Ceremony Instructions for Undergraduate Students - SUNY Cortland

Ceremony Instructions for Undergraduate Students

Prior to the Ceremony

  • On Friday, May 12, 2:30 p.m., students are strongly encouraged to attend rehearsal.  
  • Make sure that your guests have their tickets (4 guest tickets per student). If you have more than four guests, direct all non-ticket holders to the overflow seating.
  • Make sure you have your cap, gown and tassel.
  • Leave all personal belongings with your family or friends.

Arrive on Campus/Park Center, Alumni Arena

  • Arrive at the Alumni Arena one hour prior to your ceremony (arrive at 8:30 a.m. for Ceremony 1, 1:30 p.m. for Ceremony 2 and 6 p.m. for Ceremony 3). 
  • Check in with staff in the Corey Gymnasium and receive your name card. You will provide this card to the name reader as you enter the stage. Provide a phonetic pronunciation and your email address on the card, as instructed when you receive it.
  • Remain in Corey Gymnasium and line up with your friends for the ceremony. We do not place students in alpha order or by degree, school or major. All student names will be read in the order they appear on stage when you hand the name reader your card. Specific instructions on lining up will be provided at rehearsal on Friday, May 12. Student line marshals will be available for assistance near the line numbers.

Ceremony Processional

  • At approximately 9:20 a.m., 2:20 p.m. and 6:50 p.m., student line marshals will begin to lead the students. The processional begins promptly at 9:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. or 7 p.m. Students will follow the faculty.  
  • The marshals will turn to face you and guide you into the rows. Please follow all instructions given by the marshals. Programs will be available at your seats.
  • Please do not sit until directed by the administrator on stage. The Platform Party is the last group to enter.  


  • Students graduating with honors will be acknowledged by group — cum laude, magna cum laude and summa cum laude. Summa cum laude students will also be acknowledged when they cross the stage. 
  • All students will be conferred their degree by school.
  • Following the conferral, students will be escorted to the stage where their name will be read, along with their special person. Students graduating summa cum laude and or from an international country will also be acknowledged at this time. 
  • Two photographs will be taken of each students on the stage. A third photograph will be taken of the student with their diploma cover on the "off ramp." Photography of all students is provided by GradImages. Images will be sent to students following the ceremony.
  • You will be then directed to your seat by faculty and student line marshals.

Recessional (Exiting the Ceremony)

  • At the conclusion of the ceremony, the platform party and faculty will exit first. Students may then exit and meet up with their guests at an agreed-upon location.