Winter 2018 Commencement Information

Congratulations on your upcoming graduation! Celebrate your achievements and share the joy with family and friends.

  • Winter 2018 Ceremony Information

    Commencement Schedule & Details


Thursday, December 20


5 p.m. Baccalaureate Liturgy and Hooding Ceremony, Our Lady of Victory Chapel

  • 4:15 p.m. Line up for Baccalaureate Liturgy and Hooding Ceremony, CdC 2nd floor hallway, by room 210

7:30 p.m. Commencement Ceremony, The O'Shaughnessy

  • 6 p.m. Line up for Commencement Ceremony: College for Adults students in Frey Theatre; College for Women students in Rehearsal Hall, Music Building; Graduate College students in Recital Hall, Music Building.

9:30 p.m. Reception, Rauenhorst Ballroom, 3rd floor Coeur de Catherine


Erin Murphy MAOL'05, legislator, Minnesota House of Representatives


View map showing lineup locations on campus.

The Commencement ceremony will last approximately two hours. A sign language interpreter will be provided.

Please join us for a reception immediately following the ceremony in Rauenhorst Ballroom, 3rd floor, Coeur de Catherine. Tickets are not required, but please indicate the number of people in your party (including yourself) that will be attending when you fill out your ticket request form.

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.

The Hooding Ceremony is a tradition incorporated into the Baccalaureate Liturgy, in which 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.
  • All faiths are welcome and encouraged to attend.
  • Tickets are not required, but if you plan to attend, RSVP on the ticket request form so we can plan accordingly.
  • Please note that space in the Chapel is limited. We request that each graduate limit their invitations to four guests.

What to Expect

  • All participating students will be dressed in their academic gowns and process into the Chapel and sit together as a group.
    • Note: Graduate students do not participate in this Hooding Ceremony, as they are hooded on stage in The O’Shaughnessy during the Commencement ceremony. Graduate students are still welcome and encouraged to process into the Chapel and sit with other graduating students.
  • During the Liturgy, participating 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.
  • All participating students will be individually recognized as they process out of the Chapel.

A sign language interpreter will be provided.

Students are invited to serve as readers and eucharistic ministers during the Baccalaureate Liturgy. Those interested should contact the Office of Spirituality and Social Justice at or 651.690.6724.

  • Tickets

    RSVP for Commencement

    RSVP for yourself and your guests by submitting a ticket request form. Completing this form reserves your spot for graduation (or tells us you’re not coming) and lets us know of any special seating needs you or your guests may have. Please fill out the ticket request form even if you do not plan to attend Commencement.

    As the deadline for requesting tickets through the form has passed, please contact to request guest tickets. Each graduating student is guaranteed three guest tickets.

Baccalaureate Liturgy, Hooding Ceremony, and Reception

Tickets are not required for guests or graduating students for the Baccalaureate Liturgy and Hooding Ceremony or the reception.

Assigned Seats in The O'Shaughnessy

Seating assignments for guests are determined by lottery and are reserved seats. To be eligible for the lottery, you must complete the ticket request form by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, November 16.

Graduates submitting a ticket request form after the deadline cannot be guaranteed tickets inside The O’Shaughnessy for their guests.

If tickets for The O’Shaughnessy remain after each student receives their original guaranteed tickets, those tickets will be distributed one at a time through a lottery. Extra tickets will be announced at Commencement rehearsal.

Tickets are required for all children present. Due to the length and nature of the Commencement Ceremony, guests are discouraged from bringing young children into The O’Shaughnessy.

Overflow Seating in Coeur de Catherine

The University provides overflow seating in the Pulse and Dining Room (first floor of Coeur de Catherine), where the ceremony will be telecast live. These locations are appreciated by older and younger guests who are not able to sit for long periods of time and prefer to move around during the ceremony.

No tickets are required for the overflow seating.

The Dining Room will be open and serving food from 4:30–7:30 p.m. The Pulse will be open from 7 a.m.–10 p.m. and serve a modified menu from 7–10 p.m.

Space is provided on the ticket request form to indicate seating needs for:

  • Guests with disabilities (using a wheelchair, walker, unable to climb stairs, visual or auditory impairment, etc.). Wheelchair seating in The O’Shaughnessy auditorium is limited and there is no elevator.
  • Guests that should not be seated together.

Be sure to submit your ticket request form no later than 4:30 p.m. on Friday, November 16 to ensure that these seating needs can be met.

After you have received your ticket packet, call The O’Shaughnessy (651.690.6700) if you have any specific questions regarding handicap access to the building.

December 5–19

St. Paul students can pick up tickets at the Coeur de Catherine Information Center (open daily from 7 a.m. to midnight) beginning Wednesday, December 5.

Minneapolis students can pick up tickets in the Student Life office, Old Main 227, beginning Wednesday, December 5. The office is open Monday 9:30 a.m.–6 p.m., Tuesday 12–6 p.m., Wednesday 8:30 a.m.–6 p.m., Thursday 12–6 p.m., and Friday 11 a.m.–6 p.m.

December 20

On the day of Commencement, all tickets will be available on the St. Paul campus from the Coeur de Catherine Information Center.

One hour before the ceremony, tickets will be moved to the O’Shaughnessy ticket window.

Tickets that are not claimed 20 minutes into the ceremony will be released to the general public. Please ensure that you or your guests pick up your tickets before this time.

Note: In the interest of time and tracking, tickets cannot be distributed through campus or U.S. mail.


    Order your academic garb by December 9.

    Only students who have been cleared to participate by the registrar’s office can order garb. Please check your student email or contact the registrar’s office at 651-690-6531 or to know if you have been cleared.

    Students cleared to participate in commencement must wear academic garb purchased through the bookstore.

    If you have been recently cleared, please allow 24–48 hours for the academic garb vendor site to be updated with the most updated list of cleared students.

    The deadline to order academic garb is Sunday, December, 9.


    • All garb ordering is done online.
    • Your garb package will include everything you need prior to the ceremony (gown, hood, and tassel). It will be mailed to the address you specify at the time of your order.
    • Orders will take approximately 7-10 business days to fulfill. If you receive the wrong academic garb order, please contact Balfour directly to work on an exchange.
    • All students will receive their cap at lineup on the day of Commencement. Students graduating with Latin Honors will receive their honors cords at lineup on the day of Commencement.
    • For questions about academic garb, please email Katy Dillard at

  • your graduation status

    Diplomas, Honors & 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 ( or 651.690.6567) in student sccounts 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 ( 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 both bookstores—view examples online or in the bookstore.

St. Thomas students: beginning approximately six weeks after Commencement, the University of St. Thomas registrar will mail diplomas to candidates whose degree requirements are complete and student account is paid in full.

  • Commencement Ceremony Parking

    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.

Balfour offers a full line of customized products for graduation. Special order custom, high-quality, embossed invitations and announcements through the Balfour website.

Note: Some people do not know that announcements are not invitations. Omitting the place and time of the ceremony from your announcements should help alleviate this confusion.

The official St. Catherine University ring can also be purchased through Balfour.

A photographer from Lifetouch will take photos of each graduate at Commencement and graduates will receive proofs and purchase information approximately six weeks after graduation. This will be mailed to your most recent address on record at the Registrar’s Office. Photos can also be viewed online.

The Office of Marketing and Communications also photographs Commencement events. These photos will be used for public relations purposes and are available for viewing on the University's Flickr site.

Family members and friends in the auditorium may take photographs or videotape from their seats. Out of courtesy to graduates and other audience members, approaching the altar or stage for photographs or videotaping during the Baccalaureate Liturgy and Hooding Ceremony or the Commencement Ceremony is not allowed.

Support Student Scholarships

Celebrate your graduation by making a contribution to the Class of 2018 Senior Gift! Leave a legacy by making a gift (no gift is too small) to support student scholarships for those Katies who will follow you.

If each senior gives $5, we will reach our goal of raising $2,018 for student scholarships!


Contact the Commencement Committee at