Student and Parent Information - Commencement

Welcome 2014 Graduates, Parents, Family, Friends and Community Members


Academic Attire

Caps and gowns are required ceremony attire for all graduates. Cap and gown orders will be available for pick up at the campus bookstore beginning Monday, December 8th.

Candidates are required to wear dark shoes and business casual attire beneath the gowns. Females are requested to wear black, low heeled shoes, hose, dark dresses and, if earrings are worn, they should be small in size. Males are requested to wear dark trousers, white shirts, black shoes, and dark ties. Candidates for masters' degrees should also bring their hood to the ceremony.

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Commencement Ceremony

PROCESSION: Begins promptly at 10:00 a.m. The ceremony usually lasts 2-3 hours. Members of the graduating class will process to the reserved seating area. Your student marshal will direct you to the appropriate seating location for your college. Remain standing until all candidates have arrived on the field, faculty has arrived at their seats, and the Platform Party has reached its place on the stage. Continue standing for The National Anthem.

PRESENTATION OF CANDIDATES: The Dean of each college or school will present the candidates for the various degrees to the President. The President will deliver the conferral remarks. The candidates for the various degrees will then be asked to approach the stage for presentation. Candidates will:

  • Ascend the ramp on the right hand side of the stage
  • Hand the Reader Card to the reader
  • Wait for their name and academic honor, if applicable, to be spoken
  • Walk across the stage to be greeted by the President
  • Have their picture taken
  • Descend the ramp on the left side of the stage
  • Return to their seat
  • Candidates are expected to return to their seat and remain standing until all graduates in their college or school have received their diploma and returned to their seat.
  • Master's candidates will carry their hood to be hooded by the President.

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Commencement Protocol

Commencement is a significant moment for graduates. It marks a pinnacle of achievement, and Savannah State University celebrates the occasion with formal pomp and circumstance. To ensure the dignity and solemnity of this occasion, please be mindful of the following:

  • SSU’s Code of Conduct applies at both the commencement ceremony and rehearsal.
  • Use of alcohol and/or controlled substances is prohibited.
  • No food or drink will be permitted in the line-up area.
  • Guests should arrive in time to be seated in the arena before the procession begins at 10 a.m., preferably by 9:30 a.m.
  • Guest seating is first-come, first-seated.
  • Turn off cell phones, pagers and similar devices during the ceremony.
  • Please refrain from using noise-makers or shouting while degrees are being presented on the stage.
  • Any bags, including purses, brought inside the stadium are subject to being searched by campus police. To avoid delays, guests are urged not to enter the arena with bags.

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Contingency Plan for Inclement Weather

We will update students via the SSU Alert system and student email accounts if inclement weather arises.

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Disability Access

Description: Description: C:\Documents and Settings\moorea\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\9IJ3QT8C\j0310740[1].wmfWe want all our guests to be safe and comfortable and as such, we will provide disability seating on the floor behind the faculty and graduates for those who are unable to negotiate the stairs or the stands. We understand that some mobility impairments are not obvious and not everyone with mobility impairment uses a wheelchair or walker.

COME EARLY to secure disability parking, to avoid being jostled by the crowds and to assure seating before the procession begins. We strongly recommend arriving no later than 9:30.

DISABILITY DROP-OFF AND PARKING:  There will be a disability drop off area in the West entrance parking lot of the arena. You will see handicap signage there. Using the disability drop off area will minimize the distance guests with disabilities have to cover. The West entrance parking lot of the arena will be reserved for vehicles with valid disability placards or tags. There will be a dedicated wheelchair accessible shuttle bus that will transport guests to the disability drop off area at the arena and return them to the various parking lots after the ceremony.

DISABILITY ENTRANCE AND SEATING:  Please enter at the disability drop off area in the West entrace parking lot. Please inform ushers if you need to sit in disability seating. Due to limited space, we must respectfully request that only one other companion sit with the guest who has a mobility impairment in the disability seating area. Other family members should sit in the stands. We can move chairs to accommodate walkers and wheelchairs on the floor. There is also very limited wheelchair seating in the stands and it is on a first come first served basis. You may want to plan to stay where you are and meet your Graduate and/or the rest of your party in the disability seating area after the graduation ceremony to avoid crowded areas.

DEAF GUESTS: Please sit as close to the stage as possible, facing the left side of the stage where the Sign Language Interpreter will be located.

OTHER OPTIONS FOR VIEWING CEREMONY: If you are concerned about being comfortable in the arena for several hours, we will have the ceremony streaming live at the following web address:

EMERGENCY CARE: We will have EMT’s and ambulance availability on site, if needed, at your expense.

QUESTIONS? Contact Amelia Castilian-Moore, Coordinator of Disability Services at (912) 358 3115 or by email at She will be in the arena seating guests with disabilities the morning of commencement.

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Distribution of Diplomas

Diplomas will not be distributed during the ceremony; you will receive your diploma covers at the exercise. Diplomas will be mailed to the address provided on your application for graduation after final confirmation of degree program completion. Please allow two weeks (10) days after the date of commencement for receipt of degree. 

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Graduate Exit Survey (MANDATORY!)

Each semester, candidates for graduation are asked to complete an exit survey describing their university experience. The survey responses provide important feedback to university faculty members and administrators. Upon completion of the survey, graduates will receive a ticket that will be required to gain admission to rehearsal.

Click below to access survey:  

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Parking and Campus Access Information

There is no charge for campus parking on commencement day. Please be advised that the traffic pattern for Fall 2014 Commencement is as follows:


  • All visitors, faculty, staff, and students should utilize the LaRoche, Falligant, Whatley, and Jasmine Gates to enter/exit the campus.
  • Parking for guests with disabilities will be on the West side of Tiger Arena.
  • Shuttle buses will be operating on Commencement morning.
  • Parking at T. A. Wright Stadium will also be available.

DISABILITY DROP-OFF AND PARKING:  There will be a disability drop off area at the West entrance to the arena. You will see disability signage there. Using the disability drop off area will minimize the distance guests with disabilities have to cover. The West Entrance parking lot of Tiger Arena will be reserved for vehicles with valid disability placards or tags. There will be a dedicated wheelchair accessible shuttle bus that will transport guests to the disability drop off area at the arena and return them to the various parking lots after the ceremony.

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Permission to Participate

If you have paid for and filed an application for graduation with the Registrar's office and have been informed that you are lacking requirements for completion of your degree, please contact the Office of the Provost immediately to discuss your concerns. The office of the Provost can be reached at 912-358-4190 or feel free to visit Colston Administration Building, Room 221.

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All photography will be provided by Upscale Images.


Phone:        912-303-0062  


Cap-and Gown Portraits

Tuesday, December 9, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm, Location TBA

Portrait Package Options

  • Package A: 1, 8 x 10; 2, 5 x 7; and 8 wallets
  • Package B: 1, 8 x 10 and 16 wallets
  • Package C: 1, 5 x 7 and 20 wallets

Upscale Images accepts cash, money orders, debit cards, Visa or MasterCard; no personal checks.

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Ceremony Photos

On the day of the ceremony, Upscale Images will photograph all degree presentations. Approximately 10 days after the ceremony, the photos will be posted on the Internet – – for review/purchase. If you do not want your photo displayed on the Web site for review and/or purchase, please contact the studio at 912-303-0062. Please do not make individual arrangements with other commercial photographers to be at the ceremony for photography purposes. Guests will not have access to the arena floor for photography or videotaping. For more information about photography, contact Upscale Images by phone or email:

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Printed Program

Click here to download the May 2013 Commencement Program.

Regalia Video

Click Here to learn how to wear your regalia:

Rehearsal Information

WHEN: Friday, December 12th, 8:30 a.m.- 11:00 a.m.

WHERE: Student Center, 1st floor eating area. Once assembled, the graduates will process to the arena.

WHAT:  In order to participate in the Commencement exercises, you must attend the scheduled rehearsal.

WHAT TO BRING: Exit survey confirmation ticket verifying that you completed the online graduate exit survey.

HONOR GRADUATES: Honor cords will be distributed after you are seated in the arena.

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Seating Information for Tiger Arena

Guest seating in Tiger Arena is on a first come, first seated basis. Holding seats is not allowed or permitted. Overflow guests will be directed to the Torian Auditorium in the Howard Jordan Building. Second to the Chan Auditorium in Whiting Hall and third to Room 115 in the Social Science Building. The ceremony will be available by webcast at each location.

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Travel Information

Click here for a list of hotels/motels, restaurants and travel directions.

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Family and friends unable to attend the ceremony may watch the live stream on our website:

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