Ceremony Protocol

Additional covid-19 protocol

All COVID-19 and social-distancing guidelines will be followed. Students and guests are required to wear a mask upon entry into the Albany Civic Center. Seating is permitted only in designated spaces. Hand sanitizer stations will be placed througout the Albany Civic Center. 

Guests are limited to four (4) per graduate

Standard 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 the Commencement 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 one hour prior to the scheduled start time of the ceremony.
  • 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. All seating must follow social distancing guidelines in effect at the time of the ceremony and as identified by the Albany Civic Center. 
  • 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 9:45 a.m. or 3:45 p.m., as appropriate for each of the four ceremonies. The ceremony usually lasts 1.5 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 and the Platform Party has reached its place on the stage. Continue standing for The National Anthem, followed by the invocation.

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.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR APPROACHING THE STAGE:

  • 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
  • Receive the ASU medallion and diploma cover from 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 cover 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 six (6) to eight (8) 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 the 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.
    1. Saturday, May 8, 2021

      1. College of Arts and Sciences, 10:00 a.m.. Doors open for seating at 9:00 a.m.

      2. College of Business, Education and Professional Studies, 4:00 p.m., Doors open for seating at 3:00 p.m.

    2. Sunday, May 9, 2021

      1. Darton College of Health Professions, 10:00 a.m., Doors open for seating at 9:00 a.m.

      2. Classes of 2020, 4:00 p.m., Doors open for seating at at 3:00 p.m.

  2. All students graduating should report at 9:00 a.m. or 3:00 p.m. on May 8 or 9, 2021, dependent upon your college's ceremony in full regalia to the Albany Civic Center for the commencement exercise, and lineup on the ground level, front entrance by the ticket office.
    • Signs showing candidate’s 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.
    • Immediately report any problems to the Marshals.
    • All guests must enter at the councourse, upper level. 
    • 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 announcer at the podium upon arrival on stage to receive the degree. Each candidate walks across the stage, receives the medallion and diploma cover, has their photo taken, 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. The facilities must be cleaned and sanitized prior to the start of the next ceremony.