Commencement & Graduation FAQs


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1. What is the difference between Graduation and Commencement?

a. Graduation is the official completion of all degree requirements as recorded on the official transcript.
b. Commencement is the ceremony that celebrates the completion of a degree. Participation in the commencement ceremony does not imply that you have officially graduated and participation is entirely optional.

2. I want to participate in my Commencement Ceremony; what do I need to do?

a. Students wishing to participate in the Commencement Ceremony must have an active graduation application on file or must have graduated in one of the current academic years previous terms. If you have not applied to graduate, you may do so via your Webster Student Portal.
b. Students must complete the Commencement Participate Sign Up form found on the Commencement page.
c. Write down which ceremony you are assigned to attend.
d. Put the ceremony time in your phone too.
e. Tell the important people in your life which ceremony you will be participating in.
f. Students must wear proper commencement regalia in order to participate in the ceremony. Please see cap, gown, and honor cord information section on the commencement website.

3. How do I know if I’ve already signed up for Commencement?

a. Once the information on your Commencement Participation sign-up is verified your name will be added to the “Commencement Participation List” for each ceremony. Please note the date and time of last list update.

4. I filled out the commencement participation form, but I don’t see my name on the list.

a. Each ceremony participation list is manually updated after additional verifications are completed to ensure the participant has a graduation application on file and the information published is accurate. If you believe the participation form has been updated since you signed up and you don’t see your name on either list, please check your EOU assigned email address for more information or contact the Registrar’s Office directly at commencement@eou.edu or 541-962-3607

5. There’s something wrong on the Participation List! What do I do?!

a. Contact the Registrar’s Office regarding the error at commencement@eou.edu.

6. What do the different honors levels mean?

a. EOU recognizes scholarship by conferring honors distinction on undergraduate students who have earned a cumulative grade-point average (including transfer work) of 3.50 or higher as follows:

Cum Laude: 3.50-3.69 (White Cord)
Magna Cum Laude: 3.7-3.84 (Grey Cord)
Summa Cum Laude: 3.85-4.00 (Gold Cord)

*Please note – All grade-point averages used for commencement honors purposes are calculated at the conclusion of the previous winter term only. Spring grades are not official until after the June Ceremonies. Grade-point averages are recalculated when all coursework is completed and the degree is conferred. If the participant has already graduated, the final GPA (including transfer work) will be supplied to the bookstore for the purchase of your honor cord.

7. What if I need additional accommodations to participate in the ceremony?

a. When signing up to participate in commencement there is a section that students may include any accommodations needed to facilitate their participation in the ceremony. You may also contact the Registrar’s Office directly at commencement@eou.edu or 541-962-3607

8. When, where, and what time are the Commencement Ceremonies?

a. The Eastern Oregon University Commencement 2019 will be held Saturday, June 15th, 2019 with ceremonies at 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM in Quinn Coliseum at Eastern Oregon University in La Grande, OR.
b. 10:00 AM Ceremony – Master of Business Administration, College of Business, College of STM & Health Science, Oregon State University
c. 2:00 PM Ceremony – Master of Science in Education/Master of Art in Teaching, Master of Fine Arts, College of Education, College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences, Oregon Health and Science University

9. What time do I show up for Commencement and where do I check-in?

a. Check-in will begin at 8:30 am for the 10:00 am Ceremony.
b. Check-in will begin at 12:30 pm for the 2:00 pm Ceremony.
*Please note that if graduates are late for the lineup process they may not be able to participate in the ceremony.

10. Will there be a rehearsal for graduates?

a. Rehearsal for the ceremony will be held Friday, June 14th, 2019 in The Gilbert Center adjacent to Ackerman Hall.
b. 10:00 AM Rehearsal – Master of Business Administration, College of Business, College of STM & Health Science, Oregon State University
c. 3:30 PM Rehearsal – Master of Science in Education/Master of Art in Teaching, Master of Fine Arts, College of Education, College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences, Oregon Health and Science University

11. How long does each Commencement Ceremony usually last?

a. The actual length will depend on the number of graduates attending, however, the ceremony typically lasts about two (2) hours.

12. How do I wear my tassel?

a. The tassel is worn on the left side of your mortarboard cap prior to and during the ceremony. At the end of the commencement ceremony, you will be told as a group to turn your tassel. At that time, you will turn your tassel to the right signifying the informal awarding of your degree.

13. Will the ceremonies be live streamed?

a. For those friends and family unable to celebrate in person they will be able to watch each ceremony via live stream. The live stream can be viewed at: https://livestream.com/eou

14. What should I bring or wear to the commencement ceremony?

a. Most graduates wear nice clothes to the ceremony, but the most important thing is to make sure to dress knowing that we will be sitting in a very packed, possibly warm gymnasium. Graduates are HIGHLY DISCOURAGED from bringing any bags/purses or any other personal items into line up. There will not be a place to store them in the lineup area and they will not be permitted onto the gym floor. High-heeled peg shoes will not be allowed on the gym floor. Any graduates with this type of footwear will be asked to change or proceed to their ceremony without shoes.

15. Where do guests watch the ceremony?

a. General seating is in Quinn Coliseum with no reserved seating. All seating, as well as all accessible seating, is on a first-come basis. Commencement Staff will be available to escort guests needing assistance to the accessible seating areas. Please remember guest seating in Quinn Coliseum is indoors and while fans will be circulating air, it may still be warm. Guests may want to bring water, a seat back and/or any other tool that will help keep you comfortable throughout the event.

16. I may arrive late; can I still participate in my ceremony?

a. Don’t be late. Seriously. Don’t be late.

17. Can I wear other cords or regalia from clubs and honor societies?

a. Yes. While they are not formally recognized by EOU, other cords, stoles, and regalia may be worn during your Commencement ceremony and are not under the purview of the Registrar’s Office.

18. Do graduates have assigned seating? Do graduates have to be in alphabetical order? Where do I line up and sit if I am receiving multiple degrees from different colleges?

a. While you are not required to be in alphabetical order, you will be grouped by college. You must sit with the college in which you are earning your degree as indicated on your commencement card.
b. For graduates earning degrees from multiple colleges the Registrar’s Office will contact you via email in mid to late May to determine which college you will sit and walk with, you will have one week to reply to the email with your preference, otherwise the Registrar’s Office will choose for you.

19. If I completed the requirements in an earlier term, can I still walk in my ceremony?

a. Yes, past terms: Summer 2018, Fall 2018 and Winter 2019 graduates are invited to participate. You will need to fill out the Commencement Participation Sign Up Form so that we know to expect you at the ceremony.

20. I’m not graduating until Summer or Fall term 2019. May I still participate in a commencement ceremony?

a. Yes, undergraduate students with Senior standing (minimum 135 credits) pending Summer or Fall graduation may participate. Participants must have an active graduation application on file with the Registrar’s Office and register to participate in the Commencement ceremony.

21. I signed up to participate in Commencement and now I can’t come! What do I do?

a. What a bummer!! We’re sorry that you won’t be able to celebrate your accomplishments with us and wish you could be here, but we understand sometimes things come up. You don’t need to do anything to notify us that you won’t be attending. We hope to see you at future alumni events!!!

22. My diploma case is empty! When do I get my diploma? What address will it being mailed to?

a. Diplomas are typically mailed out from our supplier 6-8 weeks after the completion of the term in which you officially graduated. You will receive an email to your EOU assigned email account indicating when your degree is officially awarded and an additional email when your diploma is mailed to you which will include tracking information. Your diploma will be sent to the mailing address we have on file for you, please ensure your information is up to date, keeping in mind where you will be living/receiving mail after you graduate from EOU.

23. I updated my address in Webster, but my diploma was already mailed out to my old address! What do I do?!

a. Contact the Post Office to arrange forwarding to your new address. If tracking indicates your diploma has been delivered but you haven’t received it, please contact us at graduation@eou.edu to discuss options.

24. Where on campus can refreshments, food and drink be purchased? Are flowers available for purchase?

a. The concession booths in Quinn Coliseum will be open with a variety of options available to you during the ceremony. Flowers are also available for purchase at the ceremony, though you may want to consider ordering ahead of time as they’ve been known to sell out early. In addition to on-campus options, there are a number of wonderful restaurants and florists (and hotels) in La Grande and the surrounding Grande Ronde Valley that would be happy to have you visit for your commencement needs. Please see Lodging and Dining links on Commencement Main Page.

25. Will there be handicapped parking available? What about ceremony accommodations for guests?

a. There are parking areas that honor existing ADA parking decals throughout campus. There will be campus personnel at lot entrances to assist those with ADA approved placards as well as golf carts circulating on campus to offer rides to those in need. Please connect with a Commencement Staff Member for assistance.

26. Where should I park for the ceremony?

a. All campus (non-reserved spaces) lots will be free during the Commencement Ceremony. ADA and fire lane enforcement will still be in effect.

27. I lost my ceremony card! What do I do?!

a. Don’t panic! Please find a commencement staff member to request a new card right away. Do this as soon as you realize it’s lost – don’t wait until you’re ready to walk across the stage.

28. Can I stand near the stage to photograph or video my graduate?

a. No. There is an official photographer that will take two photos of your graduate walking across the stage and with their diploma cover. You are welcome to photograph and take video from the seating area. Additionally, there are a number of beautiful areas throughout EOU’s campus that are perfect for taking photos of and with your graduate before and/or after the ceremony.

29. May I leave the Commencement ceremony after my graduate receives a diploma?

a. Out of respect for all participants and the solemnity of the occasion, guests and participants are asked to stay for the entire ceremony.

30. Where can I get official EOU gear to show my support?

a. The EOU bookstore will be open prior to and during the ceremony and you will find a wide variety of apparel, pennants, mugs, blankets and other items to boost your Mountie memorabilia collection. Also, consider joining our Mountaineer Alumni Association to show your continued support.

31. Whom do I contact if I have questions?

a. If you have questions about commencement, please contact the Registrar’s Office at commencement@eou.edu or 541-962-3607.

32. There are TWO ceremonies this year? How do I know which to attend?!

a. Reminders will be sent to graduates prior to the ceremony to ensure you (and your guests) attend the proper ceremony.
b. 10:00 AM – Master of Business Administration, College of Business, College of STM & Health Science, Oregon State University
c. 2:00 PM – Master of Science in Education/Master of Art in Teaching, Master of Fine Arts, College of Education, College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences, Oregon Health and Science University

33. I didn’t sign up to participate in the Commencement Ceremony, but I’ve already invited my family, what do I do?

a. Contact the Registrar’s Office right away so that we can get your information added to our attendee’s list. You can contact us via phone at 541-962-3607, email at commencement@eou.edu or in person in Inlow Hall Room 105.