Commencement - Clark University

Information for Students Graduating through the School of Professional Studies

Congratulations! You will soon receive your degree from Clark University. Although most of your work is completed, there are a few significant details to which you need to attend before graduation in May. Please read carefully and note important dates, times, locations, procedures, attire requirements, and guest considerations for Commencement 2016.

Most of the information for Commencement 2016 listed here for undergraduate students also applies to graduate students.

Students who have completed all work and whose grades (no incompletes) have been received at the Registrar’s Office are automatically included in the Commencement program and invited to participate in the graduation ceremony.

Please review your student account prior to April 1 to see if you have any holds and/or a balance due. All holds and balances must be eliminated before you can be cleared for graduation. Contact your student account counselor, before April 1, with questions.

Last names beginning:
A-G (508) 793-7721
H-O (508) 793-7483
P-Z (508) 793-7491

All students who received federal or Clark institutional loans to finance their education must complete an online exit interview. These are mandatory, and diplomas of any students who do not complete online exit interviews may be withheld. You will be notified in April about the exit interview process.

Clark Invitations for your Family and Friends

You may invite as many guests as you wish to the School of Professional Studies brunch and Commencement (although seating for the Graduate ceremony is limited to three guests per graduate). If you would like to send out formal Commencement invitations to family and friends, you may pick them up at the School of Professional Studies Office in room 111, Jonas Clark Hall in May. Five official printed invitations are available for each graduating student.

Commencement Brunch


On Commencement day at 9 a.m. in Tilton Hall, undergraduate and graduate students from the School of Professional Studies are honored during our annual Commencement Brunch. This is an RSVP-required event with assigned seating. The induction ceremony for the new members of the Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Society and Alpha Epsilon Lambda Honor Society will take place during the brunch. Alpha Sigma Lambda is the National Evening College Honor Society and Alpha Epsilon Lambda is an honor society for graduate and professional students. Due to the induction ceremony and other award events, prompt arrival at the brunch is appreciated. Students and families are warmly invited to participate in this event — it is a wonderful way to begin your graduation day! Additional information regarding brunch will be mailed to you at a later date.


Honor Societies


Alpha Sigma Lambda was established as a National Honor Society in 1947, and in 1963, School of Professional Studies established the Psi Chapter. The honor society recognizes students who maintain high scholastic standards in their academic programs while successfully balancing the demands of their adult lives.

Alpha Epsilon Lambda, the honor society of graduate and professional school students, was founded in 1990, and the Alpha Omicron chapter was established at Clark University in 2006. This society was founded with the specific objective of recognizing the academic and leadership accomplishments of graduate and professional school students.

Caps and Gowns


Caps and gowns for all graduating seniors may be picked up in Atwood Hall on:

Tuesday May 17, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Thursday May 19, 11 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

You will be required to show identification and will be fitted when you pick up your caps, gowns, tassels, and hoods. You will have been billed in advance for your regalia, which is yours to keep.

Graduate Students

Graduate students must order their own commencement regalia through University Cap and Gown. Students who have submitted the Application for Degree form will receive the following information directly:
1) Graduate Student Commencement Attendance form (due by March 25)
2) Information and link to order regalia (regalia site will be open until April 15)

The cost for Master's degree regalia, which is yours to keep, is $28.

You may have your regalia shipped to your home address for an additional fee of $14.25, or you may pick it up on campus on either Tuesday, May 17, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. or Thursday, May 19, from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. in Atwood Hall.

Commencement Ceremony


Processional begins at 12 p.m.
Kneller Athletic Center

Assemble at 11:30 a.m. sharp in Kneller Athletic Center wearing (or carrying) your cap and gown.

If a last-minute emergency on the day of Commencement prevents you from joining the ceremony as planned, please call 508-793-7575.

Anyone who does not arrive in time for accurate placement in the procession risks not receiving a diploma on stage. Commencement is a formal affair. University officials reserve the right to prohibit a student from participating if the formal cap and gown are not worn — or if the student's identity is concealed in any way.

Backpacks or large handbags will not be allowed at Commencement. High-heeled shoes are not recommended for the procession or ceremony.

In the Kneller gymnasium, tagged seats are arranged alphabetically for all students. Graduate students will be seated in alphabetical order by degree in the sections closest to the stage; Undergraduate students will be seated in alphabetical order behind the Graduate students. Please be seated; Commencement marshals will be on hand to help. You will receive last-minute instructions at this time.


From the Kneller, students will walk in a formal procession to the Commencement area. Students must take their seats on the Campus Green, and stay in the same order in which they were seated in the Kneller.


Part I
The program will begin on the Campus Green and will include a welcome, opening remarks, the Commencement address, conferring of honorary degrees and recognition of all graduates. This portion of the ceremony will run approximately 1 hour.

Part II
At the conclusion of the ceremony above, designated members of the platform party, followed by graduate students, will process behind the piper and drummer to the Kneller Athletic Center for a Graduate School Commencement.

Families of graduate students will be directed in an orderly fashion to the Kneller Athletic Center.

Please Note: Once capacity has been reached, all remaining guests will be directed to seating in the Sackler Sciences Center, where the ceremony will be live-streamed.

Ushers will be at the Kneller to assist family and friends with seating.

The undergraduate Commencement ceremony will continue on the Campus Green. Additional details are available on the Senior Students Web page.

Recession for Undergraduate Ceremony

After the ceremony, the formal recession of the platform party begins. You are expected to remain seated until the party has left the platform. Graduates will follow the platform party in a recession from the platform to Atwood Plaza along the walk beside Jefferson Academic Center, where faculty members will have formed a receiving line to congratulate you.

Recession for Graduate Ceremony

After the ceremony, the formal recession of the platform party begins. You are expected to remain seated until the party has left the platform. Graduates will follow the faculty down the center aisle and out the back door of the Kneller, where faculty members will have formed a receiving line on the patio to congratulate you.

To allow all to hear and enjoy the Commencement ceremony without disruption, we request that students hold off celebrating until after the final recession. Drinking and raucous behavior during the ceremonies will not be permitted.

Consideration for Guests

Guest seating is on the campus green.

Indoor seating for guests of Undergraduates is located in Daniels Theater/Atwood Hall. Both the University-wide ceremony and the Undergraduate Commencement will be live-streamed there.

Graduate Student Guest Seating on the Campus Green

Sections of seating on the Goddard Library side of the green will be designated as preferred Graduate Student Guest seating and will be marked with green banners. This will enable guests to easily leave at the conclusion of the first ceremony and walk to the Kneller for the graduate student ceremony.

Graduate Student Guest Seating in the Kneller Athletic Center

Guest seating for the graduate student portion of Commencement will be very limited. Students are asked to bring no more than three guests to the Kneller Athletic Center for the graduate student ceremony.

Additional/overflow seating for guests of Graduate students is in Johnson Auditorium in the Sackler Sciences Center. Both the University-wide ceremony and the Graduate Commencement will be live-streamed in Johnson Auditorium as well as in the Kneller Athletic Center.

Guests of Graduate students who prefer indoor seating should go directly to the Kneller Athletic Center, which will open to guests of Graduate students shortly after the noontime procession to the campus Green has ended.

If seating is required for physically challenged family or friends, please arrange to reserve seating in advance by contacting:
Physical Plant (508) 793-7566

Photography and Video Coverage

Professional photographers will set up near the Commencement platforms to take photographs of each graduate as he/she is handed a diploma. Details about purchasing this photograph will be sent to students' homes directly from Commencement Photos, Inc. There is no obligation to buy. Additional information and online ordering will be on the company's website after graduation day.

Please note this professional photograph is a candid shot and graduates are asked not to stop and pose as this will hold up the diploma awarding part of the ceremony; photographers will not take posed photos. To ensure your photograph comes out well, please be sure to look at the President (undergraduate ceremony) or the Provost (graduate student ceremony) and smile when you are receiving your diploma.


Family and friends may take their own photographs along the processional route from the Kneller Athletic Center. Please note there are no photography areas near the stage; we respectfully ask that guests do not try to approach the platform for photographs as this creates unsafe conditions and blocks the views of others.

Clark will use to broadcast Commencement; a link to the broadcast will be available on May 22. You can also watch Commencement on-demand (available shortly after the ceremony finishes), and download the event.

We salute you! On May 22, 2016, you will reach your destination as graduates of Clark University and begin your journey as Clark Alumni, Class of 2016!