Student Instructions

Saturday, May 13, Nicholas School Recognition Ceremony

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

Gather in the small parking lot adjacent to the large tent for line-up; see the schedule for time of the 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: Duke Commencement will be in Wallace Wade Stadium, West Campus. Details are available here and here.