Ceremony Instructions

Students - Graduation begins here

Ceremony Instructions


The graduation ceremonies are held in the Chan Centre for the Performing ArtsGraduands meet at the Student Marshalling Tent in Buchanan Courtyard and process together to the Chan Centre.

Before the Ceremony

To prepare graduands for the procession into the Chan Centre, we ask you to arrive at the Student Marshalling Tent in Buchanan Courtyard 1 hour and 30 minutes before your ceremony start time. This is the area where you will:

  1. Pick up your regalia, mortar board (hat), and hood. (Graduates of diploma programs will not have a hood)
  2. Pick up your degree parchment and reader card with your procession number, before lining up for the Procession in ascending order by processional number.
    [Procession numbers will be posted throughout the tent for your reference. Please look up your number before picking up your procession card.]

There is no secure storage space available in the Student Marshaling Tent. Whatever you bring with you into the tent, you will need to bring with you into the Chan Centre concert hall and you will need to keep these items with you throughout the ceremony. Items can be tucked under your seat in the concert hall. It is recommended that you leave personal items such as purses and coats with your families / guests.

Approximately 45 minutes prior to ceremony start time, the Graduand Marshal will ask graduands to assemble in the Student Marshaling Tent in the order of your procession number for the Student Procession. You will find this number on your procession card. Your Procession number is your place in line and indicates the order of appearance of when you will cross the stage. Please remain in your order of procession when lining up in the tent, as you walk to the Chan Centre, and when you are seated in the concert hall.

Procession numbers for the line will be posted throughout the tent for your reference.

The Procession

Once assembled in the correct order, the Student Procession will leave the Student Marshalling Tent approximately 20-25 minutes prior to the ceremony start time. Graduand Marshals will lead the procession in two lines to walk along the pathway from the Student Marshalling Tent, down the stairs leading to the entrance to the Chan Centre and into the lobby. In the lobby, the two Student Procession lines will follow the Graduand Marshals into the concert hall where you will be directed to your seat.

The Ceremony

Please remain seated until all graduands have been seated in the concert hall. You will then be asked to rise from your seats by the Senior Marshal on stage for the entrance of the Faculty Procession. During the ceremony, there will be several points where guests and graduands will be asked to rise and sit, as directed by the Chancellor and/or President. This is part of the ritual of the graduation ceremony, and we hope these points offer opportunities to recognize your supporters, reflect on your achievement, and congratulate your peers and graduates.

When the conferring of degrees is about to start, the Graduand Marshals will ask successive rows of candidates to rise and prepare to cross the stage. As you line up, a photographer will take your first photo at the bottom of the stairs before you go up the stairs to the stage. [PHOTO 1]

Once on stage, you will hand your procession card to the Reader, who will read out your name and degree as written. The Graduand Marshal may assist you with this. If you are a doctoral graduate, your citation will be read, and you will have the option of being hooded. As you pause in front of the Reader’s lectern and face the audience while your name is read out, a second photo will be taken of you. [PHOTO 2]

After your name is read, you will cross the stage and the President or designate will greet you and pose for a third photo with you. [PHOTO 3]. After the photo has been taken, you will continue crossing the stage, and will be greeted by your Dean and alumni representatives from your faculty. After crossing the stage, an usher will direct you back to your original seat where you will remain until the end of the ceremony.

Marshals and ushers will be on hand to provide guidance throughout the ceremony. Ceremonies vary in length from approximately 75 to 90 minutes.

The Recession

After the end of the speaking program, you will remain in your seat until instructions are given by the marshals and ushers. Graduand Marshals will organize and lead graduates in the procession out of the concert hall. We ask that you meet your friends and family at Flag Pole Plaza following the ceremony.

After Flag Pole Plaza, please join alumni UBC at the Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre for your graduation welcome reception and light refreshments.

Note: Regalia rental returns will be located at the UBC Bookstore. Gowns must be returned to the Bookstore no later than 1 hour after your ceremony concludes.