Commencement Ceremony

Frequently Asked Questions

Celebrate with us on social media with these printable posters!

Professor with a student holding diploma and graduation sign2020 graduate photo album

Watch the May 9th virtual commencement ceremony

In-Person 2020 Date & Time to be Announced
Instructions on arrival times and robing/assembling will be provided as soon as plans are announced. Light refeshments will be served after the ceremony.


There will be a mandatory practice for all graduates on Commencement day. More details regarding the time and location of practice will come as soon as plans are announced.


The Commencement marching order is prepared a few weeks prior to Commencement and indicates the student's position in the marching order. Students will be notified via email from the Registrar's Office of all details. It is very important that we have accurate information as to whether students will be attending Commencement. Please contact the Registrar's Office if your plans to attend have changed and/or if you have not received your marching orders.


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 December at the end of the fall semester should apply by May 1. Students desiring to graduate in May at the end of the spring semester or in August at the end of the summer semester should apply by December 1.
Applying on time ensures that the Registrar's Office is able to conduct a review of the student's file so that any issues can 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.


Tickets are not required for Commencement and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. However, if you have family members who require special accommodation, you will need a reserved seat ticket. Please contact the Office of Academic Affairs at 419-783-2586 to request reserved seats. Please make your requests early as seating is limited.


All campus lots will be open with reserved parking at the Weaner Center for those with a handicap license plate or hang tag. The campus map will show you available lots. Limited street parking is also available on Webster Street. Handicap parking is available for those with a parking placard/license plate in the United Church of Christ parking lot near the south end of the Weaner Center.


Bruce L. Heflin Photography will be taking portraits as each graduate receives his or her diploma as well as cap and gown portraits at the bottom of the stage. More details regarding Commencement photography will be posted as they become available.


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


Graduates will be notified when caps and gowns are available to pick up at 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 needs 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 have their 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: master's degree graduates will be hooded during the ceremony. All hoods will be on stage awaiting the calling of your name.
Honor cords: all 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).


DC faculty and staff are required to wear academic regalia to participate in the ceremony. Faculty and staff are required to purchase or rent regalia at their own cost. Orders can be placed and paid for directly through Herff Jones. The regalia will be sent to the Registrar's Office for pickup and return. All orders must be submitted through Herff Jones by Friday, March 8, to be received for Honors Convocation. Both Honors Convocation and Commencement are regalia events.


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.



Defiance Hall 106
Phone: 419-783-2586
Hours: Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.


Serrick Center 204
Phone: 419-783-2375
Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.