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Commencement Day

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Here's the info you need to make sure your big day goes smoothly.

Graduate Instructions

  • GRADUATES MUST ARRIVE AT LANTZ FIELDHOUSE ONE HOUR BEFORE THEIR CEREMONY. THERE IS NO REHEARSAL.
  • Chairs will be set up in the Fieldhouse exactly as they are in the gymnasium. A card will be attached to each chair with the name of the graduate that is to sit in that chair. Some simple instructions will be given and the graduates will process as a group from the Fieldhouse directly to the gymnasium.
  • Each graduate will take their name card with them as they proceed to the ceremony. This card will be used to read their names as they cross the stage. If the graduate's name is difficult to pronounce, the reader will be available at the south end of the Fieldhouse prior to the ceremony to discuss proper pronunciation.
  • Diploma covers will be handed to graduates as they cross the stage. Actual diplomas are issued and mailed by the Registrar's Office 8 to 12 weeks after the ceremony. Questions regarding diplomas should be addressed to the Registrar's Office at 217.581.3511.
  • Please do not bring valuables to the Fieldhouse. Leave them with a relative or lock them in your car. The Fieldhouse will not be secured during the ceremony.
  • Cap and gown returns will be in the Student Recreation Center immediately following the ceremony. Graduates will not return to the Fieldhouse after the ceremony.
  • Please plan to meet your family or guests outside or in the Student Recreation Center after the ceremony.

Alcohol Policy

Possession/consumption of alcoholic beverages is not permitted on state property, nor are articles or materials that may endanger or distract others. Individuals in violation of these policies or whose conduct is disruptive or harmful to others will be removed from the commencement ceremony.

Commencement Day Dress Code

The commencement ceremony is designed to recognize the academic achievements of our graduates. Proper attire and behavior are expected:

  • Messages on or attached to any part of a graduates cap or gown are not encouraged. Anyone decorating their rental cap is subject to additional costs from the vendor.
  • Honor Cords and Kente Cloths are allowed.
  • Graduates completing their degree requirements through the Honors College will be awarded a silver stole with an approved design embroidered in blue on one side of the stole in recognition of their academic achievement.
  • Participants "Graduating with Distinction" will be awarded a medallion with corresponding blue, white or gold ribbons in recognition of Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude or Summa Cum Laude honors. No other medallions are permitted.
  • Stole Policy:
    • National academic honors societies, as recognized by the Association of College Honor Societies (ACHS), and with an active chapter at Eastern, may award a stole with an approved design embroidered in blue on one side of the stole.
    • Other stoles representing campus or college affiliations may be purchased and worn by students at their own discretion.
    • Stoles are either awarded at no cost by the program/organization/faculty sponsor or they may be sold at cost to the students. Production costs are entirely the responsibility of the honorary. An approved vendor, as determined by the Alumni Services Office, will embroider all stoles for use in Commencement ceremonies. Please consult the Alumni Services Office for the name of an approved vendor.
    • Anyone wearing stoles, caps, or gowns with offensive language or imagery that is disruptive or harmful to others will be removed from the commencement ceremony.

DO NOT BRING PERSONAL ITEMS OR VALUABLES TO THE FIELDHOUSE ON COMMENCEMENT DAY. SECURITY IN THE FIELDHOUSE CAN NOT BE GUARANTEED.

Cap and Gown Return

Your cap and gown will need to be returned after your ceremony. Graduates will be directed to Court 1 in the Student Recreation Center as they leave the ceremony. There, representatives from Herff Jones will collect your cap and gown. The tassel included with your regalia is yours to keep.

Commencement Parking

Lantz Arena is located on Grant Avenue in Charleston. If you are traveling on Highway 16/Lincoln Ave. into Charleston from the east or west, you travel on Lincoln Ave. and turn south on Fourth Street. Continue south to the first intersection (Fourth Street and Grant Avenue). The diagram below shows the parking areas around Lantz arena. Campus parking map.

Special Needs Parking

Permanent on-campus spaces are designated for persons with disabilities. On Commencement Day, additional spaces will be made available for special needs parking on the north side of Lantz Arena for all ceremonies.

Official Photographs

One photograph will be taken as the graduate crosses the stage and two others after exiting the stage during the ceremony. Proofs and online ordering information will be sent to the graduate within two weeks of the ceremony. Relatives and friends are not to intrude into the stage area for pictures during the ceremony.

Grad Images is EIU's photography provider. Contact them at 800.261.2576 or giservice@gradimages.net for more information.