Commencement - Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some answers to typical questions that graduates or visitors may have about Commencement.
- When is Commencement?
The 2013 Shaw University Commencement Exercise will be held on Saturday, May 11, 2013 (11:00 AM) in the Dorton Arena at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds (1025 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607).
- What time should graduates arrive?
Graduates should arrive at 8:30 AM for the Commencement Exercise.
- What time should my guests arrive?
We recommend that you arrive early to allow time for traffic and parking. The lots will open approximately two (2) hours prior to the start of the ceremony and doors to the arena will open at that time as well.
- How do I order my cap and gown?
You may order your cap and gown, as well as additional graduation products from the Herff Jones website. The cost of the cap and gown are included in your graduation fee. Please remember that the deadline to order all graduation items is March 25, 2013 by 11:59 PM on the Herff Jones website.
- What should I wear under my cap and gown?
Appropriate business attire should be worn beneath the regalia and you should wear black shoes that you feel comfortable walking across stage in. Those persons who are not dressed properly will be asked to leave the assembly area and will not be allowed to participate in the ceremony.
Note: If you do not have proper academic regalia, you cannot participate in the Baccalaureate and Commencement ceremonies. If you already have a cap and gown, you must obtain approval by April 25 to wear them from appropriate staff in the Shaw University Bookstore.
- Can I wear cords and medallions with my cap and gown?
Graduation cords can be worn at Commencement if they represent high academic achievement and not simply membership in a student organization, athletic team, or fraternity/sorority.
- Will there be handicap parking?
Handicapped parking for individuals with valid, state-issued handicapped permits/plates will be available in the parking lots surrounding the Dorton Arena.
- Can my family bring signs or noisemakers to cheer for me?
NO. The Commencement ceremony is a traditional academic ritual. This means: no signs, no fireworks, no bottles, no beach balls, no cans, no noisemakers, etc.
- Who is the University Commencement Speaker?
The Office of the President will announce the Commencement speaker in the near future.
- Will a photographer be on hand to take individual pictures as the diploma is received?
Yes, a photographer will be on hand taking pictures as graduates walk across the stage. Additional details for ordering those pictures will be made available on the website.
- May I participate in the Commencement Exercise although I have an outstanding account balance at the institution?
No. Only students who have completed the Graduation Clearance Process (which includes clearing all outstanding balances) will be allowed to participate in the Commencement Exercise.
- May I participate in the Commencement Exercise if I am scheduled to complete coursework after May 2013?
No. Only students who have completed the Graduation Clearance Process (which includes a final degree audit) will be allowed to participate in the Commencement Exercise.
- Do my guests need a ticket to attend the ceremony?
No, the Shaw University Commencement Exercise is not ticketed; however, ample seating is available on a first-come, first-seated basis.
- What should I wear?
In order to walk in a commencement ceremony, you must wear a cap and gown designed especially for Shaw University by Herff Jones. Students not wearing the proper regalia will not be permitted to walk in the ceremony. Please click here for cap and gown ordering instructions.
- Where should my guests park for the Commencement ceremony?
Guests should enter through Gate 9 at the Dorton Arena for designated parking areas. Parking will be free for those attending the Commencement ceremony.
- What do I do with my purse during the ceremony?
Please leave all personal belongings with your guests or in your vehicle during the ceremony.
- How do I order graduation announcements?
You may purchase or order graduation announcements from Herff Jones. Herff Jones has created school-specific personalized announcements for Shaw University and you may order them through their website. Generic graduation announcements may also be purchased from the Shaw University Bookstore (Willie E. Gary Student Center, 919-546-8225). Remember it takes several weeks for personalized printing so order them well in advance.
- Must I participate in the commencement ceremony to receive my diploma?
No, participation in the commencement ceremony is not mandatory. If you wish to have your diploma package mailed to you, then you will need to contact the Registrar’s Office (919-546-8415).
- Will I receive a diploma if I did not apply for graduation?
ALL STUDENTS MUST APPLY TO GRADUATE in order to receive a diploma, regardless of whether you intend to participate in any commencement exercises.