Skip to main content

This is your Donation message.

Graduation Ceremony

Graduation Ceremony

Graduation ceremonies are held in the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center located at 505 West Pensacola Street. Panama City (FL) students can find information about the annual Panama City graduation ceremony at: http://pc.fsu.edu/Students/Commencement-General-Information.

NOTE: Before degrees are awarded, your final semester grades must be recorded and records rechecked for total hours, quality points, and other degree requirements. PARTICIPATION IN GRADUATION EXERCISES IS NOT A GUARANTEE OF GRADUATION.

Procedures and Etiquette

Ceremony Etiquette

The Commencement Ceremony is a most dignified event, whose traditions and regalia date from the thirteenth century. All participants are expected to exhibit courteous behavior and to observe the decorum merited by the occasion. Thank you for familiarizing yourself with the following notes on etiquette.

Arrival. Doors open one hour and fifteen minutes before the ceremony begins. Please arrive no later than fifteen minutes before the ceremony begins.

Seating. You will receive your seat assignment upon arrival, and you may not walk around after you find your seat in the arena. Please reference the fall, spring, and summer seating charts for more information.

Leaving. You may not leave until the ceremony concludes. The ceremony will last approximately three hours. If you need to use the restroom, you must leave your cap on your chair before you will be permitted to leave the arena.

Prohibited Items.

For the safety and security of our guests and graduates, the following items are prohibited:

 Alcohol or controlled substances  Cameras with tripods  Weapons of any kind  Skateboards
 Food and beverages of any kind  Selfie sticks  Sticks or poles of any kind  Bags larger than 12" x 12" or backpacks of any kind
 Cans, bottles, glass, or glass vases  Laser pointers  Long chains/sharp spikes  Chairs, folding chairs, or any other type of chair for individual use
 Coolers  Wallet chains  Air horns/noise makers or balloons  Any banner/poster larger than 24" x 36"
Offensive banners/posters

All graduates and guests will be required to pass through metal detectors prior to entering the Civic Center.

Security personnel will remove students disrupting the ceremony.

Bachelor's Candidates

  1. Enter the Civic Center from the main entrance on the plaza and take the escalator down to the Exhibit Hall on the lower level. There will be ushers to assist you.
  2. Find the sign identifying your school or college.
  3. Pick up your name card. Your name card is the key to the commencement ceremony. It serves the following purposes:
    •  a. It assigns your seat.
    •  b. It provides your name to the announcer for individual recognition on the stage.
  4. Leave the Exhibit Hall and enter the main arena floor through the elephant doors.
  5. Find your assigned seat using the chalk marks on the floor and take your seat.

Master's and Specialist Candidates

  1. Enter the Civic Center from the main entrance on the plaza and take the escalator down to the Exhibit Hall on the lower level. There will be ushers to assist you.
  2. Find the Masters/Specialist sign.
  3. Pick up your name card. Your name card is the key to the commencement ceremony. It serves the following purposes:
    •  a. It assigns your seat.
    •  b. It provides your name to the announcer for individual recognition on the stage.
  4. Leave the Exhibit Hall and enter the main arena floor through the elephant doors.
  5. Find your assigned seat using the chalk marks on the floor and take your seat.
  6. Candidates should be wearing hoods before the ceremony begins. Master's marshals can help with hoods.

Doctoral Candidates

  1. Be sure to make all of the necessary arrangements for your major professor (or proxy) to hood you at the ceremony.
  2. Report to Meeting Room A one hour before your ceremony begins. Meeting Room A is located on the lower level of the Civic Center near the escalators. DO NOT GO TO THE MAIN ARENA.
  3. Find a doctoral marshal in that area and pick up your name card.
  4. Marshals will supervise the formation of the academic procession according to assigned seating on the name cards. Major professors will be placed behind the candidates they are hooding.
  5. Details of the ceremony procedure are as follows: Doctoral marshals will lead rows of major professors and candidates to the platform. When your name is announced, you will walk onto the stage and stand directly in front of the major professor, hand the hood to the professor, turn to face the audience, and bend your knees keeping your back vertical. After hooding, major professors will proceed to the opposite side of stage and walk behind the podium, while the candidate shakes hands with the Dean of the Graduate School and the President.

Photos

You may take posed pictures in the Exhibit Hall. GradImages Photography takes these posed photos, and they also take three pictures of you during the ceremony. Following commencement, GradImages photographers will be circulating outside the venue to capture additional candid photographs of our graduates with their loved ones. The GradImages staff will be wearing red vests, so they'll be highly visible and easy to locate. Graduates can expect to receive their individual picture proofs by email within 18 to 24 hours of the graduation ceremony. Additionally, paper proofs are mailed through the U.S. Postal Service and can be expected to arrive within three or four days. Direct any questions about your photos to GradImages by calling (800) 261-2576 or by contacting a representative through www.gradimages.com.

Guests

  • All Civic Center doors open an hour and fifteen minutes prior to the start of the ceremony.
  • Enter ONLY on the Concourse Level of the Civic Center.
  • At no time are guests permitted on the arena floor.
  • Seating for the disabled is available on the Concourse Level; approach the Civic Center from the corner of Martin Luther King Boulevard and Madison Street. Civic Center parking is available at that entrance.

Guests should not leave until the ceremony concludes. Leaving causes disruption and noise, which disturbs those families whose graduate has not yet been recognized. Please arrange to meet your families at designated areas outside the civic center (i.e., flagpoles, plaza, gates).

Parking

Several parking options are available on days scheduled for commencement ceremonies. Please consult this detailed map for directions and additional instructions.