Convocation Instructions

Convocation Rehearsal: Tuesday, March 20 at 6:00 pm (doors open at 5:30 pm) in Convocation Hall

This will be the only rehearsal and will be a great chance for you to become familiar with the procession, seating arrangements, and the Ceremony itself. Please make every effort to attend.

Before the ceremony

Two hours before your Convocation ceremony, pick up your cap, gown and hood at the Hall of Fame Room in the Athletics Complex.

One hour before your Convocation ceremony, assemble in front of Raymond Field wearing your cap, gown and hood (If you are receiving more than one degree, wear your first hood and carry the second. If you are graduating from a certificate program, wear cap and gown but no hood).

In case of poor weather, graduands will gather in the basement of University Hall. (You still need to pick up your academic attire at the Hall of Fame Room first.)

Graduands for each degree will line up in alphabetical order, with assistance from Convocation Marshal(s).The Marshal will signal when the processional begins to walk towards Convocation Hall.

Remember, it is imperative that graduands assemble on time for the ceremony to proceed!

Name Cards

A name card will be printed for you and provided with your cap and gown.  If you did not order tickets, blank name cards you can fill out will be available when you pick up your cap and gown during Convocation weekend.

Bring the name card to your Convocation ceremony. It is handed to the Convocation Marshal when you are about to cross the stage. The Convocation Marshal will announce your name EXACTLY as written on the card as you cross the stage.

**Note: if you have concerns about making sure your name is pronounced properly, please call Dr. Rob Raeside, Convocation Marshal, at (902) 585-1323 and leave a voice-mail message with the correct pronunciation of your name.

Watch Video Instructions on Processional and Crossing Stage


Once the procession arrives at University Hall, it will halt at the centre doors of Convocation Hall. An Assistant Marshal will signal when the academic procession can prepare to enter.

The first group of two will move into the auditorium, go down the left/south aisle, and enter the second row of seats. The next pair of graduands will follow, leaving a distance of about eight feet behind the first pair.

This procedure is repeated until all the graduate procession is in place. Be sure to keep good spacing during the processional and recessional marches!

Remain standing with academic headdress on until the platform party is in place and the National Anthem is sung. At this time, the Chancellor and all those in the academic group will remove headdresses.

The Chancellor sits following the invocation, after which the convocation assembly is seated. The ceremony is opened by a Dean/Director who presents a group of graduands as a unit to the Chancellor.

At this time, all members of that group rise, and the Chancellor admits them to the degree. Immediately all are seated except the front row of the group which will begin to move in single file to the north door of the stage and  towards the University Marshal. The remaining graduands in that block move toward the waiting line as the graduands return to their seats. This ensures "no slack" spots in the line.


Crossing the stage

Each graduand hands a name card to the University Marshal, crosses to the centre of the stage, dons his/her cap in front of the Chancellor, tips his/her cap to the Chancellor, shakes hands with the President, and receives his/her degree from a Dean or Director. After receiving the degree, the graduate then moves down into the auditorium to be seated. Graduates are asked to keep their headdress on for the remainder of convocation.

Except for Honorary Degree recipients, the same procedure will be followed for all those receiving degrees.

Students earning a doctoral degree receive a handshake and proceed off the stage. They are to enter one at a time.


For Diploma recipients

If you are a diploma recipient, the procedure for receiving your diploma is the same as for degree students.


Medal and prize winners

University medals will be presented to graduates by the Chancellor at the same time that their degrees are received.



Once the recessional music begins, the platform party and faculty leave first. After they have departed, the graduates will turn outward toward the aisle nearest to them.

On the Assistant Marshal's signal, the outside pair on each end of the first row will move into the aisle followed by the others in order, and then proceed out of Convocation Hall, keeping the same spacing as on entering.

To allow others to exit promptly, graduates and guests are asked to please do not stop in the foyers, but to instead proceed to the lawn outside, or to the Convocation Reception in the Fountain Commons.


Following each ceremony, a reception will be held in Fountain Commons.