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Commencement 2020 FAQs

How many tickets can I get for Commencement and where do I get them?

While we wish to accommodate as many family members as possible, we have more than 400 graduates and limited seating under the tent. Every graduate who has expressed their intention to participate in Commencement will receive up to four tickets, and these must be picked up at the Commencement Fair, an event that will provide “one-stop shopping” for graduates. The dates and times of the Commencement Fair are as follows:

• Monday, 4/20 4:00 – 6:30pm SPS, Parsippany
• Tuesday, 4/21 4:00 – 7:00pm SAC, Seay Building Hackettstown
• Wednesday, 4/22 4:00 – 7:00pm SAC, Seay Building Hackettstown

Because we have a limited number of tickets, we ask each graduate to take only as many as needed. If you have only one, two or three family members attending, then please take only the tickets you need, which will help other graduates who have larger families.

At the Commencement Fair, graduates can sign up for additional tickets. We ask that graduates be reasonable in their requests. It is strongly recommended that students attend the Fair to get your name on this list!

The additional tickets will be distributed before the mandatory Commencement rehearsal in the Sitnik Theatre at 5:00pm on Tuesday, May 5. Since the rehearsal is a mandatory event for all graduates, the only exception to this arrangement will be for students travelling for Centenary-related events.

Graduates on the waiting list will be notified on or before April 25 if they will be getting extra tickets. However, waiting list tickets will only be available for pickup at the mandatory rehearsal on May 5.

If there are any tickets left after the Commencement rehearsal, we will distribute them to students needing more tickets.

Only ticketed guests will be allowed into the tent on Commencement day. Graduates are strongly encouraged to let their families know that the ceremony will be live-streamed in air-conditioned comfort in both the cafeteria and the Sitnik Theatre in the David and Carol Lackland Center, just a short distance away from the tents, so additional family members can comfortably and conveniently view the ceremony.

Lost or stolen tickets cannot be replaced, so please handle your tickets with care.

Where do I get my cap and gown?

Caps and gowns will be available for pickup, along with your four Commencement tickets, at the Commencement Fair. The dates and times of the Commencement Fair are as follows:

• Monday, 4/20 4:00 – 6:30pm SPS, Parsippany
• Tuesday, 4/21 4:00 – 7:00pm SAC, Seay Building Hackettstown
• Wednesday, 4/22 4:00 – 7:00pm SAC, Seay Building Hackettstown

Please keep in mind that your four Commencement tickets will only be available at the Commencement Fair.

If you cannot attend any day of the Commencement Fair, you can pick up your cap and gown from the Registrar’s office after April 23, and at SPS after April 20. No caps and gowns will be distributed on the morning of Commencement.

Can I get my cap and gown shipped to me?

No, we cannot ship any caps and gowns. The Commencement regalia will be available for pickup at the Commencement Fair in April (see details in question 1 above). It will also be available in the Registrar’s office in Seay Hall after April 23, or at SPS after April 20.

If you have already graduated and live out of state, or if you work nights and can’t make any of the scheduled evenings for the Commencement Fair, or the mandatory Commencement Rehearsal, please send an email explaining your special circumstances and your mailing address to Commencement@Centenaryuniversity.edu.

Can I get my four tickets mailed to me?

No, with one exception. We can mail tickets only if you have already graduated and live out of state or more than two hours away, and/or if you work nights and can’t make any of the scheduled evenings for the Commencement Fair, or the mandatory Commencement Rehearsal.

If you fit this description, please send an email explaining your special circumstances and your mailing address to Commencement@Centenaryuniversity.edu. Your tickets will be mailed the last week of April.

Where/how do I get my stoles and/or cords?

Please reach out to your organization regarding stoles or cords.

Can I have my roommate or a friend pick up my cap and gown?

Yes. If you would like to have someone else pick up your regalia, please send an email to Registrar@Centenaryuniversity.edu, telling us the name of the person (one name only) you are authorizing to do so. That person can pick up your cap and gown at the Commencement Fair, or at the Registrar’s Office after April 24. He or she will have to show their student ID and sign a form stating that they have received your cap and gown.

Can I have my roommate or a friend pick up my Commencement tickets?

No. Because we have limited tickets, only the graduates themselves can pick up or receive their Commencement tickets. They can be picked up at the Commencement Fair in April (see details in question 1 above) or at the mandatory Commencement Rehearsal on Tuesday, May 5.

Can I pick up my cap and gown on the day of Commencement?

No. Commencement regalia will be available for pickup at the Commencement Fair in April (see details in question 1 above). It will also be available in the Registrar’s office after April 23, or at SPS after April 20.

If you have already graduated and live out of state, or if you work nights and can’t make any of the scheduled evenings for the Commencement Fair, or the mandatory Commencement Rehearsal, please send an email explaining your special circumstances and your mailing address to Commencement@Centenaryuniversity.edu.

Where is Commencement being held?

The Commencement ceremony will be held, rain or shine, under a large tent on Anderson Field, which is directly behind Anderson Hall. This location has been chosen because it offers the greatest level of comfort and convenience to our graduates and their families, particularly those with disabilities or special needs. Anderson Field is adjacent to the David and Carol Lackland Center, which means much easier access to accessible bathrooms, parking, and the overflow viewing areas in the Lackland cafeteria and Sitnik Theatre.

Weather permitting, graduates will gather and robe in the courtyard in front of Seay Hall, so parents can get photos of their students at the front gates, by the fountain, or in front of the iconic gold dome. The graduates will process through the arbors and through the center of campus to the tent at Anderson field.

The tent will open for ticketed guests at 9:30am. Guests will not be permitted to save seats, and all ticketed guests must be seated in the tent no later than 10:45am. The Commencement procession begins in front of Seay Hall at 10:45 a.m. and will enter the tent at 11:00am sharp.

What time do I need to arrive?

The Baccalaureate service begins at 9:00am in the Sitnik Theatre in the David and Carol Lackland Center, and all graduates are encouraged to attend.

All graduates must check in between 9:00am and 10:00am in front of Seay Hall, so please go directly from the Baccalaureate to Seay Hall, with your Commencement regalia. Graduates will robe and check in at the Registrar’s table to receive their Reader Name Card, prior to lining up for the procession. The procession steps off at 10:45am sharp, and the ceremony begins at 11:00am

Please note the following important change this year: graduates will be lined up in alphabetical order, by degree. Centenary awards the following degrees:

  • Ed.D. Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership
  • M.Ed. Master of Education
  • MBA Master of Business Administration
  • MA Master of Arts
  • BFA Bachelor of Fine Arts
  • BSW Bachelor of Social Work
  • BA Bachelor of Arts
  • BS Bachelor of Science
  • AA Associate of Arts
  • AS Associate of Science

These are the groups you will line up with! Each group has a different color hood, so look for your group’s color. There will be a Registrar’s table with the Reader Name Cards for each group, and faculty marshals to assist the graduates. You must check in to receive your Reader Name Card! Please look for signage in the lineup area to find your degree group.

If you are graduating with multiple degrees, please line up with the group representing your highest degree earned.

What happens if it rains?

The Commencement ceremony will be held under the tent at Anderson Field, rain or shine. In the event of heavy rain, the graduates will gather, robe and line up in the Reeves gym instead of on the front lawn of Seay Hall. We will monitor the weather forecasts closely, and any weather-related changes will be announced on the Centenary website by 9:00pm on Friday, May 10, the night before Commencement.

How can I find out if I am academically eligible to graduate?

Only students who have already submitted Applications for Degree Conferral may participate in the commencement ceremony. If there are questions regarding a student’s academic eligibility they will be contacted by the Registrar’s Office.

Can I graduate if I still have an outstanding bill?

For billing questions, please call the Student Accounts Office at 908-852-1400, ext. 2245, or studentaccounts@centenaryuniversity.edu

My family member needs disability-related seating or special accommodations. How do I make arrangements for that?

There will be disability-related parking available in the Faculty/Staff parking lot, accessed from Plane Street. This will be for individuals who have made a prior request, present with a current medical need and/or have a disability parking placard.

To make a request for a disability-related accommodation for commencement, complete this form.

For additional information please contact Maureen Fallon at 908.852.1400, ext. 2429, or Maureen.fallon@Centenaryuniversity.edu.

Where can I park on the day of Commencement?

Parking will be available in multiple locations, but obviously the earlier you arrive, the easier it will be to park. The Commencement ceremony will take place under a large tent on Anderson Field, directly behind Anderson Hall. Parking will be available at:

  • The David and Carol Lackland Center parking lot, accessed from 3rd Avenue
  • The Hatchery Hill school, accessed from 5th Avenue
  • The side streets around the University (please heed all local signage and regulations)
  • Disability-related parking in the Faculty/Staff parking lot, accessed from Plane St. To make a request for a disability-related parking for commencement, complete this form.

We will have shuttle vans going from the Hatchery Hill school parking lot back and forth to Anderson Field, and the vans will also stop at the University’s front gates on Jefferson Street, to pick up and discharge passengers. The vans will run from 8:00am – 11:30am, then stop during the ceremony, and run again from 1:00pm – 2:30pm

What other events are going on during Commencement week?

Please see the Commencement pages on the Centenary University website for a full list of Commencement week activities and event details. Commencement week events include:

  • Commencement Rehearsal (mandatory for all graduates) on Tuesday, May 5
  • Alumni Welcome Reception immediately following the Commencement Rehearsal
  • Hooding Ceremony for graduate students on Wednesday, May 6
  • The President’s Ball on Thursday, May 7
  • Baccalaureate service on Saturday, May 9 at 9:00am, prior to Commencement

For information on the Hooding Ceremony, please contact the Graduate office at 908-852-1400, ext. 2073, or Sherri.Weiss01@centenaryuniversity.edu

For information on other events during Commencement week, please contact the Student Life office at 908.852.1400, ext. 4291, or Studentlife@Centenaryuniversity.edu.

I said I wasn’t going to participate, but I’ve changed my mind.

If you did not submit your Application for Degree Conferral form when it was due, we have not ordered a cap and gown for you, so unfortunately, it is too late to change your mind. If you have additional questions or concerns, please contact the Registrar’s office at 908-852-1400, ext. 2214, or registrar@centenaryuniversity.edu.

May I decorate my cap?

Yes, but please keep in mind this is a formal ceremony and we ask that all cap decorations be done respectfully and in good taste.