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  • The Commencement Ceremony
    This will be your final opportunity to assemble with your faculty and college chairpersons before receiving your degree. This, the 21st Commencement Ceremony, will celebrate the traditional observances that accompany one of the highest rewards of academic achievement.

    Arrival & Assembly

    Graduates must arrive no later than 8:30am so they may be assembled by college. Guests should plan to arrive by 9:30am as the doors to the convention center will close for the procession at 9:45am. The ceremony starts promptly at 10am. and usually lasts between two to two and a half hours.

    Graduates should follow the signs in the center to the area reserved for the graduate's designated college. They will then line up to form the academic procession with faculty. University staff will distribute name cards that will be used by announcers when students receive their degrees. These cards are coded to assist students in lining up before the ceremony.

    Those attending the ceremony should allow for extra time for clearing security checkpoints and parking. Parking is available in the parking garage adjacent to the convention center. Hourly parking rates apply. Please note that the convention center is located within Port Everglades. Entrance into the port is controlled at security checkpoints which require all occupants of a vehicle 18 years of age or older to present valid, government issued photo id such as a driver’s license.

    Guest Seating
    Tickets are not required for the Commencement ceremony. Guest seating is open and available on a first come, first served basis. Guests should plan to be seated by 9:45am so that they will be seated when the ceremony begins. Doors will be shut for the procession beginning at 9:45am and will not be reopened until approximately 10:15am (after the invocation).

    Every guest who arrives prior to the 9:45am academic procession will be accommodated. Guests who arrive after 9:45am will be seated after the invocation (space permitting).

    Policy on Photography
    To maintain the solemnity of the ceremony, guests will not be allowed onto the main floor area to take photographs.

    Grad Images is the official Commencement photographer. Proofs will be sent to your home and via email within three to five days after graduation. Pictures can be ordered online, by phone or by mail. Grad Images can be contacted at 800-261-2576.

    Registering with Grad Images in advance provides them with the information they need to deliver your graduation proofs in a timely manner. Giving them an accurate mailing address and email address will get you your proofs on the first try. You may also provide them with email addresses of up to six friends and family members to allow them to celebrate in the accomplishment.

    At the conclusion of the ceremony, graduates and guests are welcome to return to the stage and pose for photos using the platform as a memorable backdrop.

    A Note on Conduct
    The university makes every attempt to plan and conduct a meaningful, dignified ceremony. The significance of this day and the recognition of your academic achievements should be observed with respect.

    Disorderly conduct, rowdiness, or the presence of alcohol or drugs will be grounds for immediate ejection, and may result in your diploma being retained by the university. Please refrain from using noise makers.

    Graduates are advised to use restroom facilities before the start of the ceremony, as you will not be permitted to leave your seats once the ceremony begins. You are required to remain seated in the convention center throughout the program. Parents, family and friends are encouraged to follow this example, as leaving the ceremony demonstrates extreme disrespect to all in attendance.

    The Program
    Commencement programs will be placed on each graduate’s seat and are available at the door for guests. The program will list the order of exercises, biography of the honorary degree recipients, and names of all qualifying graduates.

    The Procession
    The ceremony begins with the academic procession (Larry Rice EdD, ’90 vice president & dean of academic affairs followed by college banner marshals and the graduates), followed by academic departments and the platform party. Students will be seated alphabetically by college, and their degrees conferred accordingly.

    International Flag Procession
    International students are invited to carry the flag of their country as part of the procession. Students will be selected on a first come/first served basis and based on other criteria established by the university. Eligible students not selected to carry their home country flag will be offered the opportunity to carry the flag of another country if the students from that country either declines or does not respond to the invitation to carry the flag. For details, contact Nicole Graham, 305-892-7554 by April 11.

    Conferring of Degrees
    Campus vice president and dean of academic affairs, Larry Rice EdD, ’90 will ask graduates eligible for bachelor's degrees to stand. He will then present them, on behalf of the faculty, to the campus president, Loreen Chant '89. The president will confer the degree upon these individuals and then ask them to be seated.

    Receiving your Diploma
    Graduates will be invited to the platform to receive “mock” diplomas. Official diplomas will be mailed approximately 12 weeks after you complete all requirements for your degree. The details printed on your degree will be based on the information we have on file.

    The term commencement and graduation are often used interchangeably but have different definitions. Please note that participation in a Commencement ceremony does not indicate that students have completed all degree requirements and earned a degree. Commencement is a formal ceremony for students who have been cleared to walk in the Commencement ceremonies by Student Academic Services. Only Student Academic Services can confirm the official graduation status.

    Ushers will escort you to the platform in a systematic and orderly fashion. Once you reach the base of the platform, you should present one copy of your name card to the Grad Images representative who will take your picture. A JWU staff member will present you with your “mock” diploma and you will ascend the stairs and present the second copy of your name card to the announcer. As your name is read, you will proceed to center stage to greet the campus president and pose for a photo. After that, proceed across the stage and shake hands with your college chair and promptly return to your seat as directed by the ushers.

    We urge all students to check their account status with Student Financial Services prior to Commencement. Failure to satisfy all financial obligations to the university will prevent you from receiving your diploma in a timely manner.

    The Recession
    The ceremony concludes with the awarding of degrees. Graduates are to stand as the platform party leaves the convention center. You will be directed by the ushers for a swift and orderly exit. Do not leave the convention center until directed to do so by an usher. Guests should plan on meeting graduates outside of the hall.