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EIU Commencement

Before Commencement

Students should begin preparing for commencement as early as possible.

To participate in Spring 2020 commencement, students must take the following steps:

Apply/Reapply to graduate through PAWS. Mar. 25 If you have not already applied for graduation, please submit your graduation application through PAWS. Doing so ensures you are eligible to graduate and therefore participate in the ceremonies. It also allows your name to appear in the program.
If you have applied to graduate (complete degree requirements) in the next term, but meet the eligibility criteria to participate in this term's ceremony, please complete the exceptionality request for your college. Mar. 25

Exceptionality links

Order your cap and gown online.

April 3

Renting a cap and gown signifies your intent to participate in commencement and allows EIU to plan for your involvement.

Late fees apply after the deadline.

Pick up your cap and gown and tickets. May 6 & 7

From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Charleston/Mattoon Rooms (caps and gowns) and in the Arcola/Tuscola Rooms (tickets)

Both places on 3rd Floor of the Union.

Participate on Commencement Day. May 9 Arrive at the Student Recreation Center in Lantz Arena an hour prior to your ceremony to prepare to walk in your ceremony. THERE IS NO REHEARSAL.

A more detailed printable commencement checklist is available here.

*Students must meet certain criteria to participate in commencement by exceptionality. To determine eligibility, please contact your college's appropriate certification officer as early as possible. (See Certification Officer contact chart below).

**Names of students who have filled out Confidentiality Requests will not appear in the program. For names to be included in the program, students must have their confidentiality requests lifted by the Registrar's Office prior to the graduation application deadline.

College/SchoolContact Person

College of Education


School of Extended Learning

Doug Bower (217.581.2524)

Lori Brewer (217.353.2255)

College of Health and Human Services

Janet Fopay (217.581.6674)

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Angie Rhoads (217.581.5221)

Lumpkin College of Business and Technology

Amy Annis (217.581.6902)

The Graduate School

Lana Beasley (217.581.7490)

Things to do before graduation

Graduation Announcements

Graduation announcements are available online at Herff-Jones and will be mailed to your permanent (home) residence.

Cap and Gown Rental/Pickup

GRADUATES: Rent a cap and gown. Renting a cap and gown indicates your intent to participate in commencement ceremonies and allows EIU to plan for your involvement.

Questions regarding cap and gown please contact Herff Jones representative Patty Storie at or 314-369-6668.

  • The deadline to order a cap and gown is April 3. After the deadline, cap and gown rentals will incur a $20 late fee and must be ordered directly through our vendor. Contact Storie Enterprises (representing Herff Jones) by calling 314-369-6668 or emailing
Cap and Gown Pickup

May 6-7, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. in the Mattoon/Charleston Rooms, MLK Union

Please note:
You must present a photo ID when picking up your cap and gown, and you must order cap and gown before you can pick up your tickets.

  • If you make plans to have someone else pick up your cap and gown for you, they must provide a signed note from you indicating your name, E-number, college, degree and major.
  • Graduates not taking classes on camps those dates may choose to have their cap and gown shipped to their home, or they can be picked up Saturday one hour before their ceremony.

Arrangements for Persons with Disabilities

Graduates with Special Needs

If you are a graduate with special needs, please contact Alumni Services immediately to make necessary arrangements at 217.581.6616.

Special Needs Guests

Tickets for special needs guest seating will be available and can be requested during ticket distribution. Each guest requiring special seating can be accompanied by one individual escort. Guests are responsible for bringing any special equipment (wheelchairs, walkers, etc.) they may need. If you have any questions, please call Alumni Services at 217.581.6616.

Special Needs Parking

Permanent on-campus spaces are designated for persons with disabilities. Additional special-needs parking is available near Lantz Arena on commencement day.

Hearing Impaired Guests or Graduates

A sign language interpreter will be located near the stage. Hearing assist receivers (Frequency 72.900 MHZ Wideband) will be available at the First Aid Station.

Accommodations & Restaurants

Please see the Alumni Services "Charleston" page for a listing of local hotels and restaurants.

Commencement Tickets

Ticket Distribution & Availability

Ticket distribution will take place May 6-7, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. in the Arcola/Tuscola Rooms, MLK Union. EEach student is allotted a number of tickets for their guests. Ticket allotment will be announced on March 27, after the deadline to apply to graduate. Extra tickets will be available on a first come first serve basis beginning on Thursday, May 7 at 12 noon. For students who are not able to be on campus for ticket distribution, they may request tickets be left at will call by completing this form. Will call tickets will be available in the main concourse of Lantz arena one hour prior to each ceremony.

Related Pages

Contact Information

Fall 2020 Commencement: Saturday, Dec. 19

10 a.m. – College of Health and Human Services and Lumpkin College of Business and Technology
12:30 p.m. – College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and College of Education

Deadline to Apply/Reapply for Fall 2020 Graduation

Nov. 3, 2020

EIU Commencement Office


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