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Commencement Schedule
Stay tuned for updates regarding the Spring 2020 Commencement Schedule 


Inclement Weather Procedure

In the case of inclement weather, if weather conditions appear life threatening (lightning, tornado warnings, etc.), the university’s inclement weather plan will be put in place. This will be posted on JMU's website and announced on the radio at AM 1610.

JMU’s public safety department makes this decision and will inform students if a decision has been made through our JMU Emergency Alert System.

All ceremonies will otherwise be held in rain or shine.

The University Ceremony that is to be held on Friday, will be canceled or postponed if the inclement weather plan is enacted. A decision will be made by 12:30 p.m. that day.

If inclement weather is called for Saturday; the decision will be made by 7:00 a.m. The individual college ceremonies will be held later in the day or moved to indoor venues and times will change. The Commencement Home Page will have updated information should this issue occur. 

Grad Requirements

Commencement marks a special day in one's life. We ask that students abide by the Student Conduct Code on Commencement Weekend on the JMU campus where official university ceremonies are taking place. Some of these requirements include refraining from possessing or consuming alcoholic beverages or other controlled substances, being publicly intoxicated, and engaging in disruptive or disorderly conduct.  Possession of alcohol in the stadium, Convocation Center, the Quad and the Alumni Centennial Park is grounds for removal from the ceremony.


All attendees are requested to refrain from bringing food and beverages into any ceremony venues – free water will be available. We ask that students refrain from bringing noisemakers, signs, toys, confetti, streamers, or fireworks to any ceremony. Graduates should expect an inspection of person, bags, and clothing capable of concealing prohibited items. 


All college ceremonies will begin on time, so plan for major traffic congestion. There are many graduates and their families headed in the same direction. Delays are possible. Please plan to arrive early so that you don’t miss any of the celebration. Latecomers will be seated by staff when appropriate. Graduates are also expected to stay for the entire ceremony out of respect for those whose names are called later in the program.


For the safety of all, ushers and public safety officers will be present at all ceremonies and reserve the right to refuse seating to any graduate who is visibly intoxicated, and no alcoholic beverages are permitted.


A Special Note on Attire:

All graduates must wear the proper academic regalia to participate in the commencement ceremonies. This includes the JMU gown, cap, tassel and hood. You are expected to wear the academic regalia for the duration of the ceremonies you attend - this includes both the University ceremony on Friday in Bridgeforth Stadium and the individual ceremonies on Friday and Saturday. If you remove your attire, or are not fully clothed underneath it, you will be escorted out.

Dress appropriately for the day and the occasion. Weather in Harrisonburg can be unpredictable, so please be aware of the forecast and plan to dress comfortably under your academic regalia. We recommend that you choose comfortable footwear, and discourage shoes with high or narrow heels, tall platforms or wedges. You also want to wear something that allows you to walk across the stage easily and keep comfortable during the lengthy graduation ceremony. The ceremonies are held rain or shine. Should it be raining when you arrive, a clear poncho will be provided.


While there is no formal dress code, we do ask that all students adhere to these guidelines and suggestions. You will be taking selfies, family photos, group photos with friends — so, you'll want to look sharp.  




Dr. Heather Coltman

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

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