Greensboro College Commencement
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Commencement

Our goal as always is to develop informed citizens – who can think critically, act justly, and live faithfully. We’re proud to watch our graduates walk, “across the bricks,” and receive their diplomas once a year in May. Students who graduate in August or December are invited to participate in Commencement Ceremonies the following May, along with the spring semester’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.

For the 2022-2023 Academic Year, Commencement Exercises will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 6, 2023 on Front Campus.

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 (your capper) you feel has assisted you in 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. 

  • Date: May 5, 2023
  • Time: Graduating students and their “cappers” assemble: 4 p.m. in the Hannah Brown Finch Memorial Chapel. Ceremony begins at 5 p.m. in the Gail Brower Huggins Performance Center, Odell Building
  • Faculty Address: TBD
  • Baccalaureate Speaker: TBD
  • Live-streaming: Watch live on our GC Baccalaureate YouTube Channel here

Requirements for Graduating Students

  1. Submit an Application for Graduation by the following deadlines:
    • March 1 for May and August graduates
    • October 1 for December graduates
    • If any information changes after you have submitted your Application for Graduation, notify the Registrar’s Office immediately at registrar@greensboro.edu
  2. 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, and can be contacted via email at registrar@greensboro.edu, or phone at 336-272-7102, extension 5207.
  3. All financial obligations to Greensboro College must be satisfied in order to graduate and receive a diploma.
  4. Order your cap and gown, invitations, class rings, and get information about Commencement during the Senior Salute event. Senior Salute will be held in the Lea Center on Feb. 1, 2023.
  5. Ask someone to be your capper for the Baccalaureate/Cap and Gown Ceremony. It is an honor for the person you ask, so choose wisely.
  6. All graduating students participating in Commencement must attend the rehearsal, where we will provide all the information regarding the ceremony and event. Please assemble in the Cowan Lobby no later than 9:50 a.m. on Friday, May 5, 2023. Rehearsal usually lasts about two hours. Please note that although a decision on whether or not to follow the rain plan will not be made until later Friday, graduating students should pick up their allotted guest tickets for Commencement at rehearsal just in case. If it is impossible for you to attend, please notify Martha Bunch at bunchm@greensboro.edu.
  7. Undergraduate students who have not completed all academic requirements are allowed to participate in Commencement ceremonies only by approval. There are two exceptions to this rule:
    • Undergraduate students lacking 8 credit hours or fewer for graduation upon completion of the 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.
    • 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.
  8. 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.

Diplomas

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. Graduating students who live outside the United States are responsible for mailing costs.

Graduating 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 Senior Salute will take place on Wednesday, February 1, 2023, in Lea Center, with a dinner to follow. You’ll have the opportunity to:

  • Order your cap and gown at a discounted rate and purchase additional graduation announcements and accessories, including a class ring 
  • Receive your Alumni Association gift 
  • Schedule an appointment to complete your Federal Perkins and Greensboro College Loan Exit Interview and check the status of your GC account to avoid holds on records
  • Vote for your Senior Class Speaker
  • Connect with Career Exploration and Development to share your after-GC plans 
  • Take your Senior Portrait 

If you are unable to attend, you can order rings, announcements, and accessories by contacting Jostens at 1-800-854-7464 or www.jostens.com.  You can order your cap and gown through the GC Pride Shop by contacting Cliff Braly at 336-272-7102, ext. 5233, or emailing at bralyc@greensboro.edu.


Photography

Photo Specialties, a professional photography company, will be present at Commencement. 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: www.photospecialties.com. For more information, see info@photospecialties.com 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. 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.

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 arrangements can be made.


Accommodations

For hotels and other lodgings, please visit the Greensboro Chamber-Hotels for listings.


Rain Plan

Commencement is typically held outside on Front Campus. In the event of light rain, Commencement will continue to be held outside. Graduating students, faculty members, and the platform party are not permitted the use of umbrellas, but they will be provided with a poncho to wear over their regalia. Guests are welcome to bring umbrellas as they wish. Diplomas will be distributed to Graduating students immediately following the ceremony in Lea Center.

If heavier rain or severe weather 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.) Graduating students may receive their tickets Friday morning at Commencement rehearsal. If you do not need your tickets, you are welcome to give them to another graduate who needs more.
  • If you cannot attend rehearsal, you may pick up your tickets from 4 p.m.-5 p.m. before Baccalaureate on Friday in Odell Lobby. If you cannot attend either rehearsal or Baccalaureate, you may pick up your tickets 8 a.m.-10:15 a.m. Saturday in Odell Lobby.
  • Commencement also will be live-streamed via YouTube on the college’s website. The link will be accessible from the home page and will be available to watch on or off campus.

Frequently Asked Questions

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.)

What should I wear to each ceremony?

Commencement ceremonies are meant to be dignified and joyous events to celebrate the significant achievements of graduating students. To that end, graduating students’ attire is part of the overall atmosphere. It is recommended that graduating students dress as they would to attend a formal ceremony of any kind. Graduating students will wear caps, gowns, and hoods during the Commencement ceremony.

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 graduating students to gather prior to the ceremony).

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.

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.

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.

Do I need to bring my cap and gown to the rehearsal?

No.

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.

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 Pride Shop. 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 www.jostens.com. Generic invitations are available at the Greensboro College Pride Shop.

Am I allowed to decorate my cap and/or wear cords/stoles with my gown?

Yes, you may decorate your cap, but please be mindful that your decorations will not offend any individual or groups of people. Cords and stoles that you provide are allowed.  The only cords or stoles that Greensboro College provides are for certain academic honor societies; please consult with your honor society advisors.

Where can I go for last-minute graduation needs?

The Greensboro College Pride Shop 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 you with any last-minute graduation needs. You can also email Cliff Braly, the shop’s store manager, at bralyc@greensboro.edu or call 336-272-7102 ext. 5713

Joshua Fitzgerald photo

“I loved the GC Honors program and Greensboro College. I felt safe and a sense of genuine belonging at the college. I worked closely with my thesis advisor and professors who helped inspire me to define my path and passion of interest. That path has led me to my doctoral studies in Engineering Mechanics.”

- Joshua Fitzgerald, Class of ’19, Mathematics Major

Joshua currently studies astrodynamics at Virginia Tech University and is an Engineering Mechanics Ph.D. Candidate.