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Graduate Commencement Instructions

OceanFirst Bank Center

MAY 16, 2019

  1. CAP & GOWNS: The cap, gown, and hood you picked up today are yours to keep.  You have been given two cards with your name, the degree you are earning, your school, and a number on it.  It is critical that you bring these cards with you to the Commencement Ceremony.  One will be used for student lineup and handed to the reader to have your name announced on stage.  The other card will be given to a person manning a computer card reader.  After the Commencement ceremony you may pick up your diploma (photo ID required) if all financial obligations have been satisfied by 7 p.m. on May 14, 2019, at your school’s reception (see #10 below).
  2. TASSELS: Graduate students have already graduated (with a bachelor’s degree) and should wear tassels on the left side of their caps throughout the ceremony.
  3. ASSEMBLY AREA: Report to the student assembly area at Boylan Gymnasium by 12:15 p.m. on Commencement Day.  Look for signs indicating where your school is assembling.  University personnel will assist you in lining up.  Enter the OceanFirst Bank Center through the Fitness Center entrance, not the main doors, to access Boylan Gymnasium.
  4. PROCESSIONAL: When forming the processional, you will be instructed to line up in numerical order according to the card you received at cap and gown pickup.  Staff will be there to assist you.  SAVE YOUR CARDS.  You will hand one card to the person manning the computer card reader and the other to the announcer during the ceremony and your name will be read.  When taking your seat, be sure to sit directly next to the person preceding you.

The line of march will be as follows:  Faculty Marshals, Faculty, Administrators, Student Marshals, and Graduates.

  1. CONFERRAL OF DEGREES: Degrees will be awarded by school.  The Dean of each school will ask candidates to come forward and be recognized.  The President will then say, “…I confer upon you the degree you have earned, with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto.”  AT THAT TIME:
  • The entire school will come to the stage. Each graduate will hand the announcer his/her card with name-side up.  Tell the announcer your full name to ensure correct pronunciation.
  • As the announcer reads your name, move to the Dean of your school, shake his/her hand, move to Provost Moriarty to receive your diploma case, then to President Dimenna and Chairman Plodwick to shake their hands.
  • Walk down the ramp opposite the ramp you walked up and go directly to your seat. Please note that you may not be returning to the same seat.  You will, however, return to the same row.
  • Be sure to sit in the seat directly next to the person preceding you.
  1. GUESTS: Guests are requested to take their seats prior to 12:30 p.m. and to remain seated until the faculty have left the area at the conclusion of the ceremony.  Each student will receive five (5) tickets for guests.  No one will be admitted to the seating area without a ticket.  Doors to the OceanFirst Bank Center will open at 11:00 a.m.  For guests without tickets, the ceremony will be streamed live on the Commencement website ( and on the televisions in the Stafford Student Center.
  2. SPECIAL NEEDS: Handicap seating is available on a limited basis for guests requiring special accommodations and seating for one person to assist them.  The Office of Student Life (732-571-3417) requested this information by Wednesday, May 8, 2019.  Please note that guests in this area must have tickets.
  3. DIPLOMAS: Diploma cases will be distributed on stage to each graduate. Diplomas will be distributed at your school’s reception after the ceremony. Diplomas will only be released if all financial obligations to the University are completed by 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 14, 2019. Please check to make sure all obligations are completed as exceptions will not be made. In order to receive this packet, you must provide a photo ID. Any diplomas not picked up that day may be picked up in the office of the Registrar between June 3, and June 7, 2019.  Diplomas not picked up by the end of business on June 7, 2019, will be mailed to your home address by certified mail. In order to receive your diploma, you must provide a photo ID.
  4. PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY: A professional photographer, GradImages, will be on hand to photograph each graduate as they receive their diploma case.  Proofs will be mailed to your home address.
  5. POST COMMENCEMENT RECEPTIONS: Graduates and their guests are invited to attend a post commencement reception for your school. The locations for the receptions are as follows:
  • Leon Hess Business School – Pozycki Hall, 2nd Floor
  • Marjorie K. Unterberg School of Nursing & Health Studies – Pozycki Hall, 1st Floor
  • School of Education – Wilson Hall
  • School of Science – Atrium, Science Building
  • School of Social Work – Atrium, Science Building
  • Wayne D. McMurray School of Humanities and Social Sciences – Wilson Hall
  • Expect heavy traffic leading into the University on Commencement Day. Please leave ample time to enter campus, park, and report to the graduate assembly area.
  • Please turn off all cell phones for the duration of the ceremony.
  • Air horns, noise-making devices and any objects that would detract from the formality of the event are prohibited.