Commencement: Guest Information

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USA commencements are held at the Mitchell Center.  Doors will open to guests 1 hour and 30 minutes prior to the start of each ceremony.

 

▼   Directions to the Mitchell Center

North

  • South on I-65 to Moffett Road exit (Hwy. 98)
  • Turn left on service road to Moffett Road
  • Turn right on Moffett Road
  • Moffett Rd to University Blvd
  • Turn left on University Blvd
  • University Blvd to USA Campus

 East

  • West on I-10 to I-65 North
  • I-65 North to Airport Blvd exit (exit 3)
  • Turn left on Airport Blvd
  • Airport Blvd to University Blvd
  • Turn right on University Blvd
  • University Blvd to USA Campus

  West

  • East on I-10 to the Schillinger Road (Greyhound Dog Track exit)
  • Schillinger Road to Airport Blvd
  • Turn right on Airport Blvd
  • Airport Blvd to University Blvd
  • Turn left on University Blvd
  • University Blvd to USA Campus
▼   Parking, Maps and Diagrams

For your convenience we encourage guests to use South Drive or North Drive to access the campus.

Parking signs are posted throughout the campus and shuttle service will be available from posted areas. Directional Parking signage will be displayed.

Reserved Parking for People with Disabilities

Handicapped parking will be limited but available at the Mitchell Center lot for students, family, and friends. Entrance to this lot will be from Old Shell Road only (behind the Mitchell Center). Proper tags must be visible for access to this lot.

Shuttle service

Spring Commencement Ceremony:

Beginning at 8:00 a.m. and ending at 6:00 p.m. Shuttle pickup and drop-off points are University Commons, Gamma Residence Hall parking lot, Humanities Building parking lot, Whiddon Administration Building parking lot, and the parking lot east of the Computer Services Center.

Fall Commencement Ceremony:

Beginning at 11:00 a.m. and ending at 6:00 p.m. Shuttle pickup and drop-off points are University Commons, Gamma Residence Hall parking lot, Humanities Building parking lot, Whiddon Administration Building parking lot, and the parking lot east of the Computer Services Center.

For more information, visit Campus Maps.

For Mitchell Center Seating, click here.

▼   About The Ceremony

The length of each commencement ceremony will vary depending on the size of the graduating class.  The ceremony consists of three parts; processional, presentation of candidates and the recessional.

Guests are asked to refrain from smoking and drinking of alcoholic beverages which are prohibited in the HKS Building and the Mitchell Center. All cell phones must be turned off during the ceremony.  The ceremony staff may conduct bag checks/security checkpoints at public entrances to eliminate air horns and secure against firearms.  Please do not bring these items to the ceremony.  It is important that each candidate receive recognition so be mindful that excessive and prolonged cheering and applause can drown out the name and the moment for the next candidate.  Please be considerate.

Processional:  The processional will begin at the ceremony start time and guests and family members should be seated at these times.  The candidates will enter the Mitchell Center arena floor led by the University Marshal and the Gonfalonier for their college.  Student marshals will direct the candidates into their seats.  The faculty will be led into the arena by the Faculty Marshals and will be directed to their seats.  The next group to enter the arena will be the Platform Party.  When the Platform Party members have taken their place on the stage the Presentation of the Colors, the National Anthem and the Invocation will be given.  Please stand for this part of the ceremony.  After opening remarks by the President, the Speaker will be introduced and will give their speech. 

Presentation of the Candidates:  The presentation of the candidates will begin and students will be assisted to the stage by the student marshals.  Candidates will: 1) ascend the ramp to the stage; 2) hand the Line Up Card to the Reader’s Assistant; 3) wait for their name and academic honor, if applicable, to be announced; 4) walk across the stage and shake hands with their Dean and accept their diploma cover; 5) proceed across the stage and shake hands with the President and exit the stage; 6) return to their seat.  The Alma Mater will be sung when directed by the President near the end of the ceremony and we ask that everyone stand at this time.

Recessional:   The ceremony will conclude and the recessional will begin.  The Platform Party will leave the stage, the faculty will exit their seats and then the students will begin their exit.  Student marshals will assists in directing the students out of the arena.

▼   Photographs/ Videos/Flowers

Photographs:  M&A Studios is the official photographer for USA commencement.  M&A Studios will be available during the Bookstore's Graduate Appreciation Days, and on the day of commencement in the Robing Room (HKS 1125).

 

Video:   Here are three ways you can view the commencement ceremonies:

Live Streaming-Information Transport Services and the Mobile County Public School System will offer live streaming video of commencement via the Internet. The free online live video will begin approximately 15 minutes prior to the ceremony start time and will run until the end of the ceremony The live streaming video can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAPxHRSpCTE

Viewing the live streaming video may require specific software. It's recommended that you use Firefox or Internet Explorer as the preferred browsers to view the commencement ceremony. Google Chrome and many other browsers are not compatible.

Archived Video-A recorded copy of the ceremony will be made available online during the week following the ceremony.

DVD- A recorded copy of the ceremony will also be available for purchase of ($20) and can be ordered by completing the Commencement DVD Order Form.

 

Flowers for Graduates:  Members of the Mortar Board sell flowers at the graduation ceremonies to raise funds for the national project, Reading is Leading, and for scholarships.