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The Ceremony

Important Information about the Commencement Ceremony
Congratulations on your individual achievement. The following steps will explain the way the ceremony will be conducted and hopefully answer any questions you may have. If not, contact any one of the staff members that you see providing assistance in the robing area.

1. At Commencement Check-in you will complete an index card with your name and honors, if appropriate. You will turn this card over to the reader prior to walking across the stage when it is your turn to receive your diploma.

2. Honor students should wear the gold cords pinned around the left shoulder. 

3. The cap is worn throughout the entire ceremony.

4. Prior to receiving your degree, the tassel should be worn on the right side of the cap. 

5. In the Check-In area, students will be lined up with Honors Institute Program and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society students placed at the front of the student processional. HCC staff members will be in the Check-in area assisting with the placement of the graduates.

6. At 9:30 a.m. the Commencement Marshal and the Assistant Marshal will lead you into the hall. Follow the Assistant Marshals to your seating area and file into the rows, beginning at the front, as directed by your Assistant Marshal. Please remain standing until the members of the dais/platform party are seated on the stage.

7. Please remain standing as we say the Pledge of Allegiance and sing the National Anthem. It is appropriate for the men to remove their caps for this portion of the exercise. You will then be asked to be seated, at which time the men should put their caps back on.

8. The order of exercises in your commencement program will then be followed up to the "awarding of degrees". At that time you will be asked to stand so that the President can officially confer your degree upon you.

9. After the President has approved the awarding of your degree, the front row of graduates from each side will proceed to the stage. The remaining rows of graduates will stay seated until directed by the Assistant Marshal to stand and proceed to the "reader". Each row will proceed to the stage as directed.

10. Proceed to the reader and present your index card. Please pronounce your name to the reader so that (s)he will pronounce it properly over the speaker system. When your name is read, proceed across the stage to the person who is handing out the diplomas. If you need assistance, please make your needs known before entering the hall so that arrangements can be made.

11. You will receive a diploma cover with a mock diploma enclosed.  The official diploma will be mailed to you. (It is important to ensure that the Office of Admissions, Registration, and Records has your correct address.) The mock diploma will be presented to you by the person on stage.

12. Smile as you receive your diploma. A photographer will be taking photographs of this important event. A proof will be sent to you for your inspection. Photographs may be purchased from the company providing this service; however, there is no obligation to buy them. Graduates will have the opportunity to receive a complimentary photo of their choice.

13. Proceed down the ramp and return to your row and seat by the center aisle. You may be seated while the remainder of the diplomas are presented. You will be expected to remain until the ceremony is completed. Please extend this courtesy to your fellow graduates.

14. After all diplomas have been presented, you will be asked to stand and to move your tassel from the right side of your cap to the left side.

15. The dais party will proceed to the rear of the hall by the center aisle. Please wait and remain standing as they pass by and the faculty members follow them out. Graduates will then follow the faculty from the hall. At this time the front row will be lead by the Assistant Marshals followed by the remaining rows.

16. Then celebrate, this only happens once in your life. Congratulations!