Commencement at Aquinas College

FAQs

Graduation Requirements

What is my Primary Major/Degree Title and why is it important?

Your Degree Title is either Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, etc. Your degree Title correlates to your chosen major.  For example, if a student is a History major, they will earn a Bachelor of Arts. If a student is double majoring, then they must pick a Primary Major. If a student is double majoring in History (BA) and Psychology (BS), they can choose if they want the Bachelor of Arts or the Bachelor of Science to be their Degree Title.  A student who is double majoring will not earn two degrees. They must pick one or the other. The Primary Degree choice will be printed on the diploma and called at Commencement. Both majors will be reflected on the transcript.

What if I have a financial hold on my account?

Your diploma will not be released to you unless you have a zero balance on your account.  If you are unsure of your balance, you can check on MyAQ or contact Student Accounts at (616) 632-2864.  Once your balance is paid, Student Accounts will inform the Graduation Auditor and your diploma will be released.

What If I need to postpone my graduation?

If you need to be moved to the next graduation period, please contact the Graduation Auditor.

How do I know if I qualify for Honor Cords?

If you are approved for graduation you should have received a scan of your completed Application for Degree Candidacy.  The App. for Degree should be used by the student to verify all of the remaining requirements for graduation. If you submitted your App. for Degree to the Registrar’s Office and have not received a scan, please contact the Graduation Auditor.

Why does the Registrar’s Office need a copy of my High School transcript?

To maintain our accreditation and to follow Federal Compliance standards, Aquinas College needs to have a final, official copy of all graduate’s high school transcripts.  Often, the transcript sent during the Admissions process was while you were still enrolled in high school. If we do not have a final transcript on file for you, it was noted on your Application for Degree Candidacy.  Your diploma will not be released to you until the transcript is received.

Commencement Day

What am I to wear to the Baccalaureate Mass?

If attending the Baccalaureate Mass it is important to wear your Commencement gown and cord/s. The hood and cap are to be worn only at the Commencement ceremony.

What am I to wear to the Commencement Ceremony?

When participating in the Commencement ceremony, it is necessary to wear the gown, hood, cord/s, stole (if you choose) and cap. A video on how to properly wear your Commencement attire is featured under the Hood Colors and Honor Cords page.

Please be aware the ramp to the graduation stage is grated and can easily catch spiked heels.

When will doors open for entry into the Commencement Venues?

STURRUS SPORTS AND FITNESS CENTER:  Entrance into the Coach Bo Court will begin at 1:00 p.m.  All individuals will require a ticket for entry into the Center.

For those with Accessibility Seating Tickets, a separate line will be available and entry into the Sturrus Sports and Fitness Center will begin at 12:30 p.m.

Please keep in mind that guest seating at Coach Bo Court will be bleacher seating and that stadium seats/chair backs will not be allowed.  We ask that everyone be mindful of others also trying to be seated. We are hoping to accommodate as many people comfortably as possible. Infant seats, strollers, and large bags/backpacks will also not be allowed into the bleacher seating.

Seating in both venues is on a first come, first served basis - no saving of seats will be permitted and all guests will be asked to be seated before the Commencement processional begins at Sturrus Sports and Fitness Center.  No one will be allowed in the hallway once the procession begins and any late arriving guests will not be allowed to enter until after the procession is complete.

Can we reserve seats for others?

Seating in all venues is on a first come, first served basis - no saving seats will be permitted and all guests will be asked to be seated before the Commencement processional begins at the Sturrus Sports and Fitness Center. No one will be allowed to enter until after the procession is complete.

What if I arrive late, or Coach Bo Court is full?

ALTERNATE VIEWING LOCATION:  Entry will begin at 1 p.m. in the Wege Ballroom/Loutit Room. Tickets are not required for entry into the Alternate Viewing Location.

What if I have family members or guests in need of translation assistance?

Translation assistance will be available at the Information Tent located outside of the Sturrus Sports and Fitness Center. Please stop by the tent, as our event staff will be happy to provide your guests with a ceremony schedule in Spanish and assist your guests with directions and seating information.

Where and when do Graduates enter and line up?

ALL GRADUATES WILL NEED TO CHECK IN AT THE ACADEMIC BUILDING NO LATER THAN 1:15 P.M. You will receive a card upon registering which has your name printed on it.  DO NOT LOSE OR WRITE ON THIS CARD. Please keep this card with you at all times as it will be required to have your name read as you cross the stage.

Graduates will be lined up in alphabetical order by degree and procession to the Sturrus Sports and Fitness Center will begin at 1:50 p.m.

How do we get extra tickets to the Commencement Ceremony if they are available?

Each graduate may request up to 4 tickets for entrance into the Sturrus Sports and Fitness Center.  Tickets will be available for pick up at GradFest on April 27 for by contacting the Dean of Students Office beginning on Tuesday, April 28.  If there are extra tickets for the Commencement Ceremony, they will be available on a first come, first served basis at the Dean of Students Office (AB 107) beginning on May 4.  Please watch for any updates to ticket availability on The Moose and the Commencement website.

Are the other locations on campus where family and friends can watch the Commencement Ceremony?

In addition to tickets for the Commencement Ceremony, an Alternate Viewing Location will be available for family members to view the Commencement Ceremony via live stream in the Wege Ballroom/Loutit Room. Tickets will not be required for entry into this location.

Alternate Viewing Locations:

  • Wege Ballroom (snacks/beverages/activities for the children will be available)
  • Loutit Room - Accessibility Seating

What if I have family members or other loved ones who cannot attend the Ceremony?

The 2020 Commencement Ceremony will be live-streamed on Facebook live.

What if I have family members who will need accessible seating?

Please complete the online form on the Commencement page of the Aquinas website requesting accessibility seating for any family member needing accommodation.  You may also complete the form at GradFest on Monday, April 27. Coach Bo Court will have a separate section available for accessibility seating guests and one accompanying family member.  A designated accessibility seating ticket will be needed for access to this section These designated tickets may be obtained at GradFest by exchanging one regular Commencement ticket for each individual needing accessibility seating and a second regular Commencement ticket for his/her accompanying family member.  These tickets are counted as a part of your allotment of up to 4 tickets to the Commencement Ceremony.

The Sturrus Sports and Fitness Center Parking Lot has been designated for special needs parking - please see parking diagram for more information.  Golf carts will be available to assist guests in moving from different venues and Photo Spots.

What if I have family members or guests in need of translation assistance?

A table will be set up in the Sturrus Sports and Fitness Center lobby for those guests who would like to pick up a ceremony schedule in Spanish and/or would need translation assistance with directions and seating.  Please stop by the table and our event staff would be happy to assist your guests.

Where can I pick up my tickets on the day of Commencement?

There is a Will-Call station at the Sturrus Sports and Fitness Center for Ceremony tickets.  

Where is the best place to park?

Please review the separate parking diagram for information about available parking lots, special accessibility needs parking and Photo Spots.  Event Staff will also be stationed around the campus to answer any questions.

What is the “Name Pronunciation Form” used for?

The Name Pronunciation Form is a way to let us know the name you would like announced when you walk across stage on Commencement day and how to pronounce your name correctly.  You can choose to have your first and last name called or you can choose to have your first, middle and last name called.

What if I forget to bring my “Name Pronunciation Form to GradFest?

No worries, we will have extra copies at GradFest for you to fill out at the name pronunciation table, and provide any help you may need to complete the form.  If you can’t attend GradFest, then you need to email your Name Pronunciation Form to Kristy Poprawski at kpp001@aquinas.edu in the Academic Affairs Office.

Who will I walk with at Commencement?

All graduates will be lined up alphabetically according to their Degree Title.  It does not correlate to you major. All Bachelor of Science graduates will line up together, no matter if you are a Biology major or a Mathematics major.  If you are a double major and are unsure as to which is your Primary Major, please contact the Graduation Auditor before you order your cap and gown.

Post - Commencement

When will I receive my diploma?

Students typically receive their diploma in the mail 4 - 6 weeks after their graduation date.  The three graduation periods are December, May, and August. If you have moved or would like your diploma mailed to a different address than what you listed on your Application for Degree Candidacy, please contact the Graduation Auditor.

What if I want to change the way my name is printed on my diploma?

Your diploma is a legal document and must reflect your legal name.  To change how you would like your name printed on your diploma, it is important that you contact the Graduation Auditor as soon as possible to prevent misprints.  If you are recently married or divorced, you will need to provide official documentation to the Registrar’s Office.

What if I need to order a final transcript for graduate school or employment?

A final transcript will be mailed to the student with their diploma.  If you need an official copy of your transcript sent elsewhere, please go to www.getmytranscript.com.  We work with the National Student Clearinghouse to provide transcripts in a timely and efficient manner.  If you need your transcript to reflect your graduation, make sure to mark the “Hold for Degree” option when ordering your transcript.