Commencement Day

Saturday, May 14th, 2016
10:00 a.m.
CFSB Center
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Countdown to Commencement



Important Updates

While we welcome all friends, family and other important guests to share in their graduate’s special day on May 14, please note that seating availability at the CFSB Center will be extremely limited. Please keep in mind the following guidelines:
  • Please arrive early. CFSB Center doors open at 8:30 a.m. with the commencement ceremony beginning at 10 a.m. Saving of multiple seats is prohibited.
  • Ample guest parking is available in the Stewart Football Stadium parking lot, east of the CFSB Center, off of Highway 641. Shuttle buses are available to transport guests from the parking lot to the front doors of the CFSB Center beginning at 8 a.m. Buses are also available until 1:30 p.m. to return guests to the Stewart Stadium parking lot. 
  • Please know that construction is ongoing for State Highway 121, located just north of the CFSB Center.
  • Alternate arrangements for guests to view the commencement ceremony will be available if the CFSB Center reaches its seating capacity. While some “standing room only” spots will be available inside the CFSB Center, a limited area of 'overflow' seating will be available outside of the main arena. Guests directed to this area will be able to view a live video stream of the ceremony in its entirety. 
  • Guests who are unable to attend can follow the commencement ceremony in its entirety at
  • Local motorists should prepare for heavy traffic around the Murray State University campus on Saturday, May 14. Local motorists are urged to take alternate routes and avoid Chestnut Street, State Highway 121 near campus, and Waldrop Drive. A portion of 16th Street between State Highway 121 extending south past Valentine Street will remain closed due to construction. Waldrop Drive will be open.

About Commencement

The Commencement Exercises and Investiture Ceremony is a long-standing tradition at Murray State University and represent a time of dignity and decorum. The ceremony is approximately two hours and will take place in the CFSB Center. We look forward to celebrating this milestone with Murray State graduates, their families, friends, and loved ones.

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Caps, tassels, gowns, residential college stoles, honors cords, and graduate hoods may be purchased at the University Store in the Curris Center. All graduates must be wearing their caps and gowns in order to participate in the Commencement Ceremony. Please be sure that the robe, stole, cords, etc., are all worn in a tasteful manner. Decorating or marking the tops of graduation hats and the wearing of excessive stoles and cords should be avoided. If you have any questions regarding the purchasing of academic regalia, please contact the University Store at (270) 809-4388.

There will be an official photographer taking your photo while you are shaking the President's hand and another photo will be taken after you walk across the stage and down the ramp before going back to your seat. The photo information must be completed on your card BEFORE you enter the arena floor. All graduates must bring their card with them as they proceed to the stage to receive their degrees. Complimentary proofs will be e-mailed to the address provided by the graduate on the graduation card. Inexpensive, quality enlargements are available for purchase from Grad Trak Graduation Images, . Customer service number is 1.800.261.2576.

Preserve the memories of Murray State University's Commencement by purchasing your copy of the Graduation DVD. You may place your order the morning of Commencement by visiting the Graduation Video table in Lobby B. Orders may also be placed in advance by sending in an order form. Click here to order.

Commencement Day

General Information

The Commencement Exercises and Investiture Ceremony is a special and important occasion for Murray State University, its graduates, and their loved ones. Please be courteous to and respectful of others in attendance.

Graduation candidates are asked to arrive at the CFSB Center, Lower Level Gate A at 9:00 a.m. on the day of the commencement ceremony to pick up their graduation/photo card. The ceremony will begin promptly at 10:00 a.m.

For security and courtesy to others, please note the following:

  • All bags will be inspected by security personnel
  • All guests entering the CFSB Center are subject to visual observation by security personnel
  • Cell phones should be set to silent
  • Saving of multiple seats is prohibited

These items are prohibited and must be removed from the CFSB Center:

  • Noise-making devices/items
  • Firearms and other weapons

Graduation/Photo Cards

Once the graduation/photo card is received, the graduate should proceed to the tables provided to complete the contact information on the photo portion of the graduation/photo card. A student will be removed from the line before entering the stage if their card is missing the required contact information. The name listed on the graduation/photo card is the official name of record for their graduate. If an alternate name (such as a middle name) is to be read, write it legibly under the printed name. The academic honor and grade point average listed are based on the semester prior to the graduation semester. The announcer will only read the pre-printed information regarding honors and GPAs.

Personal Items

Personal items such as a cell phones, purse, coat, umbrella, books, etc. shall not be carried during the processional. There will not be a place to secure these items. They should be left with one of your members of the audience.


Restrooms are located inside the lobby of lower Gate A. Graduates will not be allowed to exit the floor prior to the end of the formal ceremony.

Graduate Line-Up

Line-up for the processional will be on the circle drive outside Lower Level A. Signs will be posted denoting the line-up areas for the various degrees. There will be no set seating arrangement and the candidates may sit in any order and with anyone they choose, within their degree category (doctorate, specialist, master, bachelor, associate). If a graduate wishes to be seated beside a friend, line up should be front to back--not side by side.

The processional will enter the lower Gate A entrance to the main arena. The processional will file into the arena in two lines to be seated in two sections.

Each line will go into alternating rows and will be directed by Faculty Marshals.


Graduates and members of the audience are asked to remain seated during the invocation. Men will remove caps during the invocation only.

Investiture Ceremony

In 1996, Murray State University implemented a Residential College System, comprised of eight residential colleges: Clark, Elizabeth, Hart, Hester, Regents, Richmond, Springer-Franklin, and White. The purpose of this system promotes the development of student leadership and the responsibility of governance, all of which result in the establishment of traditions, enduring friendships, and lasting bonds. During the Investiture Ceremony, graduates will be invested as lifelong members of their respective residential colleges. Upon prompting, graduates will stand for the investiture.

Diploma Presentation

To begin diploma presentation, the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs will announce, “Mr. President, the faculty presents to you the following candidates for conferring of degrees.” The graduates will then be called in the following order: Doctorate, Specialist, Master, Bachelor, and Associate. Faculty Marshals will indicate when each row is to rise. When instructed, please rise together, walk across the row where you have been seated, and move up the left aisle, as directed. Be sure to take your graduation/photo card with you, as you will hand it to the presenters on stage.

Conferral of Degrees

After all diplomas have been received, graduates will be instructed to stand. The president will say, "By virtue of the authority.....I declare you graduates of Murray State University." At this time, undergraduate students will move their tassels from the right side to the left side (in unison). When instructed, be seated.


Graduates will be dismissed from the floor.

Ample general guest parking is available in the Stewart Stadium parking lot, east of the CFSB Center, right off Highway 641. Shuttle buses are available to transport guests from the parking lot to the front doors of the CFSB Center beginning at 8:00 a.m. Buses are also available until 1:30 p.m. to transport guests from the CFSB Center back to the parking lot.

Parking/Drop-Off Zone

The parking lot located off of Gilbert Graves Drive. A handicapped parking tag or special permission will be required to park in this location (for more information, please contact the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Access). Guests with limited mobility may also be dropped off at this location.


The top two rows of chair seats in the arena are reserved for guests with limited mobility. A limited mobility guest may have two additional guests sit with them. Additionally, there are two seating areas on each side of the arena for special seating. In these areas, two additional guests are also allowed.


Entrance B is accessible to guests using wheelchairs. There will be ushers available to assist guests. Each guest in a wheelchair may have two chair seats located next to them for guests accompanying them. Wheelchairs will not be provided.

For additional information or special requests, contact the Office of Equal Institutional Diversity, Equity and Access, (270) 809-3155, or the CFSB Center, (270) 809-5577. TDD - (270) 809-3361.

The CFSB Center is located at 1401 State Route 121 North, Murray, KY 42071.

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CFSB Center

Commencement Related Events

Wednesday, May 11, 2016
12:30 p.m.
CFSB Center

Friday, May 13, 2016
4 - 5:30 p.m.
Pogue Library Reading Room

Please join us for a special presentation of the official Murray State University ring to graduating seniors at 5 p.m.

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