Commencement Exercises

Sunday, May 19, 2019
Bojangles' Coliseum
2700 E. Independence Blvd.
Charlotte, North Carolina 28205
10 a.m. (Doors will open at 8 a.m.)

  • Graduates must assemble at 8 a.m. in Bojangles' Coliseum for graduate check-in and final instructions as it pertains to Commencement. There will be a separate entry for graduates and guest.
  • 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.)
  • Given the formal nature of the Commencement, graduates are not allowed to carry anything in the procession or recession (e.g. no book bags, laptops, Bluetooth devices, pocketbooks, pets, children, etc.).
  • The processional will depart at approximately 9:55 a.m. and will be led by Faculty Marshals. Once the line-up is finalized and the processional begins, graduates will not be allowed to enter the line. Graduates will march in by colleges in the academic procession. 
  • 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.
  • There are no tickets for this event. Bojangles’ Coliseum adheres to the American Disabilities Act, all seating is on a first-come first-served basis.


Bojangles’ Coliseum strongly encourages those needing accessible seating to arrive early. All accessible seating will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Every effort will be made on the day of an event to accommodate those needing accessibility seats but this is based on availability. 

  • Parking attendants will direct guest to the accessible parking located near the Main Entrance. Anyone using the spaces must display the proper State Identification tag. Spaces are on a first–come, first-served basis.
  • Sign language will be offered to guests who are hearing impaired and require interpretation.
  • Graduates participating in Commencement needing accessible seating or accommodations for themselves should contact the Office of the Registrar at

Commencement parking

There is no fee for Parking at Bojangles’ Coliseum during Commencement. The parking lot will be open to graduates and guests at 8 a.m. To reduce traffic congestion, Bojangles’ Coliseum suggests that all guest arrive one hour prior to the event start time.

Shuttle Service

Shuttle service will be provided for any graduate or student who does not have transportation. Shuttle service from campus to Bojangles will begin at 6:45 a.m. in front of the Music Building Annex and will run until 7:30 a.m. for graduates and 9 a.m. for all other students. Departure service from Bojangles Coliseum back to campus will start at 1 p.m. until 3 p.m.

NOTE: Graduates must assemble at 8 a.m. in Bojangles for graduate check-in.

Commencement Photos

Johnson C. Smith University's Commencement exercises will be professionally photographed and videotaped. Family members and guests will not be allowed to access the coliseum floor area during the program.

  • Graduates and family members can order photos directly from Grad Images. After graduation, order online at or call 800-261-2576.

First aid

Licensed First Aid Technicians/EMT’s are on staff for the event.  If you need first aid assistance contact the nearest usher, security guard or police officer. The Bojangles’ Coliseum First Aid station is located on the lower level. In the event of an emergency, please follow the directions of the emergency personnel and staff.