Graduates in regalia



2021 Commencement

Join us as we graduate our 54th class of students.

School of Arts and Sciences

Friday, May 14, 4 p.m. | Alumni Plaza, Dowagiac Campus

Rain Date: May 21, 4 p.m. | Alumni Plaza, Dowagiac Campus

School of Business and Advanced Technology

School of Nursing and Health Services

Saturday, May 15, 10 a.m. | Alumni Plaza, Dowagiac Campus

Rain Date: May 22, 10 a.m. | Alumni Plaza, Dowagiac Campus

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About Commencement

Our favorite day of the year is drawing near! After a year full of challenges, we are more excited than ever to celebrate the accomplishments of both our 2020 and 2021 graduates. They have gone above and beyond to overcome unprecedented trials, staying focused in the midst of crisis and completing their degrees. We couldn’t be more proud. 

Commencement will look a little different this year, with the festivities being held outdoors and split by school into two separate ceremonies to limit the number of people on campus.

We have made every effort to plan a safe and healthy event for all, but we need cooperation from all graduates and guests to execute it successfully. To that end, we ask that you read the guidelines on this page carefully to familiarize yourself with expectations and that you comply with all guidelines while on campus.

We look forward to seeing you and your graduate on campus and can’t wait to honor the classes of 2020 and 2021! 

Commencement plans are subject to change based on local, state, and federal guidelines. Check back here for updates.



  • Guests may park for free in the parking lots at either the Dailey Road or Cherry Grove Road entrance.

COVID Safety Requirements 

  • Masks must be worn at all times by graduates and guests. 
  • Social distancing is required. Please remain six feet away from those outside your immediate party. 



  • Graduates are strongly encouraged to bring no more than three guests. Seating is limited and will be filled on a first come, first served basis. After seats are filled, guests are welcome to stand, socially distanced, in surrounding areas.
  • The ceremony will begin promptly at the scheduled start time. We recommend arriving early to secure a seat and request that all guests be in place by 15 minutes prior to the ceremony start. 
  • Seats cannot be held for late arrivals.
  • Strollers and balloons are not allowed in the seating area.


The Ceremonies

  • This is an outdoor event. Please plan accordingly and check back here for updates regarding changes due to inclement weather. 
  • The length of the ceremonies will vary with the number of graduates, but may last up to two hours.
  • The ceremony will not be videotaped, but guests are welcome to record the ceremony or take pictures from their seats.
  • To minimize disruptions, we recommend that those with small children or others who anticipate that they will need to exit the ceremony sit at the end of an aisle or remain in the standing room area. 


Information for Graduates

  • Graduates should check in at their assigned location at least one hour before their ceremony to receive final instructions for the ceremony.
  • Graduates should not bring coats, purses or other personal items with them, as there are no secure facilities in which to leave them.
  • The deadline to register for commencement has passed and caps and gowns have been ordered.  Graduates who missed this deadline and who wish to walk in commencement should contact the Records office at 269-782-1351.
  • Honors cords will be distributed at the Graduate Check-in Station on graduation day.
  • Stoles for Phi Theta Kappa scholars may be purchased at a discounted rate. Contact your PTK advisor Colleen Welsch ( for more information.
  • All graduates will be photographed by a professional photographer as they walk across the stage. Graduates will receive information on how to purchase these images at a later date.


Additional Information

  • Restrooms will be available in the Daugherty, O’Leary, and Briegel Buildings.
  • No vending machines or refreshments will be available. Water will be available at the information desk.
  • Pets will not be permitted at the ceremony.