Day of Commencement

When do I show up?

You must arrive at the McAllen Convention Center no later than one hour before the ceremony begins. If you arrive late, you will be placed at the end of the line of your college to participate in the ceremony.

Which side should I wear my tassel? How about my other regalia?

It is recommended that recipients wear their tassels on the right side. Other regalia, such as stoles, cords, etc. are to be worn over the top of your gown. University staff will be available to help those students who need robing assistance.

Can I bring my camera, purse, cell phone, etc?

It is recommended that you leave all cell phones, cameras, bags, and other items with family or friends prior to your arrival, as it will be difficult for you to hold on to them during the ceremony. The University does not provide a location to secure these items, so we encourage students to avoid bringing any excess items or only bring what you can discreetly take with you.

Please inform your guests that party favors such as balloons and other celebratory items are restricted from the McAllen Convention Center. Though we encourage all of our graduates to celebrate their achievements, these items infringe upon the integrity of the ceremony and the safety of other graduates and guests. Items of this nature will be promptly collected if discovered, so we ask that you please inform your guests to refrain from bringing them.

When should my guests show up? Where do they go?

We recommend that your guests arrive at the McAllen Convention Center early to avoid any potential parking issues and to secure appropriate seating. Guests in wheelchairs have designated areas for seating in the Exhibit Hall.

How do we line up?

Graduates will begin to assemble at the McAllen Convention Center (ROOM 101) one hour before the ceremony begins. Your place in line will be assigned by the University staff, this position must be maintained throughout the entire ceremony. You will be given a name card with a number which you must keep with you at all times, this name card is issued to the person announcing your name. The procession will begin 5 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony.

How do we walk in?

As previously stated your name card holds the position in which you will enter the Exhibit Hall. The Faculty Class Marshal will lead the procession into the Exhibit Hall in a single file. Once your seat has been assigned, please remain standing. During the ceremony you will be directed to sit/stand at the appropriate times.

When do I approach the stage?

The Faculty Class Marshal will signal the first row to rise and approach the stage. Students will rise and approach the stage one row at a time.

  1. When you arrive on the stage, hand your name card (provided to you when you arrived) to the announcer and whisper your name to that person to better ensure proper annunciation of your name.
  2. When your name is announced, walk towards the President, receive the diploma tube with your LEFT hand and shake the President's hand with your RIGHT hand.
  3. Continue across the stage and shake hands with the Dean of your College.
  4. Your picture will be taken by a professional photographer (
  5. Exit the stage, return to your seat as instructed, and be seated.

How do we walk out?

Once the ceremony has ended, the President will ask that the students join the procession out and recess row by row in the same order they entered the arena. Graduates will be escorted to the outside of the venue, where they will then be welcomed to meet with friends and family (we recommend you decide on a location to meet prior to the ceremony to ensure a quick reunion with friends and family).