Commencement Exercises


Sunday, May 15, 2016
Irwin Belk Complex
8 a.m. (Gates will open for ticket-holders at 6 a.m.)

  • Graduates must assemble at 6 a.m. in Jack S. Brayboy Gymnasium for roll call and final instructions as it pertains to the Commencement.
  • Cap and Gown along with honor cords, tassels, medallions, fraternity and sorority kente cloth stoles are permitted for Commencement. Tassels should be worn on the right side of the cap. During the Commencement exercises the tassel will be transferred to the left side of the cap, upon instruction from the podium.
  • Attire:
    • Dress pants or dress skirts that show below the hem of the robe must be dark in color.
    • Collared shirts that show above the neckline of the robe must be white.
    • Ties must be dark in color.
    • Dress shoes must be appropriately formal and dark in color.
    • Religious headwear, if worn, must be dark in color.
    • Earrings must be small (i.e. pearl or other studs).  No dangling jewelry (earrings, bracelets, etc.)
  • Hoods will be carried into commencement on your left arm, and the hooding ceremony will take place during the commencement program.
  • Given the formal nature of the Commencement, seniors are not allowed to carry anything in the procession or recession (e.g. no book bags, laptops, Bluetooth devices, pocketbooks, cell phones, pets, children, etc.).
  • The processional will depart at approximately 7:30 a.m. and will be led by Faculty Marshalls. Once the processional begins, graduates will not be allowed to enter the line. Seniors will march in by colleges in the academic procession. Seating arrangements are assigned and are not changeable.
  • The recessional will proceed in the same order as at the Baccalaureate service: Platform party first, followed by faculty, then alumni in reunion and graduates.

  • Ticket information (tickets will be given out immediately following Commencement Rehearsal on Thursday, May 12th); each graduate will receive:

    • Four (4) Priority Field Passes for four (4) of your family/friends to sit in the priority seats on the field.
    • Ten (10) General Admissions Tickets for family/friends to sit in the stadium.
    • These General Admissions Tickets will guarantee seating in the stadium from 6 a.m. – 7:10 a.m.
    • At approximately 7:15 a.m. any remaining seats in the stadium will be opened to the “public” non-ticket holders.
    • PLEASE make sure that your family and friends know that they need to arrive between 6 a.m. – 7:10 a.m. in order to have guaranteed seating.
    • Priority Seating on the field will be closed at approximately 7:45 a.m. when the processional begins (if seats are available in the stadium priority seat ticket holders will be directed to the stadium seats)
    • Gates will close for all ticket holders and non-ticket holders at approximately 7:55 a.m.


The Irwin Belk Stadium Complex is accessible for people with disabilities or wheelchairs, and JCSU staff will provide cross-campus shuttles to help those with difficulty walking to get from one location to the other.  Alternative accommodations are available for family members and friends who may be disabled, hearing impaired or limited from sitting outdoors due to illness or age to watch the Commencement. 

  • A reserved area in the stadium is designated exclusively for those with disabilities. Upon entry to the Irwin Belk Complex, persons who use wheelchairs and one buddy will be directed to that reserved area. For parties larger than two, each guest must have a ticket for entry. If there are others in your party, they will need to sit in the stands.
  • Viewing locations include:
    • Irwin Belk Complex Room 145
    • Irwin Belk Complex Room 146
    • Science Center Auditorium
    • Biddle Hall – Auditorium

Sign Language will be offered to guests who are hearing impaired and require interpretation.

Inclement weather location

In the case of rain or inclement weather, the ceremony will be moved from the stadium into the Jack S. Brayboy Gymnasium.  The seating capacity within the gymnasium limited; therefore, graduating seniors will receive two (2) Rain Tickets (included in your Ticket and Information Packet) for family and friends. If the University implements its rain backup plan, each senior will have the responsibility of determining which family members and friends will have access to the gymnasium. Overflow crowds will still be able to watch the proceedings live from:

  • Irwin Belk Complex Room 145
  • Irwin Belk Complex Room 146
  • Science Center Auditorium
  • Biddle Hall - Auditorium

Commencement parking

Parking on campus for Commencement will be on a first-come first-serve basis. Graduating seniors will have two (2) parking passes: 

  • Your JCSU Issued Parking Pass for the academic year will serve as one pass
  • The 2nd pass will be included in your Ticket and Information Packet

Since parking is limited, we encourage students and families members to carpool. Parking locations for Commencement are:

  • Main Campus – by parking pass and current Faculty/Staff or student decal only (Strictly Enforced)
  • Mosaic Village (1635 W. Trade Street)
  • Arts Factory (1545 W. Trade Street)
  • Mechanics and Farmers (101 Beatties Ford Road)
  • Center for Career and Professional Services Lot (across from main campus)
  • Area II Lot (across from main campus)
  • Davis House (across from main campus)