Ceremony Protocol

PROTOCOL: Commencement is a significant moment for graduates. It marks a pinnacle of achievement. Albany State University celebrates the occasion with formal pomp and circumstance. To ensure the dignity and solemnity of this occasion, please be mindful of the following:

  • ASU’s Code of Conduct applies at both the Commencement Rehearsal and Ceremony.
  • Use of alcohol and/or controlled substances is prohibited.
  • No food or drink will be permitted in the line-up area.
  • Guests should arrive in time to be seated on the upper level of the arena before the procession begins, preferably by 9:30 am.
  • Late guests will not be allowed to enter the upper level of the arena during the procession. Late arrivals will be able to enter at appropriate intervals during the ceremony.
  • Guest seating is first-come, first-seated.
  • Mute/Silence cell phones, pagers and similar devices during the ceremony.
  • Please refrain from using noise-makers or shouting while degrees are being presented on the stage.
  • Any bags, including purses, brought inside the arena may be searched by campus police. To avoid delays, guests are urged not to enter the arena with bags.

PROCESSION: Begins promptly at 9:30 a.m. for the ceremony. The ceremony usually lasts 2-3 hours. Members of the graduating class will proceed to the reserved seating area. Your student marshal will direct you to the appropriate seating location for your college. Remain standing until all candidates have arrived on the floor, faculty have arrived at their seats, and the Platform Party has reached its place on the stage. Continue standing for The National Anthem.

PRESENTATION OF CANDIDATES: The Dean of each college will present the candidates for the various degrees to the President. The President will deliver the conferral remarks. The candidates for the various degrees will then be asked to approach the stage for presentation.


  • Ascend the ramp on the right hand side of the stage
  • Hand the name card to the reader
  • Wait for your name and academic honor, if applicable, to be spoken
  • Walk across the stage to be greeted by the President
  • Have your picture taken
  • Descend the ramp on the left side of the stage
  • Have your picture taken
  • Return to your seat and remain standing until all graduates in your college or school have received their diploma and returned to their seat.

DISTRIBUTION OF DIPLOMAS: Diplomas will not be distributed during the ceremony. You will receive your diploma covers during the ceremony. Diplomas will be mailed to the address provided on your application for graduation after final confirmation of degree completion. Please allow approximately eight weeks after the date of commencement for receipt of your diploma.  Transcripts with degree awarded will be available approximately two weeks after commencement.

CONCLUSION OF CEREMONY: After the Alma Mater, the platform party will lead the recessional, followed by faculty and graduates. Guests should remain standing until the recessional is complete. Guests who exit the arena before the recessional will be directed outside to avoid congestion in the halls and on the stairs. Graduates may want to designate a post-ceremony location to meet your family and guests.

Commencement Marshal’s Direction & Comments

  1. Strictly follow the Marshal’s instructions; do not deviate from the Marshal’s instructions for any reason.
  2. All students graduating should report at 7:45 a.m. in full regalia to the Albany Civic Center for the commencement exercise, Saturday, Saturday, May 9, 2020, and lineup by Colleges in accordance with their assigned row and seat number.
    • Signs showing candidate’s College, row and seat number will be posted in the candidates’ staging area. Commencement marshals will be present to give directions and to immediately address any student concerns.
    • Undergraduate students will line up in the Civic Center corridor behind the north bleacher seating area of the arena.
    • Graduate students will lineup in the main lobby of the Civic Center.
    • Immediately report any problems to the Marshals.
    • Commencement Marshals will lead the degree candidates’ procession into the arena and into their designated rows. All Students will remain standing until they are instructed to be seated by the President.
    • All degree candidates will receive their announcement name card at the Civic Center. When the announcer asks the candidates to stand and come forward, each candidate approaches stage right and hands his or her announcement name card to the dean (announcer) at the podium upon arrival on stage to receive the degree. Each candidate walks across the stage, receives the diploma cover, exits the stage left, and pauses at the bottom of the stage steps to take an individual graduation photograph.
    • At the close of the program, commencement marshals will direct the students out of the arena in a recession in the same row order in which they processed into the arena.
    • Once the recessional reaches the arena lobby, students are dismissed and should exit the arena immediately.