Frequently Asked Questions About Graduation

The most commonly asked questions about Commencement exercises

Q: Are tickets required to attend the Commencement Services.

A.  To be sure that there is enough room for all families to participate in the commencement services, a limited of tickets can be reserved online by each graduate for friends and family to attend the 10 a.m. service.  Any guests that attends the commencement service without a ticket will be seated in the service overflow located in the Johnson Center Dining Room (JC 106) with Livestream available of the service.  Family members are also able to participate in the services remotely with Livestream access.  No tickets will be necessary for the 2 p.m. Commencement Services.  No tickets can be reserved the day of Commencement (May 4) online or at the door.

Q. Where will I park?

A. Please enter at the Cleveland Avenue entrances.  All other campus entrances will be closed for the services.  Student parking will be in the Centennial Center parking lot. Please leave enough time to arrive at the Johnson Center by 8:30 a.m. (10 a.m. ceremony) or 12:45 p.m. (2 p.m. ceremony) Guests can begin seating at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.  Guests requiring special parking must have a valid handicap parking permit. All other guests will be directed to the appropriate parking lots.  Shuttles will be available to transport students and guests to the Johnson Center from the parking areas on campus for the 10 a.m. service.

Q. What exactly is "academic attire"?  

A. Academic attire: caps, gowns, and tassels.  Academic attire is required for  the commencement ceremony and is for the graduate to keep. 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 at the beginning of the service. 

According to the tradition of academic attire, no jewelry or non-academic accessories should be worn on the outside of the robe; no accessories or decor on the cap.  Smart business casual dress is recommended under the academic attire and flat shoes are suggested to navigate steps safely.

Academic attire can be picked up in the Office of Alumni Relations located in the Johnson Center. An Exit Interview is REQUIRED (may be completed online) before you can pick up your cap and gown.

Alumni Office, Suite 100 – Johnson Center – 330.471.8454
April 29 - May 2 | 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. 
May 3 | 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Q. What is a Hooding Ceremony?  

A. Hooding is a special recognition ceremony for master’s degree candidates during which a faculty member places the master’s hood over the head of the student, signifying his or her success in completing the graduate program. The hooding for graduate students will take place during the afternoon Commencement ceremony.

Q. May I order announcements?  

A. Yes, personalized graduation announcements are available through the Malone Campus Store or directly through Jostens.  

Q: How do I order a yard sign for graduation?

A. Graduate yard signs can be ordered through the campus bookstore or directly at

Q. Will flowers be available for my graduate?  

A. If you would like to purchase flowers for your graduate, the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations will have them available for pickup at the Alumni and Parent Relations table. Single carnations are available for purchase at the event while supplies last. Online orders close at noon on April 29 . Go to or (330) 471-8454 to order.

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 is 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. Food and beverages are not permitted in the Worship Center of the Johnson Center.

Q. Can I photograph or take video of Commencement?  

A. All cameras are allowed. To be courteous of the other guests, please remain in your seat and 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.  The ceremony will be available on Livestream for remote viewing at

Q. Will cell phones be permitted?

A. As a courtesy of others attending the ceremony, we ask that all cell phones, pagers, watches, or other devices be silenced until after the ceremony.

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. Is there seating for people with special needs?  

A. Special needs and wheelchair accessible seating is available in the Worship Center. Please complete the information form online to reserve accessible guest seating.  An usher will be able to assist you to your seat before the service.

In addition, you can ask those directing the parking where to go to drop someone off at the side door of the Johnson Center lobby. There will be someone at the main entrance to stay with your relative until you park your car and return. Parking is available within a short distance of the event for guests. 

Q. What if it rains?

A. The Commencement ceremony will be held indoors in the Worship Center of the Johnson Center this year. Shuttles will be available to transport students and guests to the Johnson Center from the parking areas for the 10 a.m. service.

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.