skip navigation

Commencement 2009


Official Responsibility

Faculty at SSU play an important role in the success of the annual Commencement ceremony. All faculty are invited and strongly encouraged to participate in as many events as possible. It is important and meaningful to the students to have faculty representation at Commencement ceremony. If you have any questions regarding this information or would like to participate in the ceremony, please contact Commencement Coordinator, Andrea Rodriguez-Jereb at x42018.


The Processional marks the official beginning of the ceremony. The Processional is the march onto the lawn by the candidates, the faculty, and the Platform Party. Faculty need to report for the processional at least one-half hour before the ceremony start time (check specific ceremony time for your School). Be prepared to meet with your fellow faculty and follow the directions of the staff present for detailed instructions. Once at your seat, remain standing until all the faculty and platform party have entered the seating area, the Master of Ceremonies will ask all to stand for the National Anthem. The Master of Ceremonies will invite everyone to take his or her seats and the speaker presentation will begin.


The recessional is at the end of the ceremony and follows the processional in reverse order. After the speakers' portions of the ceremony and the degrees have been conferred, the Master of Ceremonies will instruct the graduates and the audience regarding the recessional. Faculty should follow the directions of the staff on site. The recessional will signify the official end of the ceremony. We ask faculty to line up along the Stevenson Hall path (next to the lawn) to congratulate the graduates.

Where do Faculty sit?

Any faculty members not participating in the ceremony are invited to sit in the reserved faculty seating area on either side of the Platform Party.

What time do I have to be there?

All faculty should arrive no less than one hour prior to the scheduled start time of the ceremony (check with your School for ceremony time). Ceremony times are 9 a.m. (please arrive by 8 a.m.) and 3 p.m. (please arrive by 2 p.m.)

Where do I go?

There will be a designated staging area for fFaculty at each ceremony. Please report to this area and follow the directions of the staff on site. They will instruct you on what to do next and of the progress of the ceremony. Signs will be posted at each venue directing the faculty to the Official Party staging areas. Please have your regalia when you enter the staging area unless other arrangements have been made.

Where do I go to line up?

For the processional please line up on the left (west) side of the Student Union. For the recessional, please line up down the path along the Stevenson Hall lawn.

Where do I park?

Parking is available in the Rancho Cotati student Parking Lot. The student lot is the northernmost lot that is adjacent to the paved sidewalk leading to SSU. It is a short 5 minute walk to SSU from the lot and a quick way to get out after Commencement.

How long is the ceremony?

Approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Will there be refreshments?

The Commons is open to working Commencement staff and faculty and closed to the public.

How do I order my regalia?

Contact the SSU Bookstore by May 1, 2009 for cap and gown rentals.

Who is in the Platform Party?

President, Provost, Vice Provost, Vice Presidents, Associate Vice presidents, Deans, Keynote Speakers, Staff Excellence Award Winners, Excellence in Teaching Award Winners, Student Speakers, Marshals and Readers. They are led down the center aisle and onto the platform. The Official Party's responsibility is to participate in the ceremony and may be called upon to perform additional duties including Faculty Marshall. Another important aspect of the Official Party is to participate in the conferral of degrees at Commencement. Generally, the members of the Academic Procession are seated on the stage throughout the proceedings.

Who and what are the roles of the Marshals?

Marshals are faculty – with the exception of the School Banner Carriers.

  • Grand Marshal - Chair of the Faculty
  • Faculty Marshal - One from each school of Social Sciences, Science & Technology, Art & Humanities and Business & Economics
  • General Marshal - Two from the Schools of Social Sciences, Science & Technology and one from the Schools of Art & Humanities, Education, and Business & Economics
  • School Marshal - Two faculty representatives from each School

Who and what are the roles of the readers?

Faculty members read the names of graduating candidates as the graduates walk across the stage to shake hands and receive their diploma case while having their photograph taken.