Our students wouldn't be here today without you. Learn about attending commencement as a faculty or staff member.
Frequently asked questions for faculty & staff
Check the Spring Commencement page or the Winter Commencement page to find out which colleges will be participating in each ceremony. Faculty and Staff are encouraged to attend the commencement ceremonies. They may choose to attend the ceremony of their college only or to attend any or all of the ceremonies. You are welcome at each ceremony. If you are hooding a doctoral candidate, you must attend the same ceremony as the candidate.
Winter Ceremonies: Faculty will report to the Faculty Robing Room. Enter through the Ticket Office Entrance of Lawlor Events Center walk down the hall pass the Lawlor Administrative Office and then turn right. The Faculty Robing Room will be on the right. You will process into the arena as the ceremony begins and will recess out after the Platform Party once the ceremony concludes.
Spring Ceremonies: Faculty will line up on the sidewalk near the Honor Court on the Southeast corner of the Quad.
All faculty are welcome to attend the commencement ceremonies. Currently, no RSVP or ticket is needed to attend the commencement ceremonies.
Winter Ceremonies: We ask that you limit the amount of person belongings. The faculty room will contain a coat rack and coffee/water. However there will be no security to guard any valuables. See prohibited items for additional restrictions.
Spring Ceremonies: There is no place to store personal items. We ask that faculty come to the line-up location in their academic attire.
Traffic is extremely heavy around the University beginning two hours prior to the start of the ceremony and about an hour after the ceremony ends.
Winter Ceremonies: Public parking will be in the West Stadium Parking Complex. We encourage faculty to park in the Whalen Parking Garage. Parking will be free that day.
Spring Ceremonies: The Thursday and Friday morning ceremony will be extremely crowded as it is also a normal workday for University employees as well. Please plan accordingly to make sure you have plenty of time to arrive and find parking. Many of the parking spots around and near the Quad are blocked and may not be accessible for regular parking. The new Gateway Parking, the West Stadium and Brian J. Whalen Parking Complexes as well as the Green, Blue and Tan parking lots will be open and free to the general public for parking during commencement.
Spring Ceremonies: Many of the parking spots around and near the Quad are blocked and may not be accessible for regular parking. Both the West Stadium and Brian J. Whalen Parking Complexes as well as the Green, Blue and Tan parking lots will be open and free to all (general public included) for parking during commencement. Unfortunately, there is no reserved parking for faculty or staff. Commencement shuttles are provided to transport guests from the north end of campus closer to the Quad. The shuttles will run beginning two hours prior to the ceremony and will run throughout the ceremony until they are no longer needed.
Winter Ceremonies: The West Stadium and Brian J. Whalen Parking Complexes will be open and free for parking during the commencement ceremony. Unfortunately, there is no reserved parking for faculty or staff.
Each commencement ceremony lasts approximately two hours. These times are approximate as it depends on the number of graduates participating in the ceremony. However, the ceremonies will not last longer than three hours (they generally end earlier). All faculty and staff who participate in the ceremonies are expected to stay for the entire ceremony as a courtesy to all the graduates. It is strongly discouraged to leave the ceremony early.
Faculty are encouraged to walk with the other faculty members unless you are hooding a Doctoral/MFA student. The line up for faculty will be by the honor court on the Southwest corner of the Quad near Morrill Hall or, if in the Lawlor Events Center, on the lower concourse via the ticket office entrance on 15th Street & Virginia. Please arrive 45 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony.
Faculty advisors hooding a student will need to sit with their student. Hooding advisors and graduates must check-in at the Graduate School table located at the Northeast corner of the Quad, near the Paul Laxalt Mineral Engineering Building or, if in Lawlor Events Center, in the Silver and Blue room located on the lower concourse via the ticket office entrance on 15th Street & Virginia.
Spring Ceremonies: Hooding advisors for Doctoral/MFA students and graduates must check-in at the Graduate School table located at the Northeast corner of the Quad, near the Paul Laxalt Mineral Engineering Building. Once the advisor and student(s) are together, they will be taken to their seats. If you are hooding multiple students, you will all need to get together before going to your seat. You will accompany your student(s) to the stage where you will hood them.
Winter Ceremonies: Faculty hooding a doctoral or MFA graduate will need to arrive at the same time as the graduate. Please contact the student to find out their check-in time. If arriving without your graduate, please follow signs to the Graduate School check-in area in the Silver and Blue Room just inside the Ticket Office Entrance of Lawlor Events Center. Graduates and their Faculty Advisor will be escorted to the graduate seating area on the arena floor once they both have arrived. If hooding multiple graduates, you will be seated once all graduates in your party are gathered. Photos will be taken during the hooding, followed by a photo of the graduate with their Faculty Advisor before processing off stage.
Faculty who participate in the commencement ceremony need to wear their full academic regalia. If you do not own regalia, you may rent/purchase attire from the Wolf Shop.
Academic costumes date back to the 11th and 12th centuries with the first organized institutions of learning in Europe. In 1895, the academic institutions in the United States adopted a code of academic dress that gave this country a beautiful and impressive method of signifying scholastic honors. With the exception of revisions in 1932 and 1959, the code has been virtually unchanged since its inception.
Mace: Once a terrible instrument of medieval close combat, the mace has evolved into an ornamental, ceremonial staff borne at the head of processions marking the beginning of a convocation or commencement.
Caps: The black mortarboard is most commonly used in the United States. The tassel, normally worn in the left front quadrant of the cap, is black, although it may be of the color appropriate to the subject of the degree. The tassel on the doctor’s cap is usually made of gold thread.
Gowns: The bachelor’s gown has a long, pointed sleeve; the master’s gown has an oblong sleeve open at the wrist (or some older gowns may be open near the upper part of the arm); the doctor’s gown is fuller than the others with velvet panels full length on the front, and three velvet crossbars on each sleeve in black or in a color distinctive of the subject pertaining to the individual’s degree. The gowns are black except for the doctor’s, which may be a color representing the institution that awarded the degree. A number of colorful cords recognizing student achievement and activities are worn by many of the graduates.
Hoods: Academic hoods signify the wearer has received a master’s, doctoral or other advanced degree.
The silk lining of the hood represents the color or colors of the institution from which the degree was received. The higher the degree, the more the lining is revealed.
The level of the degree is designated by the length of the hood and the width of the velvet edging. The master’s hood is three-and-one-half feet long, and the doctor’s is four feet long. (The shorter bachelor’s hood is not given at Nevada.)
The width of the velvet edging is three and five inches in width for the master’s and doctor’s degrees, respectively. The color of the velvet signifies the field of learning, such as orange for engineering, green for medicine and gold for science. For Ph.D. or Doctor of Philosophy degrees, the dark blue color represents mastery of the discipline of learning and scholarship in any field, and is not intended to necessarily represent the field of philosophy.
President's Medallion: Created to symbolize the Office of the President and cast in Nevada-mined silver, the three-inch President’s Medallion was first used at the inauguration of President Crowley in 1979. Among other design elements, it features a slightly recessed bowl, emblematic of the University’s role as a repository, and an unfolding page-like shape, symbolizing the growth of the University and, with it, the presidency.
All faculty are welcome to greet their graduates. A commencement volunteer will lead you to the area where you can greet your graduates.