For Students: Class of 2019

Congratulations to the Class of 2019! Learn about important details for your participation in Commencement.


Ticket Information

Tickets will be required for seating under the tent at the Commencement Ceremony. Each eligible degree candidate will be given 4 tickets for their guests. Tickets are free and will be available for pick up at the Ticket Pick-Up Party on May 7th, and in the Registrar's Office (Bertrand Hall) during regular business hours beginning May 8th until May 17th at noon. Tickets will not be available for pick up on the day of Commencement. Children over the age of 2 must have their own ticket. 

Schedule of Events


Thursday, March 21st and Saturday, March 23rd 

Grad Fair

Commencement regalia and accessories will be available for purchase in the Bookstore beginning Thursday, March 21, 2019; get a discount by purchasing your regalia package during Grad Fair.

At Grad Fair, graduates have the opportunity to enjoy complimentary refreshments, view and purchase regalia packages, view and/or order personalized announcements and class jewelry, and receive a complimentary sitting with diFranco Photography (complimentary proof included). Graduates may also enter the Bookstore raffle for an opportunity to win prizes (including a diploma frame).

New this year: view our lei options and place a fresh floral pre-order for Commencement. 

  • Thursday, March 21st, 2019 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

  • Saturday, March 23rd, 2019 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.


Commencement regalia will be available for purchase from the Bookstore through Friday, May 17th during regular hours; purchase early as sizes become limited closer to Commencement. For more details, visit

Please note: the University does not maintain regalia for students to borrow for use at Commencement.


A representative from Herff-Jones will be on campus during the Bookstore’s Grad Fair and select dates thereafter (see Bookstore for details) to provide information and answer questions about ordering personalized announcements and more.

Please note: the University does not provide a free announcement.

Tuesday, May 7th

3:30 - 5:30 p.m.

Ticket Pick-Up Party

Start the celebration early! Stop by the Bertrand Patio to see friends, enjoy refreshments and pick up your tickets for your Commencement ceremony guests. Students receiving Latin honors and/or departmental honors will be able to pick up their medallions and cords.

Alumni Relations will be on-site to welcome you to the Dominican Alumni Association. Collect your welcome gift and share your post-graduation contact information so we can stay in touch.

Important: 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. Your student ID is required. 
Thursday, May 16th  3:30 - 5:00 p.m.

Undergraduate Rehearsal


Check in at Angelico Hall by picking up their name cards at the table for their respective major/school. The President’s Reception will follow at 5:00 p.m.


5:006:30 p.m.

President's Reception


Graduating students (Graduate and Undergraduate) are invited to celebrate the Class of 2019 with President Marcy. Student awards will be presented at this event.

Note: this event is for graduating students only. 

Friday, May 17th

12:00 p.m.

Deadline to pick up Tickets

Commencement tickets will be available for pick-up in the Registrar's Office until 12 noon on Friday, May 17th. 

3:00 p.m.

Baccalaureate Mass

The annual Baccalaureate Mass will be held at St. Raphael's Church,1104 Fifth Avenue in downtown San Rafael. Students and families of all faiths are invited to attend this traditional ceremony honoring the graduates. Seniors interested in planning or ministering at the Mass must fill out this form

Saturday, May 18th

8:009:00 a.m.

Commencement Day

Undergraduates – Check in at Angelico Hall for Processional

Graduates - Check in at Meadowlands Driveway for Processional

Come dressed in academic regalia (gown, hood, and mortarboard) and pick up a card with your name on it at one of three tables, organized by school. Line up according to the school in which you are enrolled.

There are three schools: the School of Liberal Studies and Education; Barowsky School of Business; and the School of Health and Natural Sciences. Students do not have to march in alphabetical order, but they must march in their school. 

The procession will start promptly at 9:15 a.m.


10:00 a.m. Commencement Ceremony

The printed Convocation program will be on your seat. When your school is called, you will hand your card to the Vice President for Academic Affairs or the Dean at the podium, who will read your name. If your name is difficult to pronounce, please write it phonetically on your card.

The ceremony is expected to run 2 – 2 1/2 hours. Out of respect for all graduates, please remain seated until the conclusion of the ceremony.

Each graduate will receive 4 tickets for guest seating under the tent.

For those unable to attend in person, Penguin Radio will stream a live broadcast of the Commencement Ceremony. You are welcome to share the link in advance. 

12:15-3:15 p.m. Commencement BBQ

Enjoy a special lunch for graduates, families and friends on the beautiful Dominican campus. Advance Tickets are $18 per person ($12 for students with ID and children 12 and under).


Contact Information

For academic regalia, graduation announcements and memorabilia, contact the Bookstore at 415.485.3213.

For an application to graduate, graduate readiness notification (audit status), collect special honors medallions and department honors cords and diploma mailing information, contact the Registrar's Office at 415.458.3750 or  

For Senior Speaker or Outstanding Student Award information, contact Student Life at 415.482.1980.



Professional photographers will take your photo at Commencement as you cross the stage and shake the President's hand. This will happen quickly - be ready to smile! Ushers will guide you back to your seat.


Photographs will be available for complimentary download on this website in the weeks following Commencement. 

Formal Commencement portraits may be ordered at the Grad Fair on March 21st and March 23rd. See above for additional details. 


Senior Recognitions 

There are a number of traditional senior recognitions made during the Commencement ceremony. 

Senior Class Speaker
Nominations due April 5th 

Each year, one graduating senior is chosen to deliver the senior class address to their classmates. Typically, this speech serves as a collective reflection of everyone’s shared Dominican experience, and also offers words of wisdom or motivation to graduates as they prepare for future endeavors. Below is the application process for any student interested in delivering the senior class address.

  1. Applicants must submit their proposed speech in writing. This speech should be typed, double-spaced, 12-point font, and no longer than 3 pages.
  2. A committee of faculty, staff, and students will review all of the written speeches for content and message.
  3. Once reviewed, 3-5 finalists will be selected 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.

The senior speaker is someone who should represent all members of the senior class to their peers and to guests of the ceremony. If interested in applying, please submit your name and contact information, along with your typed speech, to by the date noted above.

The Veritas Cup
Nominations due April 5th

The Veritas Cup is presented annually to a graduating senior who has been “a friend of the class.” Veritas means “truth,” and the person chosen for this award is true to self and others. Frequently, those nominated are students who have worked hard for the class, have been inspirational, or have been leaders in their communities. Nominations for this award, including a statement of support for the nominee, should be submitted in writing to by the date noted above. Graduating seniors will vote for the nominee of their choice after the list of nominees is announced in late April. The award will be presented at Commencement.

The Outstanding Student Award
Nominations due April 5th

Each year at Commencement, a graduating senior receives the Outstanding Student Award. Graduating seniors, faculty, or staff may nominate ONE student for this award. Students should not seek nominations. Individuals submitting a nomination MUST include the reasons why they believe the individual should receive this award. Letters without detailed reasons will not be forwarded to the selection committee. In your nomination letter, please address how the nominee embodies and/or embraces the Dominican ideals of Study, Service, Community, and Reflection.

  • Study – how has the nominee embraced study or contributed to scholarship?
  • Service – how has the nominee served others or been a leader?
  • Community – how has the nominee contributed to the Dominican community?
  • Reflection – how does the nominee understand their place and the work they do?

To be eligible for the Outstanding Student Award, the graduating senior must have the following:

  • Have received at least 2 nominations (from 2 separate individuals) detailing the reasons for their selection;
  • Applied for and be eligible to participate in May 2019 Commencement; and
  • Have a minimum 3.4 cumulative GPA. 

A committee of faculty, staff, and students will review all nominees according to the above criteria. Those meeting the criteria will be notified in late April and will be asked to accept or decline the nomination. All accepting nominees will be asked to respond to a series of questions that will then be reviewed by the selection committee. The committee will then select a small group of finalists for interviews, and the recipient will be chosen from that small group. The winner of the Outstanding Student Award will be announced at Commencement.

Honor Medallions

Students graduating cum laude, magna cum laude, and summa cum laude will be notified via email with their Latin honors status.  Students receiving honors may pick up their honors medallions in the Registrar's Office beginning May 8th during regular business hours.

Departmental Honors

Students nominated and receiving Departmental Honors will be notified via email from the Registrar's Office.  Honors cords will be available for pick-up beginning May 8th in the Registrar's Office during regular business hours.

Frequently Asked Questions


Where does Commencement take place?

Is parking available?

How long does the Commencement ceremony last?

Do my guests need tickets for Commencement?

What is a Regalia Hood? 

What color hood should I buy? 

When should I reserve hotel rooms?

Medical Emergencies

Are there any restricted items and/or security requirements?

How do I order graduation announcements?

What if a guest needs disability accommodations?

Do I have to attend graduation?

When will I receive my official diploma? 


Where does Commencement take place? 

Commencement will be held for both Undergraduate and Graduate degree candidates inside a tent set up on the Forest Meadows Field. Seating will be limited under the tent and tickets for guests will be required. For all guests, we suggest wearing comfortable shoes, sunscreen, hats, and bringing water. The pathway to Forest Meadows Field is on a mix of paved, gravel and grass surfaces; guests with mobility concerns may wish to consider bringing a wheelchair or other assistive device.

Is parking available?

We encourage carpooling to campus for Commencement. Parking in the area will be very difficult on the morning of the ceremony. Guests may park ​in the 890 Belle Ave. Lot, 1475 Grand Ave. Lot, or on surface streets, however the campus core will be restricted to trustees and honorary guests, including the speaker invited by the President. Students graduating should park their cars near the Library, Edgehill Village, Pennafort Residence Hall, or in the lot behind Fanjeaux Residence Hall. Please note that San Rafael parking restrictions will be enforced, including no parking in red zones, driveways, etc. 

There are only a few wheelchair accessible spaces available in the Conlan lot. Cars parked there MUST display the appropriate permit or license plate – the SRPD will enforce parking regulations. 

How long does the commencement ceremony last?

The Commencement Ceremony begins at 10:00 a.m. and runs approximately 2 - 2 1/2 hours.

Do my guests need tickets for commencement?

Yes. Each graduate will receive 4 tickets for preferred seating under or near the tent. Children over the age of 2 must have their own ticket.  There will be additional seating on the lawn and in the bleachers located on the field outside the tent for guests who do not have a ticket.  Tickets will be available for pick-up at the Ticket Pick-Up Party on May 7th, and then in the Registrar's Office during regular hours from May 8th until May 17th at noon. 

What is a Regalia Hood?

The regalia hood is worn by Master's Degree Candidates. It is the garment that goes over your shoulders, and is black with a colorful trim. The color of the trim signifies the degree you are receiving. The colorful hood originated in twelfth-century Europe. At that time, a hood and cape were the daily dress for students, most of whom were preparing to be clergy. As colleges and universities added programs of study, each degree was designated by a distinct color. That tradition continues. 

What color hood should I buy? 

Color of Hoods  

Barowsky School of Business



Drab trim on the hood

School of Health and Natural Sciences

           Biology & Clinical Lab Science

           Occupational Therapy

           Counseling Psychology


Gold trim on the hood

Gold trim on the hood

Light blue trim on the hood

School of Liberal Arts and Education

           Humanities, Creative Writing



White trim on the hood

Light blue trim on the hood


When should I reserve hotel rooms?

We recommend booking your room(s) at a local hotel immediately. Oftentimes, there are major events taking place in the area the same day as Commencement. Consider inquiring if your hotel offers a shuttle service to campus. 

Medical Emergencies

Staff from the University Health Center will be available on the morning of Commencement. They will be stationed near the tent where the ceremony will take place. Guests who lack the stamina to sit through a 2 - 2 1/2 hour ceremony in the heat should be advised to consider their health status before attending the graduation ceremony.

Are there any restricted items and/or security requirements?

In the interest of all guests attending Commencement, the following items are strictly prohibited: 

-          Illegal drugs and alcohol

-          Firearms, weapons, explosives and other harmful items

-          Artificial noisemakers, air horns and megaphones

-          Beach umbrellas, poles, banners, large signs, flags or laser pointers

-          Animals (except licensed service animals)

-          Dominican is a smoke-free campus

The venue has the authority to prohibit any other items deemed to be distracting, disruptive, or a security risk. 

Please note: Balloons, strollers, and other objects that obscure the view and aisle will be placed in the back of the tent during the ceremony.

How do I order graduation announcements?

Herff-Jones sells graduation announcements, class rings, and graduation memorabilia, and will correspond directly with all students about ordering graduation announcements in March. A representative will be on campus for the Bookstore’s Grad Fair. Students decide if they want to order announcements through Herff-Jones, or print announcements personally or through a different vendor. Please note Dominican does not provide a free announcement. 

What if a guest needs disability accommodations?

Dominican University welcomes guests with disabilities. Reasonable accommodations are available for individuals with disabilities. For information related to reasonable accommodations, please contact

There are only a few wheelchair accessible spaces available in the Conlan lot. For those with physical and or mobility impairments, we recommend dropping off near the Conlan Recreation Center. The procession and pathway to Forest Meadows Field is on a mix of paved, gravel and grass surfaces; you may wish to consider bringing a wheelchair or other assistive device (the University does not provide wheelchairs). There will be some accessible seating available on a first come basis. 

Because of high demand for sign language interpreters at graduation time, the agency we work with has requested that we confirm if an interpreter will be needed, as that may keep another institution from obtaining ASL services. Please let us know by March 1st if an interpreter is needed by contacting

Do I have to attend graduation?

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.

When will I receive my official diploma? 

Official diplomas will be mailed by late September. Make sure that the Office of the Registrar has the correct address where you would like your diploma mailed. 

Additional information will be sent to your Dominican email account. Please check there and online regularly.