Got a question about attending Commencement or what’s going on with your diploma? Here are some answers to some of the most common questions students ask leading up to graduation day.

Audit and Diploma Questions - Office of the Registrar -
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Commencement Questions or Concerns - Deb Cagle -

Am I required to participate in Commencement to receive my diploma?

Participation in the Commencement Convocation is optional but encouraged. Diplomas are mailed after the degree conferral process is completed at the end of each term.

When and where are diplomas mailed?

Diplomas are mailed to the recipient at the home address on file.

Mailing of the diploma takes place after the degree conferral process is complete. This process can take six to eight weeks after the conferral date (ex: fall conferral date is December 31. Once the process is complete, the degree you earn will be posted to your Benedictine account. You may expect to receive your diploma in the mail 10 to 14 business days after the posting. Please note that diplomas will not be released if you have any financial holds.

Who sends out diplomas?

The Office of the Registrar.

When will the degree be posted as earned on my transcript?

Degrees will be reflected on your academic transcript after the record has been reviewed, confirming that all graduation requirements have been satisfied. This process is called degree conferral.

What would prevent a student from participating in Commencement?

Not being in good financial or academic standing with the University. You must be in good financial standing before receiving your cap and gown, and be enrolled in an academic program that will be completed by the end of the summer term (if necessary to fulfill degree requirements).

Are invitations/announcements available?

Yes. Visit the Commencement Mementos page for details on ordering personalized invitations and announcements.

How and where do I get my cap and gown?

Cap and gown ordering and pick-up information will be available soon.

Is there a practice ceremony?


What is the appropriate attire for the ceremony?

Business casual or formal dress is suggested. Adornments such as corsages and pins are not traditionally worn as a part of the regalia. The cap should be worn flat on the top of the head and signs are not recommended. Caps or gowns decorated with inappropriate messages will not be permitted. We highly recommend wearing comfortable shoes as you will be walking in a procession.

On what side of the cap do I wear the tassel?

As an associate or bachelor’s degree candidate, you wear your tassel on the right side. After your degree conferral is announced and all diploma covers are distributed, you will switch the tassel to the left side. As a master’s and doctoral degree candidate, you wear your tassel on the left side.

As an honor student who is graduating from an undergraduate program, how will I receive Academic Honor Cords?

Academic Honor Cords for qualified undergraduate students will be distributed at the Grad Fair in April. 



As a student who is graduating from a master’s program, will I be recognized for graduation honors?

There are no graduation honors for students earning master’s and doctoral degrees.

Can I decorate my cap?

Yes, you may decorate your cap. Your decorating must not include any inappropriate content and no profanity

Will there be undergraduate hooding?

Undergraduate Hooding has been replaced by the Undergraduate Stole of Gratitude Ceremony.

The meaning of the Stole is as follows:

Gratitude is the heart of the Benedictine experience, and the Stole of Gratitude makes that heart visible for all to appreciate. At Commencement exercises, undergraduates of Benedictine University don the Stole of Gratitude as a prominent feature of their academic regalia. Designed in rich Benedictine red with the historic University seal, the Stole is a tangible sign of the support, encouragement, and prayers that make every Benedictine story a success story.

At the conclusion of Commencement ceremonies, each new graduate presents the Stole of Gratitude to a special individual whose generosity, advocacy, and faith have transformed the journey from admission to graduation into an adventure of a lifetime. When the graduate places the Stole around the neck of the honored recipient, the beauty of Benedictine gratitude passes from a new graduating class to an ever-expanding community of sponsors and partners around the world.

Graduates may inscribe the Stole with personal messages of love and appreciation. Friends and family members may autograph the front or back of the Stole. For every graduate and every recipient, the Stole of Gratitude is an enduring emblem of the care and sacrifice that genuine academic achievement requires. It is one great sign of what it means to be Forever Benedictine.

The Ceremony

At Benedictine University we honor and cherish our traditions – but also embrace revising or starting new traditions to enhance our student's experience. With that in mind, we’re announcing that at this year’s Commencement, we will begin a new Stole of Gratitude tradition for undergraduate students.

Beginning this year, graduating seniors will be presented with a “Stole of Gratitude” by either the President or Provost of the University during what will now be: “The Benedictine University Stole of Gratitude Ceremony”. During this Ceremony, each undergraduate, while accepting their stole, will have a personal moment with the President or Provost to share distinctive experiences at Benedictine University as well as their dreams for the future. These moments, which last just a few minutes, were personal touches that last year’s graduates said made the ceremony especially memorable.

During the Commencement Ceremony, undergraduates can wear their Benedictine University Stole of Gratitude as a prominent feature of their academic regalia.

Afterwards—during the Red Thread Celebration and Reception, which immediately follows the Commencement Ceremony — graduates can present their Stole to a special family member, friend, professor, or staff member who made a significant impact during their undergraduate college journey at Benedictine University

Do I need tickets for my guests and how many am I allotted?

The Commencement Ceremony is scheduled to be held in the Village of Lisle-Benedictine University Sports Complex in our football stadium. For this reason, we do not need to issue tickets or give a maximum number of guests. However, if the weather is forecasted to be inclement on the day of Commencement, we may have no choice but to move the Ceremony to the Dan and Ada Rice Center Arena. There will need to be a split with half of the graduates having their ceremony in the morning and the other half in the afternoon. We will make this determination on Wednesday, May 11th. The decision will be posted on the Commencement website, and we may need to restrict the number of guests in the arena. There are several areas on campus that we can live stream the ceremony so that all your guests can see you walk across the stage!

If I attend the Mesa Campus, can I choose to walk at the Lisle Commencement Ceremony?

Yes, you can walk in Lisle if you have attended Mesa or vice versa. We are one University and as such, it is your choice where you would like to receive your diploma. You will need to register to participate in the Commencement Events of the campus that you want just to keep us organized and ready for you!

Will there be a live streaming of the Commencement ceremony?

Yes, we will live stream the ceremony. The link will be listed on the Commencement web page by Wednesday, May 11th.

I have a dual degree – how do I do order my cap & gown to be inclusive of both degrees?

The student will pick one as they can’t wear two tassels or hoods. The student needs to decide if they want to wear for example: an apricot tassel/hood (Master of Science in Nursing  (MSN) or tan tassel/hood  (Master of Business Administration (MBA). The store will be selling additional tassels before and during graduation so if the student would like to purchase another tassel with the other degree’s color, they can have both. DO NOT TRY TO ORDER AN EXTRA TASSEL ONLINE – this will send you two of the same color.


Pat Ariano
Chief of Staff

Deb Cagle
Director, University Development Events
(630) 829-6080