GRADUATE SEATING INFORMATION
Graduates, looking for information about where you will be seated?
Graduates should enter the Kohl Center arena at Gate A (W. Dayton St. entrance).
Candidate seating is arranged by school, college or degree type. Please refer to this Candidate Seating Map for the location of the seating blocks, and corresponding sections of the Kohl Center.
Commencement Marshals wearing cardinal red academic attire will be available to assist you with seating.
If you are in need of accessibility accommodations, please contact our office at firstname.lastname@example.org immediately for assistance.
Degree candidates with faculty escorts should ask their faculty escort to sit on their right.
No guests, including children (with the exception of nursing mothers) are permitted in the candidate seating area. No food or beverages of any kind are permitted. Please review the carry-in policy as well as the metal detector procedures to plan accordingly. Flowers are allowed inside the Kohl Center, however glass containers, balloons, backpacks and wrapped gifts are not allowed.
Will my name be read?
Yes, graduate names will be read as candidates cross the stage. A name card will be located on your chair when you arrive, and we ask that you print your name phonetically, how you would like it pronounced, so that our name readers are accurate.
Will I receive a diploma?
Each graduate will receive a diploma folder from their dean as they cross the stage. We request that you please refrain from giving handshakes at this time. Diplomas will be mailed out to graduates 6-8 weeks after grades are entered. Please be sure to update your home address in MyUW for where your diploma will be mailed to.
Will masks be required?
Yes, well fitting face coverings will be required for anyone attending winter commencement. This includes all graduates, family members, guests, faculty and staff. Both UW–Madison and Dane County have extended masking requirements into January. UW–Madison’s mask order remains in effect on campus until at least January 15 and includes all campus buildings, including the Kohl Center. UW is a state entity and its orders are not affected by Dane County decisions.
RESERVE YOUR CAP AND GOWN
To ensure that your academic regalia is reflective of the new design, please place your reservation order through the University Book Store. View the University Book Store’s timeline for picking up attire. All graduates should reserve their academic attire by December 18, 2021. Call (608) 257-3784, extension 5924, if you have questions. In Spring 2017, the gown designs were updated to include the University of Wisconsin–Madison colors and crest logo, providing both a pop of red among the traditional sea of black and an additional display of UW spirit that’s recognizable to all. Read about the significance of the cap and gown.
Eligible undergraduate degree candidates can also order a stole from the University Book Store here. Honors candidates do not need to pre-order stoles; the University Book Store will receive a list of honors candidates in advance. Academic stoles, for the foreseeable future, will also now only be available as purchase only.
If interested, seniors can sign a sustainability pledge at the University Bookstore and receive a green ribbon to wear with their cap and gown. The Office of Sustainability will be at the University Bookstore everyday, through winter commencement, handing out ribbons to those who sign pledges.
FREE GRADUATION CAP DECORATING
Cappy Hour at Wheelhouse Studios
Where: Wheelhouse Studios on the lower level of Memorial Union
Notes: Bring your graduation cap and give it your personal artistic touch with an assortment of gems, sparkles, stencils, paints, glue and more provided for free by Wheelhouse Studios, while supplies last. Cappy Hour is a great way to decompress after (your last!) finals, and get ready for your next adventure.
APPLY TO GRADUATE!
The deadline to Apply to Graduate is November 5, 2021. Applying to graduate by the deadline ensures that your name will be included in the official Commencement Program. Students who apply to graduate after the deadline will not see their name in the printed program.
Visit the student center’s instruction page and the Office of the Registrar’s webpage for detailed instructions on how to apply to graduate. Master’s and PhD students can find additional information on the Graduate School’s “completing your degree” webpage.
This event is subject to public health guidelines which are subject to change at any time. Campus event policies, Kohl Center policies and carry-in procedures will be enforced in alignment with Public Health Madison Dane County. Graduates, family, guests, faculty and staff are reminded that both UW–Madison and Dane County have extended masking requirements into January. A well-fitting face covering will be required for anyone attending winter commencement. This includes all graduates, family members, guests, faculty and staff. UW–Madison’s mask order remains in effect on campus until January 15 and will be re-evaluated before that point. UW is a state entity and its orders are not affected by Dane County decisions. In regards to COVID-19, please consult PHMDC, the latest emergency order, CDC guidelines, and the Campus Event Guidelines under the COVID Campus Operations Response page. The Winter Commencement Ceremony will adapt to changing public health guidelines as necessary.
Complimentary parking is available in almost all campus parking lots on Sunday, December 19. Shuttle service will be available along University Ave. and Johnson St. stopping at all blue Madison Metro Bus Stops. Shuttle service runs from 8a.m. - 10:30a.m. and again from noon to 3p.m. View a map of the shuttle route, and construction, in order to be prepared for the big day.
The carry-in policy applies to both the Kohl Center and Camp Randall Stadium. In order to expedite entry into the Kohl Center and Camp Randall, graduates along with guests are encouraged to limit the number of items they bring. Metal detectors will be in place at the Kohl Center. As guests approach the metal detectors…
We are hopeful that Mother Nature will cooperate in the celebration, but because inclement weather is possible, we have put in place plans to ensure a safe commencement celebration. The ceremony is scheduled to take place rain or shine. Given the size of the gathering, it’s not feasible to move the ceremony to an alternate…
Participants will have their photo taken as they cross the stage to receive their diploma cover, and a solo portrait after they exit the stage. Photo stations at Gates A and B will be available before and after the ceremony for graduate portraits with friends and family.
Commencement is a celebration of the achievements of our graduates, and in this regard the escorts of the candidates are intended to be their major professors who have contributed significantly to their academic growth and success. Degree candidates are responsible for identifying an appropriate professor to serve as a faculty escort, and asking that person…
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