George Williams College

Family and Guests

Ceremony Information - Friday, July 24, 2020

The academic processional will start promptly at 6 p.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.

Guests are asked to remain in their seats during the ceremony to avoid disruption. 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. Please note that all guests, including infants and children, must have a ticket to enter the GWC campus. 


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.


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 of severe weather conditions leading up to or on Commencement weekend, the ceremony may need to be moved indoors. This could result in rescheduled ceremony dates and times, and this information would be communicated as soon as possible.