Autumn 2023 Commencement Ceremony

Saturday, December 9, 2023
11 am

Watch Live

Student on Stage with Diploma

Join Shawnee State University as we recognize the graduating Class of 2023 on Saturday, December 9 at 11:00 am in the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts.

General Information for Graduates and Guests

Doors will open at 10:15 am.

Ticketing Information

Commencement will be a ticketed event with general admission seating. There is no cost associated with the tickets. Handicap accessible seating is available in the top row of the lower tier and the last row of the upper tier. 

You will receive up to 6 tickets for family members and friends to attend the commencement ceremony at the Eloise Covert Smith Theater in the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts. Tickets can be picked up at the McKinley Box Office in the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts beginning at 10:00 am on Monday, November 13. The McKinley Box Office is open from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday.

On the day of commencement, all guests will be required to have a ticket for entrance into the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts. Tickets will be checked by event staff at all entrances.

I am not on campus; how can I pick up my tickets?

Students who are not able to pick up their tickets should contact the McKinley Box Office at (740) 351-3600 to have their tickets held back.

I need more than 6 graduation tickets, what can I do?

Extra tickets, if available, will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis. Please request to be placed on a waiting list at the time you pick up your guaranteed tickets. You will be contacted if extra tickets become available.

Viewing Commencement Virtually

A live stream video of the commencement ceremony will be available at the following link:

Watch Live

Name Card and Honor Cord Pick Up

Name cards will be distributed by Registrar’s Office staff in the Kahl Theater prior to the ceremony. Eligible students will also receive their honor cord at this time.

Graduates must have this name card in order to have their name announced. During the ceremony, each graduate will hand their name card to the individual reading names.

Ceremony Line Up

Doctoral and Master’s degree students will line up line up on the first floor outside of the theater doors. Undergraduate students will line up in the second-floor hallway.

Students should line up behind their designated faculty marshal.

Diploma Covers and Commencement Programs

Students will receive a commemorative diploma cover as they walk across the stage. If you are unable to attend the commencement ceremony, you may contact to arrange pick-up.


Each graduate is professionally photographed at multiple points during the ceremony. Approximately three weeks after the ceremony, each graduate will receive a proof of their pictures taken along with ordering instructions.  For more information about photographs, please go to Grad Images’ website at Family and guests are free to take pictures from their seats.

When are Diplomas Mailed? What Happens after Commencement?

Following commencement and after all grades are posted, the Registrar’s Office staff begins the task of reviewing petitions for degree posting.  This includes reviewing final grades to determine that all degree requirements have been met.  If all requirements are met, the Registrar’s Office posts the degree to the transcript and orders the diploma from Paradigm Inc.  The diploma is printed and maid by Paradigm Inc. to the student at the address listed on the graduation petition.  Student swill receive an email to the SSU student email address once the diploma has been mailed. This process is ongoing for about 45 days past commencement.

To verify that your degree has been awarded, view your unofficial transcript through the MySSU portal.

Digital Diplomas

SSU will begin offering digital diplomas and certificate with the Autumn 2023 commencement. These are certified electronic credentials known as a CeDiploma or CeCertificate.  More information will be available soon.

Cap and Gown

Academic Regalia for all students is available for purchase from the University Bookstore located in the Morris University Center. Students participating in commencement are required to wear appropriate regalia. 


Honors for the graduation program are based on your cumulative GPA at the end of the semester before you graduate and entitle you to wear an Honor Cord at graduation.

The actual honors awarded at the time a degree is posted based on the final cumulative GPA.  The diploma will show the honors awarded with the degree.

Summer Graduates

Although there is not a summer commencement ceremony, all summer graduates are invited to participate in the fall commencement ceremony and will have their names published in the fall commencement program unless otherwise indicated as participating in the following spring ceremony.

General and Accessibility Parking

Students being dropped off for the ceremony can be dropped off at the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts entrance. See Campus Map and driving directions.

Inclement Weather Plan

In the event of inclement weather, notifications will be sent through the SSU app and placed on the main webpage of

Additional Tips for Graduates

Leave personal items like coats and purses with guests.  There are no facilities available for storing these items.

Remember to wear sash, medal, cord, etc. that corresponds with your honor society.

For safety reasons, graduates are discouraged from wearing high heeled shoes, as graduates will process down steps.

Contact Information

For questions or comments, please contact the Commencement Committee at or the Registrar’s Office at