Q&A - Hattiesburg

UPDATED: April 23, 2018

The Hattiesburg 9am Commencement Ceremony is now at full capacity and seating for this ceremony is now closed. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the 9am Commencement Ceremony, please email registrar@usm.edu or call (601) 266-6175.

Will tickets be required for entry into the Commencement ceremony?
Tickets are not required for family and friends attending Commencement, and candidates may bring an unlimited number of guests to celebrate the occasion. While seating is plentiful, candidates and guests should allow enough time for traffic and parking. 

Will the ceremony be videotaped?
The Commencement ceremonies will be Webcast live via the USM website. Southern Miss videos of Commencement are available for viewing at a later time via the Southern Miss YouTube channel.

How will you accommodate people with disabilities or special needs?
Special parking lots will be reserved for persons with disabilities or special needs that meet ADA guidelines. See Disability Access for complete details.

Where will I park?
All university parking lots, unless otherwise marked, will be open to the public on the day of Commencement. See the parking map (PDF) detailing available parking areas on campus.

Is there a dress code?
Commencement is a formal celebration.  We encourage candidates to take this into consideration in regards to wardrobe.  Comfortable shoes are STRONGLY encouraged since candidates will be walking long distances and standing for long periods of time.  Please choose appropriate footwear.

What should I expect at the ceremony?
Due to limited floor capacity and length of ceremony, we will have two separate ceremonies by colleges, and we expect approximately 600 candidates at each ceremony. Graduation is an elective event for degree candidates; therefore, out of respect for others, all candidates are expected to remain in their seats until the conclusion of the ceremony. Concession stands will be open before and during the graduation exercises so that guests may purchase water and snacks.

Are there any items that are prohibited?
In order to be respectful of all guests and graduates, the following items are prohibited in the Coliseum.

  • Air horns or noise makers of any kind
  • Alcohol of any kind
  • Balloons, banners, or posters
  • e-Cigarettes or tobacco of any kind
  • Weapons or sharp objects of any kind

Is there a processional or recessional?
To begin the ceremonies, doctoral candidates followed by specialists and master candidates will lead the baccalaureate candidates in a processional through the West tunnel. Afterward, the students and guests will be asked to stand for the platform and faculty processional.

At the conclusion of the ceremonies, the platform party and the faculty will lead the candidates in a recessional exiting through the East and West tunnels. 

How do I ensure that my name is pronounced correctly at the commencement ceremony?
To facilitate the reading of names at Commencement, students may include the correct pronunciation of their name on the seating reservation form. The deadline for this process is October 31, 2017.

How will weather affect the Commencement schedule?
If it is raining or rain is forecast on Commencement day, students and guests should come prepared with appropriate rain gear. In the event of rain, umbrellas can be used to walk from the check-in location to the coliseum and left in the tunnel until the recessional. If weather is severe enough (heavy rain, thunderstorms, tornado watch/warning) to necessitate a delay in the start of the ceremony, instructions will be announced on-site to students and guests. If the forecast indicates no change in the severity of the weather, cancellation of the ceremony will be announced.

If the ceremony is underway but is interrupted by severe weather, students and guests should follow instructions as announced. It is advised that you prearrange a meeting place with your family and guests in case the ceremony is canceled. Instructions and updates will be provided via the USM Website and through local media outlets.