December Graduation Information

Tickets will be required; the number of tickets that will be granted to each graduate will not be known until much closer to graduation. However, in the past, each graduate has received 6-8 tickets. If extra tickets are desired, please email Eve Knight at to be put on the waiting list.. Overflow seating (not requiring tickets) will be available in the Collegedale Church sanctuary.  The 2019 program is available here. (The 2020 program will be uploaded 1 or 2 weeks prior to graduation.) Graduation will be streamed online here. (link will not be live until the day/time of the event.) Note: graduates and faculty will need to have their Southern ID with them to enter the Wellness Center and line up. A lanyard will be provided as needed to carry the ID.

Dear graduates, family, and friends: The following information is to help you plan for graduation.

December 17
Commencement, 7 p.m., Iles P.E. Center

View commencement live streaming online here. (link will not be live until the day/time of the event)

Information/Instructions for parents and graduates:

Graduation Apparel – Be sure to purchase your regalia (gown, cap, hood, tassel) no later than November 20. Order by going to: Remember you must have regalia to march. 

Announcements – If you wish to order graduation announcements, you may order them through the same company you purchase your regalia --

Robing and Instructions – To robe up and receive instructions, please be at the Iles PE Center, at 6 p.m. sharp, December 17. Graduates will be lining up on the Hulsey Wellness Center indoors walking track. Graduation staff and faculty will be there to assist you in being ready to march. Since there will be no prior practice, it is imperative that you are on time for instructions and ready to march in your full graduation apparel. The program begins promptly at 7:00 p.m. Honor cords for undergraduate degree students should be picked up in the Records Office during test week. (Graduate students do not receive honor cords.) Philanthropy cords should be picked up from the Advancement Office. Diagrams: use these links to view diagrams for the graduate processionaland recessional.

Web Streaming – The Commencement service will be streamed on the web. For friends and family who cannot attend, instruct them to go to and click on the link for the graduation service or directly visit

Photographs and DVDs – There will be an official photographer in place to take your photo as you receive your diploma from President Smith and then again when you exit the stage holding your diploma. A free 5x7 print of you and President Smith will be sent to you a few days after graduation. The photographer will mail you an order form if you wish to purchase extra pictures, but there is no obligation. DVDs of the service will be made available for purchase through our Campus Shop; visit to order.

Restrictions for Facility - There are some restrictions that you need to make your family and/or friends aware of for the graduation service on December 17:

  1. Your family and friends are welcome to bring balloons to graduation, but they will need to leave them at our balloon table in the gym lobby, provided for your convenience. We wish to avoid the possibility of balloons making their way to the ceiling in the gymnasium, triggering the infrared sensors and fire alarm, and forcing the evacuation of the entire building. We do not want to take any chances of this happening during or after your program. There will be someone to monitor the organization and labeling of balloons as well as the return of balloons after the program. Please make sure all balloons are anchored with something so they are easily contained.
  2. In our pursuit of a commencement 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 noise makers 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 ensure a smooth, pain-free service for everyone.

Exit Interview – If you have a federal loan, government regulations require that you complete an exit interview prior to graduation. Please go to or visit your Student Finance Counselor.

Hotel Accommodations – A listing of hotels in the area is at

Additional Information – Additional information will be sent to your Southern email account. Please be sure to check your account periodically.

Special Accommodations/Concerns – if you have any special needs that require accommodating, please contact the office of Academic Administration at 423.236.2805.