We've got your graduation checklist

Everything you need to do before you graduate this spring!

By Haley Grant | March 25, 2018 2:07pm

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Photo courtesy of Unsplash.

Where do I take my senior pictures? When do I order my cap and gown? How am I going to get enough tickets to the graduation ceremony for all of my relatives? These are the questions seniors on The Bluff are asking themselves.

In the midst of preparing for final exams, applying for jobs and finishing up capstone projects, many seniors may feel overwhelmed by the extra deadlines and responsibilities of commencement. But worry no more: The Beacon has put together a checklist of things seniors need to do before they graduate.



1.  Check out the University of Portland’s website for graduation instructions. 

The UP Commencement website has everything a senior needs in order to graduate this May. On the website, you will find information about important deadlines and necessary materials, as well as helpful tips for the ceremony itself. More questions about commencement that can’t be answered by the website should be sent to commencement@up.edu.

2.  Order your cap and gown

The cap and gowns are free for UP students. All seniors need to do is place an order on Jostens College website with the University of Portland. Seniors will need to give some information, including specifying their height as well as the college or school they are graduating in. If you’re reading this article and still haven’t ordered your cap and gown, your procrastination will cost you. The deadline to place your order was Wednesday, March 21, but you can still order your cap and gown with a late fee of $15.

Seniors will have a few options for when to pick up their caps and gowns from the Chiles Center Hall of Fame Room. The times alloted include Thursday, May 3 from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Friday, May 4 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Seniors can also pick up their materials an hour before their ceremony, in the Jostens Tent set up outside of the Chiles Center.

3. Get commencement tickets

Getting tickets may be the most important part of preparing to graduate. Seniors are allowed seven graduation tickets, which they must claim themselves. Students from all schools already began the process of collecting their tickets in early March, but the deadline for ordering tickets is Thursday, March 29. On Friday, April 20, the tickets will be emailed to students and can be printed out at home.  

Seniors with more than seven guests can request up to six additional tickets by filling out this form, after which they will be placed on a waitlist for more tickets. More information about commencement tickets can be found here

4.  Tell UP how to pronounce your name

Yeah, you can do that. On the university’s website, there is an option for students to submit an audio recording of themselves speaking their name out loud. This is to help commencement readers learn how to pronounce each student’s name. This feature could be especially useful if you feel like you have a unique name. The deadline to submit an audio recording is Friday, April 20. Follow this link to learn more and submit an audio recording.  

5.  Find out if you’re on the honors list

Are you graduating magna cum laude? UP has published the list of graduating seniors who have excelled academically. Look through the list of names here to find out.

6.  Take senior pictures

The school yearbook, The Log, is hosting sessions in the library for seniors to take pictures for the yearbook. The Log has made an event on its Facebook page that lists the opportunities to have your photo taken in the Image Productions Studio in the Digital Lab. There are seven more sessions at varying times, with the last session taking place on Friday, April 20 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. This is a great opportunity not only to get your senior pictures for free, but also to secure a new, professional photo of yourself for your LinkedIn profile. 

7.  Pay your bills 

Seniors need to make sure their student account is balanced before they can collect their diplomas. Contact the Office of Financial Aid to find out how much you owe or if you’re all set.

8.  Learn how to commence (the right way)

Like most other formal events, there are rules of etiquette to follow at the commencement ceremony that seniors and their guests should be mindful of. UP outlines helpful tips and reminders concerning etiquette on its website, which can be found here. A few tips include putting away or silencing cell phones, leaving personal belongings like purses and wallets with a family member, and determining with your family a place to meet after the ceremony to avoid confusion in the crowds. 

9.  Secure reservations for where you’ll take your family to dinner after the ceremony

What UP’s website may not tell you is how important reservations are at that fancy restaurant you know would be perfect to take your family to after graduation. Since you may have a large group, consider looking for reservations early on to ensure you’ll have a place to eat once you get your diploma. There is no shortage to eateries in Portland. If you’re interested in staying close by, consider Wood Fired Eats or Thai Cottage. In the Pearl District, take a look at the Brix Tavern or Andina Restaurant. For classic Southern food, check out Screen Door. 

10.  Check your email! 

Seniors will find out more about graduation through email reminders sent to their inboxes. Be sure to stay on the lookout for these graduation emails and read them diligently. They probably hold important information and dates that may not be readily available anywhere else.  

11.  Cherish your last few weeks on the Bluff

In less than 50 days, seniors will be living the post-grad life. Take to heart the insight offered in a recent Beacon editorial and attend on-campus events while you’re still a student. Take a stroll through campus, visit classrooms you used to have lectures in, and study in the library instead of heading somewhere in the city. All of these activities, as mundane as they seem now, will be absent from life after college. So live it UP (pun intended) in these final few weeks of the semester.

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