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. University representatives will also be able to assist students with ordering all graduation items during both of the Grad Bash events.

3. Honor Cords, Hoods, and Pins

These honorary items can be picked up during either of the Grad Bash events. (See below for Grad Bash dates and times.)

4. Order Grad Swag

Celebrate your success! You may also purchase announcements, picture frames, and other commemorative graduation items from Herff Jones, our graduation vendor. You may order these items online at or by coming to one of the Grad Bash events for assistance with ordering.

5. Attend a Grad Bash

Enjoy the moment! Students may come to either of the Grad Bash events (see below for details) for assistance with ordering all graduation items and honor cord pick-up on the following dates:

  • Fort Myers Campus: April 29, 2020, from 5:30 – 8:00 p.m.
  • Naples Campus: April 30, 2020, from 5:30 – 8:00 p.m.

6. Traveling to Graduation?

Students who live at a distance of 60 miles or more from the university and are planning to attend the ceremony may contact the Registrar’s Office to make arrangements for graduation supplies, and for assistance on ordering graduation items online.

7. Order Graduation Photography

Hodges University has hired GradImages as the official commencement photographer for our school and/or commencement ceremony. Three photographs of each graduate are taken during the event:

  • As you make your way to the stage.
  • As you are shaking the President’s hand in the center of the stage.
  • After you have exited the stage.

Your proofs will be ready to view online as soon as 48 hours after the ceremony. Although there’s never any obligation to order, you’ll save 20% off orders of $50 or more for your participation. Pre-registering is simply a way to make sure your contact information is up-to-date with GradImages, so they can provide your complimentary proofs as quickly as possible. To pre-register for your commencement proofs, please visit

As part of your graduation and pre-registration participation, GradImages will send you emails, mail paper photography proofs, and may send optional text message notifications.

8. Complete All Degree Requirements

Potential graduates must pass and complete all degree requirements by the end of 20JAN 4-month session, May 3, 2020, in order to be listed in the Commencement Program.

9. Diplomas

Please make sure to update all your information with the Registrar’s Office. The details printed on your diploma will be determined by the information we have on file for you.  All February 2019 to September 2019 Diplomas may be picked up at the Registrar’s Office. Graduates will be notified by university email when your diploma is available for pick up.

We urge all students to check their account status with the Office of Student Financial Services prior to Commencement.  Please be aware that failure to satisfy all financial obligations with the university may prevent you from receiving your diploma and/or transcripts in a timely manner.

Graduating Student Information

 

Dress Code & Conduct

  • Please come ready to shine!
  • You are expected to wear the full academic dress (cap, gown & honor cord or master’s hood, if applicable) for the duration of the graduation ceremony.
  • Graduates will put on their caps and gowns after arriving at Hertz Arena. Staff will be available to help.
  • Please leave all valuables and personal items with family, friends or guests.
  • Attire traditionally worn with the gown:
    • Men — dress shirt with collar, dark slacks, plain dark tie, and black shoes.
    • Women — dark dress, or skirt or pants and blouse, with black, closed-toed shoes. High-heels shoes are not recommended. Flip-flops, tennis shoes, and white shoes should not be worn.
    • If need be, please press your gown with a cool iron.
    • The cap should lie flat with the tassel hanging on the front right side. Graduates should be careful not to let the tassel interfere while photographs are being taken.
    • If applicable, honor cords should be worn around the neck with tassels hanging down from each side. Honor cords will be distributed according to university policy:
      • Gold for summa cum laude (3.90-4.0 GGPA);
      • Burgundy for magna cum laude (3.76-3.89 GGPA); or
      • Silver for cum laude (3.50-3.75 GGPA).
  • The university makes every attempt to plan and conduct a meaningful, dignified ceremony. The recognition of your academic achievements should be observed with respect. Disorderly conduct, rowdiness, or the presence of alcohol or drugs will be grounds for immediate removal and may result in your diploma being retained by the university.
  • Graduates are advised to use the restroom facilities prior to the start of the ceremony, as you will not be permitted to leave your seats once the ceremony begins.
  • Graduates are required to remain seated throughout the program.

Processional

  • Graduates are seated in sections 115, 116, or 117 in the order that they will walk across the stage. This order coincides with the way the degrees are listed in the commencement program, alphabetically, and by degree.
  • You will be asked to move down to the floor area at 3:30 p.m. You will form as many rows as possible behind the stage. When the procession begins, students will continue to move to the floor area as quickly as possible. Students arriving late will be placed behind all other graduates and may not be seated next to others earning the same degree and major. Please be sure to arrive on time.
  • Processional Order
    • Grand Marshal Chairman of the Board
    • Faculty
    • Master’s candidates
    • Bachelor’s candidates
    • Associate candidates
    • Certificate candidates
    • Stage guests
  • Commencement programs will be provided as you enter the main floor.
  • Enter the main floor along the north side of the arena. Proceed all the way to the back of the seats, turn right, and turn right again into the center aisle.

Commencement Ceremony Details

  • After the student and guest speaker are finished, the president will ask all candidates for the master’s degree to please stand.
  • Master’s degrees will then be conferred by the president.
  • Once this portion has completed, you will then be sent to the stage area where you will walk across the stage one at a time to see a pre-designated individual.
  • Please hand them your name card face up so he/she can read your name.
  • As soon as you hand off your name card, proceed across the stage as indicated in the chart.
  • The correct way to accept the diploma cover from the Dr. Meyer is with your left hand. Then, shake hands with your right hand.
  • This will be where one of the photos is taken so please remember to smile.
    The Grand Marshal will then turn your tassel and shake your hand.
  • The Alumni Network will give you a gift, and faculty will congratulate you before you return to your seat.
  • Please sit down when you return to your seat.
  • Bachelor’s, associate, and certificate graduates will follow the same procedures.
  • If you are seated in Section B, please follow the directions given to access the stage and return to your seat.

Recessional

  • Order of recessional:
    • Grand Marshal
    • Stage guests
    • Graduates
    • Faculty
  • Hodges University staff will let you know when your row may exit.
  • Please do not stop when you reach the area behind the stage as other graduates are trying to leave too.
  • Try to pre-plan a meeting location with your family and friends as you may exit the arena from either side behind the stage.

Live Broadcast

The live commencement ceremony can be viewed on our home page at 4:00 pm on June 7th, 2020.

Parking

  • The parking lot opens three hours prior to the Commencement Ceremony.
  • There is ample parking available at Hertz Arena in the surrounding parking lots.
  • There is no charge for parking.

Guest Seating

  • Guests should arrive between 3:00 and 3:30 p.m.
  • The arena offers open seating, no tickets are required.
  • Handicapped seating is available in the south side stands. There is open space for wheelchairs and some free-standing chairs. One guest may sit with a handicapped guest.
  • Please note that baby strollers, balloons, and flowers are not allowed in the arena. Strollers, balloons, and flowers will be checked-in with Hertz staff and are kept at the main desk and may be picked up after the ceremony.
  • One concession stand will be open for food and drinks on the south side of the arena.
  • Parents, family, and friends are encouraged to stay seated, as leaving the ceremony demonstrates extreme disrespect to all in attendance.

Graduating Student FAQ's

Where do I go to pick up my honor cords if I can’t make it to Grad Bash?

Honor cords are available for pick up at the Fort Myers campus, or you can also ask a friend or family member to pick up the cords for you. You can also pick them up on commencement day.

When can I pick up my diploma?

You will receive an email at your Hodges email address letting you know your diploma is available for pick up on your respective campus.

Who do I contact if I’m getting an error message when I click a link on the graduation page?

Once you have applied for graduation by completing the Intent to Graduate form, our system won’t allow you to do so again. This is why you would get an error message. If you did not complete the Intent to Graduate form, please contact the Registrar’s Office at 239-938-7818 or registrar@vraemperu.com

Can I decorate my graduation cap?

We encourage to you decorate your cap! Please keep in mind that it should be decorated to reflect all the excitement of your accomplishment, however, it should be done in good taste and respectfully. Please remember that your tassel will be attached to your cap – please do not place anything on your cap that might prohibit the tassel from being placed on your cap.

Can I pick up my regalia at the graduation ceremony?

We highly recommend that you NOT wait until the graduation ceremony to pick up/purchase your regalia. We will have a very limited amount of regalia at the ceremony with an even more limited range of sizes. It’s best to purchase your regalia during the Grad Bash events. If you cannot attend Grad Bash, the Office of Student Financial Services can help you order your regalia online, or you can come to the Fort Myers campus to purchase regalia. The most convenient option is to order your regalia any time now at but the last day to order is May 15th, 2020.

Who do I contact about graduation questions?

For Regalia (cap/gown), master hoods, tassels, diploma frames, appreciation pins, alumni pins, graduation fee, etc., contact the Office of Student Financial Services at (239) 938-7760 or email: sas@vraemperu.com

For diplomas, honor cords, transcripts (after degree is conferred), contact the Registrar’s Office at (239) 938-7818 or (800) 466-0019, or email: registrar@vraemperu.com

Stay Connected! #HodgesAlumni

The Hodges University Alumni Network is your pathway to stay connected for networking and meeting your fellow Hodges Alum. There is no cost to participate and so many benefits to being a member. Please keep the Alumni Network updated of any address and employment changes, and/or professional accomplishments so that we may share your successes with others. Contact us at alumni@vraemperu.com. A current email address is important for alumni contact and receipt of alumni information.

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