Office of the President

Policy on Commencement Exercises, superseded by EM 24-014

Executive Memorandum 14-015 July 7, 2014

This Executive Memorandum has been superseded by 24-014 .

From: Paul J. Zingg, President

Subject: Policy on Commencement Exercises


  • A Commencement Policy Committee is created and charged with establishing, reviewing, interpreting, and amending the policies under which the annual commencement exercises are conducted. Early each fall semester, the Chair of the Commencement Policy Committee will report to the Educational Policies and Programs on any changes in policy to be effected.

The Commencement Policy Committee will be composed of the Chair of the Commencement Policy Committee (marshal from prior year commencement chosen by the President), one faculty representative from each of the colleges chosen by the Dean of the College (Agriculture; Behavioral and Social Sciences; Business; Communication and Education; Engineering, Computer Science, and Construction Management; Humanities and Fine Arts; Natural Sciences), one representative from the Graduate Council, chosen by the Dean, and two student representatives chosen by the Associated Students. Term of appointment: one year, renewable.

  • A logistics committee will be constituted to facilitate the planning of the actual commencement exercises. The logistics committee will report to the Chair of the Commencement Policy Committee. The logistics committee will consist of one representative from the following areas:
    • Alumni Relations
    • University Public Events
    • University Police
    • Facilities Management and Services
    • Facilities Reservations
    • Academic Affairs
    • Office of Graduate Studies
    • Other unit representatives as appropriate
  • Commencement exercises will be held at the end of each spring semester on the weekend following final examination week. A December exercise may be held at the end of the fall semester.
  • College groupings for commencement exercises will be based upon graduate numbers and venue capacity and will be on a rotation.
  • Students graduating with honors (cum laude, magna cum laude, and summa cum laude) and students receiving graduate degrees will be given special recognition. The name of all graduating students will be read.
  • Each commencement exercise may include a commencement speaker. The offices of the Academic Senate and Associated Students will receive nominations for commencement speakers. The Chair or designee of the Academic Senate and the President or designee of the Associated Students will prepare a consolidated list of mutually acceptable candidates, from which the University President will select the commencement speaker(s).
  • Conferral of an Honorary Doctorate during a commencement ceremony will follow the protocol issued annually by the Academic Affairs division of the CSU, Office of the Chancellor. The Executive Committee of the Academic Senate and the Faculty Recognition and Support Committee are the designate bodies for review of the recommendations. (Chancellor's Office and Board of Trustees Guidelines(opens in new window)).
  • The Commencement Committee will inform faculty, students, staff, and parents, of proper decorum. The manner used to disseminate this information will be stated in the working procedures.