Commencement Protocol for Participants

The Board of Trustees, administration, faculty, staff, and the members of the Commencement Planning Committee congratulate you on achieving this significant milestone. Please accept our wishes for a wonderful graduation day and every success from that day forward.  Please find below some guidelines we would like for all participants to adhere to.

**All graduates are expected to return to their seats, students must remain seated and depart together as a class during the Recessional.**

****NOTICE: The best entrance at the Convention Center for Commencement is the L Street entrance.****

Social Media

This year we are asking all participants and guests to actively participate in commencement utilizing social media (Instagram, Facebook and Twitter).  We will have two live social media monitors within Hall C, that will be showing all #udc19 and #udcfirebirds tagged postings.  We want you all to share this day with each other and those who could not be here via social media.

Preparation for the Event

  • Participate in the designated rehearsal.
  • You should arrive at 8:00am. You are arriving early so that the committee can get you lined up in the graduates staging area
  • You have time to go to the registration booth and get your name card and your diploma card
  • You have time to get your cap and gown on hood if required


  • Obtain the official academic attire and wear this at the Commencement ceremony.
  • Select business attire for your wardrobe beneath your academic regalia and for all the Commencement events.
    (No sneakers)

Behavior at the Event

Graduation is a joyous and special occasion. It is a time for celebration and merriment. However, you are reminded that Commencement is a formal University function. You are requested to maintain the order and solemnity of the proceedings. It is a courtesy we owe each other and our guests.

  • Please maintain decorum so that all may hear and view the proceedings without undue distraction.
  • Please remember that this ceremony has its origins in the monastic tradition; let your behavior keep faith with that tradition.

Conferring of Degrees

The Deans will award degrees en masse according to degree level and academic unit. Afterwards, certified graduates will walk across the stage individually, as their names are called, to receive their degree covers. Graduates will present their Name Card to the reader when they approach the top of the stage. When the reader calls their names, they will proceed across the stage rapidly, without delay, in an orderly and dignified manner suitable for the occasion, to receive their degree holder from the Dean, shake the President’s hand and be photographed, and exit the opposite side of the stage. Upon returning to their seats, students must remain seated and depart together as a class during the Recessional.

UDC National Alumni Society

Dear Graduate: Congratulations on your recent graduation from the University of the District of Columbia.  You have achieved a most significant milestone in your education and professional development, and you have earned all the rights and privileges conferred by your degree from this outstanding institution. You will be inducted into the Alumni Society during the commencement ceremony.