the accomplishment.

After Graduation


You will be given a 5 x 7 photograph of you receiving your diploma. A few days after graduation you will receive your print in the mail. You may pre-register your email address to receive a message letting you know when you may view additional photos taken of you at graduation and to receive a $5 off coupon on your order. See above for the registration link.


DVD, video, and audio recordings of the services are available through the Campus Shop. Please visit or call 423-236-2152 to order.  These should become available a couple weeks after graduation.