More than 7,000 students are eligible to take part in the 51st annual George Mason University Spring Commencement and College/School Degree Celebrations on Friday, May 18 at 10 a.m. in EagleBank Arena on the Fairfax campus.
As part of the graduation festivities, each school or college also holds a special Degree Celebration for its graduates. Graduates are encouraged to attend both the official University Commencement and their individual college/school Degree Celebration. Degree Celebrations may include a procession of graduates and faculty, an invited guest speaker, a student speaker, musical pieces, and the reading of the graduates’ names as they cross the stage. Most ceremonies, including Commencement, last approximately two hours.
A complete list of all the ceremonies along with detailed event information may be found at gmu.edu/graduation.
Commencement is open to all Spring 2018 graduates, as well as undergraduate and master’s Summer 2018 graduation applicants who expect to complete all degree requirements. Summer 2018 doctoral graduates will participate in the Winter 2018 Graduation.
Guest tickets are not needed for the Commencement ceremony. Seating is open and available on a general admission basis. Doors open at 9 a.m.
Parking lots on campus during the ceremonies are open and free for guest parking. Accessible and special-assistance parking is available in Lot A which is adjacent to EagleBank Arena’s south entrance.
Graduates are requested to arrive promptly at 8:30 a.m. at Wilkins Plaza, near the George Mason statue, for assembly on May 18. There, faculty marshals will guide them to their place in the formal university processional line. Members of the Alumni Association will welcome graduates with tokens in honor of their soon-to-be alumni status. The festive atmosphere includes light morning refreshments, music, and a visit by President Cabrera. As the processional passes the George Mason statue, degree candidates traditionally rub George’s toe for good luck. After the ceremony, it is a tradition to return to the statue for a photo in cap and gown.
Commencement at Mason is a traditional ceremony where graduates and faculty wear academic regalia. Bachelor degree candidates wear a green mortarboard style cap and gown and may add a green tassel to the mortarboard. Master degree candidates also wear a master’s hood that denotes by color the different fields of study.
Regalia, personalized announcements, college rings, diploma frames, mugs and other mementos are available at the University Bookstore. Undergraduate students who have earned honors status will be notified by the Registrar’s Office via email. Those students may wear Mason honor cords, also available at the University Bookstore, to all graduation events.
As part of the college/school Degree Celebrations, graduates cross the stage and receive a “stage” diploma. Actual diplomas are mailed to the address designated by the graduate during the online graduation application process. Diplomas are mailed within five to seven weeks following degree conferral.
Graduation is a special time for both graduates and their families. For more information regarding your graduate’s transition from Mason, call 703.993.2853 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.