Graduate Commencement Ceremony

Friday, June 9, 2023  |  2–3:30 p.m.  |  Tiffany Loop

This Commencement ceremony, held outdoors in beautiful Tiffany Loop, is designed specifically to honor SPU’s master’s and doctoral graduates. This is the culminating celebratory ceremony of students’ hard work and dedication to learning, where family members, friends, faculty, staff, and fellow students congratulate graduates on their “new beginning.” No tickets are required for this event.

Getting there

Please refer to the directions and parking page for more information.

Guest Arrival

Guests are welcome to start arriving any time after 1 p.m. Unless otherwise marked, all seating is available.

Student line-up

Graduates should line up according to program at 1:30 p.m. on the Fifth Avenue Streetscape (between Marston and Weter). If students are participating in a Hooding ceremony or program gathering, prior to the Commencement ceremony, a staff member will direct them to the Streetscape.


The ceremony will be recorded for livestreaming purposes and will be available for viewing on the livestreaming page. The recording of the ceremony will also be posted on this page, but may not be available until a week or so afterward. No other videographers are allowed in any aisle or near the platform.

Rain plan

A rain plan is in place and will go into effect if there is a forecast for severe weather, including heavy rain and/or thunder and lightning. Students will receive a notification if the rain plan is put into action.


Grad Images is the official photography company for Commencement. They will take a photograph of each graduate receiving his or her diploma, and graduates will receive a proof in the mail shortly after the ceremony. You can contact the company at 1-800-628-4509, or by visiting No other photographers are allowed in any aisle or near the platform.

ADA seating

For guests using a wheelchair or walker, or who need a seat close to the sidewalk, please contact We can make arrangements for a few companion seats as well.

ADA drop-off

We recommend pulling into the Ross parking lot, directly behind Subway (off of 3rd Ave. W.) to drop off your guests before parking your car.

Sign interpretation

There will be sign interpretation at the Graduate Commencement ceremony. If you have a guest that needs to be seated close to the interpreter, please contact

Flowers & leis

There is no official flower vendor, but frequently there is someone selling flowers and leis on the sidewalk near the opening to Tiffany Loop. To be safe, we recommend purchasing flowers in advance, before you come to campus.

Food & beverages

A number of campus dining options, selling hot beverages, snacks, and meals, will be open.


The SPU Bookstore will be open 8:30 a.m.–7 p.m. They will have any remaining regalia (caps, gowns, hoods, and stoles) available for purchase.

2023 Schedule of events

Graduate Commencement ceremony

Friday, June 9, 2–3:30 p.m., Tiffany Loop 

Graduates, please arrive promptly by 1 p.m. to line up. Meet on the Fifth Avenue streetscape (between Marston and Weter), and line up according to program. Doctoral students, with hoods in hand, should line up at the front of the processional (on the south end of the Streetscape), by program in the following order: Education, Health Sciences, and Psychology, Family, and Community (Clinical Psychology, Industrial-Organizational Psychology, and Research Psychology). Staff will be on hand to direct you.

The processional will begin moving down to Tiffany Loop at 1:25 p.m. Keep your place in line, and be sure to sit in your assigned row.

If you or your guests have any accessibility needs (i.e. cannot manage stairs), please contact, so we can assist with accommodations.

Remember that this is an outdoor ceremony, so please adjust your clothing and footwear accordingly. Students will receive a notification if a rain plan is put into action. 

After Commencement

Meeting Family Members/Guests: Following the platform party and faculty recessional (students will not recess), you can visit with your family members and guests in Tiffany Loop and take photos up by the platform.

Graduate Hooding ceremonies

Friday, June 9 (schedule TBA)

We are pleased to announce Romanita Hairston has agreed to speak at our Graduate Commencement ceremony on Friday, June 9, in Tiffany Loop. Read more.

Before you graduate

There are important steps you must take before you graduate (further instructions provided below):

  • Apply to graduate in Banner by February 1, 2023
  • Register for Commencement events through Banner by May 30, 2023
  • Order your regalia
  • Pick up your regalia


You must register online for Commencement. If you have applied to graduate in Banner, instructions for Commencement registration will be sent to your SPU email address.

To register your guests for your hooding ceremony, please contact your program coordinator.

Ordering regalia

You must order your regalia (cap, gown, and tassel) by Friday, March 10. See the cap, gown, and hood section below for more information.

Picking up regalia

If your regalia order is placed by March 10, your regalia will be ready to pick up at Grad Fest on Friday, April 21. If you do not purchase your regalia by March 10, you will be able to purchase it at Grad Fest or the SPU Bookstore at a higher price point. See the cap, gown, stole, and hood section below for more information.

Regalia (caps, gowns, stoles, and hoods) is required for participation in the Graduate Hooding and Graduate Commencement ceremonies. All gowns are black, and hood and tassel colors depend upon your degree.


You will need to purchase your cap, gown, and tassel online through Josten's by Friday, March 10. If your order is placed by March 10, your regalia will be ready to pick up at Grad Fest on Friday, April 21. If you do not purchase your regalia by March 10, you will be able to purchase it at Grad Fest or the SPU Bookstore at a higher price point.

If you would like to order a hood and/or tassel only, without cap and gown (i.e. you are borrowing a black cap and master’s or doctoral gown from a friend), they will be available for individual purchase at Grad Fest on April 21, and thereafter at the Bookstore.

For doctoral graduates only: If you are or will be employed in an academic environment where you will need to wear regalia on an annual basis, you may want to consider purchasing higher quality, custom doctoral robes. There will be a Josten's representative at Grad Fest, on April 21, to assist you with the ordering process. Or, you may contact our Josten's rep directly to order in advance of Grad Fest. (If you are ordering custom robes, the order-by date of March 10 mentioned above does not apply to you.)

If you have any issues or questions associated with ordering regalia, please contact the Bookstore at 206-281-2137 or

Announcements, diploma frames, and class rings

You can order announcements, diploma frames, and class rings through the Josten's website. Diploma frames are also available in the SPU Bookstore.

Wearing your regalia

As a master’s and doctoral graduate, you will wear your tassel on the left side of your cap or tam.

Remember to wear comfortable footwear, as you will be on your feet quite a bit. Note that the Graduate Commencement ceremony is outside, so please plan your clothing and footwear accordingly.