Convocation Ceremony for Graduate Students

Friday, May 15, 2015
6:00 p.m
Agganis Arena
Followed by a reception in the Fitness & Recreation Center (FitRec)

Can’t make it to the ceremony? Watch it live on Questrom World!

The university’s commencement website provides information about this exciting weekend. The GPO would like to call your attention to the following details and deadlines:

Quick Answers
Before May 15th
Convocation Ceremony
Parking and Public Transportation
Photographs & Video
Special Assistance Needs
Student Speaker
Day of Ceremony Reminders

Quick Answers:

  • You do not need tickets for either the Convocation Ceremony for Questrom Graduate Students (May 15th) or the All-University Commencement Ceremony (May 17th). Seating is first-come first-served, and there will be plenty of seating. Bring as many guests as you’d like! If you have family and friends that cannot make it to the Convocation Ceremony, direct them to Questrom World, where we will be streaming the ceremony live!
  • For the Convocation Ceremony for Questrom Graduate Students on May 15th, students must arrive at Agganis Arena at 5:15p.m. Please arrive to the student check-in area (Feld Entrance of Agganis Arena) on-time. The ceremony will begin promptly at 6:00p.m. with or without you.
  • For the All-University Commencement Ceremony on May 17th, students must arrive at Harry Agganis Way by 12:15p.m. The ceremony will begin promptly at 1:00p.m. rain-or-shine.
  • Please take a moment to review the security measures Boston University has put in place for Commencement Weekend.

Before May 15th:

  • Make sure everything is correct before Spring Break (to ensure accuracy in the Commencement Program). On the Student Link
    • Look at your Diploma and Graduation Information (Academics tab). Enter and confirm your name as you want it to appear on your diploma, verify your address, and select how you want to receive your degree (May graduates only).
    • Look at your Directory Information (Personal tab). Place a check mark next to ‘Commencement Program’ if you do not want your name in the Commencement Red Book and Program.
  • If you are concerned about your name being pronounced correctly at Commencement, please record your name at the following online sites for Doctoral, MSMF, MS-MBA, and MBA students by Friday, May 8th.
  • Obtain your cap and gown.
  • If you have federal loans, complete your exit counseling with the Office of Financial Assistance.
  • Resolve any outstanding balance with Student Accounting Services.
  • Contribute to your legacy with the BU Alumni Association.
  • Sign up for Commencement Weekend Family Events.
  • For international visitors, it may be helpful to request a letter of invitation. This request is for a letter that can be used by family members of a BU student or scholar when applying for a U.S. visitor’s visa. It is not required for the visa application, but may be helpful.

Convocation Ceremony for Questrom Graduate Students
Friday, May 15, 2015 – 6:00 PM
Agganis Arena

Agganis Arena is at 925 Commonwealth Avenue (Google maps)

The Convocation Ceremony for Questrom Graduate Students begins at 6:00p.m. Graduates should arrive at the Feld Entrance, of Agganis Arena (on Harry Agganis Way) by 5:15p.m., (go upstairs and to the left) in order to check in and line-up in time for the ceremony. See the commencement map for check in location. It is very important that you arrive on time. If you arrive late, you risk being lined up out of order (not with your specific program) or not being able to participate in the ceremony at all. Once the ceremony has begun, students who arrive late will not be able to join the procession.

GUESTS may arrive at the Main Arena Entrance of Agganis Arena (Commonwealth Avenue) no earlier than 5:00p.m. All graduates and guests are subject to the University’s Commencement Weekend security measures. All bags will be screened and no bags larger than 12” x 12” x 6” will be permitted into the Arena, so please plan accordingly.

Each graduate will be recognized individually during the ceremony. No RSVP is necessary for students who have successfully submitted a graduation application to the GPO. We assume that all eligible students may be in attendance.

Students who plan to complete their degree requirements in May 2015 or September 2015 and those who completed their degree requirements in September 2014 or January 2015 are eligible to participate in the May 2015 Commencement Ceremony.

Upon check-in, you will be given a card that has your name, degree(s), phonetic pronunciation (if you provided this on your graduation application), and honors status. You must keep this card with you and bring it up on stage where it will be handed to the presenter.

From the North Shell (Harry Agganis Way Entrance), BU staff and student volunteers will lead you to your seats in Agganis Arena. A program of speeches, recognitions, and awards will follow, culminating in the finale – having each student walk across the stage to be recognized and receive a diploma cover from Dean Freeman. To allow each student the opportunity to be properly recognized we ask that you and your guests remain seated throughout the ceremony. This will help to create an atmosphere of decorum and respect for every graduate.

Students and their guests are invited to a reception immediately following the ceremony.

Reception: Fitness and Recreation Center (FitRec)

Immediately following the ceremony, a reception for graduates and their guests will be held in the Fitness and Recreation Center, 915 Commonwealth Avenue, next to Agganis Arena. The reception is expected to begin at approximately 8:00 PM. Any dinner reservations should be made for 9:00 PM or later.

Guests should follow signs from Agganis Arena to the FitRec Reception. Students will leave the arena via an underground tunnel that will lead them into FitRec for the Reception. You may meet your guests at the reception in the Upper Basketball courts of FitRec or leave the building to meet your guests in the FitRec plaza. Cell phone reception may not be reliable inside Agganis or FitRec.

Parking and Public Transportation

Traffic along Commonwealth Avenue during Commencement Weekend is normally heavily congested, which can cause long delays, so please plan to give yourself more time to arrive. We highly recommend using public transportation to and from campus whenever possible. Transportation information can be found here. While all university parking lots will be open and free of charge during Commencement weekend, space will be limited and demand will be high, particularly on Friday afternoon when faculty and staff are still working, so we strongly encourage you to use public transportation whenever possible. Parking Services will be running a shuttle service up and down Commonwealth Avenue all weekend.


Online orders can be placed for your regalia beginning in January. To order online, visit the Herff Jones website. The deadline to place orders is March 16. Online orders can be delivered to your home or may be picked up at Barnes & Noble beginning April 20. Degree candidates who do not place an online order must visit Barnes & Noble at Boston University after April 20 to purchase their academic regalia. Please be advised that in order to ensure that you have the correct academic dress for your ceremony with respect to color and size, you should plan to pick up any online regalia order or visit the bookstore to purchase your regalia no later than May 8. It is students’ responsibility to order and pick up their cap and gown from the bookstore. The costs for the basic regalia packages are as follows:

Degree ProgramMaster'sPhD/DBA (rental)
Price$103 online before 3/16
$113 in-store after 4/20
$85 online before 3/16
$95 in-store after 4/20
Includes- Gown
- Cap
- Tassel
- Master Hood
- 10 Printed Announcements
- Gown with Velvet Panels
- Black Velvet Tam
- Tassel
- Doctoral Hood
- 10 Printed Announcements

*All rented doctoral regalia must be returned by May 25 to avoid late charges. The University will withhold transcripts for any graduate who does not return rented regalia.

Custom Regalia

Custom doctoral regalia, available for purchase, is priced based on requirements. All custom orders must be made by March 6 through a fitting appointment with the BU Barnes & Noble General Merchandise Department, 617-236-7402.

For further information regarding academic dress and announcements, contact Barnes & Noble.

Military attire is acceptable in lieu of Regalia.

The Graduate Student Council will also offer rentals of used regalia during one of their spring meetings. The date will be announced on their Facebook page. and in the GPO weekly email.

RegaliaGraduate Program
TasselDrabYellowThick GoldYellow
HoodDrabDrabDark BlueYellow
Gown VelvetNo velvetNo velvetBlackNo velvet

Honor Cords & Beta Gamma Sigma (BGS) Cords

Honor, High Honor & BGS cords will be available upon check in at the Commencement Ceremony for Graduate Students. A gold Honor cord is worn by students who are graduating with High Honors (3.70 CGPA or above) and a white cord is worn by those graduating with Honors (3.55 CGPA or above). MS•MBA students who have honors or high honors in both degree programs will be recognized by their highest honor, receiving one cord upon check in.


During the actual ceremony, you will receive a blank diploma cover, regardless of your graduation date. May 2015 graduates pick up their diplomas during the FitRec Center Reception. Those who do not attend the Convocation Ceremony or the reception may pick up their diploma in the GPO during the period of Monday, May 18th through Friday, May 22nd during regular business hours. After June 15th May graduates may pick up their diploma at the Office of the University Registrar. E-mail for Remaining diplomas will be mailed at the end of June.

September 2015 graduates can choose to pick up their diploma at the Office of the University Registrar (must fill out “Diploma Pickup Application” on their website), and they will be available after their official graduation date of September 25th. All others will be mailed approximately 6 weeks later.

Photographs & Video

A professional photographer will photograph each student as he or she receives a diploma cover. Commencement Photos, Inc. will mail proofs to your home address and offer other photo packages for purchase in the weeks after the ceremony.

The Convocation Ceremony for Questrom Graduate Students will be video-recorded by Kitay Productions, and DVDs are available. Pre-order your DVD by clicking here or purchase the DVD on the day of the ceremony in the Agganis Arena lobby.

Special Assistance Needs

If one of your guests needs special access to either Agganis Arena or Nickerson Field, please submit the Accommodation Request Form starting April 1.

Graduates needing special assistance should contact Gina Galland in the GPO as soon as possible so that appropriate arrangements may be made.

Convocation Student Speaker

If you would like to be considered for this opportunity, please submit your application no later than 9:00a.m. on Monday, March 9, 2015.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Your speech will be one of several and should be no longer than 4-5 minutes in length
  • Your speech should be inclusive of the various graduate student populations and programs in the Questrom School of Business (full- and part-time MBA, MS-MBA, Math Finance, and DBA/PhD)
  • Your speech should address the graduate student experience at the Questrom School of Business
  • If you submit after the deadline, it is possible that your speech may not be considered.

Finalists will present their proposed speech to a selection committee after Spring Break, who will select the student speaker. If selected as the student speaker, you will be expected to rehearse your speech in early May and attend a sound check in Agganis Arena on May 14th.

Day of Ceremony Reminders

  • Please do not bring personal items (e.g. coats, umbrellas and purses) with you to the line-up areas in the Agganis Arena, as there are no facilities to secure these items. You will not be returning to the room where you line-up and there will be no one there to safeguard your items. Leave items with friends or family before entering the line-up area. If you must carry small items, please make sure you can hide them under your gown in pockets or a small bag. Please remember that all bags will be searched by security when entering Agganis Arena and that no bags larger than 12” x 12” x 6” will be permitted into the Arena.
  • Wear comfortable footwear. There will be a lot of standing and walking, including stairs.
  • Gowns tend to get wrinkled from the packaging, so hang your gown on a hanger the night before. Also, ironing/steaming the gown with VERY LOW heat can help.
  • Be sure to bring your cap and gown, but do not put them on until after you have passed through the security point at the Feld Entrance of Agganis Arena. You will not be allowed to participate in either the Convocation Ceremony for Questrom Graduate Students or the All-University Ceremony without them! Military attire is acceptable in lieu of Regalia
  • You are allowed to decorate your cap. Have fun with this!
  • Alcohol, balloons, beach balls, air horns, or any similar paraphernalia will not be allowed – security will be checking.
  • Have fun and be proud of your achievements!!!