TUSKEGEE UNIVERSITY 2024 SPRING COMMENCEMENT

May 4th and May 11th, 2024  |  9:30 a.m. |  Daniel "Chappie" James Arena

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE LIVESTREAM ON YOUTUBE.

     
TU COMMENCEMENT UPDATE - posted 05/10/24 at 5pm

Tuskegee University has been working throughout the day to clean storm debris in preparation for Commencement on Saturday morning.

Campus visitors will be able to use the main Lincoln Gate, the Franklin Road gate and the VA gate to enter campus Saturday.

All Commencement attendees will need a ticket to enter Chappie James Arena. Doors to Chappie James will open at 7:30 a.m. Overflow locations include the Chapel and Henderson Hall. Tickets are not required in the overflow areas.

The campus clear bag policy remains in place.

_________________________



CEREMONY INFORMATION:

Thumbnail picture of the Commencement Program booklet
Commencement Program Booklet
Click image to view PDF.

Grad cap icon

 Saturday, May 4, 2024  |  9:30 am

Graduate School & Professional School Commencement
General Daniel "Chappie" James Arena
Speaker: Dr. Lesly Wilson James [Read more]
   

Grad cap icon Saturday, May 11, 2024  |  9:30 am

Spring Undergraduate Commencement
General Daniel "Chappie" James Arena
Speaker: Dr. Dietra Y. Trent [Read more]
  

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

  • CLEAR BAG REQUIREMENT -- In the interest of public safety, all venues will adhere to a clear bag requirement for all Commencement Ceremonies.
  • PROHIBITED ITEMS -- This is a list of items NOT ALLOWED!!! Please DO NOT bring these items!!!
    • NO WEAPONS
    • NO AIRHORNS 
    • NO WHISTLES
    • NO COW BELLS
    • NO BALLOONS
    • NO FLOWERS
    • NO CAKES
        
  • FACEMASK REQUIREMENT -- Facemasks are required in accordance with COVID-19 protocols.
        
  • VENDING -- CLICK HERE for Commencement Vendor Registration

TICKETS

For the Graduate and Professional Programs Commencement: 

  • No tickets will be issued to the Graduate and Professional Programs students.
  • No tickets will be needed for guests to enter the Chappie James Arena.
  • No tickets will be needed for the overflow locations.

For the Undergraduate Programs Commencement:

  • Undergraduate students will receive FIVE tickets to issue to their guests.
  • Tickets to enter Chappie James Arena are required for everyone two years old and above.
  • No tickets will be needed for the overflow locations.

PARKING AND SHUTTLE GUIDELINES FOR COMMENCEMENT

  • Tuskegee University is implementing a plan to provide shuttle service for Commencement Exercises on Saturday, May 11. 

  • Commencement guests who would like to take advantage of shuttle service are asked to park at Brimmer Hall, the off-campus lot across from Margaret Murray Washington Hall, the West Commons and Foster Hall parking lots, or at the lots behind the Emeries. 

  • The shuttle will pick up at those locations and drop everyone off in front of Chappie James near the front of Foster Hall. The shuttle will reverse the route after Commencement.

OVERFLOW LOCATIONS

  • The Chapel
  • Henderson Hall
  • Logan Hall

LIVESTREAM

For those who cannot make it to the in-person event, you can still watch the ceremony via livestream on our YouTube Channel, starting at 9:30 a.m. CT on May 4 and May 11. 

SCHOOL/COLLEGE CEREMONIES

DATE/TIME CEREMONY LOCATION
Thur., May 2, 2024  |  10 am - 12 pm Rehearsal for Graduate and Professional Programs Ceremony Chappie James Arena
Sat., May 4, 2024  |   Immediately following Commencement Ceremony College of Veterinary Medicine Oath Ceremony Chappie James Arena
Wed., May 8, 2024  |  1-3 pm Rehearsal for School of Education Induction Ceremony TU Chapel
Thur., May 9, 2024  |  10 am - 12 pm Rehearsal for Undergraduate Programs Ceremony
[Click here for Rehearsal Instructions]
Chappie James Arena
Thur., May 9, 2024  |  Immediately following Rehearsal Senior Toast Tent on Chappie James Lawn
Thur., May 9, 2024  |   2-4 pm Rehearsal for SONAH Capping and Pinning Ceremony TU Chapel
Thur., May 9, 2024  |   5-6 pm School of Education Induction Ceremony TU Chapel
Fri., May 10, 2024  |   10 am - 12 pm Joint ROTC Commissioning Ceremony TU Chapel
Fri., May 10, 2024  |   1-3 pm School of Nursing and Allied Health
Capping and Pinning Ceremony
TU Chapel
Fri., May 10, 2024  |   4-6 pm

Order of the Engineer Ceremony
Speaker: Dr. Merlin Theodore  [Read Bio]

TU Chapel
Fri., May 10, 2024  |   5:30 pm - 6:30 pm Department of Social Work Pinning Ceremony Kenney Hall auditorium
  

COMMENCEMENT DAY INFORMATION

Commencement Day Information

  • All venues will adhere to a clear bag requirement for all Commencement Ceremonies during this time, in the interest of public safety.
  • The implementation of these measures is intended to enhance public safety on campus. Approved clear bags are listed below and can be purchased in person or online from the University’s bookstore. Approved bags are bags that are clear plastic, vinyl, or PVC and do not exceed 12”x6”x12”.
  • Facemasks are required in accordance with COVID-19 protocols.

Live Stream 

Commencement will be live-streamed on the University's Youtube Channel starting at 9:30 am CT on May 4 and May 11, 2024.

COVID-19 Information for Attending 

COMMENCEMENT WEEK EVENTS

DATE/TIME SCHOOL/COLLEGE EVENT LOCATION
Sat., May 4, 2024  |   Immediately following Commencement Ceremony College of Veterinary Medicine Oath Ceremony
Speaker: TBA
Chappie James Arena
Wed., May 8, 2024  |  1-3 pm Rehearsal for School of Education Induction Ceremony TU Chapel
Thur., May 9, 2024  |  10 am - 12 pm Rehearsal for Undergraduates Program Ceremony
[Click here for Rehearsal Instructions]
Chappie James Arena
Thur., May 9, 2024  |   2-4 pm Rehearsal for SONAH Capping and Pinning Ceremony TU Chapel
Thur., May 9, 2024  |   5-6 pm School of Education Induction Ceremony TU Chapel
Fri., May 10, 2024  |   10 am - 12 pm Joint ROTC Commissioning Ceremony TU Chapel
Fri., May 10, 2024  |   1-3 pm School of Nursing and Allied Health
Capping and Pinning Ceremony
TU Chapel
Fri., May 10, 2024  |   4-6 pm

Order of the Engineer Ceremony
Speaker: Dr. Merlin Theodore  [Read Bio]

TU Chapel
 

COMMENCEMENT FAQs

ADA ACCESSIBILITY

Sections are available in the Chappie James Center for individuals with any ADA issues. Graduating seniors should inform appropriate University personnel in advance of any special needs of family members or guests. Please call 615-604-1225.

Designated ADA parking will be in the Foster Hall (Engineering building) parking lot. The circle in front of the Chappie James Center is for Emergency vehicles and ADA drop-off only. Please consult the campus map for regular parking.

On-campus shuttle service will begin at 7:00am from designated parking lots on Commencement Day. The Chappie James Center will open at 7:00 am.

PUBLIC PARKING

Designated public parking is available in these parking lots:

  • Behind Foster Hall
  • In front of Harvey Hall
  • Behind the Chapel
  • Beside Kenney Hall
  • ADA parking beside Foster Hall

(Click here to view Campus Map)

SHUTTLE SERVICE

On-campus shuttle service will begin at 7:00am from designated parking lots on Commencement Day. The Chappie James Center will open at 7:00 am.

PROCEDURES FOR CANDIDATES

Candidates are asked to adhere to the following procedures:

  1. All candidates are required to wear approved academic regalia --traditional caps and gowns. Persons who are not in compliance with approved academic regalia will not be permitted to participate in the Commencement Exercises. Decorating of caps and stoles will be permitted as long as they are kept within the Tuskegee University’s tradition of character and excellence.
  2. Candidates must wear a facemask during the ceremony.
  3. Candidates should wear black shoes and clothing that harmonize with academic regalia. Comfortable attire is recommended.
  4. Academic regalia is most appropriate when worn without jewelry such as bangles, large necklaces, or large earrings.
  5. Chewing gum is inappropriate and not permitted.
  6. Smoking is prohibited at all times.
  7. Behaviors that disrupt the Commencement Ceremony are prohibited. Gestures such as dances, flips, gyrating, twirling, stepping and yelling are not allowed. 
  8. Sneakers, fuzzy slippers, flip flops, and crocs of any kind are not allowed, and heeled shoes over 4 inches in height are prohibited. 
  9. Men should remove their hats during the Invocation, Benediction and the singing of the Tuskegee Song.
  10. All candidates will rise, as a group, when presented to the President by their respective deans.
  11. After receiving the diploma cover replica, candidates must return to their seats and remain until the conclusion of the Commencement Exercises.
  12. Only University authorized photographers/videographers are permitted on the floor to take pictures or video during the Commencement Exercises.

​GRADUATION CAP DECORATION GUIDELINES

Decorations on graduation caps (mortar boards) are a symbol of pride and accomplishment. The decorations represent personalized statements about accomplishments that can be presented in the form of a quote, an image, a symbol, or other things.

To ensure that commencement exercises remain dignified celebrations of achievement of all students, the following rules must be followed when decorating caps for graduation:

  • Decorations should not interfere with attaching the tassel to the cap.
  • Only the flat top of the TU-issued cap may be decorated.
  • Decorations may not hang off the sides of the cap.
  • Large 3-D embellishments may interfere with the view of students seated behind you
  • and are, therefore, prohibited.
  • Graduation caps must not have any advertisements, symbols, words or slogans conveying messages inappropriate at a dignified commencement ceremony.
  • Caps must not threaten the safety of others or use any hate speech of any kind.
  • Caps must be consistent with the code of conduct for Tuskegee University.
  • Obscene, profane, or vulgar language is expressly prohibited.
  • Words or items diminishing or slandering toward any individual or institution, the
  • University, any faculty or staff member, and/or any student are prohibited on graduation caps.
  • Decorations are prohibited on academic gowns and hood.

Not sure if your decorations meet the guidelines? Email Student Affairs for guidance: studentaffairs@tuskegee.edu

Failure to adhere to these rules for graduation cap decoration and/or instructions from commencement event staff could result in a student’s removal from commencement exercises and may add a Student Conduct Violation to the student’s record.

​OFFICIAL DRESS ATTIRE

All degree candidates should dress in a manner appropriate for the dignity and solemnity of the University’s Commencement Exercises. All degree candidates must wear academic regalia (caps and gowns) to the Commencement exercises. Graduation attire should not be removed at any point during the University’s Commencement Exercises. Graduates should wear black shoes and clothing that harmonize with academic regalia. Sneakers, fuzzy slippers, flip flops, and crocs of any kind are not allowed, and heeled shoes over 4 inches in height are prohibited. Please note that Dress Attire will be enforced. Those not in dress attire will be removed from the Line of March.

We understand that some graduates may have cultural or personal preferences for dress attire, and those who need to wear specific attire for religious or cultural purposes (e.g., hijab, etc) are welcomed to do so. However, for those outside of those specified needs, we ask that you respect the formality of the occasion and adhere to the dress code guidelines. We want to ensure that all graduates are presented in a uniform manner and that the focus remains on celebrating your academic achievements.

ACADEMIC ATTIRE

THE CAP - The approved cap of the academic costume is the mortar board or Oxford cap- a stiff board nine inches square, usually covered in cotton poplin, Russell cord, or spun rayon, placed on a soft cap made of the same material and jointed in a pointed design in front and back. The front of the cap is shorter than the back, but the color is always that of the gown and is uniformly black for the four-year colleges. The use of velvet material has been reserved for the cap for the doctor’s degree. A silk cord with a tassel made of many strands of threads is attached to a button in the center of the board. The length of the cord and tassel may vary with the degree of the wearer.

THE GOWN - The basic design for gowns is similar for all degrees; the minor variations in fullness and length of sleeves and trimmings are indicative of degree levels. Cotton poplin fabric is used for the bachelor’s and master’s gown, and ribbed rayon or silk material is reserved for the doctor’s gown.

THE HOOD - No longer worn for warmth, the hood has become the colorful standard bearer of academic symbolism. It varies in length from three feet to three and a half feet, representing the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctor’s degree, respectively. The colors or colors of the lining of the hood is trimmed or edged in a border of velvet either two inches, three inches, or five inches in width for the bachelor’s, master’s and doctor’s degree. The border color represents the faculty or field of study in which the degree was awarded.
 
Information taken from The Admissions, Academic Records, and Registrar Handbook of Policies and Procedures, C. James Quann and Associates: 1979.

HONORS REGALIA - In recognition of scholarship of high quality, a student may graduate with distinction according to the following cumulative grade point averages:

  • Summa Cum Laude (3.75) - Gold shoulder stole/crimson letters 
  • Magna Cum Laude (3.50) - Gold shoulder stole/crimson letters 
  • Cum Laude (3.25) Cords - One gold and one crimson

Candidates for honors must qualify one semester prior to commencement. Regalia for honor students will be issued at graduation rehearsal. Students are permitted to keep honors regalia.
  
All seniors completing graduation requirements should place orders for graduation regalia with the Tuskegee Campus Bookstore. Order should be placed early to receive regalia in time for the Commencement Ceremony. For more information (regarding regalia and invitations), call 334-727-8844.

COVID-19 RESOURCES

ORDERING TRANSCRIPTS

ACADEMIC TERMINOLOGY

Academic Terms: “Alumni” and Others

  • alumna - Use this singular term for a female graduate.
  • alumnus - Use this singular term for a male graduate.
  • alumnae - Use this plural term for a group of female graduates.
  • alumni - Use this plural term for former students or graduates, whether referring to a group of males or a group consisting of males and females.
  • alma mater - A term that may be used when referring to Tuskegee University, the university from which you have graduated.

Degrees

  • Bachelor of Arts - B.A.
  • Bachelor of Science - B.S.
  • Master of Arts - M.A.
  • Master of Science - M.S.
  • Doctor of Philosophy - Ph.D.
  • Doctor of Veterinary Medicine - DVM

Tuskegee University Alumni Associations:

  • Tuskegee National Alumni Association, Inc. (TNAA)
  • Tuskegee University National Athletic Association (TUNAA)
  • Tuskegee University Agriculture, Environment & Nutrition Sciences Alumni Association (TUAENSAA)
  • Tuskegee Architecture and Construction Alumni Association (TACAA)
  • Tuskegee University Nursing Alumni Association (TUNNAA)
  • Tuskegee University Band Alumni Association (TUBAA)
  • Tuskegee Veterinary Medical Alumni Association (TVMAA)
  • Tuskegee University Engineering Alumni Association (TUEAA)

CANDIDATES FOR GRADUATION "MUSTS" AND DEADLINES

THE TUSKEGEE SONG