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Etiquette and Decorum

Commencement is a true milestone in each candidate’s life and that of his or her guests. Excitement, joy and enthusiasm are expected and welcomed! We ask, however, that all graduates and guests respect the importance and dignity of this occasion.



  • The graduation ceremonies last approximately two hours each.  Please plan to stay for the entire ceremony.  Leaving the ceremony early is disrespectful to other graduates and their families.
  • Graduates are required to wear the approved cap, gown and tassel. Graduates may not alter their gowns.  Graduates should not add items to the prescribed academic costume.
  • Graduates should wear appropriate clothing underneath their academic regalia, this includes proper footwear. Graduates will be held from crossing the stage until they are able to obtain footwear.
  • Cell phones should be placed on “vibrate” or silent mode during the ceremony.
  • Graduates will not be allowed to carry small children, pets or personal items in the processional or across the stage.
  • Please leave valuables with family members or guests during the ceremony. There will be no secure location for your belongings.
  • Beach balls, fog horns, balloons and other items that might disrupt the ceremony (or others’ ability to view or hear the ceremony) are prohibited.
  • Listen to the instructions from the marshals and the commencement team.  This helps keeps the ceremony running on time.


Family and Friends

  • Cell phones should be place on “vibrate” or silent mode during the ceremony.
  • If possible, please remain seated throughout the ceremony.  If it is not feasible to remain seated throughout the ceremony, please consider moving to Kolf room 161 where the ceremony will be broadcast on a large screen.  Please do not stand in the back of Kolf as it creates a fire hazard.
  • Arrive early with your entire party to get a good seat. Seats are first come, first serve. Doors open two hours prior to the ceremony.
  • Please do not stand in the aisles. We care about the safety of our guests and it is a fire hazard.
  • Professional photographers from GradImages will capture the awarding of your student’s diploma from different angles. We encourage you to sit back, enjoy the moment and leave the photos to our professional photographers.
  • Finding graduates following the ceremony can be difficult. Graduates will be led to the lower level of Kolf at the end of the ceremony. It is recommended that guests make plans to meet their graduates in the lower level gym after the ceremony.
  • Please allow an additional fifteen minutes for the recessional before making your way out of the event space.  This allows for a safe and orderly exit for all participants.
  • Please leave extra time to exit the building and to make your way through the post-event traffic.

UW Oshkosh Special Events Office  
(920) 424-3300

Culver Family Welcome Center
625 Pearl Ave.
Oshkosh, WI 54901