Preparing for Commencement
1. Financial Aid Arrangements
Students with federal loans who have not completed an exit interview must do so by visiting www.studentloans.gov. You will be required to enter your FAFSA PIN. Questions may be directed to Wildcat Central at 325-674-2300 or 888-588-6083.
You will be receiving only a ceremonial diploma tube at Commencement. Your diploma will be mailed 6-8 weeks after the Commencement ceremony. It will be mailed to the address you provided when you completed the application to graduate. Send changes of diploma mailing addresses to the Office of the Registrar
"Hooding the graduate" is a long-standing tradition in the ACU Commencement ceremony. A parent or special person selected by the graduate serves as an escort and during the ceremony places the hood on the graduate. The escort will process in with the graduate and remain seated with the graduate for the duration of the ceremony (up to two and one-half hours). The minimum age to participate in this role is thirteen years of age.
For the Commencement Ceremony:
1. Dress and Regalia
Men: Suit coats are not required, but ties should be worn. Dark slacks, dark socks, and dark shoes are considered appropriate apparel for academic regalia occasions.
Ladies: Dark clothing (either blouses and skirts or dresses) should be worn under the black robes. Light colors of clothing should be worn under the white robes.
No flowers are to be worn or carried.
According to traditions of academic regalia, no jewelry or non-academic accessories should be worn on the outside of the robe; no accessories or decor on the cap. The only exceptions are the gold stole worn by Honors Program students, the medallion worn by University Scholar student, the gold braid worn by departmental honors, and the discipline-based Honor regalia. There are no special cords for candidates receiving Latin Honors.
Sunday dress or business casual is the most appropriate attire for guests.
Regalia will be available for purchase in The Campus Store during the Grad Fair and during the week of finals.
Bachelor candidates purchase a complete set (which consists of the black undergraduate gown, the white escort gown, the hood, the cap and the tassel).
Disposing of Academic Regalia
The regalia you wear in the Commencement ceremonies at ACU is yours to keep or dispose of as you wish.
During the ceremony, each graduate will walk across the stage and receive a ceremonial diploma tube. Your photograph will be taken at this point by a professional photographer from GradTrack Graduation Images. You will receive a free passport-sized digital proof of this photo on an order card within 5-7 days following the ceremony. After the ceremony you may order online at www.gradimages.com; to pre-register please visit www.gradimages.com and click on Pre-Event Registration.
Since this service is provided by the university, all family members and guests are asked to remain in their seats during the entire ceremony. Under no circumstances will anyone other than the professional photographer be allowed on the platform or the Coliseum floor to take pictures. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
3. Academic Honors Designations in Printed Program
Honors at Commencement are based on a student's GPA on courses taken at ACU. Students must complete at least 64 hours of course work at ACU to qualify to graduate with honors. The GPA thresholds for students who entered ACU in Fall 2006 or later are 3.6 for cum laude, 3.75 for magna cum laude, and 3.9 for summa cum laude.
Honors listed in the graduation program are based on completed, graded hours and current GPA at the time of Commencement. If the final semester's grades alter the student's standing, the correct honor will be noted on the diploma.
4. Extra or Unusual Noises during Ceremony
Please ask your family members and guests to refrain from bringing air horns or other unusual noise-making instruments into the Coliseum for use during the ceremony. The ACU Commencement ceremony is not a high school ceremony. Thank you for your cooperation.
Please ask your family and guests at the ceremony to remain in their seats until the recessional is finished. Please stay in line with your fellow graduates until you have exited the building.
There will be a reception honoring graduates following the ceremony. Faculty and administrators will be there to greet the graduates and their guests.
7. Seating for guests requiring Sign Language Interpreter
If you or your family members will need a sign language interpreter for the Commencement ceremony, please email email@example.com by May 4 for the May Commencement or by December 7 for the December Commencement. If your guests require the services of a signer, seats will be reserved for them in the lower rows of Section A. The signs on these seats will read "Reserved for Guests requiring Sign Language Interpretation."
8. Seating for Elderly and those with Physical Limitations
If you have disabled or elderly guests who might have difficulty climbing stairs, seats will be reserved in the lower rows of Sections U, A, and B on the east side of the Coliseum. Designated seats will be marked with "Physical Limitations" signs. This seating is available on a first come, first served basis. Note: Due to limited seating and a growing demand for this service, please arrange for one person to sit with the disabled or elderly guest while all other family members and guests sit elsewhere in the Coliseum.
For further assistance, please call the Registrar's Office at 325-674-2236 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.