Publish Date

Earlier today, the message below was sent to participating students' UIS email regarding this year’s commencement ceremonies on May 10 and 11. This notice is being included on Orbit for employees in the event that you receive questions from students. Additional information will be sent in the coming weeks to participating faculty and platform party members. Please address any questions or concerns to

It’s Less Than One Month until Commencement!

You’re almost across the finish line. Please read the following information carefully to understand what to expect related to commencement.

Why am I Receiving this Communication?

You have been approved to participate in commencement because you submitted an online intent to participate and have purchased (or arranged to borrow) a black cap and gown.  Congratulations! We look forward to recognizing you on commencement day!  Keep reading and pay special attention to the information noted.

When/Where Is Commencement?

This year, three commencement ceremonies (divided by college) will be held in Sangamon Auditorium in the UIS Performing Arts Center (If you are unsure of your college, please see the list of programs by ceremony and college online).  You may only participate in the ceremony for your college.  

  • Friday, May 10 at 7 p.m. - Graduates from the College of Health, Science and Technology
  • Saturday, May 11 at 10 a.m. - Graduates from the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences AND the College of Public Affairs and Education
  • Saturday, May 11 at 3 p.m. - Graduates from the College of Business and Management

When Should I Arrive?

You should plan to arrive one hour prior to your ceremony.  Give yourself ample time for traffic, finding a parking spot, and walking into the UIS Performing Arts Center.  Graduates should already be dressed in their regalia upon arrival.  The entry doors for graduates will close approximately 15 minutes prior to each ceremony; graduates who arrive after the doors close will not be allowed to participate.  You’ve done everything necessary up to this point, but there is one more step… YOU MUST ARRIVE ON TIME! 

Where Do I Go When I Arrive?

Graduates should enter the lobby of the UIS Performing Arts Center, turn off phones, and look for the graduate check-in table.  Check in is faster with an iCard, but grads can also check in with their UIN or NetID.  Once checked in, you will be given a card with your name and phonetic spelling on it and will be escorted to your seat. You must hold the card until you hand it to the announcer on stage, who will read your name referencing the card.  Please be courteous and cooperate with staff.  

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Answers to many frequently asked questions related to commencement can be found on the UIS Commencement website

Graduate Attire

Wear lightweight clothing and dark shoes under your cap and gown. Items such as purses should not be brought to commencement.  Previously approved honor cords and non-gold stoles may be worn, but only program marshals should wear gold stoles.


Shortly before each ceremony begins, the platform party and faculty will process into the Sangamon Auditorium.  Out of respect, graduates and their guests are expected to remain for the duration of the ceremony. Following the ceremony, graduates and guests should remain in their seats while the platform party and faculty recess. Once the platform party and faculty have exited the Sangamon Auditorium, students will be able to join their guests.  

Guest Tickets/Overflow Seating/Livestreaming

Guest tickets will be required for admission into the commencement ceremonies in Sangamon Auditorium.

  • Issued Tickets: Each student has been issued the number of guest tickets they requested, up to a total of four tickets.  Tickets are unique to each ceremony and are not transferable between ceremonies. Tickets may be printed or emailed to guests and will be general admission by section (orchestra, loge, mezzanine, or balcony).  A student’s entire group of tickets will be general admission in the same section within the Sangamon Auditorium.  We highly recommend that you ask guests to bring a printed ticket with them to decrease wait times.
  • Additional Tickets: Non-assigned guest tickets will be distributed to students through a lottery system administered by university staff to maximize the number of tickets provided. Students provided with additional tickets will be contacted by the university.  Please know that we have and will continue to issue the maximum number of tickets possible per student, while adhering to established safety protocols and ensuring the well-being of all attendees. 
  • Unused Tickets: Students may choose to “give back” tickets if they no longer need the total number assigned to them, which will make the tickets available to be reassigned to other students in their ceremony.  Due to the limited seating capacity of our venue, we highly encourage students who no longer need all their tickets to give them back. Those wishing to give back tickets should email
  • Overflow Seating with Livestreaming: Seating with live streaming will be available in the lower level of the UIS Performing Arts Center. The live stream will be broadcast on screens across campus, including in the Student Union, and will be accessible on personal devices. Tickets will not be required in overflow seating areas.      


If you have guests who require assistance/accommodation or have mobility issues (such as difficulty navigating stairs), please email as soon as possible; guests who need such arrangements are encouraged to arrive early.  If you require assistance/accommodation or have mobility issues (such as difficulty navigating stairs), please email as soon as possible. 

Multiple Degrees/Majors

If you are earning two degrees or two majors, you will participate with your primary program. If you are unsure which is your primary program, please call Graduation at 217-206-7730 prior to Noon on Friday, May 10, for assistance.


A professional photographer will record the moment graduates are given their diploma cover by the Chancellor.  Full-color proofs of these photos and instructions for ordering will be mailed to graduates shortly after commencement. The photographer will also be available for portraits after each ceremony in the lower level of the UIS Performing Arts Center. The UIS photographer also captures images throughout the day. A public album will be available several days after commencement here:

Schedule of Commencement-related Events

The commencement committee and numerous UIS employees are working diligently to finalize memorable campus events and ceremonies to honor graduates.  A current list of events is available on the Commencement website.

Additional Information

Thank you for reading to the end of this lengthy email. It’s a lot of information, but we want you to be well informed.  Commencement is an important time to celebrate your well-deserved accomplishment!  If you have any questions about the ceremonies, please visit the “Contacts” page on the Commencement website. Be sure to check the Commencement website frequently for the latest information:  If you have any questions, please email

Brian L. Clevenger 

Associate Vice Chancellor for Enrollment and Retention Management

University of Illinois Springfield