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Commencement

graduates sitting during commencement

For more than 200 years the Mount has been graduating ethical leaders, making the commencement ceremony one of the most notable moments of your student career. We hope your big day runs smoothly and allows you to reflect on everything you have accomplished.

If you have any questions please contact the Commencement Office at 301-447-5621 or commencement@msmary.edu.

commencement at msmu

Commencement Photos

Access photos from Commencement.

View the Album

msmu graduates smiling at commencement

2024 Graduates: Facts, Figures and People to Know

Mount St. Mary's University's 216th commencement exercises celebrate the achievements of 710 graduates, including 474 undergraduates, 203 graduate students and 33 seminarians. This is believed to be the largest graduating class in the Mount's history.

Learn More About the Graduates

president trainor giving 2024 commencement address

Commencement Address

Read the transcript of the 2024 Commencement Address, delivered by President Timothy E. Trainor, Ph.D.

Read the Address

Schedule of Events

Friday, May 10

Saturday, May 11

  • Commencement - Knott ARCC, Knott Arena
  • Graduates
    • All graduates meet in the Field House - 10 a.m.
    • Doors open for guests - 10 a.m.
    • Procession begins - 10:45 a.m.
    • Commencement begins - 11 a.m.

Intent to Graduate

Undergraduates and master candidates who have completed the Intent to Graduate form and indicated that they will attend the in-person ceremony are invited to commencement. Contact the Registrar’s Office at registrar@msmary.edu with any questions.

Caps and Gowns

Now is the time to order your cap and gown for Commencement! Caps and gowns are sold online exclusively through Herff Jones; please visit the Herff Jones website to purchase your cap, gown and hood, graduation announcements and diploma frames. For best prices, order online by April 14, 2024; shipping costs increase after this date. The last date to place your order is April 25, 2024.

Graduates are expected to wear the Cap & Gown as-is with no embellishments or modifications.

Any questions concerning cap and gown orders should be directed to the Bookstore at (301) 447-5271 or mountbookstore@msmary.edu.

Name Pronunciation

Make sure your names are pronounced correctly as you walk across the stage in May by taking the following steps:

  1. Make a recording (audio or video) of how you want your full name to be pronounced at graduation (keep the recording short).
  2. Send that recording from your Mount email to myname@msmary.edu so that we may file your pronunciation electronically.

Class of 2024 Commencement Tickets

Tickets are required for the commencement exercises in the Knott Arena. Every undergraduate and graduate student will receive 5 tickets; these will be distributed at the Commencement Fair in April.

Tickets are now available for pick-up. Please visit:

Office of University Operations
150 McGowan Center
(lower level, next to Campus Ministry)
Monday to Friday - 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Special Accommodations

Accommodations for persons who are unable to climb steps, sit in bleachers or with disabilities are available upon request. The reserved special seating section is located directly on the Knott Arena floor behind the graduates. Special accommodation seats are included in the five (5) tickets distributed to each graduate.

Requests Special Accommodations

Baccalaureate Mass

Friday, May 12 at 5 p.m.

All are welcome - tickets are NOT needed for this Mass.

Flowers and Keepsakes

The Commencement Group will be at the graduation ceremony offering congratulatory flowers for your graduate. To contribute to a safe and efficient environment an online pre-order service is available. By ordering online, you can take advantage of a contact-free experience by simply picking up your reserved product at graduation.

Order Your Flowers and Keepsakes

Dress Code

Graduation ceremonies are, by their very nature, festive occasions. The festivity manifests itself in many ways, including students and faculty adorned in academic regalia, and the warmth, joy and satisfaction of accomplishment.

Dress code for graduates is cap, gown, hood, black tassel and summer Sunday best; this academic regalia is required to walk in Commencement. Other requirements and considerations include:

  • Dress clothing, preferably black or navy.
  • Black dress shoes (or some other dark color).
  • The gown should be mid-calf.
  • No jewelry on or over the gown. (Some students may have honor cords or medals.)
  • No flowers on the academic robe and no flowers are to be carried.
  • The mortarboard (academic hat) is to be worn with the front point over the forehead below the front hairline, so the flat board is parallel to the floor. (Not worn on the back of the head with the board pointing upward.) No decoration of any kind is to be placed on the mortarboard!
  • Honors students will have honor cords given at the same time as the cap/gown pickup.
  • Candidates should come into the auditorium with the tassel on the right, hanging near the right eye. After the degrees are conferred, the tassel is shifted to the left side. The signal for shifting the tassel will be given by the President (and/or your faculty marshal).

Dress code for guests is summer Sunday best. Please be mindful of the weather forecast. Dress accordingly.

Commencement Decorum and Safety

Commencement is a festive occasion, but also a formal academic event. It is a liturgical event similar to a religious liturgy. While a spirit of joy and enthusiasm is encouraged, the dignity of this important occasion should not be devalued. As a consequence of the serious nature of the ceremony, students are expected to maintain a measure of decorum consonant with the occasion. Students are expected to return to their seats after receiving their diploma and to remain seated for the rest of the ceremony. Please be courteous to all speakers.

Graduates and guests may not bring balloons, horns, sparklers, firecrackers, or any object that will disrupt the Commencement ceremony or present a potential hazard. Also prohibited are bottled drinks. Smoking is not permitted. We ask you to help make Commencement at Mount St. Mary’s University a proud moment for all attendees.

Guests will not be permitted close to the stage for pictures and photography is allowed from the seat only. A professional photographer will take a picture of each senior receiving a diploma. Proofs of these pictures will be sent to each senior in June.

Candidates are not permitted to carry cell phones or cameras. Candidates should not have personal belongings in their possession during the commencement ceremony. Please leave valuables with family or friends. Candidates should not chew gum.

Bag Policy

bag policy graphic

Bags that exceed the size of a standard piece of letter paper (8 ½ “ X 11”) are prohibited, including backpacks, large purses, camera bags, messenger bags, and coolers. Medically necessary bags/equipment are permissible. Guests may bring in small clutch purses. All items are subject to security screening. Guests are encouraged to leave large items, such as strollers, in their vehicles or be prohibited from entry.

English to Spanish Translation

English to Spanish translation will be provided during commencement.  If a family member would benefit from this service to further enjoy the ceremony, please complete the request form found at this link.

Commencement Photos

During the Commencement ceremony, Charles Studio will photograph each graduate as they cross the stage with the president and also once they exit the stage. Each graduate will receive an email (directed to their MSMU email account) with a link to order photos soon after graduation.

Graduate Hooding Ceremony

Graduates and their families are invited to attend. The Graduate Hooding Ceremony will be held at Baccalaureate Mass on Friday, May 10, 2024 after communion. This is a long-standing tradition you will not want to miss. Graduates are offered open seating on the arena floor; families are invited to sit in family units in the marked seating in the bleacher sections. Graduates should wear their cap with tassel and gown and bring your hood. When you arrive at the arena, please enter, and take a seat.

Parking

Visitor parking is available in all lots on campus. Public Safety will direct traffic at the PNC Sports Complex. Note that if you are traveling southbound on Route 15 the main entrance to the PNC Sports Complex will be blocked to move traffic more efficiently; all traffic will be directed to the next turn-around.

Handicapped parking is available. Public Safety will direct cars with handicapped parking signs as space allows. Please note that all guests attending the Commencement Ceremony will be directed to enter the building from the main, west entrance to the Knott ARCC. The back, east entrance is for handicapped drop-off only. Public Safety will direct cars to the back entrance to allow guests with mobility issues to be dropped-off. Cars will then be directed to park in one of the lots. For any persons entering the back, east entrance, a ticket is required for entry.

Overflow parking and easy access parking will be available on the main, west-end of campus, across Route 15 in parking lots 8 and 10. Visitors using these lots may access the athletic, east-end of campus via the pedestrian underpass.

Directions and Area Information

Diplomas

The Mount’s bachelor diploma measures 8.5 in. (21.5 cm) high by 11 in. (27.9 cm) wide; masters diplomas measure 11 in. (27.9 cm) high by 14 in. (35.5 cm) wide. Diploma frames are available at the Mount Bookstore or you can order from www.framingsuccess.com – then search for Mount St. Mary’s University.

Contact Us

If you have any questions, please contact the Commencement Office at 301-447-5330 or commencement@msmary.edu.

Last updated Friday, May 10