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Volume 46, Number 3


The Drumbeat of Success

A New Beginning: David Skorton sees the University as a place of achievements and opportunity

In Their Own Write: Students Benefit from Communications Programs

For Love of the Stage: Endless Romance with Performance Inspires a New Division

Congratulations! Your student is graduating!

A World of Difference: Changing demographic gives UI students greater opportunity to learn from diversity

Putting Their Best Feet Forward

Parent Times Briefs

University Calendar

Congratulations! Your student is graduating!

Commencement is on the horizon. For parents of graduating students, one of the most important things to remember is to give yourself plenty of time to park and to get into the ceremony, according to Julie Fell, assistant registrar. Below are answers to commonly asked commencement questions. For more information, call (319) 335-0296, the commencement “hot line” in the Office of the Registrar, where Diane Graber will be happy to help you from 8 a.m to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Messages may be left at other times.

What is the overall tone of commencement at The University of Iowa?

Commencement is the culminating event for students who choose to attend. So that students, their families, and guests may enjoy this gathering, an appropriate and dignified academic atmosphere is maintained.

With everyone’s cooperation, commencement will become a proud and happy memory of your graduate’s academic achievement at The University of Iowa.

To that end, alcoholic beverages are banned. Inappropriate dress and costumes worn under gowns are not permitted. Participating students may not carry cell phones, flowers, purses, gifts, balloons, or bags.

What should I know about the process of graduation?

The University does not confer a degree without receiving an Application for Degree. This form is your student’s indication that the University should begin evaluating academic progress and send commencement information for the coming semester. The deadline for Spring 2003 degree application was in March.

A final degree evaluation is mailed to the student’s residing address. This shows the student’s progress toward meeting degree requirements and takes into account the final semester’s courses.

Because commencement occurs before final grades are due, it may not be possible to know whether requirements have been met. So, while all degree candidates are invited to participate in commencement, graduation from the University doesn’t become official until two weeks after graduation, when grades have been recorded and the degree notation is placed on the student’s academic record.

Participation in commencement is optional.

How do I find out about caps and gowns, tickets, etc.?

Information is mailed to graduating students’ residing addresses about a month before commencement.

Caps and gowns are ordered through the University Book Store in the Iowa Memorial Union. Graduate’s seating is based on apparel sales. Students who wish to borrow a friend’s black cap and gown may do so; however, they must contact the Commencement office at (319) 335-0296 before May 7 to ensure adequate seating.

Graduation from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (including College of Education graduates) is open to the public, and no tickets are required to attend.

Seating is limited for the graduation ceremony of the Tippie College of Business. An invitation and RSVP card was sent to those graduates in late March 2003. The student is responsible for reserving and picking up tickets by the stated dates. Each graduate is eligible to request four tickets. There is no charge for tickets. Graduates don’t need a ticket—their “ticket” is a cap and gown.

There is no rehearsal for commencement.

Why isn’t information sent to the parents of the graduate?

As a custodian of confidential records, the University may not release information about which students have applied for a degree. Only when a degree has been officially conferred does such information become available. Often, it’s a good idea to nudge your graduate by asking “Have you been to the book store to buy your cap and gown?”

Remember that tickets for restricted commencements are also your graduate’s responsibility–days/times for ticket pick-up are limited.

What date and time will commencement be held? When should graduates and their guests arrive?

Commencement ceremonies will be held as follows:

  • Tippie College of Business, May 17, 9 a.m., Hancher Auditorium

  • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, May 17, 9 a.m., Carver-Hawkeye Arena

  • College of Nursing, May 17, 5 p.m., Hancher Auditorium

  • College of Engineering, May 18, 1 p.m., Hancher Auditorium

Doors open one hour before the starting time. Late arrivals to Hancher Auditorium commencements will be seated during a pause in the program. No backpacks or large bags are allowed. Officials reserve the right to inspect all purses, camera bags, and diaper bags. Graduates should arrive no later than one-half hour before the ceremony; some colleges ask that students arrive earlier.

Is parking available nearby?

Parking is available for Hancher Auditorium in the adjacent lots. Carver-Hawkeye Arena is served by parking lots across Elliott Drive at the Dental Science Building and across Hawkins Drive in the commuter lots. Sufficient quantities of free parking will be available.

Can special parking and/or seating arrangements be made for grandparents and other guests?

Yes, certainly! Call the Commencement office at (319) 335-0296 and be prepared to specify which ceremony you plan to attend, the number of guests, and where to mail information (including a parking permit, if requested). Requests for special seating and/or parking are to be made no later than one week before the ceremony.

Can I bring flowers to present to our graduate?

Yes. Flowers are offered for sale at most Hancher Auditorium and Carver-Hawkeye Arena events. Flowers may be given to the graduate after the ceremony.

Might I see graduation gowns with adornments?

Yes, the most common are gold stars issued by the Office of the Registrar sewn on the left sleeve (showing distinction–based on grade-point average), colored cordons around shoulders issued by the college (for honors work) and, occasionally, stoles from honorary societies.

Are diplomas awarded at commencement?

No. Students will receive a diploma holder in which to store and display their diploma once it is mailed. Diplomas are mailed to students’ residing addresses about five weeks following the ceremony.

How long might the ceremony last?

Ceremony length depends on several factors, including class size and the remarks made by selected speakers.

Generally, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences/Education ceremonies end around noon. The Tippie College of Business and the College of Engineering ceremonies take up to 90 minutes.

May I obtain photos taken at commencement?

Photos of graduates at all ceremonies are taken by Jolesch Photography of Des Moines. By providing a current mailing address on the reverse of the name card presented to the reader on stage, proofs are mailed within a week of the ceremony. There is no obligation.



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