Commencement ceremony details

The Commencement Exercises and Investiture Ceremony is a special and important occasion for Murray State University, its graduates, and their loved ones. Please be courteous and respectful of others in attendance.

Candidates for degree are asked to arrive at the CFSB Center, Lower Level Gate A one hour before their designated commencement ceremony to pick up their graduation/photo card. The first ceremony will begin promptly at 9 a.m. followed by the second at 2 p.m.

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Information for attendees

For security and courtesy to others, please note the following:

  • All bags are subject to inspection by security personnel
  • All candidates and guests entering the CFSB Center are subject to visual observation by security personnel
  • Cell phones should be set to silent
  • Saving of multiple seats is prohibited

These items are prohibited and must be removed from the CFSB Center:

  • Guns, Explosives, Weapons, or Knives
  • Wrapped Items/Packages
  • Backpacks or Duffle Bags
  • Signs, Banners or Flyers
  • Noise-making devices
  • Laser Pointers

Information for degree candidates

Graduation/Photo card

Once the graduation/photo card is received, the degree candidate should proceed to the tables provided to complete the contact information on the photo portion of the graduation/photo card. A candidate will be removed from the line before entering the stage if his or her card is missing the required contact information. The name listed on the graduation/photo card is the official name of record for the candidate. If an alternate name (such as a middle name) is to be read, write it legibly under the printed name. The academic honor listed is based on the semester prior to the graduation semester. The announcer will only read the pre-printed information regarding honors.

Personal Items

Please be aware that the the CFSB Center does not provide an organized storage space for coats, umbrellas, and other personal items, and for security reasons, you are not allowed to carry those items with you during the processional.


Restrooms are located inside the lobby of lower Gate A. Candidates will not be allowed to exit the floor prior to the end of the formal ceremony.

Graduate Line-Up

Line-up for the processional will be inside lower-level entrance A. Signs will be posted denoting the line-up areas for the various degrees. There will  be no set seating arrangement and the candidates may sit in any order and with anyone they choose, within their degree category (doctorate, specialist, master, bachelor, associate). If a candidate wishes to be seated beside a friend, lineup should be front to back--not side by side.


Candidates and members of the audience are asked to remain seated during the invocation. Men will remove caps during the invocation only.

Investiture ceremony

In 1996, Murray State University implemented a Residential College System, comprised of eight residential colleges: Clark, Elizabeth, Hart, Hester, Regents, Richmond, Springer-Franklin, and White. The purpose of this system promotes the development of student leadership and the responsibility of governance, all of which result in the establishment of traditions, enduring friendships, and lasting bonds. During the Investiture Ceremony, candidates will be invested as lifelong members of their respective residential colleges. Upon prompting, candidates will stand for the investiture.

Diploma presentation

Completing the work required to earn an academic degree is a separate event from the public commencement ceremony that symbolically commemorates that academic achievement. In fact, all Murray State students who participate in commencement ceremonies are considered “candidates” for graduation. The final awarding of degrees and honors is contingent upon the satisfactory completion of the appropriate requirements by each candidate.

To begin diploma presentation, the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs will announce, “Mr. President, the faculty presents to you the following candidates for conferring of degrees.” The candidates will then be called in the following order: Doctorate, Specialist, Master, Bachelor, and Associate. Faculty Marshals will indicate when each row is to rise. When instructed, please rise together, walk across the row where you have been seated, and move up the left aisle, as directed. Be sure to take your graduation/photo card with you, as you will hand it to the presenters on stage. Students will receive a scroll as they cross the stage. Diplomas are not handed out at commencement since the degree conferral process takes place after the ceremony.

Conferral of degrees

After all scrolls have been received, candidates will be instructed to stand. The president will say, "By virtue of the authority.....I declare you graduates of Murray State University." At this time, undergraduate students will move their tassels from the right side to the left side (in unison). When instructed, be seated.

*Conferral of degree is pending final review of degree requirements by the Office of the Registrar. Upon successful completion of all requirements, the degree will be conferred and the diploma will be issued. The conferral process may take up to six weeks to complete.


Candidates will be dismissed from the floor.