Graduate School Commencement

Details & Procedures


Our main plan is still to hold commencement at the high school stadium at 4 p.m.


We continue to monitor the weather forecast for tomorrow. As you know, Arkansas weather can be a bit unpredictable, and we are hoping the forecast for Saturday clears up.


We will make a rain plan decision for both our 10 a.m. traditional undergraduate ceremony and your 4 p.m. ceremony at approximately 10 p.m. tonight (May 21st) and post the update on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


However, should we switch to the rain plan (JBU Bill George Arena at 4 p.m.) we will allow you to bring an unlimited number of family members. Tickets will not be required.


We will require everyone over the age of 2 to wear a mask at all times. (Graduates may remove their mask after crossing the stage while their picture is taken and then put back on.)


Based on the number of participating graduates, we should be able to maintain 3–6-foot distancing between family groups and ask that your guests help us with this as they find their seats.

Saturday, May 22, 2021 - Commencement Day

Saturday, May 22, 4 p.m. at the Siloam Springs High School Stadium (700 N Progress Ave, Siloam Springs, AR 72761) located approximately 3 miles from JBU in Siloam Springs. . (In the event of heavy rain or lightning, commencement will be at Bill George Arena. We will make a weather call by the evening of Wednesday, May 19.) 

Mask Requirements for Graduates

Outdoor ceremony – graduates will be required to wear masks during check-in and in the staging area.  When leaving the staging area, masks can be removed for the processional and ceremony as social distancing will be observed.

Indoor ceremony (rain plan) – masks will be required for the entire ceremony.

Check -In for Graduates

Will begin at 3pm at location 2 (see map below)



If the weather cooperates and commencement is at the Siloam Springs High School football stadium, there will not be a restriction on the number of family members attending. You can invite as many family members as you want to the outside ceremony. We believe the stadium capacity and outside venue alleviate much of the safety concerns. (Attendance is still restricted to family members, and we ask for family units to distance themselves appropriately from other family units.) We ask that attendees wear a mask into the stadium until they find their seats, and then they can remove their mask. We will make a weather call a day or two before commencement and only move the ceremony from the stadium if there is a prediction of heavy rain and lightning. 


If weather necessitates a move to JBU’s Bill George Arena, each graduate is limited to 6 family members (up from the previous four). You will receive your tickets in the next couple of weeks via USPS. (If they do not arrive by May 18, please email Please note that with six family members in attendance, physical distancing will be closer to three feet. We will require masks at all times for the audience if we have to move inside. If attendees are uncomfortable with this arrangement, they are welcome to watch the Livestream on YouTube.



If any of your family members have particular accessibility needs, please email Jarrod Heathcote at 



JBU is changing our policy and allowing graduates to add positive, celebratory personalization to the top of their mortarboard as long as it follows these guidelines. If you have questions after reading the guidelines, please email If you arrive at commencement with a cap outside the guidelines, we will give you a blank replacement cap for the ceremony.



The Office of Alumni & Parent Engagement has a small gift for you following the ceremony. Please stop by the tables as you complete the recessional to pick up your gift.

Preparation Schedule

  • Regalia (cap/gown and/or masters hood), invitations or rings can be purchased through the bookstore.
  • Regalia orders can be placed at the JBU Bookstore or at the following website: until May 2nd.
    For questions, please contact the Bookstore directly at 479.524.7195. 

*The cost of regalia is NOT included in the graduation fee as some students do not participate in the commencement ceremony. 

Friday, June 4, 2021
Before a student is to be considered a May 2021 graduate, official evidence of transfer credit from an outside college or university must be received on or before this date.

  • To be considered an official May 2021 graduate, we must receive documentation of completed work by June 4, 2021.
  • Diplomas will be mailed by July 15, 2021. Please check with the Business Office to make sure your account is in good standing as this may prevent your diploma/official transcript from being released.
  • Official transcripts - Official transcripts can be requested online at


There will be no commencement rehearsal. Detailed procedures will be posted here as soon as the specific date and building location has been determined.  Check back soon.

  • Undergraduate students will wear their tassel on their right side and will move it to the left side during the ceremony when Dr. Pollard confers their degree with the words "and all rights, privileges and obligations." Master's students wear their tassels on the left side of their cap throughout the ceremony. Men will remove their caps for the singing of the National Anthem, Invocation, Commencement Address, singing of the Alma Mater, and Benediction. Women will wear their caps at all times. Men will wear their caps during the processional, receiving their diploma on stage, and recessional.
  • Students will stand for the Processional, National Anthem, Invocation, Conferring of Degrees, Alma Mater, and Benediction. Students will be seated during the special music and commencement address. Student/staff marshals will assist students during the processional, ceremony and recessional.
  • When the Master of Ceremony requests the designated group of graduates to come to the platform, the first row will lead and the remaining rows will be seated. Students will approach the platform by division/program and hand their student card (the student card will be provided when you check in) to their division chair/program director. One student will stand at the top of the stairs, the remaining students will wait at the bottom of the stairs - moving up one at a time once a name is read. Each row will approach the platform when there are three (3) students on the floor at the base of the steps (from the previous row). After the student's name, degree, and applicable honors are read, the student will proceed across the platform and receive their diploma (cover) from Dr. Pollard.
  • After receiving the diploma (cover), exit the stage, stop for a picture, and then return to your row and be seated.
  • To be considered an official May 2021 graduate, documentation of all work completed must be received in the Registrar's Office by June 4, 2021. Diplomas will be mailed by July 15, 2021. Please contact the Business Office to confirm that your account is in good standing as this may prevent your diploma/official transcript from being released.


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