Commencement 2020

Graduation Ceremony

Saturday, May 9, 2020, 9:00 a.m. – Noon

Roberts Hall Lawn

Speaker: Dr. Mae Jemison

Dr. Mae Jemison, an accomplished NASA astronaut, engineer and physician who became the first woman of color to travel to space, will deliver High Point University’s 2020 Commencement address on May 9.

“Dr. Jemison’s pioneering spirit and outstanding accomplishments in science and space exploration have inspired all of us,” says HPU President Dr. Nido Qubein. “We are honored to host her on HPU’s campus, where innovation is in our DNA, and we are excited for our graduates and their families to learn from her.”

General Information

The Graduation Ceremony is for High Point University candidates for graduation, their families and guests, and university faculty, staff, students and special guests. It is not open to the general public.

Appropriate dress for this event is business attire.

Guests are required to park at Oak Hollow Mall on Eastchester Drive in High Point.  Complimentary Shuttles to campus will begin running at 6:30 a.m.. The shuttles will make a continuous loop from the pick-up location to the High Point University campus until 2:30pm.

Parking will be available on campus for guests with special needs on a first-come, first-served basis. Drivers must display state-issued placards or license plates to enter the parking lot. Please enter campus at Boundary Ave. from N. University Parkway. Guests will be transported on wheelchair accessible shuttles and dropped off at the Slane fountain.

In the event of inclement weather for the Graduation Ceremony, please review rain plan Here.

Please cooperate as HPU employs heightened security measures due to the renown of the Commencement speaker. Guests may be inconvenienced with additional security checks.

Since large crowds are expected for this event, plan to arrive early to find a seat. Guests will be seated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Special needs seating will be available at the front, left of the lawn (as you view the stage) on a first-come, first-served basis.  This seating is for guests in wheelchairs and for those who have difficulty walking. We ask that only one other guest sit with the special needs guest as seating in this section is limited.

Thank you for being considerate and respectful of the ceremony. Please be respectful of this formal occasion and refrain from loud talking and other noises.

Due to the formality of the ceremony, noisemakers and pets will not be permitted.

Please observe the rope barricades and closed areas. Guests are asked to honor requests made by Junior Marshals.

Roberts Hall, Wrenn Hall and Smith Library are closed during the Graduation Ceremony.

Restrooms are available at the Hayworth Fine Arts Center, Slane Student Center and in portable units beside Wrenn Hall.

Coffee and food will be available to purchase in the Slane Student Center. Bottled water will be available at the Promenade kiosk.

Temperatures vary widely in May, so be prepared for various weather scenarios.

Regardless of the weather, the Graduation Ceremony will be broadcast via closed-circuit television at the Hayworth Fine Arts Center, Slane Student Center, the Wanek Center Extraordinaire Cinema, and Phillips Hall Francis Auditorium.

A photographer from Lifetouch will be on site to take photographs of each candidate for graduation at their special moment of recognition. Pictures can be ordered online, by phone or by mail. Lifetouch can be contacted at 800-505-9496. Click HERE to pre-register.

Photographing candidates for graduation during the Graduation Ceremony is permissible. The platform area is restricted and may not be used for photographs. Please be respectful of boundaries; they have been put in place to prevent injury.

First aid service is available during the Graduation Ceremony. Anyone in need of assistance should contact uniformed officers or visit the Information/Security Station located next to Finch Hall. Security can be reached at 336-841-9111.

Candidates for Graduation Information

Commencement:  Graduates should arrive by 8:15am, in cap and gown, to the Kester International Promenade on May 9.

  • All undergraduate students are required to file an application for graduation with The Office of the University Registrar by March 30, 2020.  Submission of the application serves as the official notification to the University of a student’s intention to fulfill his/her degree requirements within a given term.
  • Any student who intends to complete his or her degree requirements (or be within 8 credit hours of completion) by the end of the current Spring 2020 term, must complete the Declaration of Intent to Graduate form.  This form is accessible via email request –
  • Submission of the application for graduation provides the following to the University:
    • Official notification regarding your intent to graduate during a given term
    • Diploma Name

Degree candidates will neither earn degrees nor be graduated from the university until they have completed all degree requirements and have officially applied for graduation. Participation in a commencement ceremony does not presume graduation from the university.

  • Graduate School candidates for spring completion should apply for graduation in the Graduate School by March 1, 2020.
  • Application for Graduation- COM/EDU/MBA
  • Application for Graduation – Health Sciences

Candidates for graduation must notify the University Registrar Office if they do not plan to attend the Graduation Ceremony. Any candidate for graduation who is unable to attend the Graduation Ceremony must provide the University Registrar a current address so that their diploma may be mailed.

Diplomas will reflect first name, middle name/initial, last name, and any applicable suffix as submitted by application to the University.  Diploma pickup will be in the Slane Center following the Commencement Ceremony until 1:30pm.

Commencement Caps, Gowns, and Hoods

Candidates for graduation may pick up their caps, gowns, tassels, and hoods at the High Point Campus bookstore during regular store hours. Academic regalia may be picked up any time starting March 25, 2020. No pre-order required.  However, you can pick up early by joining this long time tradition “Legacy Lecture” event.  Tuesday, March 24, 2020 from 3:00 pm – 6:30 pm.  The HPU Bookstore will be Hosting a GRAD FAIR in the lobby.  All you Graduation apparel can be picked up after the lecture, where we invite you to join us for refreshments.

The High Point Campus bookstore will be open Saturday, May 9, 2020, at 7:00 a.m. and remain open until 3:00 p.m. Questions about academic regalia can be directed to Andi Burck, (336) 841-9221 or

Graduation Announcements and Rings

Balfour is High Point University’s official vendor for graduation announcements and rings. Orders can be placed online at or by calling 1-877-225-3687. Order announcements before March 9 in order to have them in time to send prior to Commencement.

Contact the Campus Bookstore at 336-841-9221 with questions.


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