Family and Guests

Ceremony information - Saturday, May 4, 2019

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. The ceremony generally lasts 1-2 hours. 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. In addition, alarm watches, cellular phones and electronic pagers should be turned off during 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.

Flowers

Fresh flowers will be available for purchase before and after the ceremony.

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.

Applause

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.