Skip to main content

ETBU Now

Commencement

"I pledge to all members of the ETBU Graduating Class of Spring 2020, families of upcoming Tiger graduates, and the University community, East Texas Baptist University is committed to proceeding with a Commencement ceremony."
Dr. J. Blair Blackburn

Information for In-Person Participation

DATE AND TIMES: Commencement ceremonies for the Spring 2020 graduating class will be held on Saturday, June 13.  10:00 AM - Schools of Business, Communication and Performing Arts, Education, and Nursing
2:30 PM - Schools of Christian Studies, Humanities, Natural and Social Sciences, and Professional Studies (including University Studies majors)

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 accommodate the minimum of 6 feet of distance between groups.  In order to redeem your tickets, graduates will need to confirm their participation in the ceremony using the web form provided above no later than Monday, June 1.  Once graduates confirm their participation, they will receive 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 choose to 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 and then to drop them into the provided ticket receptacle to avoid contact with ticket-takers.  Once admitted, ticketed guests will need to remain in their seats and should not congregate or come within six feet of any other graduate and their guests.


SEATING: Seating locations will be based on order of graduate names in the commencement program.  Graduates should refer to email instructions provided after they confirm participation to identify entry door 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.  Instructions will be provided 48 hours 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 on stage 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.  All staff handling diplomas will wear masks and gloves.  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 must proceed directly to their vehicles for departure from campus.  Congregating on campus for photographs is prohibited. 

Information for Virtual Participation

DATE AND TIMES: Commencement ceremonies for the Spring 2020 graduating class will be held on Saturday, June 13.  10:00 AM - Schools of Business, Communication and Performing Arts, Education, and Nursing
2:30 PM - Schools of Christian Studies, Humanities, Natural and Social Sciences, and Professional Studies (including University Studies majors)

VIRTUAL PARTICIPATION: 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 at the top of this webpage. 

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

 

FAQs

Can I get more tickets or switch with someone else? No, because we are attempting to limit the contact between non-familial groups. 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.

What about handicapped access? Individuals who need handicapped seating should contact Karson Kent to make arrangements before June 1. kekent@etbu.edu

Can we bring children to sit in our laps? No, in order to keep everyone safe we must adhere to 25% of capacity. Everyone must have a ticket.

Will there be a rehearsal? No, students will arrive for photos and be seated in assigned seats in Baker Chapel.

What If I plan to participate virtually, when will I get my diploma? Those will be mailed the week following June 13.

Rogers Spiritual Life Center