Commencement Frequently Asked Questions
Graduate and Ceremony Information
What is the location of Spring 2023 Commencement?
- The Commencement Exercises will occur on the Century Campus with limited seating reserved for the platform party, faculty, graduates, and up to ten seats per graduate.
WHAT SHOULD GRADUATES AND FAMILIES EXPECT?
- The 2023 Spring Commencement will include the traditional ceremony and adhere to CDC guidelines to ensure the safety of our students, faculty, staff, and guests
The ceremony will include several traditional elements:
- President David A. Thomas, Provost Kendrick Brown, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees Willie Woods will confer degrees.
- President Thomas will deliver remarks, present awards, and recognize graduates.
- Having met all requirements, graduates will be recognized individually and provided with degree covers.
- Graduating seniors living on campus will be issued a one-day placard for Commencement Day only.
Graduates will be seated by academic division and called by name in alphabetical order within the division. During the recognition of individual graduates, a photographer will capture President Thomas with each graduate. As we call each graduate’s name, he will cross the stage and be handed the diploma cover by the President, in a mask. A Grad Images photographer will then take a photo. As he exits the stage, the graduate will have his picture taken with the degree cover and exit the stage immediately. He will direct him back to his seat.
As we read honorary doctorate names, the marshal hoods the honoree. The recipient then poses with the president and chairman and returns to their seat.
How do I receive my graduation regalia?
Candidates for 2023 graduation should submit their applications by March 24, 2023. Graduates who completed their requirements during Summer 2022 or Fall Semester 2022 are able to pick up their regalia beginning on mid-April 2023. All others who complete their requirements can pick up their regalia from the Morehouse College Bookstore during Commencement week.
How do I receive my honor cord?
Students designated to receive Latin honors should receive an academic honor cord. The cords are available in the Morehouse Bookstore. Latin Honors are an academic distinction based on a student’s cumulative grade point average through the end of the fall semester. Degree candidates can review their status in My Portal and Degree Works.
How are graduating senior ranked?
All graduating seniors are not ranked. Morehouse only ranks the top two seniors. We designate degree candidates with the highest GPAs in the class as valedictorian and salutatorian. Only seniors who are in the process of completing all degree requirements by the end of the spring semester are eligible to be considered for the top rankings.
When is the Baccalaureate Service?
This year’s baccalaureate service for the Class of 2023 will be held in the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel on Saturday, May 20, 2023, at 3:00 PM.
When will the Commencement speaker be announced?
Commencement and Baccalaureate speakers will be announced in mid-April 2023.
How do I order a class ring?
Jostens partners with us to offer class rings to graduates. Visit Jostens online for more details.
When is the Alumni Rite of Passage Ceremony?
The Alumni Rite of Passage Ceremony will take place in the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel immediately following senior class rehearsal on Friday, May 19, 2023, at 4:00 PM. The tradition connects new graduates to alumni forever and is of major importance to ongoing alumni engagement and an important introduction to the National Alumni Association.
Can I request a graduation fee refund if I don’t plan to attend Commencement?
No, the graduation fee offsets a portion of the total cost of Commencement and related graduation activities. It is assessed for all degree candidates, even if you elect not to participate in the Commencement ceremony. The fee is non-refundable.
We assess senior fees for all degree candidates who apply for graduation. Some costs include, but are not limited to, caps and gowns, diplomas and diploma covers, graduation weekend activities, senior portraits, and the graduation coordination and production.
Is there a rain plan for Commencement?
We are holding Commencement exercises on the historic Century Campus Green. Unless there is a significant downpour, our Commencement will be held, rain or shine. In case of torrential rain or severe weather, we may opt to delay the start of Commencement and relocate to Forbes Arena, our backup location. All attendees should check the weather before coming to the campus and plan accordingly. We will set our final plan 72 hours (about 3 days) before Commencement morning.
Does Morehouse have host hotels for Commencement weekend?
Yes, Morehouse has blocked a limited number of hotel options for your convenience. Please make your reservation to ensure the room rates are available to you:
- Address: 181 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, GA 30303
- Phone: (404) 659-0400
- Make your reservation
- Hyatt Place – Centennial Park
- Address: 300 Luckie St NW, Atlanta, GA 30313
- Phone: (404) 521-0008
- Make your reservation
- REVERB by Hard Rock, Atlanta
- Address: 89 Centennial Olympic Park Dr NW, Atlanta, GA 30313
- Phone: (470) 552-8410
- Make your reservation
Will there be lodging accommodations on campus during Commencement weekend?
No, Morehouse will not provide on-campus lodging for families during Commencement weekend activities. On-campus lodging will be available only for volunteers, Glee Club members, and military color guard participants.
What is Commencement attire?
The official attire for Commencement is academic regalia, comfortable and shined black shoes, and a white shirt. The regalia is limited to the black robe and tassel, cap, and honor cords provided to you, if applicable.
Wear appropriate cool and comfortable attire to celebrate this once-in-a-lifetime event for your graduate.
Are graduating seniors who are living on campus able to stay in their residence halls until Commencement?
Yes, graduating seniors will be permitted to remain in residence halls until Commencement. We expect all students to plan their departure and check out of their rooms within 24 hours of Commencement, but no later than Monday, May 22, 2023, at 1:00 PM. Please ensure that you check with your residential advisor (RA) or house leader before you check out of your room.
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What time does the Century Campus open?
- The grounds will open to guests approximately three hours before the beginning of the ceremony.
How long does the ceremony usually last?
- We expect the ceremony to last 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
Will you stream the ceremony online?
- Yes. Family and friends may view our ceremony online through our live webcast. Information will appear on morehouse.edu the week before the ceremony.
Will light refreshments and water be available?
- Yes. Before the ceremony, refreshments will be available for purchase, on the Lane side of the cafeteria.
What items are allowed or restricted in the venue?
Morehouse College strongly encourages attendees not to bring any type of bag, but Commencement attendees will be able to carry the following style and size bag into the event, with limited exceptions:
- Bags that are clear plastic, vinyl, or PVC and do not exceed 12″ x 6″ x 12″
- Buckles, grommets/hardware, or décor which conceal any part of the bag
- One-gallon, transparent plastic freezer bag (Ziplock bags or similar)
- Small clutch bags, which cannot exceed 4.5″ x 6.5″ in size, with or without a handle or strap, can be taken into the event venue with one of the transparent plastic bags
We will make exceptions for medical and diaper bags. Guests with medical and diaper bags must request an individual inspection from the gate supervisor.
Additionally, each guest can bring in one sealed bottle of water of up to one liter and a three ounce travel-sized bottle of hand sanitizer.
The following items are permitted to enter Morehouse Commencement zone:
- Sunscreen lotion
- Blankets (non-electric/non-battery-powered)
- Seat cushion
- Medical assistance devices
- Breast pumps and supplies
- Baby food (with a child in arms)
What items are not allowed on the campus?
We prohibit the following items from entering the Morehouse Commencement zone and will not store any prohibited item brought to campus.
- Weapons of any kind, including those with permits
- Alcoholic beverages
- Tobacco (including smokeless and e-cigarettes)
- Aerosol cans/sprays
- Coolers or ice chests
- Thermos/metal bottles
- Ice bags
- Bags not compliant with clear-bag policy outlined above
- Laser pointers
- Cameras with lenses longer than 4″
- Sticks or flag poles
- Pets/therapy animals
- Fireworks or other explosives
- Illegal drugs
- Personal transportation devices (skateboards, hoverboards, scooters, etc.)
- Inflated balls of any type
- Umbrellas that obstruct the view of others
- Any other items deemed dangerous or inappropriate by security
VISITORS AND VENDORS
Visitors are those who are not Morehouse faculty, staff, students, or vendors. Vendors provide products and services to the institution and are not formally considered visitors.
- Visitors and vendors are not required to wear a face mask indoors and physical distance any longer. However, these requirements are subject to change in accordance with COVID-19 protocols.
- Visitors and vendors may be asked to answer questions regarding their exposure to COVID-19 before being given access to the Morehouse College campus. Visitors and vendors are prohibited from being on campus if they have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past two weeks, are exhibiting signs or symptoms of COVID-19 illness or were in close contact with someone confirmed to have COVID-19 recently. Please protect yourself and others by staying home if any of these conditions apply.
- We may require vendors to participate in COVID-19 testing protocols depending on their exposure to Morehouse students and staff.
PARKING AND TRANSPORTATION
How do I get to Morehouse College Century Campus?
Morehouse is located at 830 Westview Drive SW, Atlanta, GA 30314.
We encourage guests to enter campus via Lee Street and Westview Drive, located off I-20 East, using exit 55B.
Graduates are encouraged to arrive early using a separate entrance at the West End Ave and Wellborn Street access point. Graduates are encouraged to arrive no later than 6:30 AM through the West End Ave and Wellborn Street access point. Please be sure to show your 2023 graduating senior placard as you enter the campus for a smooth transition to Parking Lot B or the Morehouse Parking Deck.
Will parking be available?
Beginning at 6:00 AM, visitor parking is available on a first-come, first-serve basis in the Morehouse Parking Deck or Morehouse School of Medicine. Visitor parking is available on any of the campus lots on a first-come-first-served basis. Fees may vary. We will provide updates and additional information in May should information change. Guest drop-off and parking for those who will need accessibility Services will be available on the Atlanta Student Movement Blvd access point near the Clark Atlanta University entrance.
Guests with a valid disability parking tag may park on the first level of the Morehouse parking decks, located next to Westview Drive or the CAU President’s Parking Lot off Atlanta Student Movement Boulevard.
Can I use public transportation to reach the Commencement venue?
- Yes, two (2) MARTA transit stations serve the campus.
- West End Station – This is the closest station to the Commencement ceremonies
- Ashby Street Station – This is the closest station to the Century Campus
What do I do if someone in my party becomes separated from our group?
- Please see any usher, safety marshal, police officer, or Morehouse event support staff member for assistance.
How many tickets will each graduate receive?
Each graduate will receive ten reserved seating tickets for Commencement morning. Additional seating will be available in overflow areas for seating beyond your allotted 10 seats. Tickets are not required for Baccalaureate Services.
How will I receive the tickets I requested?
Tickets will be released to the graduate when the final list is submitted to the Morehouse bookstore. Ticket distribution will be handled during the week of graduation when students pick up their cap, gown and hood. Valedictorian and Salutatorian guests will be handles separately.
Can I request extra tickets?
Unfortunately, we will be unable to accommodate requests for extra tickets. However, we will livestream the event on https://morehouse.edu/, so that family, friends, and supporters can enjoy and celebrate with you wherever they may be.
Are tickets for a specific seat?
Yes, tickets are color coded and seating will be available in your reserved section on a first-come, first-served basis, are not assigned a specific seat/row this year. Please arrive early for the best placement for your family members and loved ones. Parent and Family tickets are color coded in Green. Tickets for Alumni are color coded in Red, Tickets for those requiring special accessibility services are color-coded in Blue and may be exchanged within the 10 ticket per person count. VIP Guests of the College will be color-coded in Gold.
Do family members and guests need tickets to attend the Commencement ceremony?
Yes. We require tickets for Commencement for everyone who will be seated in the reserved section. Infants and small children under the age of two (2) will not require a ticket. All open seating areas will not require tickets as well.
Do infants need a ticket for Commencement?
We do not require tickets for children under the age of two seated in an adult’s lap for the duration of the ceremony. Per the Fulton County Fire Marshal, children older than two years must have a guest ticket to attend.
Can parents request tickets on their own?
Unfortunately, no. All tickets will be given to the graduates. It is each graduate’s responsibility to distribute tickets to loved ones. The graduate can indicate the name of someone to pick up his allotment but no changes can be made after Monday, May 9.
What if I am unable to secure the number of tickets I need for all my guests?
We will have additional seating in the non-reserved section for parents. The ceremony will also be streamed live on the Morehouse website. We invite you to celebrate with us virtually.
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Health and Safety
Your health safety is paramount to our community. Ceremonies will be held in a manner that is safe and compliant with COVID-19 safety protocols. Each ceremony will be limited to the student and ten guests. Students and guests are asked to abide by all federal, state, local, and Morehouse college mandates, policies, protocols, and procedures related to COVID-19.
All guests agree to:
- Regularly self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 (new or worsening) and stay home if sick.
- Fever greater than or equal to 100F
- Shaking or chills
- Loss of taste or smell
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Sore throat
- Muscle aches
- Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- Comply with any screening protocols or safety measures that may be in place for the event.
- Wash hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds regularly throughout the day and use hand sanitizer when hand washing stations are not available.
- Comply with the applicable contact tracing protocols of both Morehouse, Fulton county, and state of Georgia health departments.
Do I have to take a COVID-19 test?
At this time, we are not requiring graduates or guests to take a PCR-based COVID-19 test. This protocol is subject to change based on changing local and national pandemic trends.
We recommend every participant and attendee be fully vaccinated for indoor and outdoor events to be safe, but vaccination is no longer a requirement.
Does Morehouse provide wheelchairs to rent or borrow on the morning of Commencement?
Unfortunately, Morehouse cannot provide wheelchairs for your guests.
What are the wheelchair rental services available nearby?
If you or a relative need wheelchairs, you can contact the following companies to reserve a wheelchair for your loved one:
11 Dunwoody Park, Ste 130
Atlanta, GA 30338
Phone: (770) 512-0090
- Alpha Medical Equipment and Supplies
1652 Church St.
Decatur, GA 30030
- Heavenly Wheels Inc. Medical Supply
2080 Defoors Ave., Ste. 105
- Power Wheelchair Services, Inc.
467 85 Circle, Ste. B
College Park, GA 30349
Is there a limit for ADA seats for each party?
We do not enforce a strict limit as we recognize different families have unique needs. Each ADA request will receive one companion (buddy) seat. However, we ask that guests do not request more than they need to help us accommodate as many people as possible. Companions may be relocated within the ADA section to help us accommodate ADA guests.
I want my guests to be seated together, can this be arranged?
Yes. You should request ADA seating at the time of ticket distribution. It may be seated with your family.
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Professional Photography and Senior Portraits
How do I order photos taken at the ceremony?
Grad Images is proud to be your official graduation photographer. Proofs of your photos will be sent via email the week after your Commencement. You can also view and order your images directly online a few days after the ceremony.
Are there professional photographers at the diploma ceremonies?
Yes. We partner with Grad Images to capture each student receiving their diploma. Grad Images provides proofs to view before purchase. For more information, visit Gradimages.com.
Will there be complimentary senior photos for the Class of 2023?
Yes. An early photo session can be available for those students who have been cleared to receive their regalia early. The date for senior photos will be scheduled after Spring Break. The final date for all graduates is Friday, May 19, 2023 between 9:00 AM and 1:00 PM.
Is there a fee to take senior photos?
No, the photo sessions are included in your graduation fee. Grad Images will offer Packages for your senior photos. No, the photo sessions are included in your graduation fee. Grad Images will offer packages for your senior photos.
What is the location of the photoshoot?
On Friday, May 19, 2023, graduating seniors will take their photos in the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel. .
What should I wear?
If you are taking your cap and gown photo, you will be required to bring it with you.
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Contact the Commencement Planning Team
Got a question? We want to hear from you. Use the form below to ask questions and share feedback with the Commencement Planning Team.