Graduation Instructions


Plainview Commencement

December 2023 Graduation: Application due September 15, 2023

Torch and Mantle Ceremony

10:30 a.m. Graduation Day
Multi-Purpose Room
For Torch and Mantle, graduating seniors are encouraged to ask a member of administration, faculty, or staff who served as a role model to join them in continuing the thread that runs through generations of Wayland graduates. Student Activities sponsors this traditional event and is happy to answer additional questions: 806-291-3752.

December 2023 Commencement — 2 p.m. sharp, Saturday, December 9, 2023

For December graduation,students selected as platform party participants will rehearse at 1 p.m. on Friday, December 8, 2023, in the Hutcherson Gymnasium. All other graduating seniors must arrive at Harral Memorial Auditorium no later than 1:15 p.m. on Saturday, December 9, 2023 to line up for the ceremony. 

Graduation Ceremony Attire

Men should wear dark pants, dress shirt and tie, and black shoes (no tennis shoes or flip-flops).

Women should wear a dress with black shoes (no tennis shoes or flip-flops). Simple or no jewelry is preferred.

Graduation Robes

Those currently enrolled in GRAD0001 on the Plainview campus will receive a cap and gown in class. Others will need to contact their respective office to arrange for pickup:

• Doctoral and Graduate candidates, please call the Graduate Studies Office at 806/291-3422, or send an e- mail to

• BAS/BCM graduates, please call the BAS/BCM Office at 806/291-3576, or send an e-mail to

Please arrange to pick-up gowns prior to graduation day as they should be pressed before the ceremony. If you neglect to collect your gown in a timely manner, the University Store will open the morning of graduation. Please do not wear the white collar provided with your cap and gown packet. The cap and gown are yours to keep.

Tassels, Caps, Honors Cords

Doctoral and Master’s degree students will wear the tassel on the left; baccalaureate degree students will wear the tassel on the right.

During the ceremony, men will remove their caps during prayer, pledges, scripture, and the Alma Mater. Women will wear their caps at all times.

Caps or mortar boards and gowns must remain in their original state; no decorations may be added.

In addition to the above, graduates may wear the following during the ceremony:

  1. Wayland Latin or academic honor cords, stoles, or sashes
  2. Wayland Honors Program or Torch and Mantle medallions
  3. Stoles or sashes that represent a student’s heritage, ethnicity, and/or native culture and are no wider than 5.5 inches across at the widest point, and no longer than 66 inches in length.

Graduating students who wish to wear stoles or sashes that represent their heritage, ethnicity, and/or native culture must contact the Rregistrar’s Office to receive approval from the Associate Registrar or Registrar no later than eight days prior to the graduation ceremony (generally the Friday that final exams begin).

In accordance with the university’s values, the wearing of non-academic stoles is purely at the discretion of the institution. Students’ attire will be assessed prior to walking the stage, and non-academic cords, stoles, or similar items may be removed if they do not fit the criteria listed above.

Graduates not complying with the requirements for attire may be excluded from the commencement ceremony.

Following the recessional, graduates may add supplementary cords, stoles, sashes or other celebratory attire.

Ceremony Procedures

As the graduation ceremony combines the traditional components of the Baccalaureate Service with the formality of the Commencement Ceremony, participants are asked to follow these instructions in order to move through the event with poise.

Graduating seniors will assemble no later than 1:15 p.m. as indicated:

December CommencementDoctoral, Master’s and Baccalaureate degree candidates will meet in the Harral Memorial Auditorium. (In case of inclement weather, all graduates will line-up in the South hallway [gym level] of the Hutcherson Gymnasium.)

May Commencement and Campus MarchDoctoral, Master’s and Baccalaureate degree candidates will meet in the Harral Memorial Auditorium. (In case of inclement weather, all graduates will line-up in the South hallway [gym level] of the Hutcherson Gymnasium.)

Guests should arrive no earlier than 1:00 p.m. and be seated immediately. We ask that all guests of a graduate arrive as a group so the group may be seated together. Saving seats will not be allowed. Traditionally, a reception honoring our graduates is held in the Laney Center immediately following the ceremony, and all guests are welcome to attend.

First Assistant Marshal, Second Assistant Marshal, and University Registrar staff will assist in the line-up. Students will be given a 3x5 card with their name printed on it; keep this card and present it to the announcer when it is time for you to be recognized. If you are concerned that the announcer might not pronounce your name correctly, please contact the University Registrar's Office two (2) weeks prior to graduation.

The Chief Marshal will lead the Platform Party into the gymnasium and onto the stage. The Alternate Marshal will lead the Faculty to their seats. Please proceed as directed by the Marshals.

The First Assistant Marshal will lead the Master's degree candidates to the appropriate seating location. Master’s degree candidates will carry their hood on their left arm in the processional and up on stage. Candidates will hold out their left arm for a member of the hooding party to remove the hood for the hooding.

The Second Assistant Marshal will lead the remaining candidates and seat them in the proper row. The students should remain standing until the processional has completed.

At the time in the program designated “Conferring of Degrees,” the First Assistant Marshal and the Second Assistant Marshal will lead the graduates from their seats to the designated area. Please refrain from talking, as it is audible to the audience and distracting. Also, please remember to pause at the podium, and present the name information card to the announcer. Wait for your name to be read, and then proceed across to the President to receive your diploma cover. Pause again when receiving the diploma cover from the President so the photographer can take a good picture.

After students have received the diploma cover from the President and been congratulated by the Chair of the Board of Trustees, they will proceed across the platform to the University Registrar’s table to collect diploma materials. Students will then return to their previous seat. Please do not cut across the front of the gymnasium, and please wait to open the packet of diploma materials until after the ceremony.

After all diploma covers have been distributed, the graduates will be instructed to stand for the conferring of degrees. The President will confer the degrees and then instruct those who have received the Baccalaureate degree to move their tassels from the right to the left.

The Graduation Recessional will exit as directed by the Marshals; listen for instructions

Additional Information

GRADUATION PHOTO — A professional photographer will take your picture as the President presents your diploma. While family members and friends may take video and/or pictures from their seats, they are asked not to go to the front of the gymnasium during the ceremony. Adhering to this policy adds to the dignity of the graduation ceremony.

HANDICAPPED SEATING — If family members need handicapped seating, a location will be designated in the Harral and at Hutcherson via signage for accommodations.

DISTRACTIONS — Since commencement should be an honorable distinguished ceremony, please remind your relatives and friends not to embarrass you or offend your classmates by calling out or making distracting noises when your name is called. Please ask your family to arrange childcare for babies and small children. If this is not possible, please take fussy or crying children to an alternate location.

PARKING — Parking will be available in both the Harral Memorial Center parking lot and the Hutcherson Center parking lot. Watch for individuals directing parking, and prepare to park as suggested. The traffic will be in one-way directions before and after the ceremony. Please leave all valuables locked in the trunk of your vehicle.

FOR MORE INFORMATION — For any clarification, please contact the office of the Vice President of Academic Affairs via email or phone (see below). You are also welcome to stop by the office in the First Floor Executive Suite of Gates Hall during office hours.

Dr. Cindy Marlow McClenagan Vice President of Academic Affairs Wayland Baptist University
1900 West 7th Street, CMB #1275
Plainview, Texas 79072-6998
PHONE: 806-291-3410