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    COMMENCEMENT FAQs

    Below are key answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Morehouse College Commencement and Reunion Weekend.

    Know Before You Go

    This section has the most up-to-date information for those attending the 140th Commencement Ceremony on Sunday, May 19, 2024. Please read this first before continuing to the rest of the FAQs information. 

    Entering Campus

    Please plan to arrive early and expect a considerable wait time due to enhanced security measures. Dress comfortably and please be patient with the process.

    The Joseph Lowery Blvd. gate is for graduates, employees and volunteers. It will close either at 6:30 a.m. or when B lot is full – whichever occurs first.

    The front entrance will close to vehicles at 7:30 a.m. or when parking deck is full – whichever occurs first. The front entrance will remain open to pedestrian attendees throughout the ceremony.

    attendee wristbands

    Attendees MUST have a wristband to access the campus and MUST go through the security check. To access Century Campus, you must have a Morehouse-provided wristband. Attendees without wristbands will have a White House-issued, overflow-only wristband and will experience Commencement at King Chapel.

    overflow

    Overflow will be in King Chapel and will open at 8:30 a.m. If you do not have a wristband, DO NOT come to campus until 8:30 a.m. There will not be a waiting area available, and we want to avoid large crowds standing idly. You will be provided an overflow-only wristband to access overflow after going through the security check-in.

    Alumni Attendees

    To sit in the alumni section on Century Campus, alum MUST have an official registered alumni wristband. An alum without a wristband will receive the overflow-only wristband and experience Commencement at King Chapel.

    Umbrellas

    Small umbrellas are permitted. Do not bring large umbrellas.

    food and drinks

    Attendees are able to bring snacks and bottled water; it will be included in the security check. Concessions will also be available for sale in Chivers Dining Hall.

     

    GRADUATE AND CEREMONY INFORMATION

    What is the location of Spring 2024 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.
    2019Commencement168
    Century Campus is our original campus quadrangle and green bordered by many of our oldest and most revered buildings, Graves Hall, Robert Hall, Sale Hall, Hope Hall, Merrill Hall, Danforth Chapel, and the Nabrit Mapp McBay Building.
    WHAT SHOULD GRADUATES AND FAMILIES EXPECT?
    • The 2024 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

    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.
    How will graduates be listed in the program?

    Graduates will be listed by academic division and in alphabetical order within the division. During the recognition of individual graduates, a photographer will capture President Thomas with each graduate.

    How will names be called?

    Names will be called in alphabetical order. As we call each graduate’s name, he will cross the stage and be handed the diploma cover by the Morehouse President. 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 be directed back to his seat.

    Honorary Doctorates

    We will award two honorary degrees during our ceremony. As we read honorary doctorate names, the marshal hoods the honoree. The recipient then poses with the president and chair and returns to their seat.

    How do I receive my graduation regalia?

    Graduates who completed their requirements during Summer 2023 or Fall Semester 2023 can pick up their regalia beginning on May 9th. All others who complete their requirements can pick up their regalia from the Morehouse College Bookstore during Commencement week. To contact the Morehouse College Bookstore, please call (470) 639-0802 or email at bookstore@morehouse.edu.

    How do I receive my honor cord(s)?

    Students designated to receive Latin honors are eligible to receive an academic honor cord. The cords will be distributed by Morehouse Bookstore staff. 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.

    • Latin Honors Range:
      • 3.25 GPA – 3.49 GPA = Cum Laude
      • 3.50 GPA – 3.79 GPA = Magna Cum Laude
      • 3.80 GPA and above = Summa Cum Laude
    How are graduating seniors 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 2024 will be held in the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel on Saturday, May 18, 2024, at 3:00 PM.

    When will the Commencement speaker be announced?

    Commencement and Baccalaureate speakers were announced in mid-April 2024.

    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 17, 2024, 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. All attendees should check the weather before coming to the campus and plan accordingly. We recommend that guests bring a poncho to the ceremonies. We will set our final plan 72 hours (about 3 days) before Commencement morning.

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    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:

    • The Ritz-Carlton Atlanta - SOLD OUT
      • Address: 181 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, GA 30303
      • Phone: (404) 659-0400
      • SOLD OUT
        • Reservation deadline: April 15, 2024
        • Rate: $289 per night
    • The Hyatt Regency Atlanta
      • Address: 265 Peachtree St., Atlanta, GA 30303
      • Phone: 404.577.1234
      • Click here to make your reservation.
        • Limited availability
        • Rate: $289 per night
     
    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 student volunteers, Glee Club members, and military color guard participants.

    What is Commencement attire?

    Graduates:

    The official attire for Commencement is academic regalia, comfortable and shined black shoes, a tie and a white shirt. The regalia is limited to the black robe and tassel, cap, and  honor cords provided to you, if applicable.

    Guests:

    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 20, 2024, at 12:00 PM. Please ensure you check with your Residential Advisor (RA) or Community Director before you check out of your room.

    IMPORTANT: Please plan to pack accordingly for there will be limited opportunity to leave the sacred campus once the ceremonies have started.

     IMPORTANT DATES:

    May 11, 2024 – ALL Residential Houses CLOSE at NOON.  This includes the Otis Moss Suites.  NO EXCEPTIONS.  Residents not participating in Commencement Exercises are required to move out within 24 hours after completing your last final exam.

    May 20, 2024
     – ALL Residential Houses CLOSE at NOON.  This includes the Otis Moss Suites.  NO EXCEPTIONS.  Residents participating in Commencement Exercises are required to move out.

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    GENERAL INFORMATION

    What time does the Century Campus open?

    • The grounds will open to guests approximately four hours before the beginning of the ceremony at 5:00 AM.
     
    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 and after going through security clearance, refreshments will be available for purchase, on the Chivers side of the Morehouse College cafeteria.
    What items are allowed or restricted in the venue?

    Morehouse College strongly encourages attendees not to bring any type of bag, if necessary 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, guests will not be allowed to bring bottled liquids in the secured area, but a three-ounce travel-sized bottle of hand sanitizer is permitted.

    The following items are permitted to enter Morehouse Commencement zone:

    • Sunscreen lotion 
    • Binoculars 
    • 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
    • Cans
    • Coolers or ice chests 
    • Thermos/metal bottles 
    • TVs
    • 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.
    • 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.

    Guests
    We encourage guests to enter campus via Lee Street and Westview Drive, located off I-20 East, using exit 55B.

    Graduates
    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 6:00 AM through the West End Ave and Wellborn Street access point. Please be sure to show your 2024 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 5:00 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 (CAU) entrance.

    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 
    • We also encourage guests to use Uber as an alternative mode of transportation. Dropoff points will be announced prior to the ceremonies.
    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.
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    TICKETS

    How many tickets will each graduate receive?

    Each graduate will receive up to ten reserved seating tickets and wristbands for Commencement morning. Additional seating will be available in overflow areas for seating beyond your allotted 10 seats in Martin Luther King, Jr. International Chapel and Bank of America Auditorium. Tickets are not required for the Baccalaureate service on May 18, 2024. 

    Food and beverages are not allowed in viewing halls and auditoriums.

    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 and wristband distribution will be handled during the week of graduation when students pick up their cap, gown and hood. Valedictorian and Salutatorian guests will be handled 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?

    There are not tickets for specific seats. However, 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, every person attending Commencement will be required to have a ticket or credential to enter the Century Campus. We require tickets and wristbands for Commencement for everyone who will be seated in reserved sections. Infants and small children under the age of two (2) will not require a ticket.

    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 the Monday of Commencement week.

    What if I am unable to secure the number of tickets I need for all my guests?

    The ceremony will also be streamed live on the Morehouse website and selected campus locations. We invite you to celebrate with us virtually.

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    HEALTH AND SAFETY

    Your health and safety are paramount to our community. Ceremonies will be held in a manner that is safe and compliant with COVID-19 safety protocols and policies outlined by our Office of General Counsel & Compliance. 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.

    All guests agree to: 

    Are masks required for entry?

    Masks are optional whether inside or outside.

     
    ACCESSIBILITY
    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?

    However, if you or a relative need wheelchairs, you can contact the following companies to reserve a wheelchair for your loved one:

     
    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. Graduates should request ADA seating at the time of ticket distribution. A graduate may substitute one of his family tickets for an ADA and companion allotted ticket.

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    PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY AND SENIOR PORTRAITS

    How do I order photos taken at the ceremony?

    GradImages is proud to be our official graduation photographer. Proofs of your photos will be sent via email during the weeks following Commencement. You can also view and order your images directly online a few days after the ceremony.

    Will there be complimentary senior photos for the Class of 2024?

    Yes. The makeup date for senior photos will be Friday, May 17, 2024, between 9:00 AM and 12:00 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.

    What is the location of the photoshoot?

    On Friday, May 17, 2024, 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 on the May 17th photo session, you will be required to bring your academic regalia (cap, gown, hood, cords) with you.

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