Spring 2020 Commencement

Celebrate Our 2020 Graduates!

Our spring Commencement ceremony has been postponed, but you can still join us in celebrating the St. Catherine University Class of 2020!

Whether you are a graduate or know someone who is, show your pride and offer congratulations by downloading St. Kate's yard signs, campus-themed backdrops for Zoom gatherings, and custom images to post to social media.

Class of 2020 celebration downloadables

Spring Commencement Postponed

Commencement means a great deal to all of us, thus we are postponing our May 22-23, 2020 graduate and undergraduate commencement ceremonies for all three colleges: College for Women, College for Adults, Graduate College. We identified three options, pending the status of the COVID-19 public health guidelines.  


  1. Hold commencement ceremonies on August 28-29, 2020. 
  2. If we are unable to hold ceremonies in August, we will combine spring 2020 commencement celebrations with the winter 2020 ceremony on December 16-17, 2020.
  3. If we are unable to hold December ceremonies, we will combine all ceremonies into the May 2021 celebration (ie. extended ceremonies with May 2020, December 2020, and May 2021 graduates). 

We are not planning beyond the three options above at this time. Decisions will be driven by when it is safe to have large gatherings again as determined by MDH and CDC. We will confirm dates or share updates at least eight (8) weeks in advance to allow you to plan accordingly. 

NOTE: It is very important to remember that ALL degrees will be conferred at the end of the spring semester pending the completion of all degree requirements, regardless of when the commencement ceremony is held. May completion dates will be included on student transcripts. 

Advance Orders for Academic Garb

A few students have inquired about the possibility of purchasing caps and gowns to wear for spring photos or personal graduation celebrations. Academic garb can be purchased here. Please be aware that once an order has been placed, there are no returns and no refunds. The University won't be able to confirm Commencement dates until later this summer. Orders will begin shipping in May and take 7–10 days to fulfill. 

graduates in procession

Notice of Filming and Photography
By participating in Commencement, you consent to be photographed, filmed, and/or live-streamed during the ceremony at The O'Shaughnessy and/or the Baccalaureate Liturgy in the Chapel.

Baccalaureate Liturgy and Hooding Ceremony

The Hooding Ceremony is a tradition incorporated into the Baccalaureate Liturgy, in which bachelor's and associate students will receive a special blessing and place their graduation hoods upon each other. Students consistently describe this tradition as one of the highlights of the Commencement events.

Attending and Bringing Guests
  • All graduating students and their guests are welcome and encouraged to attend.

    • Note: Graduate College students do not participate in this Hooding Ceremony, as they are hooded during their Commencement ceremony. Graduate College students are still welcome and encouraged to process into the Chapel and sit with other graduating students.

  • All faiths are welcome and encouraged to attend.

  • Please note that space in the Chapel is limited. 

What to Expect
  • All participating students will be dressed in their academic gowns and process into the Chapel and sit together as a group.

  • During the Liturgy, bachelor's and associate students will be invited to stand, receive a blessing, and place the hood over the student next to them. There is nothing to prepare for in advance. The ceremony is simple and will be explained as it happens.

A sign language interpreter will be provided. For reasonable accommodations, please contact commencement@stkate.edu

Students are invited to serve as readers and Eucharistic ministers during the Baccalaureate Liturgy. Those interested should contact the Center for Spirituality and Social Justice at spiritandjustice@stkate.edu or 651.690.6724.

Diplomas, Honors, and Student Account Status

Unsure if you will be graduating with honors, or when you will get your diploma? Concerned about your student account's outstanding balance? Make sure you are squared away for graduation day.

Latin Honors are awarded to eligible students earning their first baccalaureate degree. To be considered for Latin Honors students must complete a minimum of 64 credits in residence at St. Catherine University. Latin Honors are awarded upon completion of all graduation requirements with the following institutional grade point average (resident courses only, no transfer courses included):

  • For graduation cum laude, a GPA of 3.667
  • For graduation magna cum laude, a GPA of 3.8
  • For graduation summa cum laude, a GPA of 3.9

The honors awarded are noted on your transcript and in the program at Commencement.

Predicted eligibility for Latin Honors is determined approximately six weeks prior to Commencement; actual eligibility is based on your final St. Catherine University GPA.

Latin Honor cords will be handed out at lineup. Cords for departmental honor societies are provided by the individual departments. Graduating students are encouraged to wear any/all of their honor society cords to Commencement.

Students with balances remaining on their accounts should contact Jordana Lewis (jjlewis@stkate.edu or 651.690.6567) in student accounts to make arrangements for payment to the University.

Students with balances on their account after Commencement will have their diplomas and official transcripts held until full payment is made.

If you are a Perkins or Nursing Loan borrower, you need to complete the online loan exit questionnaire prior to graduation. Questions about the questionnaire can be directed to the Student Accounts Office (studentaccounts@stkate.edu or 651.690.6503). Technical questions or problems can be directed to University Accounting Service (UAS) at 1.800.999.6227.

If you borrowed other types of student loans, you need to complete an exit counseling session. Expect notification of times from the Financial Aid Office.

If your student account is in good standing your diploma will be mailed to your permanent address approximately six weeks after Commencement.

Please ensure that the registrar’s office has your correct address on file.

Diploma frames are available for purchase through the St. Catherine University bookstore—view examples online or in the bookstore.

St. Catherine University bookstore



Parking Recommendations for Students and Guests

We encourage students and guests to enter through Gate 4 on Fairview Avenue and park in The O’Shaughnessy parking lot located on the southeast corner of campus, near the Georgia and Alberta Apartments. During Commencement, all campus parking areas will be open for guests and permit requirements will not be enforced.

Please do not park in handicap spaces (unless permitted) or fire lanes.

Warning: the city will ticket cars parking on the north side of Randolph or on Cleveland and Fairview Avenues. These areas are designated for neighborhood resident parking by permit only.

Public Safety will have a shuttle bus running to assist those with mobility needs. Shuttle pick-up and drop-off locations will be marked with signs, and a map noting the locations will be sent to graduating students the week of Commencement.

Handicap parking spots are available in The O’Shaughnessy lot. There are additional spaces behind The O’Shaughnessy auditorium if you enter campus through Gate 3 off of Randolph Avenue, west of Fairview Avenue.

Note: If your guest has a mobility challenge that prevents them from safely traveling from these parking spots to the chapel or auditorium, you guest may call 651.690.8888 to receive help from Public Safety. Public Safety will be touring all campus parking areas. If your guest does not have a cell phone, please instruct them to watch for a Public Safety vehicle, and step out of their car (or roll down a window) to signal for assistance.

Share Your Joy

Explore more ways to celebrate and remember this achievement — and share it with your family and friends.