Class of 2021 Ceremony Information

Saturday, May 8, 2021
11:00 a.m., Justin F. Coressel Stadium

Each graduate must complete this RSVP online survey in order to attend the ceremony. This survey will ask for a number of details, including the names and contact information of the guests, if any, that you will bring to the ceremony. A separate COVID-19 screening questionnaire will also be required for all guests attending the ceremony for contact tracing purposes.

It is important that graduates and their guests arrive at the stadium by 10:00 a.m. to check-in and be seated.

A video will be produced by the Office of Academic Affairs regarding the instructions for graduates. The instructions will include arrival information, locations for graduates and guests to check-in, and COVID-19 safety protocols.

Graduates will have assigned locations on the field and will take their seat on the field upon arrival to the stadium. Students will leave the field in a recessional after the ceremony has concluded.

Each graduate will have the ability to invite up to two guests to the ceremony. Guests will sit in the stadium stands (home side) in "pods" of two seats next to one another. No physical tickets are needed for guests. These spots are non-transferrable to other students or family members (i.e., if Student A does not bring any guests, Student B is not able to bring four total guests).
If you have family members who require special accommodation, you will need a reserved seat ticket. Students will request these accommodations in advance through the RSVP form. Please make your requests early so that we can plan accordingly to seat everyone.

All students must apply for graduation by completing the necessary paperwork and submitting it to the Registrar's Office. Applicants must be approved by the Faculty and the Board of Trustees, so it is critical that applications are submitted in a timely fashion. Students desiring to graduate in May or in August should have already applied to graduate. Applying on time ensures that the Registrar's Office is able to conduct a review of the student's file so any issues may be rectified before the start of the last semester of enrollment. A late application may result in the student being placed on a graduation list for the following semester or year.

All campus lots will be open, including at the stadium and at the Weaner Center. Graduates and guests with a handicap license plate or hangtag will have the ability to park in spots close to the stadium entrance. The campus map will show you available lots. Limited street parking is also available on Webster Street. No parking is permitted in the St. John United Church of Christ lots.

A photographer will be taking portraits of each graduate during the ceremony, and those pictures will be available for purchase afterward. More details regarding photography and purchase options will be posted here as they become available.

Announcements, specialty diploma frames, and class rings are available for purchase from Herff Jones.

Graduates will be notified when the cap and gown are available for pickup from the Registrar's Office in Serrick 204. Regalia is ordered for students based on the degree that they will earn and the height/weight that was listed on the graduation application. Graduating students have paid for their cap and gown (and hood, for master's graduates) through the graduation application fee. This fee was charged to the student's account when the graduation application was submitted. Thus, no money will need to be brought to the Registrar's Office to pick up regalia.
Full academic regalia is required to participate in the ceremony. Only approved cords, medallions, and stoles will be accepted to wear with regalia.

Tassel placement: Candidates for bachelor's degrees will place the tassel on the right side of the mortar board. Following the awarding of the degree, the President will instruct the graduates to move the tassel to the left side. Candidates for graduate degrees will place the tassel on the left side of the mortar board.
Mortar board: Wear it squarely on the top of the head, board parallel to the floor, and not slanted toward the sides, forward or back.
Master's degree hoods: MAE and MBA program graduates will wear their hood upon being seated at the stadium.
Honor cords: All cords will be distributed to students at Honors Convocation. Students who are unable to attend Honors Convocation should be in touch with Taylor Ordway in Academic Affairs (Defiance Hall) to pick up the cords by May 3, 2021. The cords should be draped around the neck with the tassels hanging as evenly as possible in the front.
Miscellaneous: At Commencement, please wear items that are celebratory and dignified (cap, gown, cords, medallions, stoles) so that Commencement is uninhibited for everyone attending.

For information on dining and accommodations, go to the Defiance Development and Visitors Bureau or the Defiance Area Chamber of Commerce and click "Visit Defiance" under Local Resources.