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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the date for this year’s Commencement?

May 8, 2017

Is a rehearsal held for Commencement?

There is no rehearsal for Commencement.

How does my name appear in the Commencement Program?

In order for your name to appear in the Commencement Program, the graduate must complete an “Application for Graduation” form. This form can be obtained from your school office. This form must be completed prior to March 1 in order for your name to appear in the program.

What time is Commencement held?

6:45 p.m. at Freedom Hall in Louisville, KY. This is the time the procession will begin. We ask that you please tell your guests to be in their seats by 6:45 pm.

Do I have to wear a cap and gown to participate in the ceremony?

Yes, you must rent a cap and gown from Herff Jones to participate in the ceremony.

Can I rent a cap and gown from another company?

No, IU has an exclusive contract with Herff Jones regarding cap and gown rental.

Can I get just the cap - I am going to use my brother/sister's gown from another school?" "I have my gown from high school. Why can't I just wear that?"

No. All candidates for degrees must wear custom IU regalia/apparel at Commencement. Students rent their apparel and return it after the ceremony. Graduates keep their caps, tassels, and stoles of gratitude. There are no exceptions to these official ceremony requirements.

Do we need black or red tassels? I borrowed a gown from someone who graduated from another school?

Tassels are NOT all black/red/white but are based on the school from which a student graduates. All candidates for degrees must wear custom IU regalia/apparel at Commencement. Students rent their apparel and return it after the ceremony. Graduates keep their caps, tassels, and stoles of gratitude. There are no exceptions to these official ceremony requirements.

How do I rent a cap and gown?

Visit the Commencement homepage, or go directly to the Herff Jones website.

Is there “early-bird” pricing on ordering a cap and gown?

Yes, orders placed before March 21, 2016 will receive a discounted price. Late fees will be incorporated into the prices charged for orders placed after March 21, 2016.

What is the last day to order cap and gown?

All orders must be received by March 28, 2016. However, the IU Southeast Bookstore will have a very LIMITED number of extra cap and gowns available for rental purposes. You can contact them at (812) 941-2250.

Where can I pick up my cap and gown?

Caps and gowns can be picked up on campus at the IU Southeast Bookstore on May 2 – 6, 2016.

Can I wear a gown which has been borrowed?

No, IU Southeast exclusively utilizes caps and gowns which have been specifically designed by Herff Jones with IU colors and insignia. You will not be allowed to participate in the ceremony without a Herff Jones gown.

Can I keep my cap and gown?

No. Rental gowns must be returned the day of commencement. If a graduate does not return their gown, they will be fined $600 and their university record may be placed on hold.

After the Commencement ceremony is completed, where do I return my gown?

Gowns should be returned to the North Wing. We will have several volunteers located in this location to accept your gown.

I am graduating with a Master’s degree, do I get to keep my hood?

No, you must return your hood along with your gown after Commencement.

Do I get to keep my hat and/or tassel and stole?

Yes, if you are receiving an Associates or Bachelor’s degree, you can keep your hat, tassel and stole. However, if you are receiving your Master’s degree, you only get to keep your cap and tassel. You must return your gown and hood.

Will I need tickets for the Commencement ceremony for my guests?

No, the Freedom Hall seats 19,000 so we should have plenty of space for everyone.

Is there reserved seating at Commencement?

There is no reserved seating. Seating is first come, first serve.

Will there be reserved seating for guests with disabilities?

While seating will be reserved for guests in wheelchairs and with mobility issues, due to the age of Freedom Hall, this seating will be very limited. Guests needing this type of seating should find a member of the Venue Services Staff (dressed in light blue shirts) for further direction to reserved seating area.

What if my guests cannot attend?

Your friends and family can still watch the commencement ceremony via a live feed. A link to a live stream of the ceremony can be found at www.ius.edu on May 9th.

Is there a reception after the Commencement ceremonies?

No, but we will have a pre-commencement party on April 30, from 1 – 4 p.m. on the IU Southeast Campus at the Horseshoe Foundation Amphitheater for all 2016 IUS graduates and their closest family members. The campus will provide free food and entertainment by the Louisville Crashers. Please rsvp at www.ius.edu/bash by April 22 so we can plan the food accordingly.

Do I receive my actual diploma at the Commencement ceremony?

No, you will receive a red IU diploma cover at the ceremony which can be utilized to store your diploma. Your diploma will be mailed to you.

Will professional photos be available?

Yes, professional photos will be available for purchase. A professional photographer (GradImages) will be taking photos of graduates as they accept their diploma on stage. GradImages will contact you about obtaining a proof of the photo and ordering information a few weeks after Commencement.

How long does the Commencement ceremony last?

As a rule of thumb, the Commencement ceremony is usually a couple of hours in length. Please note that this is our best guess. Time frame will vary depending upon the number of participating graduates.

Where do I park?

19,000 Parking spaces are available around Freedom Hall.

Where is handicapped parking?

Freedom Hall has several spaces designated for handicapped parking.

If I forget to rent a cap and gown, how can I rent one?

Contact the IU Southeast Bookstore IMMEDIATELY at (812) 941-2250. They will have a very LIMITED number of extra cap and gowns available for rental purposes.

How do I order a class ring?

Class rings can be ordered online at www.herffjones.com/college/IU.

Can I purchase an extra tassel and/or stole?

Yes, extra tassels and stoles will be available for purchase during cap and gown pick-up at the IU Southeast Bookstore.

Where do I get my honor cords?

Honor cords are presented to students at the Academic Honors Convocation on Sunday, May 8. If a student is unable to attend the convocation, cords can be picked up in the Office of the Registrar, UC 107 or at the commencement site.

Which honor cords can I wear?

Honor Cords

Students who have been tentatively selected to receive their degrees with honors are entitled to wear cords pinned to the left shoulder of their gowns during the Commencement ceremony. Cream and crimson cords indicate highest distinction, cream cords indicate high distinction, and crimson cords indicate distinction. Cords are provided by the university.

The appropriate recognition is recorded on the individual’s diploma as a permanent testimonial to achievement.

Honor Cords for Veterans and Service People
Graduating students who have served or are currently serving in the military wear red, white, and blue cords.

Honor Cords for Honor Societies
Currently, IU Southeast recognizes 16 honor societies that are active and in good standing. Graduating students who are members of these societies are eligible to wear cords representing their societies.

Alpha Chi — national honor society for juniors and seniors.
Cord color is gold.

Alpha Psi Omega — theater honor society.
Cord colors are light blue and amber.

Beta Gamma Sigma — business honor society.
Cord colors are light gold and blue.

Chi Alpha Epsilon — leadership honor society.
Cord colors are blue and white.

Gamma Theta Upsilon — national geography honor society.
Cord colors are gold, blue, and brown.

Kappa Delta Pi — education honor society.
Cord colors are purple and green.

National Society of Leadership and Success — national leadership honor society.
Cord colors are black and platinum.

Omicron Delta Kappa — national leadership honor society.
Cord colors are black, white, and blue.

Phi Delta Kappa — education honor society.
Cord colors are red and white.

Phi Eta Sigma — national freshman honor society.
Cord colors are gold and black.

Pi Lambda Theta — education honor society.
Cord color is gold.

Pinnacle — honor society for nontraditional students.
Members wear the society’s pin.

Psi Chi — national psychology honor society.
Cord colors are blue and gold.

Sigma Delta Pi — Hispanic honor society.
Cord colors are red and gold, with a badge.

Sigma Theta Tau — national nursing honor society.
Cord colors are orchid and white.

Tau Sigma — honor society for transfer students.
Cord colors are maroon and gold.

I have the wrong tassel color, what do I do?

Contact the IU Southeast Bookstore (812) 941-2450 for assistance.

How do I get to the Kentucky Exposition Center?

From I-65 Northbound:

Exit at the Fair/Expo Center (Exit 131B) and follow the signs to Gate 1, the main entrance.

From I-65 Southbound:

Take the Exit 132 to Crittenden Drive and merge to the far left after passing through the first stoplight. Gate 4 to the Fair/Expo Center will be directly on the left after the Cracker Barrel restaurant. Or continue along Crittenden Drive to Gates 3 and 2, which will be on the left. To enter Gate 1 (the main entrance), go past Exit 132 and continue to Exit 131B approximately ¼ mile down I-65. Follow the Fair/Expo Center signs to the Main Gate.

From I-264 Westbound:

Exit at the Fair/Expo Center (Exit 11) and follow the signs to Gate 1. Or proceed further to Crittenden Drive to enter Gates 2, 3 or 4. Exit 12 is Preston Highway (Highway 61). Take a right off the exit and follow Preston to Gate 6, which will be on the left between Sleep Inn and Thornton’s Gas Station.

From I-264 Eastbound:

Exit at the Fair/Expo Center (Exit 11) to Crittenden Drive. Proceed to Gates 2, 3 and 4 which will be on the right. Or continue past the Crittenden Drive exit to I-65 and Fair/Expo Center (Exit 12) and follow the signs to Gate 1.

Will wheelchair and companion seating be available?

Seating reserved for our guests who are wheelchair users and their companions will be located on the main concourse in sections 208 and 238. Limited wheelchair space is also available on the upper concourse, please locate a Venue Services staff member to help you locate these sections if needed on the day of commencement.

Guests who prefer to use the elevator will find them near sections 212 and 234 on the main concourse level of the facility.

A limited number of seats will also be reserved for guests with health issues or people with special needs (and their companions). Please locate a Venue Services staff member to help you locate these seats and sections if needed on the day of commencement.

ADA Availability

Guests with mobility impairments are encouraged to bring any mobility aids they may need (including, but not limited to: canes, walkers, crutches, wheelchairs, scooters, etc). IU Southeast is not be providing wheelchairs, but curbside pick-up and drop-off is available at Freedom Hall adjacent to the most accessible seating (Sections 205 and 241).

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