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Spring Commencement Ceremonies

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, May Commencement ceremonies have been postponed. 

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Office of the Registrar

1525 Greenspring Valley Road
Stevenson, MD 21153
Phone: 443-334-2206
Fax: 443-334-2623

Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Commencement Information

Student Information

Student Information 

Students, please read all of the commencement information below. SU does not offer a formal commencement rehearsal; however, the information you need is listed below. In addition to reading the information, you may view a Power Point presentation given by the Registrar, Mrs. Tracy Bolt.

Cap and Gown

Direct all questions related to your cap and gown purchase to the Campus Store at 443-352-4062.

Be sure to bring all four pieces with you: cap, black tassel, gown and hood! (Master’s degree candidates will receive hoods on stage during the ceremony.)

Cap – Wear the cap flat on your head – not perched on the back. Cap decorations are permitted; however, they should not create a distraction from the ceremony. Keep the following in mind:

  • All decorations must lay flat on the cap. Nothing may dangle or hang down from the cap other than the tassel and nothing may extend vertically.
  • Use common sense. Offensive language, photos, graphic images, etc., will not be permitted.
  • The University will require that you remove any embellishment deemed inappropriate by authorized University officials before you are permitted to participate in the ceremony.

Tassel – Remember to bring the black tassel with you! For bachelor’s degree candidates, the black tassel hangs to your right, and you will move it to your left when instructed during the ceremony.

Gown – Take your gown out of the package and hang it before commencement day! If necessary, iron it on a low setting. Wear appropriate clothing under the gown. Carefully consider your choice of shoes as you will be walking up and down steps in addition to going across the stage. Comfortable dress shoes are recommended (no flip-flops or sneakers).

Hood – Assistance will be provided prior to the ceremony, just remember to bring it with you! (Master’s degree candidates will receive hoods on stage during the ceremony).

Cords, Stoles and Pins – The decision has been made to allow students to wear cords or stoles representing any University-sponsored organization. Please be aware any outside organizations that have not been recognized by the University cannot be represented by a cord or stole. As always, we recognize that graduation is a time of celebration, but it is also a formal ceremony representing the academic achievements of all students, and graduates’ attire should also reflect the solemnity of the occasion. Cords/Stoles are not provided for academic honors (summa cum laude, magna cum laude, and cum laude). Academic honors are recognized in the program and announced as you walk across the stage.

Arrival & Procession

Meet for the procession line-up on the Greenspring Campus at least 45 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony. Please leave personal belongings with your guests or in your vehicle. You will pick up your name card and line up in number order. Keep your card with you until you hand it to the person reading names on stage!

Student marshals will lead the procession in two lines (walking together). Trust the marshals when they show you where to sit, and when to stand to move toward the stage.

When you enter the gymnasium and move into the row of chairs, remain standing until someone on stage instructs everyone to be seated. Men: remove your cap during the National Anthem and Moment of Reflection. Women: continue wearing your cap.

The procession and ceremony will start on time, even if you are not here yet, so plan to arrive early! If for any reason you arrive late and the line-up area is empty, go to the entrance of the gym and someone will help you get seated. Listen to the marshals when they tell you where to sit and when to move toward the stage.

The Ceremony

Once seated there will be a welcome from the Chair of the Board of Trustees, opening remarks from the University President, award presentations and a keynote speaker before the “Presentation of Candidates for Degrees”. The ceremony from start time to finish is approximately two hours.

Watch your marshals to know when to stand and move toward the stage. Take your name card with you to the stage! Exit to the outside aisle (left side will not return to the same seat you had before walking across the stage). When it is your turn to walk, hand your name card to the dean of your school. Wait until your name is announced. Once the dean announces your name – enjoy your moment – walk across the stage, shake the president’s hand and receive your diploma.* No selfies on stage. Keep moving! There will be professional photographers taking pictures as you go across stage and after you exit the stage; keep moving as instructed. When you return to the row of seats – sit down.

Contact information for the photographers: www.gradimages.com 800-261-2576.

Graduates are encouraged to review and listen to the Alma Mater that you will sing together at the end of the ceremony. Recording by Emma Cathy Smith ‘20

Recessional & Reception

After the Alma Mater, you will leave the gym. The stage party exits the gym first, followed by the faculty/staff. Watch your student marshals who will let you know when it is time for your row to exit.

It is very important that you keep moving all the way out the doors, outside and up the stairs! Do not stop at the top of the stairs. Keep moving toward the grassy area or inside the building! There are thousands of people in the gym waiting to exit after you; if you stop moving they will be stuck in the gym.

Prior to Commencement day, arrange to meet guests upstairs - either inside at the reception or outside (we are hoping for beautiful weather). Cell phone service is not reliable in the gym on the Greenspring campus so be sure to make a plan prior to Commencement day.

Guest and Ticket Information

All guests must have a ticket to enter the Manuszak Center, including children of any age and guests in wheelchairs.

Doors to the gym will open one hour before the start of the ceremony. Seating areas are not assigned and are occupied on a first-come, first-served basis. Guests are encouraged to arrive early. When the procession begins, no one will be allowed to enter the Manuszak Center until the procession is complete; therefore, guests should be seated at least fifteen minutes prior to the start of the ceremony. Guests arriving late may enter the gymnasium after the procession is complete.

If you have a guest who is using a wheelchair, walker, or has special needs, please email Lisa C. Labrecque.

An email will be sent to Commencement participants approximately two months prior to the ceremony with the quantity of guest tickets available and additional instructions. Participants will be given as many guest tickets as possible based on the number of participants and the seating capacity of the gym. Extra tickets are not available.

Overflow seating is available in the Inscape Theatre where the ceremony will be streaming live on the big screen. Theatre seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets are not required for overflow seating. Unaccompanied children are not permitted in the theatre.

The Commencement ceremony will be streaming live online! The link will be available on the SU website. Friends and family may watch the ceremony from anywhere they have internet access.

Please encourage your guests to read the Commencement for Guests information on the website.

A few more things you need to know

*Walking across a stage and receiving an empty diploma cover does not mean that you graduated. Your degree is not awarded until all grades are received and all requirements are complete. You may view your degree information in WebXpress under the “Academic Profile” section, click on “My Profile” and scroll to the bottom of the page. Your degree information will appear in this section.

You will receive an email when your official academic transcript is updated with your degree information. Transcripts may be requested by using National Student Clearinghouse, if needed.

Academic honors for bachelor’s degrees will be listed on your diploma and official academic transcript based on your final cumulative GPA. This may differ from the academic honors announced during the Commencement ceremony, which is based on your cumulative GPA prior to the final semester.

Cum Laude 3.50 – 3.69

Magna Cum Laude 3.70 – 3.89

Summa Cum Laude 3.90 – 4.00

Diplomas are sent via standard U.S. mail approximately one month after graduation. Diplomas and transcripts may be held if there is an outstanding balance with Student Accounts. If you have questions, contact the Office of Student Accounts, 443-334-3500.

Remember you can always access Career Services, even after you graduate, and you can stay connected with SU through Alumni Relations.

Guest Information

Guest Information 

For the safety and enjoyment of all graduates and guests, please review the following guidelines and answers to frequently asked questions.

  • Participating graduates will receive as many tickets as possible based on the number of participants and capacity of the location. Encourage additional friends and family to watch via the live broadcast on the SU website.
  • On Commencement day, please follow the directions of SU security and staff.
  • Be prepared to show your tickets to enter the Manuszak Center.
  • ALL guests, including children of any age, will need a ticket to enter.
  • Strollers are not permitted in the gym unless special accommodations have been requested.
  • Doors to the gym will open one hour before the start of the ceremony. Seating areas are not assigned and are occupied on a first-come, first-served basis. Guests are encouraged to arrive early.
  • When the procession begins, no one will be allowed to enter the Manuszak Center until the procession is complete; therefore, guests should be seated at least fifteen minutes prior to the start of the ceremony. Guests arriving late may enter the gymnasium after the procession is complete.
  • Please move to the center of your row when you are seated to allow room for other guests.
  • Please refrain from placing your feet or personal belongings on other seats.
  • We are rejoicing with you in your graduate’s academic success! Applause and cheers are encouraged; however, should not interfere with hearing the name of each graduate being announced as they walk across the stage.
  • Do not approach the stage for photos. Professional photographers will be taking photos near the stage. Guests may take personal photos/video while remaining in their seats so that the view of the stage is not obstructed and the aisles remain clear for our graduates. Information about professional photos is available on their website www.gradimages.com or by calling 800-261-2576.
  • At the end of the ceremony please remain in the gymnasium until ALL of the graduates have exited. The stage party and faculty will leave the gym first, followed by the graduates. Guests will exit the gym last.
  • Be aware that cell phone reception on the Greenspring campus is not reliable. Prior to arriving on campus, make arrangements where you will meet your graduate at the end of the ceremony. Suggested locations are upstairs either inside or outside.
  • When you exit the Manuszak Center do not stop just outside the gym or building doors. Keep moving outside and up the stairs to your right. An elevator is available in the Manuszak Center just outside the gym exit if needed.
  • Since balloon bouquets can obstruct the view of the stage and cause distraction, they should remain in a vehicle until the conclusion of the ceremony.
  • Commencement ceremonies are approximately two hours.

Thank you for your cooperation. It helps make this a special day for our graduates!

Applying for Graduation

Applying for Graduation

In order to receive your degree, you must submit an application for graduation available in WebXpress. Even if you do not choose to participate in the commencement ceremony, you must still submit an application for graduation. Failure to complete an application for graduation may delay your graduation or put you at risk of not receiving your degree.

Process

Your application for graduation triggers the creation of a graduation record for you. Your name becomes part of a list of potential graduating students. There will be an official review of your academic record to verify that you have met or will meet all academic requirements for your degree program. Following the review of your record, you will receive notification about your graduation status sent to your SU email. You will also be able to receive email communication regarding commencement and other graduation events. There is a charge of $25 that may be paid by credit card when submitting the application online via WebXpress or may be charged to your SU account when submitting the paper form to the Registrar’s Office.

Deadlines

  • May and August graduates must apply by January 1
  • December graduates must apply by August 1

If you have any questions concerning the application process or your graduation status please contact Pamela Daniels, Assistant Registrar, Graduation.

Graduation Awards

Graduation Awards

The Student Graduation Awards are presented at each commencement to graduating seniors who were nominated by a member of the campus community. Award recipients will be presented with their award at the Commencement ceremony. The nomination form can be found on the Portal.

Orsia F. Young Leadership Award

The Orsia F. Young Leadership Award is conferred on one graduating student from each academic school who has performed in an outstanding manner as a leader in the University community, initiated action, motivated others to do so, and has been an agent for positive change in the university.

There is only one recipient for each of the following awards at each graduation:

Stevenson University Pin

The SU Pin Award is the most comprehensive honor the University confers on one graduating senior whose total personal performance is meritorious, including academic achievement, independence, integrity of thought and action, reliability, respect for others, and involvement in University or community affairs.

Elizabeth McWethy Award

The Elizabeth McWethy Award is bestowed from time to time upon one student who has demonstrated exceptional creativity, manifested genuine concern for society, and has actively influenced the lives of others.

Marion and Henry J. Knott Achievement Award

The Marion and Henry J. Knott Achievement Award is presented to one graduating student who has demonstrated the ability to achieve academically, to reach out to the needs of others at the University, and to persevere toward a goal while also managing major primary responsibilities outside the life of the University.

Provost's Award for Exceptional Scholarship

The Dean's Award for Exceptional Scholarship is conferred from time to time on one graduating student who has performed academically in a particularly exceptional way, has demonstrated unique intellectual ability and initiative, and has contributed to the academic pursuits of his or her peers.

President's Award for Scholarly and Creative Achievement

The President's Award for Scholarly and Creative Achievement is conferred from time to time on a graduating student whose total performance has been marked in a striking fashion by singular creativity and by the depth of his or her intellectual interest and performance in all subject areas.

John Mitchell Award

The John Mitchell Award is presented to one student who has demonstrated outstanding service to his or her community in a way that exemplifies the values of Stevenson University's mission.

Dorothy Stang Award

The Dorothy Stang award is conferred upon a graduating senior who best exemplifies devotion to the good of the wider community as reflected in the life of Dorothy Stang, a member of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, the founders of Stevenson University. Stang's commitment to bringing social justice to the underprivileged in Brazil led to her murder. The Stang Award honors integrity, courage in the face of adversity, and a willingness to act on convictions without regard to consequence. Embodying the most cherished values that an education from Stevenson University instills in its students, the recipient of the Stang Award reaches out to members of the community who have financial, spiritual, social, or cultural needs. Our recipient is a "reflective and accomplished individual committed to a lifetime of learning and contribution" (SU Mission Statement).

Outstanding Part-Time Student Award

The University's award for Outstanding Part-time Student is conferred on a graduating part-time student who has demonstrated commitment to higher education, the determination to succeed, a high standard of academic achievement, and has contributed in a tangible manner to the University while balancing many other personal and professional obligations.

Graduation FAQ

Graduation FAQ

When should I start thinking about graduation?
As registration approaches for your final semester, you should review your Degree Audit in WebXpress and consult with your academic advisor to determine if your remaining courses can be completed in the upcoming semester. When you register for your final semester, you should submit the application for graduation through WebXpress.

What do I look for in Degree Audit?
Check your credit summary. "Pending (Anticipated Complete)" means all of your completed classes, all your current classes, and any pre-registered/registered future term classes are in place. In the credits portion of the report (just below "credit summary") you should see "0.00" under the "Remaining" column.

What if I don't have a "Pending (Anticipated Complete)" status?
A status of "In Progress" means something is missing. Look for anything in your Degree Audit that has a notation of "Not Met," "1 course needed," "more subjects" and/or any number other than "0.00" under credits "Remaining." If you have questions, contact your academic advisor.

Why must I apply for graduation?
Your application for graduation triggers the creation of a graduation record for you. Your name becomes part of a list of potential graduating students. There will be an official review of your academic record to verify that you have met or will meet all academic requirements for your degree program. Following the review of your record, you will receive notification about your graduation status sent to your SU email. You will also be able to receive email communication regarding commencement and other graduation events.

Do I need to apply for graduation if I do not want to walk across the stage?
Yes! All eligible graduating students are required to submit an application for graduation.

Is there a deadline to apply for graduation?
May and August graduates must apply by January 1

December graduates must apply by August 1

How do I know if I can walk at Commencement?
May Commencement: Students who are completing degrees in May (end of spring term) or August (end of summer term) are eligible to participate in the May Commencement ceremony.
December Commencement: Students who are completing degrees in December (end of fall term) are eligible to participate in the December Commencement ceremony.

Does walking across the stage mean that I graduated?
No. Participating in Commencement only means that you walked across the stage. Your degree is not awarded until all grades are received and all requirements are complete. Degrees are conferred in May, August, and December.

How will I know that my degree has been awarded?
In WebXpress, under “Academic Profile” tab, click on “My Profile” and scroll to the bottom of the page. Your degree information will appear in this section.

When will I receive my diploma?
Your diploma will be mailed the month following graduation, once all final grades have been received and all University and program requirements are complete. Diplomas are sent to the address listed on your application for graduation via standard U.S. mail.

Commencement

How do I prepare for Commencement?
Read the information in the Commencement for Students section and check your SU email for updates.

What time do I need to arrive?
Graduates should arrive at least 45 minutes prior to the ceremony. Doors to the gym open one hour prior to the ceremony.

When should my guests arrive?
Doors to the gym will open one hour before the start of the ceremony. Seating areas are not assigned and are occupied on a first-come, first-served basis. Guests are encouraged to arrive early. When the procession begins, no one will be allowed to enter the Manuszak Center until the procession is complete; therefore, guests should be seated at least fifteen minutes prior to the start of the ceremony. Guests arriving late may enter the gymnasium after the procession is complete.

Do all of my guests need a ticket to attend commencement?
All guests, including children of any age and guests in wheelchairs must have a ticket.

What accommodations are available for handicapped seating?
If you have a guest who is using a wheelchair, walker, or has special needs, please email Lisa C. Labrecque at llabrecque@stevenson.edu.

Will they start without me?
YES, so do not be late!

How long is the Commencement ceremony?
Commencement ceremonies are approximately two hours.

What are the options if I want more tickets?
Participants will be given as many guest tickets as possible based on the number of participants and the seating capacity of the gym. Extra tickets are not available.

Overflow seating is available in the Inscape Theatre where the ceremony will be streaming live on the big screen. Theatre seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets are not required for overflow seating.

Will there be an online viewing option?
The Commencement ceremony will be streaming live online! The link will be available on the SU website. Friends and family may watch the ceremony from anywhere they have internet access.

Where do I go upon arrival?
You should go to Dawson Center Rooms 306/307. You will pick up your name card, and line up in order according to the number on your card. There will be SU staff and student marshals in the Dawson Center to help with line up and arranging hoods etc.

Why do we have name cards?
You will give your name card to the dean of your school when you walk across the stage. The name cards also help keep everyone in the correct order for procession. Master’s students will process alphabetically by program. Bachelor’s degree students will process alphabetically by school. We put numbers on the cards to make it easy. Simply line up in numerical order. The colors of the name cards reflect the different schools.

What should I bring with me to the ceremony?
Bring your cap with the tassel and gown with the hood. (Master’s degree students will receive the hood during the ceremony.) Please leave flowers, purses, coats, extra shoes or anything else that you might have with your guests or in your vehicle.

What do I wear under my gown?
Wear something appropriate for the occasion. Dress, skirt or dress pants with a nice shirt. Carefully consider your choice of shoes as you will be walking up and down steps in addition to going across the stage. Comfortable dress shoes are recommended (no flip-flops or sneakers).

Can I wear anything on my graduation gown?
Students may wear cords or stoles representing any University sponsored organization. Please be aware any outside organizations that have not been recognized by the University cannot be represented by a cord or stole. As always, we recognize that graduation is a time of celebration, but it is also a formal ceremony representing the academic achievements of all students, and graduates’ attire should also reflect the solemnity of the occasion.

Are cords or stoles provided for academic honors?
Cords or stoles are not provided for academic honors (summa cum laude, magna cum laude, and cum laude). Academic honors are recognized in the program and announced as you walk across the stage.

What GPA is required for academic honors?
Academic honors for bachelor’s degrees are listed on the diploma and on the official academic transcript based on the final cumulative GPA. This may differ from the academic honors announced during the Commencement ceremony, which is based on the cumulative GPA prior to the final semester.

Cum Laude 3.50 – 3.69

Magna Cum Laude 3.70 – 3.89

Summa Cum Laude 3.90 – 4.00

How do I wear the cap?
Flat on your head – not perched on the back! Bachelor’s degree students: tassel is on the right and you will move it to the left after receiving your diploma. Master’s degree students: tassel is on the left and it stays on the left.

May the cap be decorated?
Cap decorations are permitted; however, they should not create a distraction from the ceremony. Keep the following guidelines in mind:

  • All decorations must lay flat on the cap. Nothing may dangle or hang down from the cap other than the tassel and nothing may extend vertically (which would block the view of people seated behind you).
  • Use common sense: offensive language, photos, graphic images, etc., will not be permitted.
  • The University may require that you remove any embellishment deemed inappropriate by authorized University officials before you are permitted to participate in the ceremony.

Will someone be around to help me get the hood on correctly?
Yes.

How do I order announcements and the cap and gown?
For questions concerning cap and gown and other purchases, please contact the Campus Store.

When the ceremony is over, how do we leave?
The stage party exits the gym first, followed by the faculty/staff. Watch your student marshals who will let you know when it is time for your row to exit. It is very important that you keep moving all the way out the doors, outside and up the stairs! Do not stop at the top of the stairs. Keep moving toward the grassy area or inside the building! There are thousands of people in the gym waiting to exit after you; if you stop moving they will be stuck in the gym.

What about pictures?
Students should not take selfies on stage! Guests may take personal photos/video from their seats. Guests should not crowd the stage for photos. Professional photographers will be available to take individual pictures before the ceremony in the general vicinity of the procession line up area. Photos will also be taken during the ceremony including an action shot while receiving the diploma on stage and a posed shot after receiving the diploma and exiting the stage. Ordering information is available on their website www.gradimages.com or by calling 800-261-2576.

What should I do with flowers that my family will give me, my purse, or my other personal belongings?
Please leave flowers, purses, coats, and any personal belongings with your guests or in your vehicle.

Diploma Information

Diploma Information 

Diplomas are sent via standard U.S. mail approximately one month after graduation. Diplomas are sent after all final grades have been received and degree requirements are confirmed complete.

Diplomas include your name, degree, major, and academic honors, if earned. The date listed on the diploma reflects the end of the semester when the degree is officially considered complete rather than the commencement date. Diplomas are 11 x 14 inches in size, and frames are available for purchase through the Campus Store.

The official academic transcript, not the diploma, is considered the certifying document to verify a degree. Graduates will be issued one diploma.  Additional copies will not be provided, however, a replacement diploma may be requested by alumni.  Replacement diplomas may be requested due to the name change from Villa Julie College to Stevenson University, due to an official personal name change, or due to a lost or damaged diploma.  The replacement diploma may only be requested by the alumnus in writing using the Replacement Diploma Order Form. The fee for a replacement diploma is $30.  Please note: Effective Fall 2008, all replacement diplomas will feature Stevenson University, even if the degree was earned prior to the name change.

Plan your visit
Plan Your Visit

We hope you enjoy your visit to Stevenson University.

Alumni
Alumni

Congratulations on graduating from Stevenson University and joining the more than 18,000 alumni of our proud institution.

Upon graduating, you are officially a member of the SU Alumni Association. Please update your contact information to stay connected with your Mustang family.

Commencement Live Stream
Watch Live Stream

For family and friends unable to attend the celebration, the commencement ceremony will be streamed online.

Have a Question?
Contact Admissions
Undergraduate Admissions
Owings Mills Campus
Garrison Hall North, Second Floor
1-877-468-6852
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