FAQ's for Adult Undergraduate and Graduate Students

Friday, May 23, 2014

How do I participate in Commencement?
By now, all candidates should have filled out an Application for Graduation form in the Registrar's office or downloaded the form from the Commencement web site. If you have not done so, please stop by the Registrar's office by March 21.  The information provided on the form will be used to order your diploma and for the Commencement program.

When and where is Commencement?
The Marist College 68th Commencement ceremony will be held on Friday, May 23.  Weather permitting, the ceremony will be held outdoors on the Campus Green.  Students, faculty, and staff will assemble for the procession at 5:15 p.m. on the Lowell Thomas Quad, between Hancock Center and Dyson Center.  Students will need their line-up cards to participate in the ceremony.  The procession is scheduled to begin promptly at 5:45 p.m.  Candidates for bachelor's degrees will march together, led by their marshal, and will be called to the platform to receive their diploma covers in alphabetical order.  Candidates for master's degrees will march together, led by their marhsal, and will be called to receive their diploma covers by graduate program.  Line-up cards will be collected from students as they approach the platform.

Who will correctly pronounce my name?
Marist wants to make sure each name called on Commencement day is pronounced correctly. For this reason, names are all pre-recorded by the Dean of each School. Students may record their own names ahead of time so that Deans may use those recordings as a reference.  To record your name, log in to iLearn. Under your sites you will find a course named Commencement Name Recording.  Follow the directions described in the assignment.  You will need a computer with a built-in microphone.  If you don’t have one of your own, stop by the Help Desk in Donnelly Hall or the Media Center in LT 203 for assistance.  Act soon! The course will close April 21.

Do you know who the speaker will be?
This announcement is usually made in mid-April. 

Are there announcements available that I may send to relatives and friends?
Orders for personalized announcements can be placed online at www.herffjones.com/college/graduation.

How do I order my cap and gown?
Regalia is ordered using our web application at www.marist.edu/registrar/commencement/.

We begin accepting orders on February 4, 2014, and will continue until March 21, 2014.  A Marist Computer Account Access code and password are required.

When do I pick up my cap and gown?
Regalia may be picked up as follows: Friday ceremony: Thursday, May 22, 2014, from 4:30 -7:00 p.m. or before the ceremony on Friday, May 23, no earlier than noon. Please note regalia is not available earlier than 4:30 p.m. on Thursday.

Gowns, and hoods are rented by the College for all graduates at no cost to the student. The gowns and hoods must be returned to the cap and gown room in Donnelly Hall by 8:00 p.m. after the ceremony, or the student's account will be charged for replacement of the rental unit ($400 - $700). If students are interested in purchasing hoods or any part of the regalia please see below.

Do students get to keep the cap, gown, and hood?
You may keep the cap. However, the gown and hood (regalia) are rented by the College for the student at no cost to the student.  The gown and hood MUST be returned to the College immediately after the ceremony so that it may be sent back to the rental company.  Students are encouraged to keep the commemorative tassel.  The tassel is included in the packet of regalia. This item is purchased for the student by the College and, again, there is no cost to the student.

May students purchase the gown, and/or hood?
Regalia may be purchased directly from Herff-Jones, the regalia supply company.  Marist does not act as an intermediary for this transaction. The local Herff-Jones representative may be contacted at:

Collegiate of North Jersey, LLC
32 Mill Pond Road
W. Paterson, N.J.    07424
(973) 256-0660

What is a line-up card and why do I need it?
It is imperative that all graduates have a line-up card for cap and gown pick-up and for the Commencement ceremony itself.

Line-up cards and caps and gowns will be available on Thursday, May 22, from 4:30 - 7:00 p.m. in Donnelly Hall. There will be signs posted directing you to the proper distribution room. Students must show a picture ID and sign the alcohol policy statement in order to receive a line-up card. The Registrar's office should be contacted immediately if the line-up card is lost.

Is there a rehearsal?
There is no rehearsal for Friday's Commencement ceremony.  There will be plenty of staff on hand to help the graduates' line up.  Graduates should assemble for the Commencement procession at 5:15 p.m. on the Lowell Thomas Quad, between Hancock Center and Dyson Center. Please take a few moments to view the virtual rehearsal video.

What is the suggested attire?
Weather conditions have varied from picture-perfect to extreme rain or heat.  Graduates are advised to dress comfortably and be prepared for the weather. Bring sunblock and sunglasses for sunny conditions.  Wear shoes appropriate for grassy areas.  Also, students should be cautious of the clothes they wear underneath their gowns.  Neither the College nor the manufacturer of the caps and gowns guarantees that they are colorfast.

Are tickets required and is there a limit to how many guests can be invited?
No, tickets are NOT required for the outdoor ceremony.  Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.  No saving of seats will be allowed.  

What if it rains?
In the case of rain or severe weather, the ceremony will be moved indoors to the McCann Center. Details will be available on the Marist web site (www.marist.edu).

When should my guests arrive?
Family and guests are encouraged to arrive before 5:30 p.m.  However, no guests will be permitted to enter the actual ceremony site before 5:00 p.m.  The ceremony is expected to last approximately one hour.  You are invited to join fellow graduates and their families at a reception immediately following graduation on the Champagnat Mall.

What about parking?
Family and guests are encouraged to arrive before 5:30 p.m. to better ensure a parking space.  Vehicular access to the campus will become increasingly difficult as the parking lots fill.  Parking will be available on the east and west campuses.  Vehicular access to the main campus will become increasingly difficult as the parking lots become filled. 

Are there special arrangements for parking and seating for disabled guests?
The College has made arrangements to have the ceremony interpreted in sign for the hearing impaired.  There will be a designated seating section to accommodate disabled guests.  Students may request disabled seating tickets and parking permits in the Registrar's office starting Wednesday, May 7.  A limit of one disabled parking permit and two disabled seating tickets per graduate will be issued.  Guests with disabled parking permits should enter the north enterance only and should be prepared to show your disabled parking  permit to the security guard, who will then direct you to the appropriate parking area.   Lots are reserved for vehicles with handicapped license plates, handicapped parking placards issued by a municipality, or special parking permits issued by the College Registrar. Guests with handicapped permits should enter at the main or north entrances only. There is no access to the handicapped parking areas from the south entrance.

Is there an alcohol policy?
Alcohol is not permitted before or during the Commencement exercises and will be confiscated if brought to the ceremony.  Please advise all guests of this policy.  Graduates participating in the Commencement ceremony will be required to sign a statement to acknowledge that they understand the College's alcohol policy.  These statements will be available on Thursday, May 22, between the hours of 4:30 - 7:00 p.m. (during line-up card distribution).

Will a DVD of the Commencement ceremony be available?
We are pleased to announce that Marist College's 68th Commencement will be available on DVD.  This edited program will feature both undergraduate and graduate Commencement ceremonies, including the academic procession, candid shots of graduates, and more.  It may or may not include shots of individual students receiving their diploma covers.  To order, please send a check or money order for $30.00 to the Marist College Media Center, 3399 North Road, LT 203, Poughkeepsie, New York, 12601 along with your name, address, and graduate's name.  Please allow six weeks for delivery.  Any questions can be directed to (845) 575-3635.

Will my guests be able to take pictures during the ceremony?
Professional photographers will be on hand to photograph all graduates as they shake hands with President Dennis Murray.  Three to four weeks after graduation, the graduate will receive two proofs from which prints may be ordered.  If you have any questions, please contact Island Photography directly at (800) 869-0908.  Due to the large number of people attending Commencement, it is necessary to restrict access to the platform and the graduates' seating area.  Guests will not be able to walk or stand in the aisles to take photographs or to videotape.  There will be, however, a designated area for families to take pictures following the ceremony.  The Commencement program, which you will receive on Commencement day, will show the location of this area.

When do I receive my diploma?
Diplomas will be mailed by June 23 to all who have met graduation requirements.  Graduates must be clear of all financial obligations, including loan exit interviews and library fees, before their diploma will be mailed.  Questions about financial obligations should be directed to the Office of Student Financial Services (845) 575-3230.

What are the bookstore hours on Commencement day?
For your convenience the bookstore will be open from 9:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. on Friday, May 23.  Diploma frames are available at the bookstore for purchase.

What if my guests need overnight accommodations?
For those students whose guests will need overnight accommodations, a list of local hotels/bed and breakfasts/motels, as well as an area restaurant listing, is available on our Commencement web site at www.marist.edu/registrar/commencement.

Helpful Hints

  • Before you graduate, your tassel should be worn on the right; when you graduate, move it to the left.
  • The weather can be unpredictable, so remember both your umbrella and your sunblock.
  • Leave ample time for parking.
  • Remember, the grass can be wet even if it isn't raining, so consider your footwear carefully.
  • All graduates and guests must turn off cell phones. Please be considerate of others.
  • The Commencement ceremony will last approximately one hour. We encourage you to participate in the entire ceremony. Out of respect for your fellow graduates, please remain seated throughout the entire ceremony.
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