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Ceremony

The Smart Choice

Commencement exercises will be held at the Burton Coliseum Complex (7001 Gulf Hwy, Lake Charles, LA 70607) on the following dates/times:

  • Dates and times will likely not be set until the middle of September as they are dependent on the number of students graduating in each academic college.

Regalia

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 have two options to receive your regalia:
    • You may pick it up from the Bookstore—temporarily located in Parra Ballroom (on the west side of the New Ranch)—beginning on Monday, November 1, 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, December 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. 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 assistance, 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).

Attire

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

  • Gentlemen are advised to wear dark pants with appropriate shirts and soft-soled dress shoes appropriate for standing and walking on concrete. Neckties are encouraged but not required.
  • Ladies are advised to wear dark pants or skirts with appropriate blouses and soft-soled dress shoes appropriate for standing and walking on concrete. Pumps or flats are recommended 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

  • 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 coliseum. After the ceremony, please arrange to meet graduate(s) at an off-site location.
    • No bags larger than 10″x10″ will be allowed inside the arena, and all bags are subject to search.
  • Guests needing accommodations may use the elevator in the lobby.
    • The landings near the guard rails on the upper levels are reserved for individuals who are in wheeled chairs or who cannot negotiate the steps to the coliseum seating areas.

Decorum

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 his/her guests; therefore, guests are asked to recognize graduates with applause only.
  • Since Commencement represents a major life achievement, the University expects appropriate decorum be observed at all times by all in attendance.
  • Persons who create disturbances may be escorted from the ceremony.

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 will be distributed upon arrival.

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.

Commencement Committee Members and Campus Units Represented

  • Mr. Wesley LeJeune, Chair, Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness
  • Ms. Elizabeth Moore, College of Agriculture
  • Ms. Morgan Turpin, College of Business
  • Mr. Charles McNeely, College of Liberal Arts
  • Dr. Amy Bufford, College of Nursing and Health Professions
  • Ms. Kimberly Conway-Pennick, College of Nursing and Health Professions
  • Mr. Greg Bradley, College of Nursing and Health Professions
  • Dr. Juliana Hinton, College of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics
  • Mr. David Guillory, Frazar Memorial Library
  • Mr. Kenneth Baskin, Faculty Senate/College of Liberal Arts
  • Dr. Vipin Menon, Faculty Senate/College of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics
  • Gavin Labiche, SGA Student Representative
  • Samuel Gil, SGA Student Representative
  • Ms. Mária Raiford, Assistant Registrar
  • Dr. Chris Thomas, Vice President for Student Affairs
  • Dr. Jay Sconyers, Director of University Bands
  • Ms. Susan Beasley, At-large
  • Ms. Catrina Boenig, Ex-officio, Registrar
  • Ms. Donna Martin, Ex-officio, University Bookstore
  • Dr. Toby Osburn, Ex-officio, Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management
  • Mr. Richard Rhoden, Ex-officio, Facilities and Plant Operations
  • Chief William Scheufens, Ex-officio, University Police
  • Mr. Tanner Stines, Ex-officio, Athletics
  • Mr. Chad Thibodeaux, Ex-officio, Information Technology
  • Ms. Candace Townsend, Ex-officio, Public Relations and University Events
  • Dr. Peggy Wolfe, Ex-officio, Senior Dean

Representatives from the Burton Coliseum Complex and University offices including all academic units, Athletics, the Office of Facilities and Plant Operations, the Office of Marketing and Licensing, the Office of Public Relations and University Events, the Alumni Association, the University Bookstore, the University Police Department, and the Blue and Gold Peerleaders work with the Commencement Committee to prepare for and execute commencement activities.