Commencement and Convocation are not a certification of graduation, but rather a ceremony that celebrates your academic achievements. All degree requirements must be satisfied before graduation and diploma conferral. Registering for the campuswide Commencement and/or Convocation ceremonies does not place your name on the degree pending list. Students are responsible for putting themselves on the degree pending list the semester they plan to graduate.
Master's and CAS degree candidates: Master's and CAS degree candidates are eligible to participate in Commencement and Convocation if you have graduated since May 2016, expect to finish your degree requirements in May 2017, or have less than 8 hours to complete by August 2017. Please note, if you expect to finish your degree requirements in August 2017, your name will only appear in the iSchool Convocation Program if you register to participate in our ceremony by the deadline. Your name will not appear in the printed campuswide Commencement Program until May 2018.
Doctoral candidates: Recipients of doctoral degrees must have deposited their dissertations in the Graduate College Thesis Office by Friday, April 21, 2017, in order to participate in the Commencement and Convocation ceremonies.
Master's degree candidates participating in the campuswide Commencement ceremony should register online by April 30, 2017.
Doctoral candidates must indicate their participation in the campuswide Commencement ceremony online at the Graduate College Commencement website by April 30, 2017.
Convocation Ceremony (Smith Memorial Hall)
The School of Information Sciences will hold Convocation for its graduates on Sunday, May 14, 2017, at 9:30 a.m. at Smith Memorial Hall. Cap and gown are not required but strongly encouraged. The iSchool's ceremony will be broadcast live online so all students and their family and friends can tune in if they are unable to attend the ceremony in person.
You must register HERE to participate in the iSchool Convocation ceremony. The deadline is Friday, May 5, 2017. You do not need tickets for the ceremony, but seating is limited, so plan to arrive early (doors open at 8:15 a.m.).
A light reception for you and your guests will be held in the Charles & Millicent Marshall Library Gallery (east foyer) of the Main Library immediately following our ceremony. Parents, spouses, children, and friends are welcome to share in the celebration of your accomplishments. Please note that the Main Library will be closed except for the first floor.
ACADEMIC ATTIRE RENTAL
Academic attire is rented through Herff Jones. Rental fees must be paid in full by cash or check when you pick up the regalia. Payment cannot be made in advance unless you use the ship-to-home option.
Orders must be placed by 10:00 p.m. CT on April 13 to avoid a $20 late fee.
Ship-to-home Option: Graduates may elect to have their regalia shipped to an address of their choice within the United States. When selecting this option, a shipping fee applies. The deadline for this option is March 22. Graduates pay rental and shipping fees at the time the order is placed. Please note: the ship-to-home option deadline precedes the on-campus pick up order deadline and does not have a late order option.
Academic Attire Distribution
Academic attire will be distributed in the Activities and Recreation Center (ARC), Gym 1, at the following times:
Wednesday, May 10 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Thursday, May 11 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Friday, May 12 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday, May 13 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Sunday, May 14 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.
You must present your receipt when picking up your order. Please be aware that your gown will be folded and most likely require steaming (please do not iron).
Academic Attire Returns
You must return your academic attire. Herff Jones representatives will accept your regalia at the ARC, Gym 1, at the following times:
Saturday, May 13 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Sunday, May 14 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Monday, May 15 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Graduates who do not return their rented academic attire by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, May 15, are responsible for returning the regalia to the Illini Union Bookstore on Tuesday, May 16, through Friday, May 19, between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Please note: Herff Jones will assess a late fee of $5 per day to all graduates returning their regalia to the Illini Union Bookstore after May 15.
Where to Be and at What Time
Graduates should arrive no later than 8:30 a.m. at Smith Memorial Hall on Sunday, May 14. Please check in at the east entrance and pick up an index card with your name appearing as you requested it to be announced. This card will be used by the announcer to introduce you on stage as you receive your diploma cover. Staff will then direct you to the location to line up for the procession.
Guests are welcome to take photographs and video during the Convocation ceremony if they remain on the outside aisles. There will also be a professional photographer from GradImages® present who will take photographs of each graduate as they receive their diploma cover. Proofs will be emailed and/or mailed to each graduate if you grant permission to release your information to GradImages® when you register to participate in the ceremony.
The parking garage on the corner of Gregory and Dorner (Lot F29) is a three-block walk to Smith Memorial Hall (building #60 on the campus parking map; parking is highlighted in red and yellow).
Additional parking is available at several lots within walking distance of Smith Memorial Hall.
On weekends, you may park in any University lot in any space that does not have a sign stating the lot or the space is rented 24 hours a day/7 days a week. There is also limited street parking and metered parking around Smith Hall on Mathews Street and other nearby streets.
Campuswide Commencement Ceremony (Memorial Stadium)
On May 13, 2017, at 9:30 a.m., the University of Illinois will celebrate Commencement at Memorial Stadium. Please visit the Commencement at Illinois website for additional information. All graduates are invited to participate in this ceremony, which will last approximately 2½ hours. Regalia is required. More information about regalia can be found on the Commencement at Illinois website. Please take notice of the ordering deadline dates.
Which events should I attend?
Graduates often ask about which weekend event(s) to participate in. The following is a recap of the events during Commencement weekend:
- Saturday, May 13 (9:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.): Graduates and their families and guests are invited to the campuswide Commencement ceremony at Memorial Stadium. This is a large event with thousands of participants. Doctoral students are called by name and invited to the stage for hooding. iSchool Master's students will be recognized as a group and asked to rise at their seats.
- Saturday, May 13 (12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.): The President and Chancellor will host a reception in the gardens of The President's House, 711 West Florida Avenue, Urbana. Academic attire is encouraged, but not required.
- Sunday, May 14 (9:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.): Graduates and their families and guests are invited to the iSchool's Convocation ceremony and reception. All students who attend are called by name and will receive a diploma cover.
Checklist for Participants
___ I have arranged for my name to appear on the May 2017 MS, CAS, or PhD degree list or my name appeared on the August '16 or December '16 degree list, or I am an MS student with 8 or fewer hours remaining and expect to graduate in August '17.
___ I am an MS or CAS student and wish to participate in the 9:30 a.m. campuswide Commencement ceremony at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, May 13, and have made those arrangements as instructed on the Commencement at Illinois website, including registration, ordering my regalia (cap, gown, and hood) before the deadline, and tickets for my guests.
___ I am a doctoral candidate and wish to participate in the 9:30 a.m. campuswide Commencement ceremony at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, May 13. I will have deposited my dissertation and have made the arrangements as instructed on the Graduate College Commencement website and the Commencement at Illinois website, including registration, ordering my regalia (cap, gown, and hood) before the deadline, and tickets for my guests.
___ I wish to participate in the 9:30 a.m. Convocation ceremony at Smith Memorial Hall on Sunday, May 14 (tickets are not required) and have signed up for the Convocation ceremony and reception as instructed above, for either in-person or virtual participation. (The deadline is Friday, May 5.)
___ I have ordered my regalia (cap, gown, and hood) before the deadline (10:00 p.m. CT on April 13).
___ Doctoral students: I have made arrangements for a hooder at the Convocation ceremony. If you attend the campuswide Commencement ceremony, Dean Renear will hood you unless you specify otherwise when you register.
We look forward to seeing you at Convocation and hope it will be a special day for you. If you have questions about Convocation, please call (217) 244-5600 or (800) 982-0914; e-mail: cmhopper [at] illinois.edu.