Frequently Asked Questions

The most commonly-asked questions about Commencement exercises

The 2019 Spring Commencement Ceremony will take place on Saturday, May 4 and is for Fall 2018, Spring 2019, and Summer 2019 graduates.

Q. Where is the Commencement Ceremony located?  

A. To be determined. The ceremony starts at 10 a.m., and graduates must arrive at 8:30 a.m. We suggest parents and families plan to arrive early as well.

Q. What exactly is "academic attire"?  

A. Graduates must wear academic attire: caps, gowns, and tassels. Academic attire is required for senior chapel, baccalaureate, and the commencement ceremonies. The gowns are packaged in small bags and will need to be pressed with a cool iron - do NOT wash them! Tassels are worn on the right side of the cap. Academic attire is the graduate's to keep.

Please note that graduates receiving a master's degree will receive hoods at the Commencement Ceremony. Non-attenders do not receive hoods. 

Academic attire can be picked up in the Office of Alumni Relations, located in the Johnson Center. Academic attire will be available from Monday, April 22 - Friday, May 3 at 12 noon. Monday-Thursday hours for both weeks are 8:30 a.m. - 6 p.m. Hours Friday, April 27 are 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. and on Friday, May 3 from 8:30 a.m. - 12 noon.

Q. May I order announcements?  

A. Yes, personalized graduation announcements are available through the Malone Bookstore. Please stop in to pick up information.

Q. Will flowers be available for my graduate?  

A. If you would like to purchase flowers for your graduate, the Office of Parent Relations will have instructions available spring semester. Some carnations will be available for purchase at the church. View bouquet options and place your order online.

Q. Do I have to have a ticket to attend the ceremony?  

A. Tickets are not required for this year’s Commencement Ceremony. Seating will be on a first-come, first-serve basis and saved seating will not be permitted. As in prior years, we do ask that you limit your invited guests to five to assure sufficient seating in the sanctuary.

Q. What exactly is Graduation? Commencement?  

A. Graduation refers to receiving a degree once a student has been certified by the University as having met all the degree requirements. Commencement is a ceremony. It's an opportunity for students to celebrate their academic accomplishments together with their families, friends, and members of the Malone Community. Participation in the Commencement Ceremony is not synonymous with graduation - in other words, a student can graduate without attending Commencement.

Q. Is it acceptable to clap after my graduate receives his degree?  

A. Thank you for showing respect to everyone who has come to share in this experience. After ALL diploma covers have been awarded, ALL graduates will be applauded.

Q. Will there be food and beverages available? 

A. No food or drink is permitted.

Q. Can I photograph or take video of Commencement?  

A. All cameras are allowed, but please do not block the viewing of others. A professional photographer will photograph graduates on stage, and the photos can be purchased directly from the photographer approximately one week after the ceremony. Video recordings of the Ceremony may be purchased from Malone. This is not a professional video, but a taping done by the audio/visual group from the facility. To order, please email

Q. Please tell me that cell phones are not permitted!  

A. Of course not - please turn off all cell phones, electronics, etc.

Q. Will there be childcare available?  

A. Childcare will not be provided during any of the graduation events. Children are welcome, but please note that the Commencement Ceremony is not designed to keep the attention of young children.

Q. Tell me about parking.  

A.  Guests requiring special parking must have a valid handicapped parking permit.

Q. Is there seating for people with special needs?  

A. Yes, please call the Office of the Provost at 330-471-8119.

Q. Will I receive my diploma at Commencement?  

A. No. During the commencement ceremony, each student will be given a diploma cover. If the application for the degree is received by the deadline, all academic requirements are complete, and all financial obligations have been met, diplomas will be mailed after grades are finalized and audits are complete to the address listed on the Application for Degree.

Q. What should I wear in addition to my cap, gown, and tassel?  

A. Smart casual dress is recommended. According to traditions of academic attire, no jewelry or non-academic accessories should be worn on the outside of the robe; no accessories or decorations on the cap.

Q. What are the requirements for an honor cord?  

A. Honors are granted only for the undergraduate degrees and are as follows: 

  • Summa Cum Laude = 3.90 - 4.0 grade point average
  • Magna Cum Laude = 3.70 - 3.89 grade point average
  • Cum Laude = 3.50 - 3.69 grade point average

Final grades are due after the commencement ceremony; therefore, honors designation may not be reflected accurately during the ceremony. Final determination of honors will be calculated after all final grades are received. 

In order to receive academic honors, undergraduates must complete a minimum of 60 graded hours of Malone coursework and have a minimum of a 3.5 or higher grade point average in those hours. Once these standards are met, all collegiate work completed by the student, including all transfer courses attempted (whether accepted in transfer or not) will be combined with the Malone grade point average to determine the final honors grade point average. This honors grade point average will be used to determine graduation honors. Honor cords will be made available for students who are awarded graduation honors. The diploma and transcript will reflect that final honors designation.