commencement

In-Person Commencement for 2020 and 2021 Graduates

Rogers State University will host two limited in-person ceremonies for its 109th commencement. Gates will open one hour prior to each ceremony.

Saturday, May 8, 2021
10 a.m. and 6 p.m. | Soldier Field at the Claremore Campus
1701 W. Will Rogers Blvd., Claremore, OK 74017
 Campus/Soldier Field Designated Parking (pdf)
Claremore Expo Center Map (pdf)

Livestream Links

Watch the 10 a.m. ceremony
Watch the 6 p.m. ceremony

View the 2021 Commencement Program (pdf)

Rogers State University will host two commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 8, at Soldier Field (soccer field) on the Claremore Campus.The information below will help graduates and their guests plan for the ceremonies.

Handicap Parking: Reserved parking is located of the Blue Starr Drive entrance on the north side of campus.

Inclement Weather: In the event of inclement weather, ceremonies will be moved indoors to the Claremore Expo Center. Due to social distancing requirements, no guests will be allowed to attend the indoor ceremonies. Guests will be able to view the live-streamed ceremonies online. 

Register to Participate: Graduates must register to participate and receive guest wristbands. Graduates who have already registered do not need to resubmit. Register to attend commencement: www.rsu.edu/rsvp

Pick up Wristbands: Graduates participating in the 2021 commencement ceremonies can now pick up wristbands. Wristbands are available in Meyer Hall on Claremore Campus Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. beginning Monday, April 26.

Complete this form to request additional wristbands.

Purchase Caps and Gowns: Traditional academic regalia will be worn by all graduating students and faculty members participating in the commencement ceremonies. Stoles, cords, pins and medallions are to be worn in accordance with RSU policy. Caps and gowns are available for purchase through the RSU Bookstore.

RSU Bookstore
Dr. Carolyn Taylor Center
[email protected]
918-343-7847

The RSU Bookstore will have normal business hours during the remainder of the spring semester. It will be open on Saturday, May 8 from 8:30 am to 11 am and from 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. for graduates and guests.

Two ceremonies will be held to promote the health and safety of graduates and their guests. 

  • Graduates with last names A-H will participate in the 10 a.m. ceremony.
  • Graduates with last names I-Z will participate in the 6 p.m. ceremony.

Graduates will receive color coded and time-specific wristbands that will allow their guests entry into Soldier Field for their designated ceremony. Requests to participate in a specific ceremony cannot be accommodated due to COVID-19 safety precautions.

Gates will open one hour prior to each ceremony.

Wristbands will be required for admittance into each ceremony. Graduates may request up to eight wristbands for guests. Any remaining wristbands will be redistributed among graduates needing additional seats for guests. The deadline to pick up the eight allotted wristbands is Friday, April 30.  

Graduates may request additional wristbands beyond the initial allocation of eight by completing this form. Any remaining wristbands will be redistributed among graduates needing additional seats beginning Monday, May 3.

The wristbands, which are free, provide admission to Soldier Field for family and friends attending the ceremonies. Children two years old and under who will sit on their parent’s lap do not require wristbands. Children over the age of two will require a wristband.

For graduates unable to come to the Claremore campus for wristband pick up, please call 918-343-7615.

For more information, visit the Wristband FAQs.

Graduates are encouraged to plan accordingly and arrive early to their ceremony.

  • Arrive at 9:00 a.m. for the morning ceremony.
  • Arrive at 5:00 p.m. for the evening ceremony. 

Graduate Dress Code and Regalia
Weather-appropriate business attire is recommended to be worn under regalia. Graduates should keep in mind that the ceremony will take place on a synthetic turf field and will require time standing and walking. High heeled shoes along with flip flops, sandals and sneakers are discouraged.

Graduates should plan to don your regalia before arriving to the soccer field. Tassel is to remain on the right until you are told to "move the tassel" during the ceremony.  M.B.A. graduates wear tassels to the left. Stoles, cords and pins are to be worn in accordance with RSU policy. If you have an item not on the list, please contact Katie Warnick in Student Affairs [email protected] or 918-343-7755 before May 3 to secure approval. See Regalia Traditions and Symbolism

Graduate Parking and Drop-off  (see map)

  • Graduate parking is designated in the parking lot behind UVB and UVC campus housing (green zones on the map).
  • Graduate drop-off is designated in the parking lot in front of the Chapman Dining Hall (blue zones on the map).
  • Guests may park on any other campus lots (pink areas designated on the map).

If you have requested mobility access for yourself or your guests, there will be a commencement volunteer to escort you to your seats.

Graduate Check-in
Upon arrival, graduates will check-in at the covered patio at Soldier Field (soccer field). At the patio, graduates will fill out a photo card and name card.

  • Yellow Photo Card will be used to identify each graduate to the professional photographers.
  • White Commencement Name Card will be used to announce each graduate during the ceremony. Phonetic spellings are requested for names prone to being mispronounced. This will allow the graduate's name to be pronounced correctly as it is read aloud.

Graduate Seating
Graduates will be directed by commencement staff to available seating. This year, there will be no processional and recessional. Graduates will take their seat before the ceremony begins.   

Crossing the Stage
Faculty marshals will guide graduates toward the stage. As graduates approach the stage the following will take place.

  • As graduates approach the ramp to the stage, they will hand the YELLOW PHOTOGRAPHY CARD to a commencement staff member.
  • As graduates enter the ramp to the stage, they will receive their diploma cover.
  • At the first podium, graduates will give the WHITE NAME CARD to the announcer.
  • As they are announced, graduates will walk the stage and stop at the footsteps marking placement for their professional photo with the President (no hand shake). Graduates may remove their mask to pose for the photos.
  • Graduates will then proceed across the stage and down the ramps on the opposite side, pausing briefly for another photo before replacing their mask and returning to their original seat.  

At the end of the ceremony, and once the platform party has exited the stage, graduates are free to join their guests. 

Guests are encouraged to plan accordingly and arrive early to the ceremony.

  • Arrive at 9:00 a.m. for the morning ceremony.
  • Arrive at 5:00 p.m. for the evening ceremony.

Guest Parking  (see map)
Guests are encouraged to use the main entrance to the campus located on Will Rogers Blvd. Guests may park at any open campus lots (pink areas designated on the map).Handicap parking is designated in the parking lot behind UVB and UVC campus housing (green zones on the map).

Guest Seating 
Guests will be directed by commencement staff to available seating. Guests will take their seats before the ceremony begins and are asked to remain seated until the ceremony ends. 

In adherence to COVID-19 protocols, guests are asked to remain seated during the commencement ceremonies. There will be no designated areas for family photography on the stadium floor. Professional photographs will be taken as graduates receive their diploma covers and after they leave the stage. Proofs will be available online, allowing graduates to order products and packages. A link to each grad’s personal gallery will be sent via email and or text shortly after the ceremony concludes. All transactions are between Candid Color Photography and individual candidates; Rogers State University is not involved in the billing or collecting of monies. Proofs can be viewed online at www.oklahomapartypics.com. Questions can be sent via e-mail to [email protected], or by phone at (405) 951-7300.

Restrooms are located on the north side of Soldier Field under the covered patio. Portable restrooms are located on the east side of the field. Buildings adjacent to parking lots will be open and have restrooms on the first floors. This includes Baird Hall, Chapman Dining Hall, Stratton Taylor Library and the Dr. Carolyn Taylor Center.

All university COVID-19 Protocols remain in effect.

Masks: Appropriate cloth or surgical-style masks that cover the nose and mouth completely will be required for all guests age 6 and older. Masks will be distributed to those who do not bring their own. Graduates may temporarily remove their mask as their name is announced and they cross the stage. Graduates may also temporarily remove their mask as they pose for their photos.

Social Distancing: Soldier Field will be set with a seating pattern that adheres to CDC guidelines for social distancing. Graduates and guests are asked to refrain from rearranging the seating.

Accessibility: For graduates or guests needing accommodations, accessible services are available. Guests who need to be seated in a wheelchair during the ceremony should bring a wheelchair, as wheelchairs will not be provided for use throughout the duration of the ceremony. Please register in advance.

May Heat: Due to the potential for extreme May heat, guests in vulnerable populations are encouraged to view the ceremony via livestream. Weather-appropriate attire is recommended for faculty and graduates under their regalia. Guests are also encouraged to dress appropriately.

Inclement Weather: In the event of inclement weather, ceremonies will be moved indoors to the Claremore Expo Center. Due to social distancing requirements, no guests will be allowed to attend the indoor ceremonies. The ceremonies will be live-streamed online. 

If inclement weather is anticipated, an advanced determination will be made by Friday, May 7, at noon. The determination will be announced through official RSU channels including RSU email, website and social media. 

RSU is a tobacco free, smoke free campus. No smoking or vaping is permitted.

Safety checks of all carry-in bags (handbags, purses, camera bags, etc.) will be conducted. Illegal drugs, alcohol, weapons, fireworks, signs on poles, or noisemakers are not allowed. Oversized bags, backpacks and duffle bags will not be permitted, nor will coolers with drinks, cans or bottles. Outside food is not allowed. Clear plastic bottled water is permitted.