Bethune-Cookman University seeks to develop graduates who are honorable, democratic citizens capable of making worthwhile contributions to society. The University expects its graduating students to uphold the highest moral and ethical standards set forth by our founder Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune by practicing self-discipline throughout the graduation activities. Graduating students are still accountable for their behavior.

Academic convocations, which include the Service of Consecration and the Commencement Convocation, are solemn and sacred affairs. The administration expects all attendees to remain until the ceremonies are over.

CONDUCT DURING COMMENCEMENT WEEK ACTIVITIES:

When students enroll in the University, it is expected that they will learn what is considered acceptable behavior in public gatherings. Graduating students will be expected to adhere to the Bethune-Cookman University Honor Code for Students. Graduating students will be expected to conduct themselves in a decent, respectful and civilized manner during all Commencement week activities. This expectation includes the following:

  • Arriving on time to all activities. Students participating in the academic ceremonies should be at each event at the designated time.
  • Wearing academic regalia (cap and gown) for the Service of Consecration and the Commencement Ceremony.
  • Refraining from disruptive behavior (yelling, walking out, and use of cellular devices).
  • Being respectful and attentive to all speakers throughout a program.

DRESS CODE:
Graduating students will be expected to reflect the image of Bethune-Cookman University and its founder in the academic regalia that is worn during the Service of Consecration and the Commencement Convocation. Administrators, faculty, and staff will follow the same academic dress code.

Female

  • Black or dark colored dresses, skirts and blouses
  • Black shoes (Heels lower than 3' recommended)
  • Posts or small hoop earrings
  • Full academic regalia (cap, tassel, and gown).
    • Undergraduate candidates wear tassels on right side of cap until instructed to move the tassel to the left during the ceremony.
    • Graduate candidates wear tassels on the left side of cap and carry the master's hoods on the right arm.

Male

  • Black or navy blue slacks
  • White dress shirt
  • Black or dark colored tie
  • Black shoes
  • No excessive jewelry
  • Full academic regalia (cap, tassel, gown, and master's hood).
    • Undergraduate candidates wear tassels on right side of cap until instructed to move the tassel to the left during the ceremony.
    • Graduate candidates wear tassels on the left side of cap and carry the master's hoods on the right arm.

Graduation Cap Decorating Procedures and Etiquette

Please take into consideration the following rules when decorating your graduation cap. Failure to follow these rules will result in a replacement cap being given to you during commencement. 

  • No offensive language, sayings, nicknames, pictures or lyrics on cap
  • No objects such as signs, stuffed animals, bells, flowers, or any 3D object may rest on the cap.
  • ALL decorations MUST lay FLAT on the cap. Nothing can lay perpendicular thus allowing us to see the decoration beyond eye level.
  • Your cap CANNOT make noise. No bells, horns, or anything that makes noise

It is appropriate to put the following on your cap.

  • Thank a parent, grandparent, teacher, friend
  • Recognize the university you will be attending

We will not furnish new caps if you mess yours up decorating. Administration will reserve the right to disallow anything that is not considered appropriate for Commencement ceremony.

GUESTS:

Graduates should inform guests who plan to attend the Service of Consecration that they should be seated 15 minutes before the service begins. The doors will be closed when we reach full capacity. To avoid unnecessary distractions, guests should avoid leaving the service while it is in progress.

For the Commencement Ceremony, graduates should arrive at the designated time (please check with your class sponsor). Graduates should inform their guests who plan to attend the Commencement Ceremony that, in order to see them march in, they will want to be seated before the Line of March begins at 12:00p.m. At the end of the Commencement Ceremony, guests should remain at their seats until after the recessional.