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What to Expect on Convocation Day

Convocation is a truly joyous occasion that brings together a multitude of individuals, including graduating students, esteemed faculty members, dedicated staff, enthusiastic volunteers, and proud guests. We understand the significance of this momentous day, and we are here to provide you with essential information on what to expect during this remarkable event!

For a seamless convocation experience, please plan to arrive 90 minutes before your ceremony begins. Upon arrival, you will collect your academic regalia (robe, hood and cap) and name card before proceeding to the marshalling area. 

The student procession will enter the Pavilion 30 minutes prior to the ceremony's start. To witness the procession, we recommend guests be seated at least 30 minutes beforehand. 

Visit the Location & Transportation page for information about getting to the venue.

  • Academic regalia (robe, hood, and cap) must be rented online when you RSVP for the convocation ceremony. Students and guests who identify as First Nations, Metis or Inuit are most welcome to wear traditional ceremonial dress of your people and culture. 
  • Marshalling involves forming an alphabetical line of student graduates by department and degree classification for the procession. 
  • Only you are allowed in the marshalling area, so please keep your personal items with you or have one of your guests hold your items for you. 
  • Please arrive 90 minutes before your ceremony to collect your academic regalia and be marshalled in order. 
  • The student procession will enter the convocation venue 30 minutes prior to the ceremony. 

Upon arrival, you will receive a name card that displays your full name as it appears on your diploma. It is important to keep this card with you until you reach the stage, where you will hand it to the convocation assistant. 

To ensure a smooth announcement of your name, we kindly request that you avoid bending or damaging the name card. It will be scanned to announce your name during the ceremony. 

Except for handbags (must not exceed 6”x9”), bags are not permitted in convocation ceremonies. 

You may give your bag to your guests for safe-keeping or use our complimentary bag check service.   

Items not permitted on convocation grounds:

  • Fireworks of any kind including, but not limited to, flares, smoke bombs, incendiary devices and pyrotechnics
  • Alcohol, cannabis, illegal drugs or harmful chemicals
  • Aerosol cans or pressurized containers
  • Professional camera equipment, including but not limited to, tripods, battery packs, large commercial video cameras
  • Glass bottles or containers
  • Noisemakers, including, but not limited to, bullhorns, whistles and horns
  • Laser pointers
  • Remote controlled aircraft or unmanned aircraft systems (drones)
  • Hover-boards
  • Selfie sticks
  • Beach balls or other inflatable items
  • Animals (excluding service animals)
  • Weapons of any kind including, but not limited to, knives, pepper spray, stun guns, concealed weapons and firearms
  • Any other object deemed unsatisfactory by the management of Sobeys Stadium are strictly prohibited on the Grounds.

Items not permitted for convocants to bring on stage:

  • Personal effects or apparel such as bags, valuables or jackets

For Ceremonies at Keele Campus: Sobeys Stadium reserves the right to limit items that may be brought on the Grounds. Please leave any unnecessary or prohibited items at home or in you vehicle.

After the procession of students is guided into the convocation pavilion, the ceremony will consist of the following elements: 

  • Platform Party & Academic Procession   
  • Honour Song (if relevant) 
  • Land Acknowledgement & Opening Greeting 
  • National Anthem 
  • Call to Order 
  • Chancellor's remarks 
  • President and Vice-Chancellor's Remarks  
  • Awards Presentations (if applicable) 
  • Conferring of the Degree Honoris Causa 
  • Convocation Address 
  • Dean's remarks 
  • Conferral of Degrees 
  • Presentation of Candidates/Students 
  • Alumni Greeter Remarks 
  • Closing 
  • Dismissal 
  • Withdrawal of the Academic Procession 
  • Withdrawal of the Student Procession 

When the degrees are to be conferred, the Chair of the University Senate will ask that the students to please rise but stay at their seats, and will address the Chancellor with the following words: 

"Chancellor Taylor, as Chair of the University Senate and on behalf of the Senate of York University, I present to you these Candidates, and certify that they have successfully completed all the requirements established by the statutes of this University for their degrees. 

I now request that you confer on these Candidates their degrees and that you grant them all the rights and privileges and challenge them to accept all the obligations and responsibilities arising therefrom." 

The Chancellor will respond with: 

"As Chancellor of York University, by authority of the powers vested in me, I hereby confer upon you the degrees to which you have demonstrated your entitlement to the satisfaction of the Senate, with such title, honours, duties, rights and privileges as are proper to them. 

Admitto vos ad gradum." 

Ushers will start directing students to rise and line up to approach the platform. You will be told to present your name to the card handler, who will give it to the name reader. Once your name has been read, proceed to the Chancellor and pause so that your picture can be taken by a professional photographer. Ushers and marshals will be available to make sure you find your way back to your seat. 

Please remain in your seat until convocation has been dismissed. The student procession will follow immediately after the faculty procession. 

The physical and mental well-being of student graduates and their guests is of utmost importance. Therefore, all convocation events and ceremonies will adhere to the health and safety guidelines set by York U, local municipalities, provincial authorities and those typical of large-scale facilities and events.   

If the University deems it necessary to activate certain protocols these measures will be implemented to ensure the safety and health of everyone in attendance at Convocation.   

We are committed to providing a safe and secure environment for all attendees, and we appreciate your understanding and cooperation in complying with required protocols or guidelines.