Mount Allison University prides itself on the quality and personal nature of its Convocation.
It is rightly a colourful occasion filled with music and pageantry in celebration of your achievement. Because there will not be an opportunity to rehearse the ceremony with the graduating students, it will be helpful if you take the time to acquaint yourself with the logistical details of the procession and degree granting process. On Convocation Day there will be a number of marshals available to direct you.
On Convocation Day the student procession, which forms in the PCCA, is marshaled according to degrees and in order of classes of degree, e.g. BA with First Class honours with distinction, First Class Honours, Honours with distinction, Honours, BA with distinction, BA, etc. Students therefore need to be ordered in this way for seating so that they can move to the stage for presentation according to this pattern.
Tips to help make this process go smoothly:
- It will take time to organize graduates. Please be on hand at the PCCA one hour before your ceremony.
- Have your cap, gown, hood (folded) with you. October grads should wear their hood.
- Upon entering the PCCA, please pick up a copy of the Convocation program. This will help you identify your place in the seating order. The parade marshals will organize you there and your attention will be appreciated.
- If you have a name that is commonly mispronounced, please see Dr. Craig Brett, the secretary of Senate, to ensure that he is informed of the correct pronunciation.
Fifteen minutes before the start of the ceremony, the procession will depart from the PCCA for Convocation Hall in a double line ordered alphabetically by class of degree. The student procession will be preceded by the faculty procession which departs from the University Chapel and moves down York Street to enter the gates to the campus. When the faculty line reaches the steps of Convocation Hall, it will part to form a passage through which the student line will walk, moving into the foyer and thence to be seated at the direction of the marshals.
The double file student line will consist of pairs of students; the surname of the person in the left-hand position being higher in the alphabet. It is essential that pairs remain in the proper order throughout the procession. This line will enter the hall by the right-hand aisle, and be seated in the centre section of the hall from the front row. As the procession reaches a row, the left-hand person enters first, followed by the right-hand person, and so on. The marshals will make sure that 14 persons enter each row. Please move quickly to your seat and remain standing until the platform party is on stage and you are directed to sit.
Conferring of degrees
When it is time for the conferring of degrees, the marshal will signal for the first row (marshals will collect each row in turn) to rise together, exiting via the left-hand aisle and approaching the north stairs of the stage. At this point students should have their cap under their left arm and the folded hood tab side up in their right hand. You will be handed a name card at the foot of the stairs. When directed, the first person in the row will move onto the stage, hand the name card to the secretary of Senate, and move past her to the position on the stage marked by a piece of tape. (This is important as it allows the flow of graduands to proceed more quickly across the stage.) Then simply follow these steps:
- As your name is read out, walk toward the Chancellor.
- The dean will meet you en route and take your hood from you by clasping the tab. When you reach centre stage, stand in front of the Chancellor.
- Place your right hand in the Chancellor's as your degree is conferred. As this is happening the dean will place your hood over your head.
- When this is completed you will turn and walk toward the President who will shake your hand before your proceed the rest of the way across the stage, placing your hat on your head.
- Before exiting the stage, you will receive your diploma from the registrar. After descending the stairs you will return to your seat.
When you re-enter the vacant row of seats, you may not return to the exact seat you had. This is because those students who are receiving a second degree or a certificate will not be returning directly. Rather they will proceed to the back of the hall and assemble on the north wall at the foot of the stage until it is time to return to the stage to receive their next award. At the conclusion of Convocation, the marshals will usher your row out of the hall in order from the front row using both aisles. Please move directly out of the foyer and on to the driveway to allow the hall to vacate.
October graduates, second degrees, and certificates
If you are an October graduate, you should wear your hood throughout the day’s ceremonies. Similarly, if you are receiving a certificate, wear your hood as you cross the stage a second time.
In the event of inclement weather, the procession will be formed in the basement of Convocation Hall. Notices to this effect will be posted at the PCCA.