Tips for Under the Oaks

The following suggestions are provided for the enjoyment of all guests:

Dress Comfortably
Average morning temperatures for North Carolina in May can be 50 degrees, and can quickly warm into the 70s and an occasional 80 degrees by noon. Prepare for the weather. Layered clothing may be best for changes in temperature and shade during the ceremony. Comfortable shoes are also recommended. The grass can be slippery if there is a shower overnight or if dew forms before sunrise.

Sun Protection
Many areas Under the Oaks receive some amount of full sun during the morning. Sunscreen is recommended. Hats are permitted; everyone is asked not to obstruct another’s view.

Honestly - Arriving Early is On Time
General seating is available after 7 a.m. and is first-come, first-served. When the forecast is fair and the ceremony is Under the Oaks, enjoy a super-sized continental breakfast in the tradition of Elon’s weekly College Coffee. Breakfast closes at 8:30 a.m.

At 9 a.m., aisles are cleared for the ceremony start and all guests should be seated. For everyone’s safety, general seating will be paused during the Processional.

Following the opening announcement, the Academic Processional will move Under the Oaks in the following order:

The Flags
University Gonfalons
University Mace
The Student Marshals
The Candidates for Degrees
(Undergraduate Class of 2015)
The University Gonfalons
The Faculty Marshals
The University Trustees
The University Faculty
The Platform Party

Water Service
Water will be available at the back of the seating area. Stations will be maintained with ample supplies. Guests are also welcome to refill their own water bottles.

Comfort Stations/Restrooms
Air-conditioned comfort stations are available at the back of the seating area. Additional restrooms are a short walk to Alamance, Long and Mooney buildings. The first floor restrooms in both McEwen buildings are reserved for special needs guests.

Hearing Assistance/ASL Interpreting at Commencement
Elon Commencement is equipped with a limited number of hearing assistance devices and Spanish interpretation devices that are available on a first-come, first-served arrangement. Headsets may be picked up at the Information table after 7:30 a.m. on Saturday morning.  A sign language interpreter will also be present near the stage during the Commencement ceremony. Please call the Office of Cultural Programs (336-278-5605) at your first opportunity for information on these special needs services.

A professional photographer will take photos of each graduate receiving his or her diploma. In addition, a family photography area is located near the stage for those who wish to use their own camera equipment. Please follow the direction of University staff when using the family photo area.

Ceremony Etiquette
A university degree is a high academic achievement. Elon University’s Commencement recognizes the entire Class of 2015 with a commensurate amount of pomp and circumstance. As names are read, graduates walk across the stage to receive their diploma from President Lambert. Guests are asked to observe these etiquette guidelines to create a memorable event for every graduate:

  • Be seated before the opening announcement is played (9 a.m.).
  • Late arrivals will be seated at an appropriate time.
  • Umbrellas, balloons, large signs and other celebratory items are discouraged as these items can obstruct views.
  • Please do not enter the graduates’ seating area during the ceremony.
  • Cell phones and electronic devices should be silenced during the ceremony.
  • Please limit calls and messages as a sign of respect for all graduates and other guests.
  • Please do not ask your graduate to leave their seating area. In order to fully appreciate the occasion, graduates should be present so not to miss a minute.

The ceremony is brought to a close with The Charge from President Lambert. Afterwards, graduates recess between two lines of faculty eager to share their congratulations. This is a graduate’s final bow! Meet your graduate at the post-Commencement reception on the lawn around Fonville Fountain. Lemonade and ice water are available.