Student Instructions

Saturday, May 12, Nicholas School Recognition Ceremony

(MEM, MF, DEL-MEM, PhD graduates)

Here are a few details to start off with:

  1. Bring your hood by Student Services as soon as you have picked up your academic apparel. We will transport all hoods to the site. We need your hood no later than noon on Friday but any time before that is great.
  2. If you have not yet confirmed who will hood you, please do so promptly and let me know.
  3. Be in the small lot next to the Chemistry lot by 8:30 Saturday morning. Wear your cap, gown and tassel.
  4. Line-up will be by program area and then by presenter/hooder and then alphabetical by student last name.
  5. Procession will begin promptly at 9:00. Students will process double file behind the dean, the other speakers and the faculty.
  6. The ceremony should be over around 11:00.
  7. The reception will be in Environment Hall; please encourage your families to move quickly to EH as we need to reorganize the tent for the undergraduate ceremony immediately following our ceremony.
  8. Duke Commencement is Sunday, May 13 in Wallace Wade Stadium. Please visit the Duke Commencement website for details on when and where you need to be. Erika and I will be there to assist you in lining up. Diego Calderon-Arrieta will carry the banner and Eleanor Johnstone and Ramsey Meigs will represent you in receiving your degrees, MEM and MF, respectively.

On Saturday morning May 12, Gather in the small parking lot adjacent to the large tent for line-up. The processional will be led by the dean and dignitaries in double file. The faculty will process in after the dignitaries, then the MEM and MFs and then the PhDs. We will be there to help you get lined up in the correct order. You should be wearing your academic apparel.

Seats will be 12 on the right and 12 on the left of the center aisle. When it comes time to go on stage, the entire row (24 seats across) will stand and move to the right. There will be staff members there to assist and direct you.

Once the procession finishes, the dean will invite everyone to be seated. After all the speakers are finished, the first group (CEMs) will be instructed to go to the stage. At that point the first row (regardless of program area) will stand and move to the right. Please move as quickly as you can and stand off to the right so that you can see and so that families can see.

Wait at the top step to the stage until your name is called. Move directly in front of your advisor and turn to face the audience. Your advisor will slip your hood over your head, you may have to bend over a bit to make it easier; turn around and shake his/her hand; proceed in front of the podium to the dean. He will give you your diploma folder; shake his hand. There will be at least two other dignitaries on the stage right standing alongside the dean, shake their hands as well; go down the stairs to the table and get your diploma. Return to your seat as quickly as you can, crossing IN FRONT of the stage.

PhDs: When your name is called, please stand next to the podium and face the audience. Your advisor will say a few words about you and shake your hand. Proceed in front of the podium and shake the hands of the dean, other dignitaries; go down the stairs and return to your seat. You will NOT be hooded nor receive a diploma (the Graduate School ceremony Saturday evening will hood you and give you your diploma).


Parking: Contact Cindy Peters (petersca@duke.edu) ahead of time for handicapped parking for your family member; a special drop-off location will be available at the tent/event site and then park in the designated place on Circuit Drive. Everyone else please park in Circuit Lot and walk down to Chemistry Lot.

Once the ceremony is over, please move as quickly as possible to the reception in Environment Hall. The tent needs to be reconfigured for another ceremony in the afternoon.


If it rains, we will continue with the ceremony. If the weather is dangerous we will notify you by email and on the website as to the plan. If you do not hear from us or see anything on the website, then the ceremony WILL go on. You might want to encourage your guests to bring their umbrella just to be safe.

There will be portable lavatories available near the tent. Water will be available but no coffee.


Sunday, May 13 University-wide Commencement 

Duke Commencement will be in Wallace Wade Stadium, West Campus. Details are available here and here.

Sunday, May 13 University-wide Commencement Ceremony Wallace Wade Stadium, West Campus 9:30-11:30am; line up 8:15am All spring graduates Visit the Duke Commencement Website for more info.