Commencement Weekend 2020

2020 Commencement

Updated May 6, 2020, 3:03 p.m.

***Greensboro College will present a virtual Commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. EDT Saturday, May 30. Please read below for details. The Baccalaureate/Cap & Gown Ceremony has been canceled.***

Online Commencement Ceremony

Greensboro College will celebrate the graduation of its Class of 2020 with a pre-recorded Commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. EDT on Saturday, May 30, 2020. The College will set up a dedicated GC 2020 Commencement webpage featuring the abbreviated ceremony. Graduating students can see and hear their names called out during the video, along with special messages from President Czarda, Commencement Speaker Dr. Paul Leslie, Chairman of the Board of Trustees Kevin Green, and Senior Class Speaker Timothy Crowell, as well as members of the faculty, staff and student body. The ceremony will be inclusive of all graduates (May, Summer, August 2019, December 2019) who are eligible to participate in our May 2020 Commencement Ceremonies. There will also be opportunities that day for students to share their excitement with us on Instagram and Facebook. 
The GC 2020 Commencement page will go live at exactly 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 30 at College will post a simplified program on the Commencement page so viewers can follow along with the video ceremony. The Commencement video will be available for viewing at any time after 10 a.m. to allow for the graduates and their families to participate based on their time needs and constraints. The College will also offer a free, high-definition download copy of the video on the webpage to students and parents. The video is pre-recorded, so graduating students who cannot watch the video on May 30 can still watch it at their convenience. The College plans to keep the webpage active for several months, and the Commencement video will also be featured on the GC Youtube channel.
Additional details will be announced as we approach May 30, so watch for further emails.

Commencement Speaker Wants to Share Your Story

Paul Leslie, the College’s Senior Vice President Chief Academic Officer and Professor of Sociology, will be this year’s virtual graduation speaker. He would like to give you a voice in his presentation. He is asking that you send responses (via email: to him to any one or all of the following questions.  He will incorporate your responses in his presentation.
(1) What should Dr. Leslie say about the Class of 2020?
(2) What should Dr. Leslie tell your family and friends about you?
(3) What has been your favorite memory of Greensboro College?


The College will be mailing diplomas to May graduates beginning in June. Please understand that Jostens, the company that prints our diplomas, is delayed in production due to COVID-19 and its consequences. You will receive an email from the Registrar’s Email address ( with a Google form for you to either verify your address or submit a new address. Please watch for this email from the Registrar to your GC email account to ensure your diploma is shipped to the correct address.

Graduating Seniors’ Caps and Gowns

Graduating seniors who have pre-ordered or need to purchase graduation regalia, please read carefully. To ensure receipt of your products in timely fashion, please read each option carefully to determine which is best for you.

Option 1: Pre-ordered Regalia PickupIf a student has pre-ordered graduation regalia and would like to pick it up from the Pride Shop;the Pride Shop will be open beginning May 11, 2020, Monday – Friday from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm for pick up and payment only (the store is closed to general shopping). Please follow the social distancing instructions on site for retrieval of your order. The Pride Shop is located on campus in the new Student Center.Please plan to pick up your items before May 29, 2020. The Pride Shop will be closed on Monday, May 25, for Memorial Day.

Option 2: Pre-ordered Regalia Shipment – If a student has pre-ordered graduation regalia and would like to have it mailed to their residence please read carefully. In order to receive items before May 30th please EMAIL the following information tobralyc@greensboro.edubefore May 15, 2020:

1) Full name

2) Current mailing address

3) Phone number

*nothing will be shipped until you have been contacted by a Greensboro College representative to collect credit card payment for product(s).

**Greensboro College will pay for shipping costs which will be Fedex ground shipping.

Option 3: Purchase Regalia It is not too late to purchase graduation regalia. If a student would like to place an order please EMAIL the following information

1) Height and weight

2) Degree earned (Bachelor’s or Master’s)

3) Major

4) Full name and shipping address

5) Contact phone number

*nothing will be shipped until you have been contacted by a Greensboro College representative to collect payment for product(s).

**Greensboro College will pay for shipping costs which will be FedEx ground shipping.


Medallions that would normally have been presented as part of our Spring Convocation will be included with your cap and gown mailing and available for pick-up if you chose Option 1. If you choose not to purchase a cap and gown, we will ship your medallion in June to the address listed on your Diploma Survey.


We will not be hosting an in-person Baccalaureate and Capping Ceremony on Friday, May 8.

Greensboro College holds Commencement ceremonies once a year in May. Students who graduate in August or December are invited to participate in Commencement Ceremonies the following May, along with that May’s graduates. Exceptions to this policy are allowed only in particular situations with approval.

All graduating students should submit an Application for Graduation to the Registrar’s Office by the stated deadlines for their graduation.

2020 Baccalaureate/Commencement Rehearsal

Date TBA
10 a.m. – Noon
Begins in Galyon Gallery, Cowan Humanities Building

  • Rehearsal for both the Baccalaureate/Cap and Gown Ceremony and Commencement Exercises will begin promptly at 10 a.m. All graduating seniors and graduate students participating in Commencement must attend the rehearsal. Please assemble in the Galyon Gallery in Cowan Building no later than 10 a.m.
  • We will first rehearse Baccalaureate/Cap and Gown Ceremony and then rehearse for Commencement Exercises. You will receive all information needed at that time.
  • You do not need to bring the person who will be capping you or your cap, gown or hood to rehearsal.
  • Please note that although a decision on whether or not to follow the rain plan will not be made until later Friday, students should pick up their allotted two guest tickets for Commencement at rehearsal just in case.t

Baccalaureate/Cap and Gown Ceremony

Date TBA, 5 p.m.
Gail Brower Huggins Performance Center, Odell Building

Graduating students assemble: 4 p.m., Hannah Brown Finch Memorial Chapel
Platform party assembles: 4 p.m., President’s Conference Room.
Ceremony: 5 p.m.
Faculty Speaker: Dr. Kristin Sheridan
Speaker: The Rev. Jill Alventosa-Brown
Livestreaming: On YouTube; link to come.

Commencement Exercises

Date TBA
Front Campus.  In case of inclement weather, the Rain Plan will be in effect).
Graduates assemble: 8:30 a.m., Cowan Lobby
Ceremony begins: 10 a.m.
Speaker: Paul Leslie
Livestreaming: On YouTube; link to come.

  • Commencement Exercises begin at 10 a.m.  Commencement is scheduled to be on Front Campus. There is not a limit to the number of guests a graduate may bring to Commencement on Front Campus. See details below under “Rain Plan.”

Checklist for graduating students

  • Submit an Application for Graduation by the following deadlines:
    • March 1 for May and August graduates.
    • Oct. 1 for December graduates
    • If any information changes after you have submitted your Application for Graduation, notify the Registrar’s Office immediately at
  • Check your degree audit in Empower to ensure that you have met all academic requirements. If you have questions about your degree audit, ask your advisor or the Registrar. The Registrar’s Office is in 205 Main Building, or email at, or telephone at 336-272-7102, extension 5207.
  • All financial obligations to Greensboro College must be satisfied in order to graduate and receive a diploma.
  • Order your cap and gown, invitations, class rings, etc. during the Senior Salute event. Senior Salute will be Jan. 23, 2020.
  • Ask someone to be your capper for the Baccalaureate/Cap and Gown Ceremony.
  • Fill out this short survey to inform the college of your plans for the immediate future.
  • Attend the rehearsal. If it is impossible for you to attend, please notify Martha Bunch at
  • If you graduated in August or December and are no longer on campus, be sure that you stay in touch with the Registrar’s Office and this web page for current information regarding Commencement.


Rehearsal for Baccalaureate/Cap and Gown and Commencement

  • 10 a.m. Date TBA
  • Begins in Galyon Gallery, Cowan Humanities Building

All graduating students should attend the rehearsal for the Baccalaureate/Cap and Gown Ceremony and Commencement Ceremony. The rehearsal will begin promptly at 10 a.m. on the Friday of Commencement Weekend in Galyon Gallery of Cowan Humanities Building. If it is impossible for you to attend the rehearsal, please contact Martha Bunch in advance at

The rehearsal will include information about the Baccalaureate/Cap and Gown Ceremony and Commencement Ceremony. It is not necessary to bring the person who will cap you at the Baccalaureate/Cap and Gown Ceremony to the rehearsal, and you do not need to bring your cap, gown, and hood.

The rehearsal begins promptly at 10 a.m. and usually lasts about two hours.

Baccalaureate/Cap and Gown Ceremony

The Cap and Gown Ceremony is a time-honored tradition at Greensboro College. This is an opportunity for you to pay respect to someone you feel has assisted you in attaining your goal of completing your degree. This person, who cannot be a member of the graduating class, will prepare you for Commencement Exercises. This preparation includes escorting you in the Baccalaureate/Cap & Gown Ceremony and assisting you with the official robing for Commencement. This person will place your robe, hood and cap on you during the ceremony. The procedures are as follows:

  • All graduating participants and cappers need to assemble by 4 p.m. in Finch Chapel.
  • Graduating participants will line up double file, with cappers beside them. Cappers will stand on the right with the hood and robe over their right arm and the medallion and cap in their right hand. This is done so that cappers may hold the arm or hand of the participants during the processional.
  • The ceremony will begin at 5 p.m. with a processional. During the ceremony, the official capping will take place as follows (these steps will be demonstrated for you before the ceremony begins):
    • The Chief Student Marshal goes to the podium and reads a brief statement about the history of the Cap and Gown Ceremony.
    • The Assistant Chief Student Marshal rings a handbell. The graduates and cappers stand up; the cappers assist the graduates into the gowns.
    • The Assistant Chief Student Marshal rings the handbell a second time. The graduates turn to face their cappers. The cappers will
      • zip the robe;
      • place the medallion, honors cords (if applicable) and hood on the graduates; and
      • place the cap on the graduate (the tassel should hang on the front right side for Bachelor’s degree candidates; the tassel should hang on the front left for graduate students).
    • The Assistant Chief Student Marshal rings the handbell a third time. The graduates turn to face the stage and remain standing.
    • The Chief Student Marshal concludes the ceremony and tells the graduates and cappers to be seated.These instructions will be demonstrated for graduates and cappers in Finch Chapel before the Baccalaureate Ceremony begins.
  • Recessional: Platform party will exit first, followed by the faculty, then the seniors and cappers, and finally the graduate students and their cappers.

Commencement Ceremony

  • 10 a.m. Date TBA, Greensboro College Front Campus. (In inclement weather, the Rain Plan will be in effect)
  • Graduating students gather at 8:30 a.m. in Galyon Gallery, in Cowan Humanities Building

Greensboro College holds Commencement ceremonies once a year in May. Students who graduate in August or December are invited to participate in Commencement ceremonies the following May, along with that May’s graduates.

Undergraduate students who have not completed all academic requirements are allowed to participate in Commencement ceremonies only by approval. Undergraduate students who are enrolled in the radiologic technology clinical program may participate in the May Commencement ceremonies preceding the summer when they will finish their clinical program. Additionally, undergraduate students who lack eight credit hours or fewer for graduation upon completion of a spring semester, and register for those hours in the summer session immediately following that spring semester, and notify the Registrar by April 15 of their intention to participate in Commencement ceremonies that May, are allowed to participate in Commencement ceremonies prior to completion of their degree. Students who do not follow each of these steps are not allowed to participate.

Commencement is held on Front Campus of Greensboro College’s campus. Tickets for attendance are not required. In inclement weather, the Rain Plan will be in effect.

Livestreaming: On YouTube; link to come.

Rain Plan

Commencement normally is held outside on Front Campus. In the event of light rain, Commencement will run on an abbreviated program. Students, faculty members, and the platform party are not permitted the use of umbrellas. However, guests are welcome to bring umbrellas as they wish. Diplomas will be distributed to students immediately following the ceremony in Lea Center.

If heavier rain is forecast, the college will invoke its rain plan:

  • Commencement will be held in Gail Brower Huggins Performance Center.
  • Each graduating student will receive TWO tickets for family/friends to attend. (Graduating students do not need tickets, but each guest must have a ticket regardless of age.) You may receive your tickets Friday morning at Baccalaureate/Commencement rehearsal. If you do not need both of your tickets, you are welcome to give them to another graduate who needs more than two.
  • If you cannot attend rehearsal, you may pick up your two tickets at Baccalaureate Friday afternoon. If you cannot attend either rehearsal or Baccalaurate, you may pick up your two tickets at 8 a.m. Saturday in Lea Center.
  • Overflow crowd will be seated in Finch Chapel on a space-available basis to watch a livestream on the big screen.
  • Commencement also will be live-streamed via YouTube on the website and so available anywhere on or off campus. The link will be accessible from the home page.


Students who graduate in May will receive their diplomas during the Commencement ceremony, assuming all academic and financial obligations to the College are satisfied. Students who graduate in August or December will be mailed their diplomas by the Registrar’s Office to the addresses provided by the students on their Applications for Graduation, unless they prefer to pick up their diplomas in person. (Please contact the Registrar’s Office to pick up a diploma in person.) Students who live outside the United States are responsible for mailing costs.

Students’ names will be printed on the diplomas as indicated on the students’ Application for Graduation.

Caps, Gowns, and Other Graduation Material

Greensboro College sponsors a Senior Salute event each spring semester. The 2020 Senior Salute will take place on Jan. 23, 2020, in Lea Center. At Senior Salute, students will have the opportunity to take care of graduation planning and ordering in one place:

Bookstore: Order your cap and gown at Senior Salute and save $10; payment is not required when ordering.
Graduation announcements and other accessories: Order directly from Jostens items such as personalized graduation announcements, thank you cards, custom frames, etc. Special package prices are included in this packet.
Alumni Association: Receive a special gift to welcome you as a new member.
Greensboro College Class Ring: Order your official Greensboro College Class Ring.
Business Office: Schedule an appointment to complete your Federal Perkins and Greensboro College Loan Exit Interview. Also, check the status of your GC account to avoid holds on records.
Career Exploration and Development: Connect to let us know about your after-GC plans or to schedule an appointment.
Senior Class: Vote for Class Speaker (fellow student), Faculty Speaker, Class Song, Class Dolls.
Senior Portraits: A professional photographer will provide you with a quality portrait for your purchase.

Please note that separate payment is required for each booth where payment applies (cash/check/charge). If you are unable to attend, you can order rings, announcements, etc. by calling Jostens toll free at 1-800-854-7464 and you can order your cap and gown through the Greensboro College Bookstore at 336-272-7102, ext. 5233.



Photo Specialties, a professional photography company, will be present on Commencement day. Graduating students will be photographed individually as they receive their diplomas. Package information will be available after the ceremony. Proofs and packages will be available on their website: For more information, see or call 919-967-9576. Students are not required to purchase photographs.


Special Needs

The College has reserved parking spaces for guests with mobility impairments; however, the total number of these parking spaces is limited. A valid permit is required for parking in reserved parking spaces.

Spaces will be reserved within seating sections for wheelchairs at the Baccalaureate ceremony and the Commencement ceremony.

If there will be a need for an ASL interpreter at the Baccalaureate and/or Commencement ceremony, please inform the College well in advance so that arrangement can be made.

Those using wheelchairs or having other special needs are strongly encouraged to arrive on campus no later than 9:30 a.m. to be seated before Commencement begins at 10 a.m.



Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Are tickets required for ceremonies? Tickets are not required for the Baccalaureate/Cap and Gown Ceremony or for Commencement, held outside on Front Campus. If the weather is inclement and the Rain Plan is in effect, guests must have tickets, which are allotted to graduating students. (See Rain Plan for details.)
  2. What should I wear to each ceremony? Commencement ceremonies are meant to be dignified and joyous events to celebrate students’ significant achievements. To that end, students’ attire is part of the overall atmosphere. While Greensboro College does not have policies regarding attire, it is recommended that students dress as they would to attend a formal ceremony of any kind. Students will wear cap, gowns, and hoods during the Commencement ceremony.
  3. How long will the ceremonies last? The Baccalaureate/Cap and Gown ceremony usually lasts about one hour and 15 minutes. The Commencement ceremony usually lasts just under two hours (excluding the time for graduates to gather prior to the ceremony).
  4. Is attending the Baccalaureate/Cap & Gown Ceremony required? No, but it is strongly encouraged. This ceremony begins Commencement weekend in a beautiful setting and prepares the graduating class for Commencement exercises the next day. The Cap and Gown portion of the ceremony provides the unique opportunity for you to honor someone who has been important to you as you’ve completed your college degree. This person, your “capper,” will sit beside you and place your cap, gown, and hood on you during the ceremony. It’s a very meaningful way to start your Commencement weekend.
  5. Where can I get a senior medallion? Senior medallions will be available at the Rehearsal on the day before Commencement. There will also be extra medallions available before the Baccalaureate and Commencement ceremonies.
  6. I graduated in August/December and already have my diploma. What will I receive during the Commencement ceremony? You will be handed a diploma cover with no diploma inside. No one will know the difference. We ask that you please return this diploma cover to the Registrar, who will be stationed at Finch Chapel immediately following the ceremony to collect empty diploma covers.
  7. Do I need to bring my cap and gown to the rehearsal? No.
  8. Where can I get honor cords to wear? Usually, the honor society of which you are a member will order and supply the honor cords. See your honor society’s advisor for details. There may be an additional fee. Greensboro College does not supply honor cords for graduates who earn the distinction of cum laude, magna cum laude, or summa cum laude.
  9. Where can I order my cap and gown and other graduation materials? Attend Senior Salute, and you can take care of everything there! If you miss Senior Salute, you can order caps and gowns through the Greensboro College Bookstore. There are deadlines for ordering, so be sure to order no later than Feb. 28. You can order custom graduation invitations from Jostens at 1-800-854-7464 or at Generic invitations are available at the Greensboro College Bookstore.

The Greensboro College Bookstore will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the day of the Baccalaureate/Cap and Gown Ceremony, and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the day of Commencement to assist with any last-minute graduation needs.

General Information

Additional copies of this information will be available in Student Development, Professional and Graduate Studies and the Registrar’s offices. Please feel free to call Martha Bunch at 336-272-7102, ext. 5287, if you have any questions.

Greensboro College COVID-19 Resources Page.