Winter Commencement

Candidates for Graduation
Driving Directions

Ceremony Etiquette and Instructions 

  • A cap, gown, and hood for master's candidates are required academic apparel.
  • The cap should be worn so that the mortarboard is level and not cocked to either side or placed on the back of the head. The crown of the cap should come to approximately one inch above the eyebrows. The deeper portion of the crown is the back.
  • The gown should be pressed and worn with dark shoes. Women should not wear flowers, pins or other jewelry. A simple straight dress without a high neckline gives the best results. Men should wear a white shirt and tie that will compliment the gown. Coats may be left off for comfort. Nothing should be pinned or attached to the gown.
  • The tassel is worn on the right side before the degree is conferred. It is customary to change the tassel from the right to the left side after the degree is conferred. The president will direct you when to do this during the ceremony. 

Line Up 

  • Line up on the second floor of the Fine Arts Center (using west stairwell) under the sign for your degree and in alpha order no later than 10:30 a.m.
  • Committee members will give you a reader card. Carry this with you onto the stage and give to the reader at the first podium.
  • Do not carry anything with you, other than the reader card, into the arena for the ceremony.
  • Do not chew gum.

Ceremony Instructions

  • Graduates will be led into the main theatre and to their seats by the faculty council chair. Marshals will direct you to fill in the rows of the theatre. Fill in ALL seats. All graduates should stand in front of their chair and wait until the music has finished. 
  • A marshal will give you a commencement program as you are seated.
  • Gentlemen should remove their caps during the invocation and benediction.
  • A marshal will indicate to your row when to stand for the presentation of candidates.
  • Proceed to the steps on the right side of the stage. Do not wait at the bottom of steps.
  • Hand your information card to the reader to announce your name.
  • Once your name is read, proceed to the table, accept your diploma cover from the president with your left hand, and shake his right hand with your right hand. The photographer will take your picture at this time—stop, shake, and smile!
  • Move on to the Board of Trustee chair who will congratulate you and shake your hand, then to the alumni representative who will present you with an alumni pin and also shake your hand.
  • Continue off the stage, a marshal will assist you back to your row. 
  • Associate degree candidates will go first, followed by the bachelor degree candidates, followed by the master degree candidates. 
  • Follow the directions from the marshals for the recessional. Graduates are the last group to leave during the recessional.  


  • Empire Photography photographers will take photos of each candidate during the ceremony.
  • Proofs will be emailed to your Viterbo University email address.
  • Guests may take photographs at any time from their seats.
  • The ceremony will be streamed live via the Web, however, video of the ceremony will not be available afterwards.

Contact the Registrar's Office

If your names does not appear on the list of Candidates for Graduation or you have questions about filling out your application for degree form, contact:
Nancy Oelke, 608-796-3183,

Contact the Commencement Committee

If you have further questions regarding the commencement ceremony or activities surrounding commencement, contact:
Kori Salaski, Registrar, 608-796-3185,