Congratulations to our graduates! We hope to see you in May!
Detailed Graduate Instructions and PowerPoint Instructions Below
Graduate Instructions Sunday, May 5, 2024, at the Iles P.E. Center on the campus of
Southern Adventist University.The big event is almost here! Congratulations again on your academic achievement.
We want this event to be as organized & safe for you (and your family and friends)
as possible, so please thoroughly read through all of the following information.
Before You Arrive
- Take the gown (regalia) out of packaging and steam it if necessary (NEVER iron your
regalia, as it will melt).
- Determine where you will meet your family and guests after the program. (A designated vehicle would be best). Please do not gather in front of or immediately
to the side of the gym, in order to allow everyone to be able to exit safely.
- Please plan to arrive approximately 60 minutes prior to the start of your program.
For Sunday, May 5: first service, arrive by 8:00 a.m.; second service, arrive by 12:00
- BEFORE you enter the lobby, make sure to give any personal items to your family. You
will NOT be able to re-enter the line-up area after your program. It will be best
if you are already wearing your regalia as you come to the doors. If you have hangers
or any of the plastic bags that your regalia arrived in, please throw them away or
give them to your family before you enter.
- Be sure you have photo ID (driver’s license or Southern ID) in order to enter the
Wellness Center. The line-up area is in the hall of the Wellness Center, starting
from the stairs to the gym, continuing between the pools and exercise room, and down
the hall toward the Gym-Masters gym. Only graduates and faculty are allowed to enter the Wellness Center. There will be labels on the floor to assist
with line-up spacing and order. Commencement staff will be on hand to help you find
your place in the line-up. Please be sure to maintain appropriate physical distancing
while waiting to receive assistance with regalia and while waiting to march.
- In the HWC lobby, there will be two tables: 1) a Records table with honor cords for
Associate and Bachelor’s graduates, and 2) a table for our Advancement Department
where each graduate can pick up a zipper pull medallion, if they meet the requirements
- Lanyard pouches (to be worn underneath regalia) will also be available for those who
don’t have pockets for their IDs. Note: these are NOT large enough to hold a phone.
- The person whose name appears first on each row list posted in the line-up hallway
will be the row leader and is responsible for making sure his/her row is lined up
correctly. Note carefully which side you are on so you remember to turn that direction
at the appropriate place. Commencement staff will be present to provide you with your
- Remember you may not add any “extras” to your regalia, including flowers, leis, decorated
caps, etc. Tell your family to give these to you after the service.
- The platform party goes first, then faculty, then graduates.
- When the first row gets to the door into the auditorium, the graduates will wait until
the Grand Marshal (Dr. Kristie Wilder) walks back with the mace to lead in the graduates.
- All graduates will follow Dr. Wilder two by two.
- Graduate names are on programs on your chairs. Be sure you are sitting in the chair that has your name on the program. If you are
not sitting at your name, MOVE to the correct spot. The name card on your program is for you to pull off and take with you to the stage
at the appropriate time.
Conferring of Degrees
Students will stand up one row at a time—beginning with the front row. Students will
then walk out to the left of the seating area. There will be four stopping points
on the way to the stage—one at the table to pick up your diploma cover and check to
be sure you have your name card, one at the bottom of the stairs, one at the middle
point of the stairs, and one at the top of the stairs. At the top step, hand your
card to the announcer. As soon as your name is called, walk across the stage to where
you will have your picture taken with our president, Dr. Ken Shaw. There will be “feet”
marked on the floor indicating where you will stop, and face the direction they indicate,
while holding your diploma cover between you and the president. Pause briefly in that
spot for the picture, then continue across the stage and down the stairs.
After this brief pause for the photo, you will finish crossing the stage and go down
the stairs. There will be a second photo station with a backdrop. Please pause for
the photographer to take this second picture, then replace your mask, go back to your
seat, and be seated.
Sometime within a few weeks after graduation, you will receive a complimentary copy of the photograph taken at the first location with the president. You will be
able to order more copies from either station from gradimages if you wish, but it is not required. If you receive the wrong photo, or do not receive
your photo at all, you may contact their customer service department at (800) 261-2576,
online at www.gradimages.com, or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Grand Marshal will stand and pick up the mace.
- The platform party will leave first.
- The faculty will follow immediately behind the platform party.
- The graduates will follow faculty, leaving from back row to front row. Two faculty assistants will dismiss you by row. Walk toward the back of the gym,
straight out through the lobby, and go to a location that you should pre-arrange with
your family beforehand.
- Do not stop or try to turn around to go back inside. It is recommended that you go
directly to meet your family at one of your vehicles in order to allow everyone to
There will be a graduation practice on May 3, at 9am in the Iles P.E. Center.