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Commencement Conduct Guidelines

You are required to read and comply to this information at Step 4.

Commencement is a time to celebrate and enjoy your accomplishments. However, it is, also, ceremonial. You are asked to honor the spirit of this important occasion by conducting yourself in a manner that is respectful of your guests, the guests of others, your fellow graduates, and you. It is your responsibility to speak to your guests to comply to the following guidelines. By participating and attending The University of Memphis Commencement ceremony you agree to observe the following guidelines:

Anyone in violation will be escorted out by Law Enforcement and participating student/graduate diploma and transcript (grades) withheld.

  • The use of Air Horns, Bull Horns, Cow bells and any disruptive Nosie makers is strictly prohibited.                                  
  • We want to specifically point out the following:
    • Guests and Graduates should NOT bring in Air Horns, Bull Horns, Cow Bells or any other disruptive Noise Makers.
    • These will be confiscated and not returned.
    • Guests and or graduates in violation by using the above or any other disruptions will be asked to leave immediately and escorted out by Law Enforcement. 
  • This is Commencement and it is a time of celebration. We want you to receive praise from your guests, but we want all students to receive praise and be able to hear their names as they go across the stage.
  • This is your Commencement, but it is also the Commencement of your peers. 
  • Excessive Yelling, Prolonged Screaming is unnecessary, unfair, and disruptive to your peers.
  • You want your name to be heard by your family and friends, and so do your peers.
    • As stated previously, speak to your guests in detail about NOT using Air Horns, Bull Horns, Cow Bells or any other disruptive Noise Makers and NO excessive and prolonged screaming, yelling, and cheering.
    • See above details for anyone in violation.
    • Please speak to guests about cheering too loudly. Ask guests to be respectful of other graduates’ names after your name is called.
    • Again,  ALL families/friends want to hear their graduate’s name called. Clapping and respectful cheering is allowed.
    • However, ask guests to refrain from yelling, screaming and lengthy cheering. Excessive yelling, screaming is disrespectful to your fellow graduates.
    • Hearing a graduates name is the moment everyone is waiting for. Think about how special this moment is for you. Your peer feels exactly the same
  • Be respectful of other graduates and the audience by staying in your seat before and after you receive your diploma and until those on the Commencement platform exit during the recessional.
  • Inappropriate behavior for this occasion includes, but is not limited to, taking of selfies while on the Commencement platform, pranks, stepping or dancing of any kind, and/or vocal or visual disruptions.
  • Use of any noise maker, including whistles and air horns is strictly prohibited.
  • Cell phones are permitted, but out of courtesy for other participants, students should silence their phone, not use them during the formal speaking portions of the ceremony and should not use them while receiving their diploma on stage.
  • The use and/or possession of alcohol or drugs is strictly prohibited.
  • For your safety and the safety of others, please do not toss any objects in the air during the ceremony.
  • All provisions of the University of Memphis Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities apply to Commencement ceremonies.  
  • The University expects to conduct a meaningful, dignified ceremony. Disorderly and/or disruptive conduct, including, but not limited to the examples provided above, may be grounds for immediate ejection, and may result in your diploma and/or transcript being retained by the University.
  • Attendees must stay for the duration.
  • We cannot and do not hold personal items. Please bring the items you need only.
  • No guests are allowed on the Event Floor at any time.
  • In the wake of COVID-19, any guidelines set by the facility or Health Officials must be followed by all graduating participants and that of their guests.
  • If you have any questions about filling this online form, please contact the Commencement Office by emailing us at commencement@memphis.edu.