The Smart Choice

Commencement exercises will be held at the Legacy Center (700 E McNeese St, Lake Charles, LA 70607) on Friday, May 10, 2024. Ceremony times for each college are listed on the main Commencement page.


All students participating in graduation must wear appropriate academic regalia (i.e., cap and gown). When completing the Application for Degree, students will be asked to provide personal information to ensure that their caps and gowns are fitted properly.

  • Students may collect their regalia during GradFest. Students unable to attend GradFest will have two options to receive your regalia. Beginning on Monday, March 25 (NO EARLIER!):
    • You may pick it up from the Bookstore—temporarily located in Parra Ballroom (on the west side of the New Ranch)—during regular business hours (Monday-Thursday from 7:30 AM-5:00 PM and Friday from 7:30-11:30 AM). Regalia must be picked up no later than Friday, May 3.
    • You may request that it be shipped to you through a special order on the Bookstore website. You will have to create an account on the Bookstore website if you do not already have one. Please be sure to select UPS for shipping and state in the order comments that it is for your cap and gown. If you have questions or need help, please contact the Bookstore at (337) 475-5494.
  • Students may decorate caps—not gowns—per the guidelines in the Commencement Policy. Checks will be conducted prior to the ceremony.
  • Undergraduates wear cap tassels on the right before receiving a diploma cover, then move it to the left when returning to your seat.
  • Graduate students wear tassels on the left (no switch).


All graduates should wear clothing appropriate to the significance of the occasion.

  • Gentlemen are advised to wear dark pants with an appropriate shirt and soft-soled dress shoes appropriate for standing and walking on concrete. Neckties are encouraged but not required.
  • Ladies are advised to wear either 1) a dress or 2) dark pants or skirt with an appropriate blouse. We recommend soft-soled dress shoes appropriate for standing and walking on concrete, such as flats or heels less than two inches, as high-heeled shoes may become uncomfortable.
  • Tennis shoes, sneakers, flip-flops, sandals, and other casual footwear should be avoided.
  • Persons whose attire is deemed to be inappropriate for the occasion of commencement may not be permitted to participate in the ceremony.

Contact Wesley LeJeune, Commencement Committee Chair, to discuss questions or concerns about attire.


  • Guests should be encouraged to arrive early.
  • Tickets are not required for guest admission.
  • It is not permissible to “hold or reserve” seats for late arriving guests. Guests should try to arrive at the same time in order to sit together.
  • To ensure the safety and security of all in attendance:
    • Only faculty, staff, and graduates will be allowed on the floor of the arena. After the ceremony, please arrange to meet graduate(s) at an off-site location.
    • ONLY CLEAR BAGS no larger than 12″x6″x12″ will be allowed inside the arena, and all bags are subject to search. Diaper bags are permitted but subject to search.
  • An elevator is available on the northwest corner of the Legacy Center lobby.
  • Upper-level seating areas at the Legacy Center feature landings where guests in wheeled chairs or guests unable to use stairs to access seating areas may sit during the ceremony. Space on these landings is limited, so guests wishing to sit on landings are encouraged to arrive early. Seating in these areas is first-come, first-served.


Those attending or participating in commencement are asked to observe the following guidelines:

  • Inappropriate behavior, including the use or consumption of any substances before or during the ceremony, will not be tolerated. Violators will be escorted from the floor.
  • Graduates should turn off electronic devices during the ceremony.
  • Noise distractions after one name is called may prevent the next person’s name from being heard, diminishing the esteem of the ceremony for that graduate and their guests; therefore, guests are asked to recognize graduates with applause only.
    • Artificial noisemakers (e.g., air horns) are strictly prohibited!
  • Since Commencement represents a major life achievement, the University expects appropriate decorum to be observed at all times by all in attendance.
  • Persons who create disturbances may be escorted from the ceremony.


Refer to the map below for parking information. Overflow parking for guests will be located on the main campus in the parking lot on the east side of Drew Hall or the parking garage.

Below is a link to download a PDF of the parking map.

Miscellaneous Information

  • Honors College graduate medals will be presented by President Burckel during the ceremony.
  • Honor graduate (cum laude, magna cum laude, summa cum laude) cords and veteran cords will be distributed upon arrival at the Legacy Center.
  • The commencement ceremonies will be livestreamed on the McNeese State University YouTube channel for any guests unable to attend in person.

Emergency Procedures

University and local law enforcement officials will be on-hand during commencement exercises. Should an emergency occur, law enforcement officials will attend to the situation. Should an evacuation of the facility be necessary, attendees will be notified of evacuation procedures, and law enforcement officials will assist in maintaining the safety and security of everyone present during the evacuation.