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EIU Commencement

Before Commencement

Students should begin preparing for commencement as early as possible.

To participate in Spring 2024 commencement, students must take the following steps:

Activity Deadline Details/Importance
Apply/Reapply to graduate through PAWS. March 27 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. March 27

Exceptionality links

Order your cap and gown online.

March 27 by 10:59 PM

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 1-2

Lantz Field House from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Participate on Commencement Day. May 4

A more detailed printable commencement guide 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/School Contact Person

College of Education


School of Extended Learning

Michelle Rhine (217.581.2524)

College of Health and Human Services

Janet Fopay (217.581.6674)

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Angie Cawthon (217.581.5221)

Lumpkin College of Business and Technology

Tiffany Swalls (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

Order your cap and gown through Herff Jones. Renting a cap and gown signifies your intent to participate in commencement and allows for your involvement. Do not order a cap and gown if you have not applied to graduate through PAWS or submitted an exceptionality form to participate.

The cap and gown rental site will become live at a later date. Students will have the option to select to pick up their cap and gown during cap and gown distribution on May 1 and 2 from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. in the Lantz Fieldhouse. Students can also select to have their cap and gown shipped to their home for $12.95. That shipping fee includes a pre-paid return label. Any questions regarding your cap and gown should be directed to Herff Jones representative, Patty Storie at

Students will have the option to select to pick up their cap and gown during cap and gown distribution on May 1 and 2 in the Lantz Field House.


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 will be available on the north side of Lantz Arena.

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 allotment amounts for Spring 2024 will be:

  • 10 a.m. Ceremony – Undergraduate Degrees for College of Education and College of Liberal Arts & Sciences: 8 TICKETS PER GRADUATE
  • 1:30 p.m. Ceremony – All Graduate Degrees: 8 TICKETS PER GRADUATE
  • 5 p.m. Ceremony – Undergraduate Degrees for Lumpkin College of Business & Technology and College of Health & Human Services: 10 TICKETS PER GRADUATE

Tickets can be picked up during ticket distribution on May 1 and 2 in the Lantz Field House from 9 a.m – 5 p.m. Students unable to pick up tickets on campus can request their tickets be left at will call by using this form. Children will need tickets unless they are able to sit on an adults lap for the entirety of the ceremony.

Related Pages

Contact Information

Spring 2024 Commencement: Saturday, May 4

Lantz Arena
10 a.m. – Undergraduate Degrees for COE and CLAS
1:30 p.m. – All Graduate Degrees
5 p.m. – Undergraduate Degrees for LCBT and CHHS

Deadline to Apply/Reapply for Spring 2024 Graduation

March 27, 2024

EIU Commencement Office


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