Procession Instructions and Etiquette

Procession Instructions and Information

  • The Jenny Craig Pavilion opens for guests one hour before ceremony start time.
  • Commencement ceremonies are approximately two hours in length. There is no rehearsal for commencement ceremonies.
  • To prevent confusion, graduates and their guests should determine in advance a place to meet after the ceremony.  
  • Graduates should leave valuables such as purses and keys with family members or guests.
  • Every graduate should be dressed in cap and gown at commencement. Students may decorate the tops of their mortar boards as far as they do not obstruct the view of others and are not offensive. Improper signs and insignia will be removed by a candidate marshal.
  • Start with the tassel on the right side of the cap. You will turn it to the left after you receive your diploma.
  • Graduates should arrive in cap and gown at the North lot behind the JCP, overlooking Fowler Stadium, one hour prior to ceremony start time. Students will line up and receive procession instructions from the candidate marshals. 
  • A candidate marshal will direct graduates to the platform when it is time to walk across the stage. Each graduate will receive a diploma case, presented by either the president or a member of the University of San Diego Board of Trustees.
  • Marshals will direct graduates out of the pavilion at the conclusion of the ceremony. Guests in attendance should remain at their seats until the conclusion of the ceremony.

Commencement Etiquette

For the enjoyment of all at the ceremony, please:

  • Turn off cell phones or have them in airplane mode. Please refrain from checking cell phones during the ceremony.
  • Refrain from bringing/using air horns or other noisemakers during the ceremony. Doing so hampers the ability of each student's name to be clearly heard. Please respect all graduates, families and guests by refraining from the use of air horns and noisemakers during the ceremony.
  • Refrain from bringing balloons, streamers, signs, flowers or any other item into the JCP that would obstruct the view of others.
  • Refrain from using selfie sticks and GoPros until after the ceremony.
  • Adherence to the University of San Diego's alcohol policy will be strictly enforced. No alcoholic beverages of any kind are permitted to be brought onto campus or into the Jenny Craig Pavilion. 

For more information, please see USD's Alcohol Policy on the Office of Ethical Development and Restorative Practices website.