Participate

This page addresses the steps that graduates should take on Commencement Day. For steps to take before Commencement Day, visit the "Prepare" page.

Visit the Prepare page

Watch the weather

Spring weather in Kansas is unpredictable. Attendees should plan accordingly with sunblock, jackets, hats, or rain gear, as Commencement ceremonies will proceed in hot, cold, or wet conditions.

If severe weather is in the forecast, university administrators may postpone ceremonies. In the case of postponement, Commencement coordinators and KU leadership will make every effort to reschedule affected ceremonies for later in the day. 

If severe weather continues, events may be cancelled. Please note that no indoor facility in Lawrence can accommodate the number of graduates and guests that attend Commencement, and no alternative venues exist for these ceremonies.

Should inclement weather delay activities, the Memorial Union will be open. Weather-related announcements will appear on KU's official Twitter account and this website.

Dress for Commencement

About an inch from your eyebrows, place the cap level with the point in front. Hang your tassel on the right side. When the chancellor confers your degrees at the Commencement ceremony, you will move your tassel to the left. Tassel colors depend on your school or degree.

For students with post-graduation hoods, place your hood over your head with the colors facing outward and back, then position and secure the hood cord to a shirt button or with a pin. Should you need assistance, you can carry your hood to your ceremony.

Heels are not allowed on the football field, so wear flat-soled shoes for the procession and ceremony.

Display honors

Students display distinguished accomplishments during Commencement activities with honor cords and medallions. Honor cords and medallions are distributed by individual schools or programs and are not for sale at the KU Bookstore.

Leave prohibited items at home

For your safety, these items are not permitted inside the Kansas David Booth Memorial Stadium:

  • All alcoholic and cereal malt beverages, which are strictly prohibited on the KU campus.
  • Explosives of any kind, including fireworks, which are strictly prohibited on the KU campus.
  • Animals, with exceptions made for service animals.
  • Glass bottles, metal cans, and coolers, with exceptions made for guests with special medical or dietary needs.
  • Horns, whistles, boom boxes, or other noisemakers that create a nuisance or disturbance.
  • Laser pointers.
  • Objects that obstruct another person's view of the ceremony (use of umbrellas is not restricted, but be considerate of those around and behind you).
  • Strollers and bikes.
  • Sticks or poles, including those used to mount signs or banners.

Personal items carried into the stadium should be limited to what can be carried in a one-gallon clear freezer bag, a small clutch purse (5.5 inches x 8.5 inches), or a clear bag no larger than 12 inches x 6 inches x 12 inches. Camera and computer bags, backpacks, and purses or other bags larger than clutch bags are prohibited.


Arrive on time

To participate in the procession, you should assemble with fellow graduates on Memorial Drive 30 minutes before the ceremony's start time. You will not be required to line up and participate in exercises with your school — you may process and sit with friends.

Walk the Hill

This time-honored tradition is your opportunity to enjoy the camaraderie of friends and fellow graduates as you make your way through the campanile and into Kansas David Booth Memorial Stadium. In observance of the campanile's significance as a war memorial, you will be asked to dispose of any cups, bottles, or cans before entering. Should you complete the procession but choose to not stay for the ceremony, you will be directed to an appropriate exit in the stadium.

Rise and be recognized

The stadium portion of the event will last approximately 45 minutes. During the ceremony, the dean of your school will present degrees awarded and graduates to the chancellor and the Kansas Board of Regents chair. At this moment, stand if able.