During the Graduation Ceremony

This page talks about what happens during the graduation ceremony itself.

Seating

Graduates will in allocated seats, to ensure that they are presented to the Chancellor in the correct order.  As graduates will be sitting side-by-side, mask wearing is encouraged. If you are a graduate and you require special seating arrangements (for example, to accommodate crutches), please contact the Graduations Team as early as possible.

  • Guest seating is reserved.
    If your guests require special seating, please contact UNSW Graduations.
  • Prams are not permitted inside the auditorium because of fire and safety regulations. They can be left in the cloak room in the auditorium foyer.

Order of events

Programs for 10am, 2:30pm and 6.30pm graduation ceremonies at Kensington campus are presented below, as well as a running order for the ceremony itself.

Each ceremony runs for approximately an hour and 15 minutes. Large ceremonies may run to an hour and a half.

10am ceremony program

Academic dress collection from 7:30am
  • 7:30 am - Academic Dress collection opens in Mathews Rooms
  • 8:00 am - Portrait Photography services commence in the Mathews Pavilion
  • 9:15 am - Auditorium doors open and graduate registration commences in the foyer
  • 9:45 am - Registration closes - graduates must be in their allocated seat
  • 10:00 am - Ceremony begins
  • 11:15 am
    • (approximate) Conclusion of ceremony.
    • Graduation services provided in the Mathews Pavilion - collect your stage photograph
  • 1:00 pm - Latest return time for academic dress to Arc's Gown Return in the Mathews Pavilion

2:30pm ceremony program

Academic dress collection from 1pm
  • 1:00 pm - Academic Dress collection opens in Mathews Rooms
  • 1:00 pm - Portrait Photography services commence in the Mathews Pavilion
  • 1:45 pm - Auditorium doors open and graduate registration commences in the foyer
  • 2:15 pm - Registration closes - graduates must be in their allocated seat
  • 2:30 pm - Ceremony begins
  • 3:45 pm
    • (approximate) Conclusion of ceremony
    • Graduation services provided in the Mathews Pavilion - collect your stage photograph
  • 5:30 pm - Latest return time for academic dress to Arc's Gown Return in the Mathews Pavilion

6.30pm ceremony program

Academic dress collection from 5pm
  • 5 pm
    • Academic Dress collection opens in Mathews Rooms
    • Portrait Photography services commence in the Mathews Pavilion
  • 5:45 pm - Auditorium doors open and graduate registration commences in the foyer
  • 6:15 pm - Registration closes - graduates must be in their allocated seat
  • 6:30 pm - Ceremony begins
  • 7:45 pm
    • (approximate) Conclusion of ceremony
    • Graduation services provided in the Mathews Pavilion - collect your stage photograph
  • 9:30 pm - Latest return time for academic dress to Arc's Gown Return in the Mathews Pavilion

What happens during the ceremony?

Detailed order of events
Before the ceremony
  1. We advise guests to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the graduation ceremony, to find their allocated seating.
  2. All graduates must be wearing their academic dress and register at the registration desk in the Clancy Auditorium foyer and seated be in their allocated seats 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start of the ceremony.
  3. Read the graduation briefing below for what to do on stage.

The ceremony
  1. An announcement is made prior to the start of the ceremony detailing the members of the official party.
  2. Graduates and guests are asked to stand while the academic procession enters. Graduates must put their hats on while standing.
  3. Graduates and guests remain standing for the singing of the National Anthem. Graduates must remove their hats for the anthem.
  4. Graduates and guests are then seated while the officiating Chancellor (Chancellor, Deputy Chancellor or Pro-Chancellor) welcomes the assembly.

  5. Graduates are then directed onto the stage, individually, to receive their testamur.
    • Ceremony staff will ask you to stand and file out of your seating row; they check your name and take your registration card, and then direct you towards the stage.
    • You will wait on the first white maker and pick your testamur up from the table to your right. Stay here until the Duty Dean reads your name (Doctoral candidates wait until their thesis title is read as well).
      Graduates who have already received their testamur are encouraged to bring their testamur along to the ceremony for the stage photo.
      •  
  6. Crossing the Stage:
    • You must wait at the first marker and pick up your testamur from the table to the right. Wait until your name is read by the Duty Dean. Doctoral candidates will wait until their thesis title is read as well.
      • If you have already received your physical testamur and do not bring this back with you to cross the stage, you will be given a blank folder which we would encourage you to return at the registration desk at the conclusion of your ceremony.
    • When your name is called walk towards the centre of the stage and at the second marker turn to your Right and Doff your cap to the Chancellor by touching the tip of your cap and nod your head once.
    • Then turn back towards the camera and smile for your stage photograph.
    • Then turn towards the audience and walk down the centre stairs back to your seat. You must return and sit in your original seat.
  7. After all graduates have been presented with their testamur, the Chancellor introduces the guest speaker, after which there is a Vote of Thanks.

  8. All graduates and guests are asked to stand while the academic procession retires. Graduates are directed by ceremony staff to follow the academic procession from the auditorium to the foyer. This is the conclusion of the ceremony.

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