Graduation Policies and Procedures

Ceremony information - Saturday, May 6, 2017

The academic processional will start promptly at 11 a.m. for the Commencement Ceremony. All invited guests should be in their seats by the start of the ceremony. Late arrivals will be seated after the processional is complete (approximately 10 minutes). This includes anyone who leaves the seating area just before the processional – you will not be re-admitted until the processional is complete.

Once graduates are seated, guests are expected to remain in place during the entire ceremony. Seating is relatively crowded and movement can be inconvenient for others. Persons who leave the seating area may not be allowed to return to avoid disrupting the ceremony.

Bringing children to the ceremony

Younger children may have difficulty at the ceremony and would require supervision as the campus is located on the edge of Geneva Lake and is very hilly. If you choose to bring children, we recommend that you sit in the open seating Upper Terrace area that provides a good view of the ceremony as well as mobility and access to restrooms. All guests, including children of all ages, must present tickets at the entrance.

Academic regalia information

Commencement is a formal event at George Williams College of Aurora University. All graduating students participating in our commencement ceremonies are asked to leave their academic regalia (cap or mortarboard, academic gown, and master's or doctoral hood) unaltered.

Some graduates have been inducted into national honor societies and may wear their academic honor cords at the commencement ceremony; however, social organization stoles will not be permitted. They can be worn after the ceremony for pictures.

We would also ask that you refrain from carrying flowers, wearing corsages or any other adornments on your academic regalia until the ceremony is concluded. Thank you in advance for your cooperation!

What to wear

The robes are black, so color matching is not a problem. Wear lightweight street clothes in dark colors. For men, a light-colored dress shirt with a necktie is appropriate. Wear comfortable, dark-colored dress shoes. Please keep in mind that the terrain is hilly. Women should wear sensible dress shoes, as you will be walking on uneven pavements and will be climbing stairs to obtain your diploma and to take your group photograph. Any slacks (for men and women) should be dark-colored.


Fresh flowers will be available for purchase before and after the ceremony, courtesy of Grad Flowers.

Cameras at the ceremony

We have retained the services of a professional photographer to take graduates’ pictures in color as they receive degrees from the President of Aurora University and a second shot as they descend from the stage. You will receive a free proof and will be able to order additional prints at a reasonable price.

To avoid disruption of the ceremony, family members and friends are asked not to leave their seats to photograph during the ceremony. After the ceremony, university officials will be available at the tent area for posed photos with graduates.


Commencement is a formal occasion — the university's primary academic ceremony of the year. Because of the number of graduates, it is important that the awarding of degrees not be interrupted by applause. After each group of graduates has received their degrees, the presiding official will invite the audience to applaud them.

Be sure to impress upon your guests that they must maintain decorum during the ceremony. Anyone bringing any type of noisemakers will be asked to leave the ceremony.

Eating, drinking, smoking and electronic equipment

Eating, drinking and smoking are not permitted during the ceremony. George Williams College of Aurora University is a smoke-free campus. Alcoholic beverages are not allowed on the campus. We ask that all alarm watches, cellular phones and electronic pagers be turned off during the ceremony.

Severe Weather

In the event that severe weather occurs during a commencement ceremony, the President will immediately conclude the event. Campus Public Safety officers and university staff will direct attendees to designated areas of shelter.

While the ceremony will not be resumed, degree candidates may go directly to Lewis Hall for graduation photographs. Once the severe weather passes, graduates and their guests should leave campus in an orderly fashion.

Additional information will be available at gwc.aurora.edu.

Diplomas and Transcripts

Once you have completed the requirements for your degree, submitted the graduation survey and satisfied all outstanding financial obligations, your diploma will be released for delivery according to the Registrar’s Office timeline. Survey links will be sent to December  grads on December 1, 2016, or January 15, 2017 depending upon date applied and to May and August grads on April 1, 2017.

Diplomas for December 2016 graduates will be mailed approximately
April 1, 2017.

Diplomas for May 2017 graduates will be mailed approximately
October 1, 2017.

Diplomas for August 2017 graduates will be mailed approximately
December 1, 2017.

Official transcripts can be requested four weeks after the commencement ceremony. These transcripts confirm that all degree requirements have been met and indicate the earned degree. An official transcript is the verification document typically asked for by employers. All transcripts are requested from the Registrar's office. To request an official transcript, please fill out the request by logging in to WebAdvisor or complete this form. Please be sure to select the option "After Degree" to ensure your degree is noted on the transcript.