Faculty Marshal Instructions

The Faculty Marshal role is an esteemed privilege. Your role in Commencement is not just to lead our graduates into the ceremony, but to also set the tone and decorum for our graduates on the day of the Commencement.

Commencement Rehearsal
Tuesday December 16, 2014 - 2:00pm
Jones Convocation Center - Arena Floor

Commencement rehearsal is your opportunity to familiarize yourself with the Processional order and protocol. This is also your opportunity ask questions regarding the order of the ceremony and expectations of your role as a Marshal.

355th Commencement Ceremony
Thursday December 18, 2014

  • Faculty Marshals arrive at 9:00 am
  • Graduates arrive at 9:30 am
  • Doors open to the public at 10:00 am
  • Processional begins at 10:45 am
  • Commencement Ceremony begins at 11:00 am

On Commencement Day faculty members are encouraged to wear their personal regalia as this is a proud statement of your significant academic accomplishments and an encouragement to our graduates to continue their personal education journey. However, you may receive loaned CSU regalia if you do not have your own. This regalia may be secured by submitting a request for regalia to Ms. Serita Robinson in the Office of the Provost, 773-995-2411. (See regalia reservation instructions for faculty)

Upon arrival on Commencement Day please check-in at the Command Center located in room 1101 on the lower level of the Convocation Center. Once you have checked your coat & put on your regalia it is critical that the Marshal that will carry your College’s flag picks that flag up and you are staged in your line-up area prior to the graduates arriving. 

We will post in the corridor where each College should stage their graduates. We will have some (extra) line-up cards available for the Marshals to give graduates that may have forgotten theirs. We will announce 15 minutes before the processional is to begin so that everyone is properly prepared to march. 

We will have a light continental breakfast available for you. However, we ask that you are at your line-up station once the graduates arrive to greet them & assist them in lining up for the processional.  

Faculty Marshal Check-In Procedures

Upon arrival at the Convocation Center please check-in in the faculty room. Once you have checked in, you may grab a meal prior to putting on your regalia. Once you are robed you are to position yourself at your lineup station to greet your graduates as they arrive. For your convenience two suites have been designated as faculty changing rooms.

  • Female Faculty Members - Suite 1410
  • Male Faculty Member - Suite 1114

Faculty Marshal Duties

  • Assist graduates with putting on their regalia.
  • Verify that the graduates are lined up according to the number on their card.
  • Facilitate the expectations of the Commencement decorum.
  • Please be prepared to answer the following questions for our graduates:
    • Where do I line up? Note the postings on the walls/ College flag.
    • What is the order of the Graduate line up?  Graduates should be directed to line up within their respective College according to the number given on their line-up card.
    • A Graduate forgot their line-up card what do I do?  Faculty Marshals should provide replacement line-up card onsite. Blank line-up cards will be available in the Command Center, Suite 1101.
  • Escort Graduates to the post-Commencement Reception at the end of the Ceremony.

To assist you on the day of the Ceremony we will have greeters stationed at strategic locations throughout the Jones Convocation Center to direct the Graduates. 

Please be reminded that all Commencement flags are to be returned to the Commencement Command Center after the recessional.

Suggested Graduate Attire

Please note the following recommendations for commencement day attire.

For Women For Men
  • Dark dress or pants, cool fabric
  • Dark low heel or flat shoes
  • No high collars or bows at the neck
  • No sandals
  • No corsages or jewelry on the robe
  • No white tennis shoes
  • No high heels
  • Dark trousers, white shirts, tie is optional
  • Dark shoes and socks
  • No white tennis shoes
  • No boutonnieres or jewelry on the robe
  • No White tennis shoes

NOTE: All Graduates should have their regalia prior to Commencement. We will not hand-out mass numbers of caps & gowns on Commencement Day. However, we will have a limited number available for emergency purposes. Graduates that require replacement regalia may be directed to pay for these items at the CSU Cashier station located in the lobby of the Convocation Center. Replacement regalia will be distributed at the designated station on the Convocation Center lower level.

Please direct graduates to use the designated bathroom facilities if needed.   We have also designated suites 1115 and 1312 for graduates to use as needed. Personal items should not be left in these spaces.

Commencement Etiquette

Students who arrive after the Commencement processional has concluded must sit behind the seated graduates. These graduates should stand when their College is called so that they may join the College at the end of the line as it proceeds to the dais. After receiving their diploma recognition these graduates should return to their original seats so that they are not a disruption. 

We are counting on our Commencement Marshals to strictly reinforce the expectation that all graduates are expected to attend the entire ceremony, and to participate in both the processional and recessional. All graduates shall remain seated for the entire ceremony.  

Commencement is both a joyful occasion and a solemn event. Graduates are requested to advise their family and friends to express their excitement in ways that will not prevent others from hearing the speaker, and enjoying the ceremony. Graduates are not to display inappropriate or exaggerated behavior as participants in the ceremony.

We ask that graduates do not visit with ceremony attendees as they approach or descend from the dais as this is a disruption to the flow of the line, and negatively impacts the experience for their fellow graduates. 

All cellular phones should be turned to silent mode to ensure that all guests can hear and enjoy the commencement ceremony.   Graduates are asked not to use their cell phone once they have marched into the arena.  

Alcohol and other illegal substances are not permitted on the Chicago State University campus. Security will be present to remove anyone that is identified to have alcohol/ illegal substances and will prohibit those from marching that may already be under the influence.

Order of the Commencement Program

Graduates are to line up with their college based on their line-up number. The line-up number is assigned and given to the graduate during Commencement Countdown when you receive your cap and gown. The Faculty Marshals will lead the graduates of their respective college into the ceremony as directed by the Grand Marshal.

Commencement begins with the academic procession. The audience is asked to rise and to remain standing as the procession enters the arena until the platform party has taken its place, the time for reflection has been allowed, and the hymns have been sung.

Male graduates should remove mortar boards during posting of colors and National Anthem. Attendees will be directed to sit at the conclusion of the singing of the hymns.

Commencement closes with the recessional. All graduates are expected to participate in both the processional and the recessional. We have requested they do not make plans that will require them to leave the ceremony before it ends. We make every attempt to keep the
Commencement Ceremony to a reasonable length. However, we recommend any plans for post-ceremony celebrations are made to begin after 3pm to allow for travel time.

After the singing of the CSU Alma Mater and the closing of the ceremony, the audience will be asked to take their seats and to remain seated for the retrieval of colors and the recessional of the platform party, faculty, and graduates.

The Post-Commencement Reception will be held in the Jacoby Dickens Gym immediately following the Ceremony.

How to Wear Your Tassel

Traditionally, the moving of the tassel at graduation is called, "turning the tassel" or "the turning of the tassel ceremony." It symbolizes one's transition from candidate to graduate. Standard protocol in the US dictates that the tassel be worn on the right side of one's mortarboard at commencement and then, during the ceremony the tassel is moved or turned to the left side. Teachers and administrators at commencement place their tassels on the left.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Where can graduates get line-up cards?
    Graduates that did not bring the lineup card that was provided to them during Commencement Countdown may pick up a replacement lineup card at the graduate check-in desk located in the Convocation Center lobby. 
  2. Where do graduates pick up their honors cords?
     Honors cords were given out during Commencement Countdown.
  3. Where do graduates line up?
    Graduates should be directed to go to the lower level of the Convocation Center. Graduates should look for the sign on the wall designating their College, or for the color of their College flag. The flags are being held by the Faculty Marshals). Faculty Marshals are designated by the ‘gold” colored stoles they are wearing. As a Faculty Marshal you are expected to provide further direction to the graduates throughout the ceremony.
  4. Where do graduates get their cap & gown?
    Graduates did not pick up their regalia during Countdown may do so at the designated station on the lower level of the Convocation Center. Graduates that have not already purchased their regalia may purchase from the CSU Cashier window which is located in the lobby of the Convocation Center. They will then pick-up their regalia at the table located on the loading dock of the JCC which is located on the east corridor. Graduates must show their receipt for payment in order to receive regalia.
  5. Where is the graduate coat check?
    We have very limited coat check for graduates on the JCC dock which is located on the east lower corridor. Graduates should note that we will not allow purses or other items of value to be left at the coat check.   Graduates should pick up their coats before they leave the Convocation Center. 
  6. Room #s for faculty regalia (male/female).
    Faculty regalia can be picked up in Suite 1101.
  7. Bathroom men/women.
    Bathrooms are located on the south east corner and the east side of the arena lower level.  Suites 1312 and 1115 will also be opened for additional facility access. 
  8. Where do Graduates meet their family after the ceremony?
    All graduates will be immediately escorted to the north lawn which is located between the Convocation Center and the Jacoby Dickens Center for the post ceremony reception. Family members should be directed to meet the graduates at the reception. No one will be allowed to linger in the Convocation Center.