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Commencement

Commencement ceremonies for the Fall 2021 graduating class will be held on Saturday, December 11. Admission will be for ticketed graduates and guests only. Ceremonies will also be live-streamed at www.etbu.edu/commencement.

  • 10:00 a.m. - Schools of Business, Christian Studies, Humanities, and Natural and Social Sciences 
  • 2:00 p.m. - Schools of Communication and Performing Arts, Education, Nursing, and Professional Studies 

Purchase photos take prior to ceremony here.

Information for In-Person Participation

TICKETS: Graduates will be issued 4 guest tickets – admission is for the graduate, plus four guests.  These ticketed guests will have seats adjacent to one another, but physically distanced from other groups of guests. Graduates will be seated with their guests so please note that tickets are non-transferrable.  There will be no exceptions.  A minimum of three unoccupied seats will be allotted between guest groups and seating will be every other row.  In order to redeem these tickets, graduates will need to confirm their participation in the ceremony using the web form provided on this page.  Forms must be submitted no later than 5:00pm on Wednesday, March 31.  Please note that all graduates are encouraged to submit a headshot for the virtual commencement feed, even if they are participating in person.  Once graduates confirm their participation, they will receive their tickets along with instructions about designated entrance to Rogers Spiritual Life Center and seating location via ETBU email. 

APPROPRIATE DRESS FOR GRADUATES: Students will need to be sure they have the appropriate ETBU issued navy blue regalia for the ceremony, and should come dressed in business casual attire underneath. Men will be required to wear slacks with white shirts; no jeans or shorts will be allowed. The dress code also includes dress shoes, so no tennis shoes, converse, or flip flops will be permitted. For students wishing to decorate their cap, all decorations must be flat and only covering the flat top part of the cap. Nothing should be protruding from or hanging off of anyone’s cap. Students will be asked to remove any decorations that are deemed inappropriate or do not follow these guidelines.  Also, only ETBU-issued cords and stoles will be permitted to be worn during the ceremony. Participants will be able to pick up graduate and honors hoods and honors medallions in Jenna Guest Music Building prior to the ceremony.

HEALTH SCREENING:  Graduates and guests should self-screen for any new or worsening symptoms of possible COVID-19.  No graduate or guest will be allowed in the building with any of the following symptoms:

  • Cough
  • Shortness or breath or difficulty breathing
  • Chills or repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle Pain
  • Headache
  • Sore Throat
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Diarrhea
  • Feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Known close contact with a person who is lab confirmed to have COVID-19

SOCIAL DISTANCING AND HEALTH PROTECTIONS: As followers of Christ who are committed to demonstrating love for others and serving others before self, all participants in the ceremonies are asked to take steps to protect one another from infection. 

All graduates and guests will be required to wear a mask at all times during the event.  Masks should fit tightly against the face and cover both nose and mouth at all times.  No one will be admitted into buildings without a mask. 

Appropriate health protections also include:

  • Maintaining six foot of distance between all ticketed guest groups
  • No fist bumps, handshakes, or hugs
  • Avoid direct contact with other individuals
  • Avoid congregating in groups

Individuals who are considered at-risk are encouraged to participate in the service virtually.  At-risk population includes those who are over the age of 65, especially those with chronic lung disease; moderate to severe asthma, chronic heart disease; severe obesity, diabetes; chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis; liver disease or weakened immune system.

CHILDREN: In the past, ETBU has endeavored to maintain child-friendly spaces for observing commencement ceremonies.  Due to health precautions, no child-friendly space will be available.  Individuals are discouraged from bringing children who will be unable to remain seated throughout the ceremony.

ARRIVAL & PHOTOGRAPHS: Upon arrival, graduates (without their guests) may enter Jenna Guest Music Building for an opportunity to take their graduation photo.  Photo information will be emailed with entrance and seating instructions.  Graduates may remove their mask only at the designated location for their photo where they will be at a safe distance from the photographers and staff. 

Graduates must maintain six foot of distance between themselves and all others during this process.

Following their photograph, graduates should return to their vehicles so that they may enter Rogers Spiritual Life Center together with their families.

ENTERING ROGERS SPIRITUAL LIFE CENTER: In order to limit contact during entrance to the Rogers Spiritual Life Center, graduates and their ticketed guests will be assigned an arrival window.  To avoid long waits in lines, ticketed guests should make every endeavor to be in the parking lot and ready to enter the building during their assigned window.  Graduates and ticketed guests should maintain a minimum of 6 feet of distance between themselves and any other group.   

At the door, guests will be asked to display their tickets and seating area information.  Once admitted, ticketed guests should not congregate or come within six feet of any other graduate and their guests.  Tickets allow entry into Rogers Spiritual Life Center one time.  Should a guest need to exit the building, please see event staff for instructions.

SEATING: Seating locations will be based on order of graduate names in the commencement program.  Graduates should refer to email instructions and tickets to identify entry time and seating location.  Graduates should sit on the aisle to facilitate ease in exiting their row in time to be on stage for their name to be called.  Detailed instructions will be provided at rehearsal the day before the ceremonies.

In order to facilitate limited contact, commencement programs will be pre-set at each guest chair.

CEREMONY:  Marshals will guide graduates to rise and line up on stage before their names are called and diplomas are presented.  Marks will be provided to ensure graduates line up six feet apart.  As their names are called, students will walk across the stage to pick up their diploma from Dr. Blackburn.  Graduates should return to their seats upon receipt of their diplomas.

EXIT:  Following the faculty recessional, graduates and their ticketed guests will be excused by section to exit through one of four exit doors.  Guests needing extra time or assistance are welcome to wait until the final exit group.  Upon exit, graduates and guests should proceed directly to their vehicles for departure from campus.  Congregating on campus for photographs is prohibited. 

Information for Virtual Participation of Graduates and Guests

VIRTUAL PARTICIPATION FOR GRADUATES: Graduates who will not be present in person, but wish their photo to appear on screen as their name is called may submit a digital headshot of themselves wearing their cap and gown in the participation form found on this webpage. 

VIRTUAL ACCESS: For graduates and their guests who would prefer to participate virtually, the ceremonies will be streamed.  Graduates and their families can access the streaming video at www.etbu.edu/commencement on the day of the event. 

FAQs

Can I get more tickets or switch with someone else? Unfortunately, no, because we are attempting to limit the contact between groups, no additional seats are available and tickets are non-transferable. Students and their guests will be assigned seats to ensure physical distancing from other parties.

Will we line up for a processional? No, graduates will have an assigned time to take their graduate photo prior to commencement and then go directly with their guests to Baker Chapel and be seated.

Will there be overflow rooms? No, only ticketed guests will be allowed admission to commencement. Family members and friends can watch streamed commencement services from the link on this webpage.

What about handicapped access? Individuals who need wheelchair accessible seating should contact Karson Kent at kekent@etbu.edu to make arrangements before March 31. A limited number of wheelchair-accessible seating locations are available, though they may not be located with the rest of your group.

Can we bring children to sit in our laps without a ticket? No, in order to keep everyone safe we must adhere to our capacity limits. Everyone must have a ticket.

Will there be a rehearsal? Yes, rehearsal will take place on Friday, April 30. Graduates will receive additional instructions about rehearsal via TigerMail. 

What If I plan to participate virtually, when will I get my diploma? Students who elect to participate virtually will receive their diploma by mail.  Diplomas will be mailed the week following the ceremonies.

Rogers Spiritual Life Center