Commencement is the capstone of the academic calendar and the culmination of all our efforts on behalf of our students, many of whom we have come to know personally: in the classroom, around the Campus Center, or on the athletic fields and courts.
During commencement, we open our doors to parents, guests, and many visitors, often for the first time. To ensure that our 2013 graduating class and their families enjoy the best possible Commencement Day experience, we need the support of the UMass Boston community. From helping to assemble the graduates for the academic procession, to ushering guests or passing out programs, to just answering questions and offering a smile, there is much to be done.
Because the focus on campus that day will be commencement, all employees are expected to staff the commencement ceremony. Essential business offices will be open and minimally staffed. Other offices should develop a rotating schedule to permit staff to participate in and assist with commencement activities.
Preparation and Duties
Each staff member is asked to report to check-in at 7am. A continental breakfast will be served. At check-in you will receive a name tag and FAQ sheet outlining the day. This sheet will also be distributed at the rehearsal which takes place a few days prior. Lunch will be provided for all commencement staff as well.
Below is a list of duties performed on commencement day. If there is a particular area that you would like to work, please email the Office of Special Events and let us know. Otherwise we will assign you as needed.
Ensure that all persons (graduates and guests) who have requested disability accommodations are properly served with respect to parking, seating, alternative format programs and travel to and from the main ceremony and the individual college ceremonies.
Graduate Check-in, Robing and Line-up
Check graduates in and insure that each one properly fills out a name card for the reader at the college ceremony and, if desired, a photograph order card; assist with robing; and organize graduates by college and escort them across the plaza to the stairs for the main ceremony academic procession.
Faculty Robing and Line-up
Assist faculty members to robe and line up for the academic procession. May also assist faculty in processing onto stage and locating designated seats.
Greet guests and man the entry points at the main ceremony to collect tickets, distribute programs, and stamp the hands/wrists of all ticketed guests. Usher guests to seats within the two side sections and provide general assistance in locating refreshments, restroom accommodations, etc.
Procession, Main Ceremony, and Recession Ushers
Manage the three main aisles before and during the procession, the main ceremony, and the recession, including: directing guests to their seats; properly positioning the stanchion ropes at the designated times for the procession and recession; and prohibiting guests from entering the aisles during the procession and recession so the graduates, faculty and stage party can enter and exit the main ceremony unimpeded.
Assistance with College Ceremonies
Following the main ceremony each college will have their own ceremony at various locations throughout campus. Many of the colleges need assistance with lining up students, managing the aisles during procession, the ceremony and recession, and assisting guests with any questions they may have.