Graduate Ceremony

May Graduate Commencement Information

Required Forms

All degree candidates must submit an Application for Graduation and $25.00 payment check or cash by the last Friday in January. If you are graduating with multiple degrees in a single term, you must complete a separate Application for Graduation form and pay a $25.00 non-refundable fee for each degree. For more information about application visit Graduation Application.

You must legibly complete and return the purple Commencement Attendance form you will receive in April. You must return the form to the Office of the University Registrar, 107 Canfield Administration Building South, no later than Friday, April 24, 2015, to advise us of your plans. Return the form whether or not you are participating in commencement. If you are graduating with two degrees, please list on your Commencement Attendance form which degree you wish to be seated with for the ceremony.

Commencement Ceremony

Commencement is Friday, May 8, 2015, at 3:00 p.m., Pinnacle Bank Arena, 400 Pinnacle Arena Drive, located on R Street, west of 9th Street.

Leave your personal items and valuables with a trusted person. You will not be permitted to bring these items with you into the assembly area or the commencement ceremony. Your guests cannot accompany you to the check in station due to space limitations. Your ceremony processional begins promptly at 2:50 p.m., and you must be checked in, wearing your regalia and in place before that time. Your name pronunciation will be confirmed when you check in before your ceremony. Late arrivals will be seated by the Marshals. Students who participate in the ceremony are expected to remain for the entire event. You will not be allowed to depart before the recessional.

Follow the signs inside the Arena and report to the check in station on ground level in the Northeast area of the lobby no later than 2:00 p.m. Do not lose or mutilate your Name-Number card issued at check in as it assures that you receive your diploma when you reach the ceremony stage. Do not give your Name-Number card to another graduate. Keep your Name-Number card available to show the red gowned Marshals at all times. If you have questions regarding your assigned number, see the Ceremony Assistance Table.

If you taught this term, submit all changes to early degree grades for any courses directly to Graduation Services at (402) 472-3636 before you report to the ceremony. All changes to degree grades are due no later than 4:00 p.m. on May 8.



Paid event parking will be available in the City of Lincoln garages in the vicinity of the Arena.  UNL issued parking permits are required for University parking lots on commencement Friday.

Commencement Participation

Commencement participation is not required in order to graduate but is highly encouraged. Participation means attending the Commencement ceremony in academic regalia, marching in the processional and recessional, and going forward to the stage to receive your diploma from your Dean.

All participating Doctoral and Masters graduates' names will be announced at the ceremony.

Students who participate in the Commencement ceremony are expected to be present throughout the entire ceremony. You will not be allowed to receive your diploma and depart before the recessional.

Graduation Services will send information regarding instructions for the commencement ceremony to all degree candidates approximately four (4) weeks prior to graduation. You must advise us of your plans concerning participation so that seating and diploma arrangements can be made. For more information, please contact the Graduation Services Office, 109 Canfield Administration Building South, or call (402) 472-3636.

Graduates with Disabilities

Graduates with disabilities are welcome to participate and should notify us several days before Commencement to allow time to establish reasonable accommodations, note your need for accommodations on your Commencement Attendance form. Please report any special needs to Assistant University Registrar Jennifer Verhein, at (402) 472-3640. She will advise you regarding procedures to be followed.

Admission to Commencement

Your family and friends are cordially invited to attend and may sit in any non-reserved seats other than the main floor, which is set for the graduates, faculty, and dignitaries. Tickets are not required for the ceremony. Handicap seating for commencement guests is available in sections 106, 107, 110, 112, 114, 117 and 118 on the main concourse level of the Pinnacle Bank Arena. The commencement ceremony at the Arena will be streamed live on the UNL website at

Academic Regalia

All participants are required to wear academic caps, gowns and hoods appropriate to the degree they are being awarded at this ceremony at commencement. Doctoral graduates will carry their hoods for the processional and be hooded as part of the ceremony. All other graduates must wear their hoods for the entire ceremony. 

You may order caps, gowns, hoods and graduation announcements in person or by mail from the University Bookstore, or you may simply make your cap and gown purchase without pre-ordering at the Wick Center on April 21 or 22 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.  Direct your questions about regalia and graduation announcements to the Bookstore (402) 472-9058.  You may purchase graduation announcements from the vendor of your choice.



Each candidate who participates in the Commencement will receive their diploma on the stage. Doctoral graduates will also be hooded onstage. All candidates will proceed to the stage alphabetically by degree from their seats, as directed by the Faculty Marshals.

A professional photographer will take your picture as you are hooded and when you are handed your diploma.

All financial obligations to the University must be satisfied before your diploma will be released. If you are uncertain about this matter, check with the Office of student Accounts, 124 Canfield Administration Building North, (402) 472-2887.

Candidates who choose not to participate in Commencement may receive their diploma as follows:

1. Pick it up on Saturday, May 9, 2015, 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. at the Pinnacle Bank Arena diploma room, you must present your photo ID to claim your diploma. Be mindful that the Haymarket Farmers Market is also on Saturday morning, and this will affect traffic patterns to the Arena and parking availability.

2. By mail as requested on the attendance form you will receive in April.  Diplomas will be mailed the week following Commencement.

3. Pick it up at the Graduation Services Office, 109 Canfield Administration Building South, beginning the Monday following Commencement. Bring your photo ID with you when you come to claim your diploma. 


Change in Plans

Please call the Graduation Services Office at (402) 472-3636 as soon as you determine you are unable to complete your requirements for graduation for this semester, or if you change your mind about participating in the Commencement ceremony.


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