General Studies Commencement Information for 2021 Graduates
Which ceremony you should attend
There are two ceremonies that our graduates are invited to participate in.
- The first is a campus-wide convocation ceremony to take place in the Vaught-Hemingway football stadium at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 1st. This is a ceremony for graduates from all UM schools/degree programs and their guests. It usually lasts a little over an hour. According to the schedule, if there is inclement weather, this ceremony will not take place as there is no building large enough to accommodate the expected number of attendees.
- The second ceremony you are invited to take part in is just for graduates from our degree programs. This is the ceremony where graduates are recognized individually and are called to walk across the stage and receive their diploma cover from the dean. Any student graduating with a degree in Multi-Disciplinary Studies or University Studies would attend one of the ceremonies for “General Studies” (that is the title of our academic unit, under which we have multiple academic programs). Our General Studies ceremony will take place on Saturday, May 1st in the Tad Smith Coliseum and is split this year into two separate groups. The 4:00 p.m. ceremony (General Studies—Part I) is for our graduates with last names beginning with the letters A-L. Our 7:00 p.m. ceremony (General Studies—Part II) is for our graduates with last names beginning with the letters M-Z. You MUST attend your assigned ceremony or there will not be a seat designated for you or your guests.
Number of guests you can invite
Our graduates can invite up to 8 guests. Children 2 and under do not need a ticket but must sit on an adult’s lap. Children 3 and over must have a ticket.
Reserving your tickets
You can reserve your tickets on the UM commencement website. You will need to look under General Studies and select your assigned ceremony. Tickets are in “pods” of 4. You can reserve up to 2 pods of 4.
Cap and gown information
Cap and gown information is on the UM commencement website.
Reader card pickup
This is the card that you will hand to the reader at the podium when it is your turn to cross the stage. You are encouraged to pick up your card prior to commencement and bring it with you, if at all possible. Dates, times, and locations for picking up reader cards are below.
Reader card/honor cord distribution—May and August 2021 grads*
|Oxford campus||Jackson Avenue Center
(enter main doors to Jackson Ave Center East, walk straight back to atrium, and go to welcome center window on the right)
|Monday, April 26, through Friday, April 30
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
|Tupelo campus||Front office||Monday, April 26, through Thursday, April 29
8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
|Grenada campus||Main office||Thursday, April 22 from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Monday, April 26 from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Tuesday, April 27 from 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Wednesday, April 28 from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Thursday, April 29 from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
If you come before 2:00 p.m., dial 662-227-2348. If you come after 2:00 p.m., dial 662-227-2388.
NOTE: You will NOT be able to pick up on Fridays.
|Booneville campus||Main office||Monday, April 26 from 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Tuesday, April 27 from 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday, April 28 from 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Thursday, April 29 from 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
|Southaven campus||Main office||Tuesday, April 27 from 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 pm|
*NOTE: December 2020 grads will have their cards mailed to them.
Should you lose your reader card or forget to bring it, we will have a duplicate card available for you when you check in at the Tad Smith Coliseum. Please be sure to fill in the requested information on the back of the card. This is for the photographers to be able to send you proofs a few days after the ceremony.
Students currently eligible for Latin honors have been submitted to the Office of the Registrar for listing of those honors in the university’s commencement program booklet. If you have Latin honors (Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude or Summa Cum Laude on your reader card), you will be given a gold honor cord when you pick up your reader card. Please note the university’s requirements for Latin honors in the current catalog. Some of our graduates who do not currently qualify for Latin honors based on their current GPA may qualify once the degree has been completed. If that is the case, then the Latin honors will be marked on the UM transcript.
Masks covering mouth and nose will be required to enter the Tad Smith Coliseum and must be worn throughout the ceremony.
Parking for the General Studies ceremony
If bringing their own separate vehicle, graduates are encouraged to park in the lots surrounding the Robert C. Khayat Law Center (see UM map). Guest parking will be available in all lots surrounding the Tad Smith Coliseum.
Checking in at the General Studies ceremony
Arrival time: You should arrive at the Tad Smith Coliseum no more than 1 hour prior to your ceremony and no less than 30 minutes prior to your ceremony.
Entering the Tad Smith Coliseum: Graduates should enter on the East side of the Tad Smith Coliseum through the roll-up door entrance located below door 3. There will be a large white tent outside of the roll-up door for graduates to enter and check in before proceeding to the floor. Only graduates will be allowed onto the floor level.
Check-in tables: We will have tables set up in the graduate entry area where you can pick up your reader card if you didn’t get it earlier or forgot to bring it with you. You will also be able to pick up your Latin honor cord if you didn’t pick it up earlier.
Arrival time: Guests should arrive at the Tad Smith Coliseum no more than 1 hour prior to the ceremony.
Ticket scanners for guests will be at main entrances to the Tad Smith Coliseum.
There will be no processional. Graduates will be directed to a seating area in front of the stage and can sit anywhere in the rows designated for their degree program (University Studies in the front and Multi-Disciplinary Studies in the rows behind them). You do not need to sit in alphabetical order but must fill in the seats for your degree program.
Your turn on the stage
- Our staff will guide students to the stage one row at a time, starting from the back.
- Bring your reader card with you and hand it to the reader at the podium when it is your turn to be announced.
- If your name is often mispronounced, be sure to lean over and whisper the correct pronunciation to the reader when you hand her the card.
- The dean will hand you your diploma cover but will not be shaking hands.
- When you exit the stage, you will be directed to exit the building through the same door in which you entered. There will be a photo backdrop as you exit where the photographers will take a photo of you without your mask.
- Your guests will exit at the front of the building after you have walked across the stage.
You will meet up with your guests at the front of the coliseum.
- There will be a photo backdrop for you to take pictures and a Penske truck in which you will deposit your rental attire.
- Please take your photos quickly and then depart to help maintain social distancing outside the building and to alleviate traffic/parking for the ceremony that will follow yours.