Baccalaureate and Commencement information for students


Baccalaureate Service
Friday, May 13, 2022
Jane M. Smith Church
4 p.m.
Candidates for Graduation should assemble at 3 p.m. in the Sarah Belk Gambrell Auditorium in Biddle Memorial Hall

This year’s Baccalaureate Service will be held Friday, May 13th in the Jane M. Smith Church at 4 p.m. Candidates for graduation should assemble at 3 p.m. in the Sarah Belk Gambrell Auditorium, on the first floor of Biddle Memorial Hall, for the processional.

All students must register online by 8 p.m. EST, May 2, 2022.

Registration is mandatory. To RSVP, go to: Student Participation Form – Baccalaureate

Attire for Baccalaureate Service

  • Caps (with tassels) and gowns (Honor cords, medallions, fraternity, sorority and kente cloth stoles are NOT permitted for Baccalaureate Service.)  
  • Tassels should be worn on the right side of the cap.  
  • 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.)  
  • No purses, satchels, backpacks, totes or other bags will be allowed.  

Invited Guests

While the service is expected to be live-streamed, students may invite their families to participate in this event. Families and invited guests must adhere to the most updated campus safety guidelines. 

The overflow seating location will be announced at a later time.

Note: Proof of Vaccination or Negative COVID-19 Test Required of All Persons Ages 5 and Up for JCSU Campus Events

As of November 12, 2021, Johnson C. Smith University has updated safety guidelines for University events held on campus based on new CDC recommendations. All persons ages 5 and up attending JCSU indoor and outdoor events are required to show proof of vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 test result within three days (72 hours) before the event. Adults should also bring a valid photo ID along with the proof of vaccination or negative test result. Anyone who is experiencing symptoms or has been exposed to someone with COVID-19 is asked not to come to campus, so you don't put others at risk.

The event host is responsible for verifying attendee vaccination/testing status before entry into the facility. We can provide check-in tables as part of your event setup if needed.

Face masks are required inside all JCSU facilities. Persons should remain three feet from others not in your immediate household, practice hand-washing and use the hand sanitizing stations inside campus buildings. The capacity of all buildings and event venues has been decreased to lower density as a safety precaution.

You are strongly encouraged to wear a face mask while attending outdoor events on campus. Social distancing, hand washing and sanitizing hands are also strongly encouraged when attending outdoor events.

Group of students at the 2019 Commencement Ceremonies


Sunday, May 15, 2022
Bojangles Coliseum
2700 E. Independence Blvd.
Charlotte, North Carolina 28205
11 a.m. (Doors will open at 9:30 a.m.*)
*Graduates must assemble at 9 a.m. 

Commitment to Safety and COVID-19 Protocols

Due to continued health and safety concerns, face masks must be worn at all times.

We will continue to use hygiene and health supplies such as hand sanitizer. Participating faculty, staff and students must be vaccinated or have received an approved exemption.

To provide a safer experience and smooth entry, only clear bags will be allowed into the venue. Clear plastic, vinyl or PVC bags that do not exceed 12” x 6” x 12” are allowed.

Small clutch bags, which cannot exceed 4.5” x 6.5” in size, with or without a handle or strap can be taken into the venue with one of the clear plastic bags. Graduates are not allowed to bring purses, satchels, backpacks, totes or other bags.

During the ceremony, once directed by a marshal, graduates will approach the stage in a socially distanced line. 

Only 3-ply surgical, 4-ply KF-94, and 5-ply KN-95 masks are required in public indoor spaces and classrooms.

Invited Participants

Graduates from Summer 2021, Fall 2021, and Spring 2022 are invited to participate in Commencement this year.

All students must register online by 8 p.m. EST, May 2, 2022.

Registration is mandatory. To RSVP, go to: Student Participation Form – Commencement

Allowed Guests

While tickets are not required this year, seating is limited and will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Once capacity is reached, additional guests will be turned away. Guests should arrive early in order to find parking and be seated. 

For family and friends who will be unable to attend in person, the ceremony will be live-streamed. More information about how to access the live-streamed event will be forthcoming. 


This year, Baccalaureate and Commencement rehearsal will be held Thursday, May 12, 2022, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. noon in the Sarah Belk Gambrell Auditorium in Biddle Memorial Hall.

Check-In Time for Graduates

Graduates must assemble at 9 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 guests. 

Graduates should enter at the East Entrance by the pedestrian bridge and gather inside the East Charlotte Room to collect their walking cards for the processional. 


  • Caps and gowns 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. The tassel will be transferred to the left side of the cap, upon instruction from a designated speaker at the podium, during the Commencement exercises.
  • 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.)
  • No purses, satchels, backpacks, totes or other bags will be allowed.

Regalia Pickup

Caps and gowns may be picked up from the JCSU Bookstore located in the Mary Joyce Taylor Crisp Memorial Student Union Mondays through Thursdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. or on Fridays between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

A photo ID is required for cap and gown pickup.

If you wish to have someone else pick up your regalia, or make other pickup arrangements, contact the JCSU bookstore at

Honor Cords

Honor Cords may be obtained from the advisor for the honor society of which you are part.

Processional and Recessional

Graduates will receive processional and recessional instructions at rehearsal. 


Bojangles Coliseum adheres to the American Disabilities Act and strongly encourages those needing accessible seating to arrive early. All seating will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Every effort will be made on the day of the event to accommodate those needing accessibility seats; however, this is based on availability. 

Parking attendants will direct guests to the accessible parking located near the Main Entrance. Anyone using the spaces must display the proper State Identification tag. Parking 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 beginning at 8 a.m. To reduce traffic congestion, Bojangles Coliseum suggests that all guests arrive at least one hour prior to the event start time.

Prohibited Items

To ensure that all guests have a safe and enjoyable visit to the Bojangles Entertainment Complex, the following items are not permitted inside our venues:

  • Audio recording equipment
  • Bags and backpacks larger than 14" x 14" x 6"
  • Balloons
  • Camera lenses longer than 3 inches
  • Digital cameras with video capabilities
  • Explosives and fireworks
  • Glass or metal containers
  • Horns and whistles
  • Illegal drugs
  • Laser pointers
  • Outside food or beverage
  • Packages, parcels or items where the contents of which cannot be displayed
  • Animals, except Service Animals as defined by the ADA, assisting those with disabilities
  • Selfie sticks
  • Strollers
  • Video Cameras
  • Weapons of any kind and size, including guns, knives, scissors and those carried with a permit
  • Chain wallets, no heavy or spiked jewelry
  • Toy weapons
  • Glow sticks, and air horns

*Additional items may be added to the prohibited list at any time, without notice, and is at the sole discretion of Venue, Security and Tour Management.

All patrons are subject to search. Management reserves the right to prohibit any items that pose a safety hazard or diminish the enjoyment of an event by other guests. Prohibited items must be returned to your vehicle or discarded.

Unlawful items that are discovered during security inspections are subject to confiscation, and the person in possession of those items may be denied entrance into the BOplex and is subject to arrest. Any prohibited item discovered inside a venue is subject to confiscation.


Diplomas will be available for pickup in the Registrar’s Office between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on May 13, 2022. If you want your degree to be mailed to you, please send an email to  with your complete mailing address.

Please note: All graduation requirements must be completed and officially documented in the Office of the Registrar for a student to participate in the University’s graduation activities. A student with a financial balance may participate in Commencement, but will not receive their diploma. The Office of the Registrar will hold a diploma for any student who has completed their degree requirements for one year after conferral. After such time, the diploma will be purged, and a reissue request with payment will be required.

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.


For all inquiries about Commencement or Baccalaureate, please send an email to