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Commencement information for seniors and families

The term “graduation” refers to the completion of all degree requirements as recorded on the official transcript. “Commencement” is the ceremony that celebrates the culmination of the Augustana experience and most often occurs near the completion of the degree. 

Participation in the commencement ceremony, including the publication of the names of candidates in the commencement program, does not imply that a student has graduated. 

Students will be marked as “graduated” once the Office of the Registrar has officially confirmed that all degree requirements have been met. Graduation (degree completion) may be confirmed before or after participation in the commencement ceremony. 

Students who have completed their degree will have access to their Arches accounts for an additional month. Recent graduates may request official transcripts be sent with no fee during this time. We strongly encourage our recent graduates to take advantage of this limited-time, free transcript service. 

Ordering your cap and gown

After applying to graduate, you must order your cap and gown from Herff Jones by completing the online form.

There is no charge for your cap and gown as long as it is ordered prior to March 23, 2020. After that date, additional fees will be incurred. Please place your order as soon as possible after applying to graduate. 

Before picking up your cap and gown

2020 Commencement checklist for graduating seniors:

1. Order your cap and gown from Herff Jones by completing the online form.

2. Complete the exit interview for your Stafford Loan, Perkins Loan, and/or Augustana Institutional Loan Program.

3. Complete the Senior Survey. A link to the survey will be emailed to graduating seniors soon

4. Attend Senior Days on May 4 or 5, 2020.

Loan exit interviews

Direct loans: If you have borrowed a direct loan during any portion of your time at Augustana, you must complete a loan exit interview before you receive your cap and gown. You will need to attend a counseling session. Please contact Julianne Tongue at 309-794-7680 if you have questions. 

Perkins and Augustana Institutional Loans: If you have borrowed funds through the Federal Perkins Loan Program and/or Augustana Institutional Loan Program you will need to complete your exit interviews online before receiving your cap and gown. Perkins and Augustana Institutional loan borrowers will receive information via campus email with instructions on completing this requirement. Email or call Diane McCann, 309-794-7150, if you have questions.  

Senior Days

May 4 or 5, 2020; Gerber Center, Gävle Room 3, fourth floor

All seniors should come to Senior Days, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Monday, May 4, or Tuesday, May 5, to complete the following: 

1. Graduation application verification
2. Name pronunciation
3. Senior Survey (if not previously done)
4. Loan exit interview (if not previously done)
5. Pick up cap and gown

Students must have completed loan exit interviews (if applicable) and completed the senior survey before picking up their caps and gowns. 

Cap, gown and tassel: The charge for the cap, gown and tassel is included in the graduation application fee that was charged to each graduate’s student account. However, caps and gowns ordered after March 23, 2020 will incur additional fees. These items will become the property of the graduate. 

Caps and gowns will be available on Senior Days and in the bookstore during regular hours after May 5. Also, caps and gowns will be available from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday, May 23. Contact the bookstore with questions about caps and gowns at 309-794-7541. 

Announcements: Families who would like to order personalized announcements to send to friends and relatives may order them online through the Augustana bookstore. Diploma frames and class rings  also are available. 

Blank graduation announcements with the college seal also be may purchased in person at the bookstore or by calling 309-794-7541. 

Commencement tickets: None are required. The TaxSlayer Center has sufficient seating capacity for commencement and is handicapped accessible. 

Students away from campus: Some students may be away from Augustana for portions of their senior year due to internships out of state, study abroad, cooperative degree programs or finishing their degree away. All students are required to apply to graduate through Arches. If you are unsure if you have applied, please see the List of Candidates.

Students who are unable to attend Senior Days in May may pick up their caps and gowns at the Augustana Bookstore from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday, May 23. Only confirmed candidates who have cleared all pre-commencement restrictions may pick up a cap and gown. All seniors taking classes on campus spring term are required to attend Senior Days. 

Excuse petition: Unless formally excused by the Committee on Advanced Standing and Degrees (chaired by Liesl Fowler, registrar), all spring and summer candidates are required to attend the Commencement Convocation. 

Diploma: At Commencement each participant will receive a diploma cover. Diplomas will be mailed to the graduate upon certification of completion of the degree requirements. Be sure that the Office of the Registrar has your current mailing address. Note that diplomas will not be available for those with an outstanding balance in the Business Office. 

Pictures and live stream: Each graduate will be photographed shaking hands with President Steve Bahls. For more information on ordering photos, see

Questions pertaining to Commencement may be directed to the Augustana Ticket Office at 309-794-7306.