Graduation Preparation Checklist

Contact for questions.


  • Verify eligibility (see eligibility criteria)

  • Order cap & gown via Jostens online store (see details on this page) at least 6 weeks before the event. Note: we recommend Jostens, but students may opt to purchase from any comparable vendor.

  • Arrange travel. We recommend refundable bookings in case of unforeseen pandemic-related changes. Special pricing arrangements with area hotels are listed here on the portal.

  • Invite guests. Rupp Arena is large, with seating for as many guests as you'd like to bring. The ceremony will last about 2 hours. There are areas adjacent to the arena floor where guests can go to take breaks as needed.

  • Register to attend. Please submit a photo to the slide builder site to let us know you're coming. We will send log-in instructions to your FNU email inbox by July 30th.

  • View the virtual rehearsal (available on this page by Sept. 1)

  • Optional: Submit photos for consideration to be included in the pre-ceremony video: Photos must depict appropriate, FNU-related activities.

  • Optional: Send the FNU-provided press release to your local media - template available on this page by early August.


  • Attendees who are not vaccinated must wear a mask. We will have masks available for any who forget their own.

  • All attendees will be required to pass through metal detectors and must follow arena policies regarding allowable items.

  • PARKING: High Street lot directly across from arena - Graduates showing cap and gown park free; all other guests receive a special rate of $5.00 per vehicle. There are several other fee-based lots within walking distance of the arena, as shown here.

  • 11:30 am - 12:30 pm EST - Recommended arrival time. Please allow 30 minutes to park and find your way inside Rupp Arena.

  • 12:00 pm EST - Doors open for guests. Ushers will assist with arena seating. Please leave all personal valuables with your guests before you line up for the processional.

  • CHECK-IN: So that FNU staff can serve you well upon arrival, please observe the following graduate check-in times based on your last name:

    • Last names A-G     12:00-12:20p 

    • Last names H-M     12:15-12:35p

    • Last names N-Z      12:30-12:50p

  • After check-in, dressing rooms will be available for final touch-ups. Please do NOT leave personal valuables behind - ask your guests to keep them for you instead.

  • 1:00 pm EST - Processional lineup begins. Gather near your specialty flag and wait for further instructions. Graduates MUST be checked in, dressed, and in the lineup area by 1:45 to participate in the processional.

  • 2:00 pm EST - Processional. Faculty will lead, followed by graduates. Marshalls will direct you to your seats. During the ceremony, marshalls will direct you to stand by row. Have your name card with you. Proceed with your row to the pre-stage area, where FNU staff will help you scan your name card so that your slide is displayed on the jumbotron while you walk across the stage for your hooding, etc.

  • 4:00 pm EST approx. ceremony conclusion