Instructions for Graduates


Dear Graduating Student,

We will not have an actual rehearsal for Commencement.  Therefore, it is especially important that you read these instructions so that you will know what to do on Sunday, May 17.  If you have any questions, please call me (253.879.3207), write (, or come by to see me in Jones 212.  The instructions are also posted on the Commencement website at  Thank you, and congratulations on earning your degree.  See you in Karlen Quad at 1 p.m. on May 17.

Sunil Kukreja, Associate Dean


Cap and Gown Distribution
Monday, May 11 and Tuesday, May 12 

Wheelock Student Center, Murray Boardroom
If you ordered a cap and gown through National Achiever, please visit Murray Boardroom in Wheelock Student Center (Rooms 106 & 108) on Monday, May 11 from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. or Tuesday, May 12, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon.  A family member or friend can pick up the regalia for a graduate who cannot attend during these distribution hours. A note of pick-up approval from the graduate, or a receipt of purchase is required.  You must wear your cap and gown over your regular attire in order to participate in the Commencement ceremony.  If you still need to place your cap and gown order, please call 425.357.1338 immediately to speak with a National Achiever representative.

Name Pronunciation Practice Session
Wednesday, May 13
Commencement Hall, Northwest Lounge
Let's make sure your full name is pronounced correctly as you walk across the stage to receive your diploma. If from experience you find that people sometimes mispronounce your first, middle, or last name, Academic Dean Kris Bartanen invites you to help her practice at a name pronunciation session. You may drop in to see Dean Bartanen on Wednesday, May 13, from 2:30 to 4 p.m., in the northwest lounge of Commencement Hall – no appointment necessary.

Grad Party
Friday, May 15
Wheelock Student Center, Marshall Hall
Celebrate your journey here at Puget Sound!  As you look forward to graduation, Student Activities and the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations are planning an extravaganza celebrating your Puget Sound experience and send-off as an enthusiastic member of the Puget Sound Alumni Association.  On Friday, May 15 from 8:30 – 11:30 p.m., join your classmates, families, and friends for food, drinks, entertainment, and a special toast from President Thomas.  Photo ID is required for access to the hosted bar.

Last Chance Cap and Gown Distribution
Sunday, May 17
Garden Level, Jones Hall
A last-chance cap and gown distribution for students on Sunday, May 17, is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the basement level of Jones Hall, in the center of the hallway near the vending machines.


Instructions to Graduates for the 2015 Commencement Ceremony
Sunday, May 17, 2015
Come dressed in your academic cap and gown to Karlen Quadrangle behind Jones Hall at 1 p.m. on Sunday, May 17.  There you will pick up your lineup ticket with your lineup number.  At 1:30 p.m. we line up in the correct order.  At 1:50 p.m. we begin the Commencement Processional from Karlen Quadrangle to Baker Stadium.  At 2 p.m. we arrive at Baker Stadium where the Faculty Marshals will seat you.

1 p.m. at Karlen Quadrangle:  Pick up Your Lineup Ticket
As soon as you arrive at Karlen Quadrangle pick up your lineup ticket.  If you are receiving a master’s degree, a DPT degree, or a bachelor’s degree with a first major that, alphabetically, is at the beginning of the alphabet, you will be in the maroon line.  Pick up your maroon ticket at the table toward the north end (the library end) of Karlen Quad.  If you are receiving a bachelor’s degree with a first major that, alphabetically, is at the middle or end of the alphabet, you will be in the white line.  Pick up your white ticket at the table toward the south end of Karlen Quad.  The lineup order is alphabetical by name within each department.

Note:  After the lineup tickets are distributed in Karlen Quad, the Faculty Marshals will cross off the names from Dean Bartanen’ s reading list of students who did not pick up their tickets.  These names will not be read during the Commencement Ceremony.  Be sure to pick up your ticket even if you should happen to learn your lineup number and where to stand in line from some other source.

1:30 p.m. at Karlen Quadrangle: Line Up According to the Number on Your Lineup Ticket
At 1:30 p.m. you will hear an announcement over a loudspeaker that it is time to line up.  The sidewalks will have numbers chalked onto them that correspond to the numbers on the lineup tickets.  At 1:30 p.m. go to your lineup spot on the sidewalk.  Maroon ticket holders form a line from the southwest corner of Jones Hall northward along the walkway to the library.  White ticket holders form a line from the southwest corner of Jones Hall westward along the walkway to Thompson Hall.  Not all graduates will be present.  Make sure you are standing behind the next lowest lineup number and in front of the next highest lineup number.

1:50 p.m. at Karlen Quadrangle: Depart for Baker Stadium on Your Last Student Walk across Campus
Faculty Marshals will bring the maroon and white lines together to walk across campus along Commencement Walk in a double line.  Leading the lines will be two graduating seniors serving as Standard Bearers carrying the Commencement Banner and the Class Banner.  Along the way, graduates will process past an “honor guard” of faculty in front of Todd and Phibbs Halls.  Once we start marching to the stadium, please keep the line moving and do not stop for any reason, particularly while marching past the faculty.

2 p.m. The double line of graduates arrives at Peyton Field in Baker Stadium
The ceremony begins with the playing of Pomp and Circumstance and the seating of the graduates.  Graduates in the maroon line will sit on the west side of the field.  Graduates in the white line will sit on the east side.  The Faculty Marshals will seat you.  Follow their direction.  At Baker Stadium please remain standing until the completion of the invocation.  It is important that you stay for the entire ceremony.  This is a matter of university tradition and courtesy to others.  Leaving early for reasons other than a serious emergency is rude and disrespectful.

Awarding Degrees
After the Commencement Address Bachelor’s degrees are awarded.  Dean Bartanen will ask you to stand; President Thomas will confer the degree, and then you will come forward row by row to receive your diploma cover (the actual diploma comes later after spring grades are received and completion of degree requirements is verified).  Persons in the first row of bachelor’s graduates move to the platform as instructed by the Faculty Marshals.  Other rows sit down until instructed by the Marshals to go to the platform.

Graduate degrees are awarded after the bachelor’s degrees.  Dean Bartanen will ask you to stand; President Thomas will confer the degree, and then you will come forward row by row.  Persons in the first row move to the platform as instructed by the Faculty Marshals.  Other rows sit down until instructed by the Marshals to go to the platform.

At the platform the objective is that when Dean Bartanen reads your name it is you (and not someone else) who is standing there ready to march across the platform.  This objective will be realized if all graduates in attendance pick up their lineup tickets at Karlen Quad and then get into their correct order in line.  At the platform follow the Faculty Marshal’s direction.  When Dean Bartanen reads your name, move across the platform, receive your diploma cover from President Thomas, go down the center stairs, and return to your seat by the center aisle.  It is important to be careful going down the stairs.  Keep one hand on the railing, one hand on your diploma cover, and both eyes on the stairs so that you will not trip (see diagram below).


The Recessional
After the Alma Mater is sung at the end of the ceremony, Faculty Marshals will lead the platform party, then the faculty, and then the graduates from the stadium.  Meet your family and friends at the Puget Sound Commencement Reception on the Event Lawn immediately following the ceremony.  You may keep your cap and gown as a souvenir of this special event.

General Information

  • It is important that you preserve the dignity and integrity of this special ceremony.  To this end, you are required to wear the regalia over your regular attire in order to participate in Commencement.
  • Please remove the mortar board for all prayers and the Alma Mater.
  • Wear the tassel on the left side and leave it there.  Pin the tassel far enough back so that it will be out of your face when the photographer takes your picture on the platform.
  • Commencement is an alcohol-free ceremony.  So that the dignity of the ceremony may be preserved and so that afterwards you will remember this important event in your life, please do not bring alcohol to the campus with you this day.