Commencement

Congratulations graduates! You made it — and we couldn't be more proud of your accomplishments. 

students graduate from Dominican University

Here you will find everything you and your family need to about Commencement, including how to prepare and what to expect on the big day.  

Getting Ready

Everything you need to know to prepare for the big day.


2020 Commencement 

  • Virtual Celebration — May 16
  • Campus Ceremony — TBD

We are committed to making sure that the graduates of 2020 receive recognition for their work, and a chance to celebrate with our community.

This year will offer two events rather than one — a virtual celebration on May 16, and, for those who are able to attend, an in-person event next fall. More information for students will be available in the coming weeks.

Please contact the Office of the Registrar for an application to graduate, graduate readiness notification (audit status), information about collecting special honors medallions and department honors cords, and information about receiving your diploma by mail. 

Each year, a graduating senior is chosen to deliver the senior class address to the class. Typically, this speech serves as a collective reflection of everyone’s shared Dominican experience, and also offers words of wisdom or motivation to the graduates as they prepare for future endeavors.

If you are interested in applying, please follow steps below:

  1. Applicants must submit their proposed speech in writing. This speech should be typewritten, double-spaced, 12-point font, and should be no longer than three pages.
  2. A committee of faculty, staff, and students will review all of the written speeches for content and message.
  3. Once reviewed, select finalists may be asked to deliver their speech to the committee. Speeches will be delivered in a large venue (ex: Angelico Hall) and the finalists will be evaluated on articulation, presence, and presentation.
  4. Of the finalists, one student will be selected by the committee to deliver the senior class address. That individual will work with select Dominican faculty and staff in refining the speech in preparation for commencement.

Apply Now

 Please note: Applications are due by April 3. 

Students have the opportunity to view and purchase regalia packages, order personalized announcements and/or class jewelry, and enter the Bookstore raffle for an opportunity to win prizes.

Fall Event Dates TBD

 

The regalia package (gown, hood, and mortarboard) will be available for purchase in the Bookstore

The Bookstore is the official vendor for academic regalia packages. Students may purchase regalia at Graduation Fair or through the remainder of the term during the Bookstore’s regular hours. 

Please note: The University does not loans gowns or hoods.

Fall Event Dates TBD

Come to Bertrand Hall to see friends, enjoy refreshments and pick-up your tickets for your Commencement ceremony guests. Students receiving Latin honors and/or departmental honors will also be able to pick up their medallions and cords.

You will also join Alumni Relations who will welcome you to the Dominican Alumni Association, along with presenting you with your Alumni welcome gift. 

Tickets

Each graduating student will receive a limited number of guest tickets for preferred seating (under the tent).

Guests without tickets may attend, but will not have access to preferred seating. Graduating students do not need a ticket in order to participate in the ceremony. 

Important Details

  • Please bring your student ID. It is required to receive tickets. 
  • In order to pick up your tickets, you must have a clear business account (no balance) and have complied with any outstanding issues or missing documents per your degree audit. 

Dominican has partnered with Herff-Jones to create graduation announcements and class rings. Herff-Jones will contact you with ordering instructions sometime before mid-March or you can also order/purchase announcements at the Bookstore. Sales dates and times will be announced here as soon as they're available.  

Fall Event Dates TBD

Check in at the Conlan Rec Center by picking up your name card at the table for your respective school.

From Angelico, you will walk the processional route to the tent where the ceremony will be held. At the tent, you will be given a brief overview of the ceremony, as well as instructions for how to walk up to, and across, the stage when receiving the diploma.

You are encouraged to dress appropriately for rehearsal as you will go to the President’s Reception immediately afterward.

Graduates and Undergraduates are invited to celebrate the upcoming commencement ceremony with President Marcy. Student awards will be presented at this event. This event will be held at the home of President Marcy. 

Fall Event Dates TBD

The annual Baccalaureate Mass will be held in Angelico Hall and will be followed by a brunch in Caleruega Dining Hall. This service is open to all students of any faith, and is a prayerful celebration of the accomplishments of our graduating seniors. 

Fall Event Dates TBD

On the Day

  • Please meet at Conlan Center between 8-9 a.m. 
  • Come fully dressed in academic regalia (gown, hood, and mortarboard) and pick up a card with your name on it at one of four tables, organized by school.
  • Line according to the school in which you are enrolled. Students do not have to march in alphabetical order, but they do have to march with their school. 

After you enter the tent, please be seated. When your school is called to receive your diploma, you will hand your card to the speaker, who will read your name as you walk across the stage to collect your diploma. If your name may be difficult to pronounce, please be sure it is written phonetically on your card. The ceremony should last about two hours. 

Enjoy this time to say farewell to friends, faculty and staff. 

12:15-3 p.m. 
Caleruega Dining Hall

Frequently Asked Questions

Commencement will be held inside a tent which will be set up on a field near the Conlan Recreation Center. Please remind your guests to be prepared for any weather, including bright sun and/or rain. There is first-come, first-served guest seating provided inside the tent, with additional seating provided outside on the grass. 

We encourage your guests to carpool or take public transportation as parking in the area will be very difficult. 

  • Graduating seniors may park in the residence hall parking lots. 
  • All other on-campus parking is reserved for staff, faculty and trustees. 
  • Guests may park in the Conlan Rec Center parking lot (space is limited.)
  • We discourage guests from parking in the immediate neighborhood as a courtesy to our campus neighbors. 

There are few handicapped spaces available, but please note — the San Rafael Police Department will strictly enforce parking regulations, including the monitoring of handicapped parking spaces. If you have a guest who is handicapped, it might be best to have someone drop that guest off near Conlan Recreation Center. Also, if the person has trouble walking, consider a wheelchair for this occasion. Some special seating for handicapped persons on a first-come, first served basis.

Because of high demand for sign language interpreters, we must confirm if an interpreter will be needed as soon as
possible. Please let us know by March 1 if an interpreter is needed by emailing commencement@dominican.edu.

To request accommodations for disabilities and hearing impairments, including ASL, please contact accessibility@dominican.edu

The commencement ceremony begins at 10 a.m. and should end between noon and 12:30 p.m. Please be advised to arrive early, as the ceremony will start on time and there are only a limited amount of seats located inside the tent. 

Yes.  Each student will receive four tickets for seating under the tent. Additional family and friends are invited to bring their own seats and sit outside of the tent on the lawn.

We encourage your guests to arrive prior to 9:30 a.m. to ensure they find an available seat. Gates will open at 8:30 a.m. At 9:30 a.m., any open seats will be made available for general admission. 

To request accommodations for disabilities and hearing impairments, including ASL, please contact accessibility@dominican.edu

 

Unfortunately we cannot guarantee a seat for every guest. We recommend arriving early, especially if your guest requires a seat in our disabled section, as these tend to fill up quite quickly. "Saving" blocks of seats for guests arriving late is not allowed. 

A professional photographer will be at Commencement, shooting both candid and posed photographs of the graduates. Only the official Dominican photographer will be allowed inside the roped-off areas to capture the event. The photographer will take a photo
of every student as they receive their diploma from President Marcy.

We do not allow guests to leave their seats or block aisles to take photos. 

There is no requirement to attend the Commencement ceremony. Of course, we would like you there but there is no mandate to participate in the ceremony if you choose not to do so.

Unpredictable! Some years, it can be over 100°, and other years (like in 2019) it can be 55° and pouring rain. Remind your guests to dress comfortably for the projected weather.

Because the event is on the grass field, it is wise to wear flat/comfortable shoes. If sun is forecast; bring water to drink and wear sunscreen. If rain is forecast; plan on getting very wet. Guests who lack the stamina to sit outdoors through a long ceremony should consider their health before committing to attend.

When you cross the stage, you will receive a diploma cover with a letter inside stating that your diploma will be mailed to you in late summer.

Please make sure the Office of the Registrar has your correct (non-campus) mailing address.

Please book accommodations (hotels or home-stay sites) as soon as possible. There are often competing events that take place in/around Marin the same weekend as Commencement.

If you have specific questions or need additional information or clarification, please contact the appropriate office/department listed below:

Academic regalia, graduation announcements, memorabilia, Dominican apparel Campus Bookstore
Application to graduate, graduate readiness notification, honors medallions and cords, diploma information Office of the Registrar
Senior speaker, outstanding student award, Veritas Cup, commencement rehearsal Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Request for accommodations
at commencement
Accessibility and Disability Services

For More Information