Preparing for Commencement: Important Dates and Fun Details for Graduating Seniors

By Netty Jurriaans | April 26, 2023 5:00pm
by Brie Haro / The Beacon

Commencement is quickly approaching — whether or not graduating seniors want to think about it. This past October, seniors applied to graduate and in March ordered their cap and gown and tickets. While this point in the semester may feel like a rush of getting projects and papers wrapped up, it can be easy to forget about the smaller graduation details. 

Here are some reminders of what to get done before the big day: 

Important Dates

Cap and gown pick up begins on May 4 in Beauchamp and ends on May 5. Graduates can enter through the side door facing Portsmouth Ave anytime between 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on both Thursday and Friday. 

May 5 is also senior day, when graduating seniors have the opportunity to donate their senior gift of $20.03 to their chosen program on campus. This is an ongoing celebration that helps to ensure the continued success of graduates' favorite on-campus activities. 

Also on May 5 is the FGEN pinning ceremony starting with a lunch at 11:30 a.m. — which is by RSVP only — followed by the ceremony at 12:30 p.m.

The School of Nursing and Integrative Health and Wellness (SONHI) pinning ceremony begins at 11:15 a.m. in the Chiles center on May 6. This is followed by the ROTC ceremony at 1:45 p.m. and the Baccalaureate Mass at 5:00 p.m. 

This brings us to what some might  (hopefully) view as the most exciting day: commencement.  Make sure to check the UP website for the complete commencement schedule and other important information. 

Graduates should head to the Chiles Center 10 a.m. on May 7 for Commencement I. This includes the SONHI, Shiley School of Engineering and the school of Education. 

Commencement II begins at 3 p.m. and includes the College of Arts and Sciences and the Pamplin School of Business. Graduates must arrive in cap and gown 1 hour and 30 minutes before their ceremony begins. 

by Netty Jurriaans / The Beacon

While a lot of this information is logistical, there is also a fun and creative side to getting ready for commencement.  While none of these next steps are necessary, here are some ideas to get you excited to celebrate your accomplishments. 

As commencement day is quickly approaching, remember to get your graduation announcements sent out so you can celebrate with your family and loved ones.

Don’t forget the fit check — to avoid a last minute scramble, make sure you have your outfit planned out and photo ready. Maybe take your friends on a trip to the mall and make this a social outing as well. 

Like many of us have seen while walking through the academic quad, graduates can take their long-awaited grad photos in front of the chapel or under the blossoms. 

Graduates can also let their creativity shine and decorate caps with something that encapsulates their time at UP or is otherwise special to them — maybe something relating to a club, major or other campus activity

Last but not least, remember to enjoy your last few weeks on campus. Take a stop by Pilot House, have a picnic on the bluff with some friends, get a workout in at Beauchamp and take it slow before you officially become a UP alum.

Congratulations to the class of 2023 from all of us at The Beacon!

Netty Jurriaans is a reporter for The Beacon. She can be reached at