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Health and Human Services - The Center for Study of Chronic Illness and Disability



Before the CHHS Degree Celebration and the University Commencement

  • If you missed the Mason Commencement Fair in March, you may order graduation items through the Mason Bookstore on a first come, first served basis.
  • Invite your family and friends.
  • Tickets are not required.
    • Seating is open and tickets are not required for either the CHHS Degree Celebration on May 18 or the George Mason University Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 20.

The Day of the CHHS Degree Celebration – Thursday, May 18, 2017

  • Guests: Please park in Lot A at the EagleBank Arena on the Fairfax campus and enter through the south entrance. Handicap seating is available for guests near the portal entrances, and an usher at a portal entrance will escort family and guests who may need handicapped seating.
  • Graduates: Check-in at Parking Lot A no later than 9:15 a.m. Please be on time to allow for the approximately 600 graduates to assemble by program and to receive final instructions from staff and faculty marshals.
  • Attire:  Graduation celebration attire is the green cap and gown, plus hoods for master’s and doctoral graduates. Please wear proper attire under your cap and gown and shoes that will be safe and comfortable for your walk across the stage.
  • Children of Graduates:  For safety concerns and the consideration of others, we ask that graduating students arrange to have their children sit in the audience with family or guests.  Children are not allowed to sit with a graduating parent or cross the stage with their parent.
  • Bachelor’s and Master’s Graduates:  Line-up behind the sign for your degree program in Parking Lot A.  Bachelor’s candidates are in one line; master’s candidates in another.  Staff will give you a name “reader card.” Fill out the reader card writing clearly.  Include your name, and the phonetic spelling of your name if it is difficult.  Keep this card with you since you will hand the card to the reader when your name is called as you cross the stage.
  • The Processional:  At 9:50 a.m., staff will direct the student lines closer to the EagleBank Arena loading dock doors.  Turn off your cell phone when you enter the arena.  A seating marshal will seat students with others in their major. 
  • The Ceremony: You will be cued to stage by the college staff.  On stage, hand your reader card to the marshal at the top of the ramp.  When your name is announced, cross the stage to be congratulated by the dean and by your departmental chair at which time you will be given a faux diploma.  Walk down the ramp on the far side of the stage, pausing at the bottom to have your photograph taken.  Then return to your seat.  Remain seated until the end of the ceremony.
  • The Recessional:  When the Degree Celebration is over, please stand for the recessional.  Students will be cued to leave the arena after the platform party, the faculty, and doctoral students have left.  Students will be cued when to leave, exiting their rows to the right (facing the stage).  Students exit front row to last.     
  • Doctoral Graduates: Report to the Hospitality Room of the EagleBank Arena, located on the lower-level. (The entrance of the Hospitality Room faces the Johnson Center.) Once you have checked-in and are robed, a CHHS marshal will instruct you and your faculty advisor of the Doctoral line-up order.  The line is in the order that the students will cross the stage.  If the weather is nice, a doctoral marshal will direct you to move the doctoral line outside of the Arena near the loading dock entrance.  Doctoral students begin the academic procession into the arena. 

Note:  Doctoral students are not hooded at the CHHS Degree Celebration, they are hooded at the university commencement.  Doctoral students should wear their hoods to the Degree Celebration.  In lieu of hooding, each doctoral student will be presented with a CHHS doctoral medal on stage by their dissertation or PIP chair (or faculty designee).

  • Inclement Weather: In case of rain, there will be no procession for bachelors and masters candidates from the Parking Lot A area through the loading dock doors into EagleBank Arena.    If it is raining, you will be instructed to enter the EagleBank Arena via the loading dock door on the lower level of the East side. You will be seated by program on the arena floor. Look for signs indicating your major. Doctoral students will initially check-in at the Hospitality Room prior to lining-up in the arena hallway. Staff and marshals will be available to guide students to the appropriate location.
  • Reception:  A reception will be held immediately following the CHHS Degree Celebration on the east side of the EagleBank Arena, concourse level.

University Commencement – Saturday, May 20, 2017

  • Attend University Commencement, the official graduation event of the university where all schools and colleges are represented.  At this event, doctoral students will be hooded by their advisors as they cross the stage.  Bachelor’s and master’s students do not individually cross the stage.  Graduates are recognized as a group by school and college.  Dr. Cabrera will pronounced degrees “conferred” and invite graduates to participate in the “turning of the tassel,” a graduation ritual where graduates move their tassels from the right to left.       
  • Share your graduation celebration photos with us on the CHHS Facebook page.
  • Visit the Alumni Association update your contact information and learn more about your alumni benefits, events, and career networking as a Mason graduate.
  • Find detailed information on the University Commencement on the Office of Events Management website

Disability Accommodations   

If you are a graduating student and would like special accommodations, please contact Pat Tope whose contact information is listed below.  


If you have questions or need additional information? Please contact:

Pat Tope, Office Manager
Office of Student Affairs
College of Health and Human Services
Robinson Hall, Room B-402 or 703-993-1914