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Convocation FAQs

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

What is convocation? How is it different from commencement?

Commencement is the university-wide graduation ceremony for graduates where degrees are conferred by the president.

"Convocation" is the term describing individual departmental or school ceremonies. These smaller ceremonies are dubbed "convocation" to avoid confusion with the university-wide commencement ceremony. A+D's convocation ceremony is scheduled so as not to conflict with the commencement ceremony; thus, you and your guests may attend both ceremonies.

Do I have to be graduating in spring 2020 in order to be eligible to attend the A+D convocation?

Not necessarily. PhD candidates need to have finished all graduation requirements (including the dissertation deposit for PhD students) in order to attend the A+D convocation. However, EdM/MA/MFA degree candidates are eligible to attend the A+D convocation ceremony while they have a maximum of 8 hours of unfinished coursework left (and/or a thesis deposit). BFA candidates may participate in the A+D convocation if they are graduating in May, August, or December 2020.

Does registration for graduation automatically register the student for the A+D convocation, and vice versa?

No. The commencement registration is completely separate from the convocation ceremony registration. Each event has its own registration process.

Why do we need tickets for the A+D convocation ceremony?

Graduating students who are participating in the ceremony do not need tickets. However, your family and guests (including babies) do. Foellinger Auditorium, where convocation will be held, requires tickets to all its events. However, tickets are free.

Five tickets are guaranteed if you pick them up by Monday, April 27. Additional tickets may be picked up on a first-come, first-served basis beginning Wednesday, April 29. A+D makes every effort to ensure that each student is able to get the tickets they need and that no guest is turned away. But please pick them up during regular business hours; they will not be available after hours or on weekends.

Both my parents and I received the convocation ceremony form. Who should complete it?

Either you or your family may complete the convocation ceremony form. We send a hard copy of the form to both families and students so that everyone has the same information. We encourage students, however, to consult with their family about their plans and complete the form themselves. We would prefer that you use the online version, but either one is acceptable. Either way, the form is due on Friday, April 17.

Why do we need to complete the convocation ceremony form?

The school needs to know who is participating in the ceremony to ensure that you will have a seat with your program on the stage and to list you in the printed program. Students who have not submitted a form may be omitted from the printed program and will be seated out of order, space permitting. We do not wish to disappoint family and guests by omitting a student’s name from the program. Graduates seated out of order may have to squeeze by their fellow students when their name is called. This detracts from everyone’s enjoyment of the ceremony.

Do I have to RSVP for the reception after the A+D convocation? Are tickets required?

You do not have to RSVP for the after-convocation reception, which will occur in the Link Gallery (which connects the A+D building and Krannert Art Museum) immediately after the ceremony; however, we encourage you to RSVP. The reception is a relatively unstructured event that allows students and their guests the opportunity to mingle with fellow students, faculty, and staff and view the BFA exhibits.

What about graduation attire—when and where do I order it?

Academic regalia must be ordered through Herff Jones, either online or in person, at select dates listed on the commencement website. The order deadline is Wednesday, April 29. Order by April 16 to take advantage of the early order discount and/or to have your attire shipped to you. A+D does not determine these dates, so you should consult the commencement website for up-to-date deadlines and procedures and for additional information.

How do I get on stage?

Please arrive promptly at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 17, for procession instructions at the Foreign Language Building, 707 S. Mathews Ave., Urbana, IL. Enter from Mathews and look for directional signs/A+D faculty. From there, you will walk/proceed to Foellinger Auditorium. Your name will be printed on a card placed on your seat. Seating will be by program in alphabetical order.

Useful Dates and Deadlines

Thursday, April 16: Early order discount for regalia.

Friday, April 17: Convocation ceremony forms due to A+D.

Thursday, April 23: Deadline to register for the university-wide commencement ceremony.

Monday, April 27: Last day for graduates to pick up guaranteed five convocation tickets from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. in room 132 A+D.

Wednesday, April 29: Regalia orders due to Herff Jones per instructions.

Wednesday, April 29: Graduates may pick up extra tickets on a first-come, first-served basis.

Saturday, May 16, 9:30 a.m.: University-wide commencement ceremony, Memorial Stadium.

Sunday, May 17, 12:00 p.m. (sharp): Graduates arrive at Foreign Language Building, 707 S. Mathews Ave., Urbana, IL.

Sunday, May 17, 1:00 p.m.: A+D convocation ceremony, followed by reception in Link Gallery.

Useful Links


Order regalia from Herff Jones

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