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Georgia Southwestern State University

Fall Commencement

Saturday, December 12, 2015
11:00 a.m. in the Storm Dome

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Senator Dean Burke

Fall Commencement Speaker: Senator Dean Burke

Senator Dean Burke, a Republican, represents Senate District 11, which consists of Colquitt, Decatur, Early, Grady, Miller and Seminole counties along with portions of Mitchell and Thomas counties. Continue Reading >>


Graduation and Honors Convocation Friday December 4, 2015 6:30 p.m. Jackson Hall

All students earning bachelor's and master's degrees are invited to participate in the convocation, friends and family are welcome to attend. All graduates will be recognized along with other University Honors. Graduates will process into the convocation as a group and should arrive no later than 6:15 p.m. to line up. Dress is business or business casual.


Students earning a master's degree are invited to the Graduate School Hooding Ceremony

Saturday, December 12, 2015 9:00 a.m. Jackson Hall

All students completing master's degrees and their families are invited to this special Hooding Ceremony. Please note that the Hooding Ceremony does not replace Commencement. Graduate Students will continue to participate in and have their degrees conferred at Commencement. You will need to notify your graduate adviser if you plan to participate in the Hooding Ceremony.

Graduate students are to arrive at 8:30 a.m. for instructions. The ceremony will begin promptly at 9:00 a.m. in Jackson Hall. To attend the hooding ceremony, you will need to have full academic regalia, including gown, hood, cap, and tassel. Regalia can be purchased

Are you ready for the big day?

Have you filed your graduation application?
If not, click on the link at the top of the page to for information on applying for graduation. You and your adviser will fill out the application. Your adviser will submit it to the Registrar's Office, and you will pay the $35 graduation application fee.
How will you know if the Registrar's Office got your application to graduate?
Log into DegreeWorks. In the student information section, you will see a box that says Applied for Graduation. If the Registrar's Office has not received your application, it will be blank. Applying for graduation starts with your advisor, so that will be your next step. If your graduation application has been received in the Registrar's Office, but not yet reviewed you will see one of these codes, which just means we have the application and will review it soon: AF = Applied for Fall graduation; AS = Applied for Spring graduation; AU = Applied for Summer graduation. Once your graduation application has been reviewed, the code will be updated. CP = Complete Pending.This means you just need to successfully complete your remaining requirements and you will be walking across the stage. Congratulations! RA = Reapply for Graduation. This means you are missing requirements needed to complete your degree and are not on track to graduate in the term for which you applied. If you think this is an error, you will need to speak with Lois Oliver in the Registrar's Office,
Not sure if you paid your graduation fee?
Check on RAIN. Go to your student account summary. The graduation fee code is GRAF. If your balance for GRAF is 0, you are good to go! If you don’t see GRAF, it has not been paid, and you need to get to Student Accounts and pay. Please do not send money to the Registrar, only Student Accounts can take your money, (legally anyway).
Are you in the process of completing all remaining requirements?
Only students who have successfully met all graduation requirements are allowed to walk in commencement exercises. If you applied by the deadline, you will have notes on DegreeWorks indicating what requirements remain. Make sure you are registered for all remaining requirements and don’t forget to study. If you do not see notes indicating what requirements remain for you to graduate, check your graduation application status (see above).
How will you know that you passed everything and will be allowed to participate in the graduation ceremony?
Once all grades are turned in, the Registrar's Office will be clearing students for graduation. This process is done student by student, and the staff in the Registrar are very busy completing the review, so don't call and ask them if you will be allowed to graduate. Instead watch your RAIN account. Once your file has been cleared, the Registrar's Office will update your status on your unofficial transcript in RAIN. In the box that says Degrees Awarded, your degree will be listed and you will see December 12, 2015 on the date! Take a screen shot and send an instragram to all your family and friends. You made it! If you did really, really well, you may have a box that shows Honors too. Keep in mind that honors are based on your GPA from all schools you have ever attended, not just GSW.
How will you know if you earned Honors recognition?
Only undergraduates who have earned 30 credit hours of the baccalaureate degree at GSW are eligible for Honors recognition. However, all coursework taken at all accredited colleges and universities is counted in figuring your Honors GPA, even if the credits did not transfer. Graduation cum laude requires a cumulative GPA of 3.5. Graduation magna cum laude requires a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.7. Graduation summa cum laude requires a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.9.

What do you need to do before the big day?

Order your regalia by November 16!
Sometimes we cut you some slack on deadlines but this one is not in our control. Unless you want to pay a late charge, order before the deadline! The color of your hood (for master’s degrees) and tassel (for bachelor's degrees) represents your degree, so be sure to fill in the information correctly. Your cap, tassel, and hood (for master's degrees) are all included in your order. Regalia is only available by ordering online. To be certain you have the right regalia, please place your order at:
Have you taken care of all your holds and outstanding fees?
Do not let that parking ticket or library fine keep you from getting your diploma on graduation day! Students with outstanding balances will not get a diploma to put in that nice leather folder on graduation day. All fees must be paid by December 4, 2015; otherwise, you’ll have to come back to campus to pay your balance and pick up your diploma.
Help us help you!
If any you need any physical accommodations for the ceremony, please contact Lois Oliver
Do you need graduation swag?
Personalized graduation announcements and other memorabilia can be ordered online from Herff Jones. Orders for announcements or accessories may be charged to a credit card or debit card and will be delivered directly to the address you provide. Order here: You can also order a GSW Diploma Frame.
How are we going to celebrate your achievement?
A Special Graduation and Honors Convocation will be held Friday, December 4, 2015 at 6:30 p.m. in Jackson Hall with a reception to follow in the Private Dining Room. All seniors will be recognized and special honors for students and faculty will be recognized. Family and friends are invited to join you in celebrating your accomplishments.

What can you expect on graduation day?

There will be no rehearsal for graduation, so how will you know what to do?
In order to ensure that you are in the correct place and have all necessary instructions, please report to the Intramural Gym located in the Student Success Center at 10:00 a.m. on December 12. It may sound early, but your friends and family will need to be there that early to get a seat anyway, so just plan to be there. You'll have the opportunity to take pictures with faculty and your classmates.
When will you get that diploma?
AFTER the ceremony, provided you have finished all requirements and have no holds or fees due. Check your RAIN account before graduation and make sure you have no holds or fees. When you cross the stage, you will be given a leather diploma sleeve. At the end of the ceremony, seniors will be led back into the intramural gym where the Registrar’s Office will have all the official diplomas. You will need to provide a picture ID in order to pick up your diploma, so please tuck your ID into your pocket before the ceremony. You should not carry any other items with you, except a picture ID.
What should I bring with me?

Be sure to have your cap and gown with you when you arrive (Yes, there have been students who forgot!). Also be sure you have your picture ID. You may want to have a phone or camera to take some pictures before the ceremony, but you may not bring any phones or cameras into the ceremony. Make sure you leave all personal items, including phones and cameras with trusted family or friends before the procession begins. The Intramural Gym will not be secure after you leave, and you may not bring any items into the ceremony.

When you lineup for the procession, you will be given a small card with your name on it. This is the only item you may bring into the ceremony. You will hand this card to the name reader just before you cross the stage to receive your diploma cover. A graduation program will be placed in your chair; you may take it with you when you recess out of the ceremony.

Make sure you are dressed appropriately.
Graduates must wear cap and gown. To make sure you have the right regalia please order from All candidates wear the tassel on the right side until your degree is awarded. Do not attach anything to your cap. You will not be allowed to march if your cap has anything on it. Only stoles and cords from recognized GSW student organizations and honor societies may be worn. (See list of approved organizations and societies. Contact your organization's adviser for information on receiving your cord or stole.) 
How about under that cap and gown?
Nothing is to be worn high on the neck nor should you wear a collar overlapping the robe. Women can wear neutral or dark hose and dark shoes with dresses and skirts, or dark pants with dark socks and shoes. Any jewelry should be simple and small, if worn at all. Men are to wear dress shirts, ties, dark slacks, dark socks and dark shoes. Coats are optional.

What should I tell my family and friends?

The doors to the Convocation Hall will close at 10:55 am sharp!
Seating for graduation is open with no tickets needed, but Convocation Hall will fill quickly. We recommend family arrive early for the best seats. Late entry is not allowed as it will disrupt the procession of students and faculty. Late-comers and overflow guests will be directed to a room where they can watch the ceremony streaming live, but they cannot enter the Convocation Hall after 10:55 or after it has filled to capacity. Remember that there will be lots of people on campus, so guests will need to allow time to park and walk to the Convocation Hall, so plan accordingly. It is the one day of the year you can expect a traffic jam in Americus!
Please remind family and friends about expectations for celebrating your achievement.
You have worked hard to achieve your goal and deserve to hear your name called as you cross the stage. While we welcome well-deserved applause, loud cheers and noisemakers are not appropriate. These disruptions often drowned out the names of other graduates walking across the stage and prolong the ceremony. Every GSW graduate deserves to hear his or her name read as that prized degree is awarded. Please let your family and friends know that loud cheers and noisemakers are not allowed and anyone disrupting the ceremony may be asked to leave. We promise, after every student has crossed the stage, we will all cheer!
Help your family and friends plan for parking.
Be sure your family and friends arrive early enough to secure parking and walk to the Storm Dome. Police officers will be assisting with parking. If you have family members who need accommodations, they can be dropped off at the North Parking Lot doors. Handicapped parking is available in the North Lot (between the Student Success Center and the baseball field). There is also parking available in the lots by the Business, History and Political Science Building, the Education Center, the Carter Complex, the Library, and Southwestern Oaks. Shuttles will run between these buildings and the Storm Dome.
Graduation Parking Map
I have family coming in from out of town, where can they stay near Americus?

Still have questions?

Contact Dr. Helen Tate, Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs at Now, get back to the books because if you don't successfully pass all your requirements, you won't be walking in December! 

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