The information that follows is a general list of FAQs applicable during normal commencement ceremonies, year after year.
When and where does Commencement take place?
This year's ceremony is postponed. The ceremony is traditionally held on the last Thursday or Friday of May in the NVC Plaza and Green lawn. The location is an open setting on the Library Plaza Green (the green lawn in front of the 2000 Life Science Building). Please dress appropriately as the temperatures will drop as the evening progresses.
What time does the Commencement Ceremony start and end?
The procession and the program usually starts at 6:00 p.m. The ceremony lasts about 2 hours, and usually ends by 8:00 p.m., but it really depends on the number of graduates that participate. Seating for guests usually begins at 4:30 PM.
Who is eligible to participate in the Commencement Ceremony?
Only students who have completed their course work from the previous Summer 2019 and Fall 2019 semesters, as well as those graduating in the Spring 2020 are eligible. Students graduating in the coming Summer 2020 will be invited to next year's graduation--not this year (no exceptions).
How many students participate in the ceremony?
Approximately 300-350 graduates participate in the Commencement ceremony each year.
Do students get a graduation information packet mailed to them?
No. All communications regarding graduation will be emailed to the graduates using their new NVC Student email account -- not their personal email account. Students should check their NVC email address periodically during the month of April for ongoing Commencement communications. We also recommend that students check their spam filters to make sure they have not missed any email from the Office of Student Affairs. Students should refer to the Commencement website for up-to-date information if they do not receive an email.
Where can I obtain a cap and gown?
The cap and gown can usually be purchased at the NVC Bookstore. The cap and gown attire is required to participate in the ceremony. Please contact the NVC Bookstore directly for their exact hours of operation. For Honor cords, please refer to the Academic Regalia page.
Are guests required to have tickets to attend the ceremony?
No, tickets are not required to attend the ceremony. It is free and open to all; yet, seating for guests is limited, so we ask all graduates participating in the ceremony to limit their guests to 5.
Do graduates need to RSVP to participate in Commencement?
Yes, students who plan to participate in the ceremony will need to fill out an online RSVP form starting early May; the deadline to RSVP is TBD. It is critical that we have an accurate count of graduates so that we have sufficient seats reserved for all participating graduates.
Can I get a Graduate Information Card?
The Graduate Information Card will be distributed to graduates during the morning rehearsal prior to the ceremony in May, so that graduates can fill it out and have it ready when they go up the stage during the practice. The card will be collected from each graduate at the end of rehearsal, and should be picked up by each graduate in the evening when they arrive to check-in and line up for the ceremony.
Graduates who cannot attend the rehearsal can pick up a card from the Graduate Check-in Table in front of the 1300 Building as they arrive in the evening starting at 4:30 p.m. This will give you enough time to fill out the card and have it checked prior to lining up with the rest of the graduates. All graduates must have a fully completed card in their hands as they walk to the stage. Names are read from this card--not from the program.
Do graduates need to Check-in the evening of Commencement?
Yes, all graduates MUST stop at the Graduate Check-In Table prior to lining up with the other graduates. This is to pick up a program book and your Graduate Information Card. Your name will be read from this card--not from the program.
The information card will be the only item graduates will have in their hands when they walk up the stage to receive their diploma cover.
If graduates can't/don't attend rehearsal, can they still attend the ceremony?
Yes. The graduation rehearsal is not mandatory; however, it is strongly recommended for students to attend the rehearsal (about 1.5 hrs. but could be up to 2 hrs.) so that they understand exactly where to check-in in the evening, how they will line up, how they will proceed, and where they will be sitting. The more students we have participating in the rehearsal, the smoother the ceremony will run in the evening.
The rehearsal also gives students the opportunity to ask any questions they might have.
If you can't attend the rehearsal, you might want to check the Etiquette Scholars website for helpful tips on what to expect during the ceremony.
When are diplomas mailed out to graduates?
Diplomas are mailed to graduates in the month of August after the ceremony, even if you do not participate in the ceremony. If your address changes before then, or if you have other questions regarding your diploma, please call the Admissions and Records Office at (707) 256-7207 or refer to the Admissions and Records Diploma webpage.