Depts & Offices

Commencement Information: College of Arts and Sciences

POSTPONED: All commencement ceremonies scheduled for May 2-3 on the Adrian campus have been postponed at this time. All other commencement related events have been cancelled or postponed as well. These include: Honors Convocation, Torch Night, Pinning Ceremony, Kente Ceremony, and Baccalaureate Mass. However, students who complete their work will graduate on schedule. More information will be forthcoming on any rescheduling of 2020 commencement exercises.

Congratulations! Your graduation from Siena Heights University is within sight! We look forward to celebrating with you at Commencement 2020. This page includes important commencement information for graduates of the College of Arts and Sciences (Adrian campus undergraduate programs).


  • February 18—Order commencement regalia from the SHU Barnes & Noble Bookstore. 
    Place online orders here.
  • February 18—EVENT CANCELLED. Adrian Campus Grad Fair, 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m., Benincasa Hall.
  • March 18—EVENT CANCELLED. Adrian Campus Grad Fair, 12:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m., Benincasa Hall.
  • April 12—11:59 p.m. Deadline for commencement ticket ordering and having your name printed in the commencement program, commencement regalia ordering, Kente ceremony reservations, and handicapped seating arrangements.
  • April 24—EVENT CANCELLED. Honors Convocation, 2 p.m., St. Dominic Chapel.
  • April 24—EVENT CANCELLED. Torch Night ceremony, 8 p.m., St. Dominic Chapel.
  • May 1—EVENT CANCELLED. Pinning Ceremony for nursing students graduating from SHU, 7:00 p.m., St. Dominic Chapel. Reception immediately following at the Nursing Building.
  • May 2—EVENT CANCELLED. Kente Ceremony for SHU African American graduates, 11:00 a.m., St. Dominic Chapel.
  • May 3—EVENT POSTPONED. Commencement Day in Adrian:
    • EVENT CANCELLED. Baccalaureate Mass, 10:30 a.m., St. Dominic Chapel.
    • SHU Barnes & Noble Bookstore open, 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
    • Brunch, 10:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m., McLaughlin University Center Dining Hall.
    • Line-up for academic procession, 1:00 p.m. in Trinity Gardens.
    • Commencement narration begins at 1:50 p.m. in the Fieldhouse.
    • Academic procession begins at 2:00 p.m.
  • May 4-29—Diplomas mailed to graduates by Registrar’s Office.


Commencement is Sunday, May 3, at 2:00 p.m. in the Fieldhouse on the SHU main campus in Adrian, MI. This ceremony will recognize all undergraduate degree candidates from the Adrian campus.

Line Formation will begin at 1:00 p.m. in Trinity Gardens next to Archangelus Hall. Caps and gowns should be worn to the line­up. Hoods should be carried over students’ left arm and tassels on the left side of caps. Bring a safety pin or hairpin in case of emergency. Commencement narration begins at 1:50 p.m. in the Fieldhouse and academic procession begins promptly at 2:00 p.m.

If you arrive after the ceremony has already started, you will be placed in the back row of graduates and walk up to the platform after the last group.

Doors for guests will open at 1:00 p.m. Tickets are required for all guests attending the commencement ceremony. The ceremony should end by approximately 3:30 p.m. No loud bells, horns, whistles etc. will be permitted during the ceremony.


Tickets are free but you must order your tickets before April 12. Up to ten (10) guest tickets are available for each participating graduate. A single ticket specifically for graduates walking in the ceremony will be available when you check in for Commencement on May 3.

You must fill out the ticket registration form before April 12 in order to reserve guest tickets, walk in the commencement ceremony, and have your name printed in the commencement program.

Every guest (even babies) must have a ticket to attend the Commencement ceremony. All guest tickets will be available for pick up the week of April 20 in the Science Building, room 230. 


When ordering regalia, students can have their items shipped directly to them for an additional fee or pick their items up in the bookstore at SHU’s main campus in Adrian prior to the ceremony. Place online orders here.

It is important that you know your degree and major when placing your cap and gown order. Your hood color is based on the degree you will be receiving. If you have questions regarding your degree, please contact your advisor for clarification.


  • AA – Black with school colors
  • AAS – Black with school colors
  • BA – White
  • BAS – Gold/Bright yellow
  • BBA – Drab
  • BFA – Dark Brown
  • BS – Gold/Bright Yellow
  • BSN – Apricot/Orange
  • BSW – Citron
  • MA - White

How much do these items cost?

  • Cap, Gown, Hood and Tassel packages:
  • Associate/Bachelor’s degree: $84.98
  • Specialist/Master’s degree: $89.98
  • Associate or Bachelor gown only: $43.98
  • Specialist or Master’s gown only: $46.98
  • Undergraduate hood only: $32.98
  • Graduate hood only: $35.98
  • Cap only (one size fits all): $12.98
  • Tassel only: $6.98


You will receive only the diploma cover when crossing the platform. The Office of Records and Registration will mail diplomas after graduation requirements are complete and obligations to the University have been met. Once all requirements and obligations are met, diplomas will be mailed between May 4–29.

To ensure timely delivery of your diploma, be sure to confirm your correct mailing address through your MYSIENA account. Login and click "Personal Info" at the top, then click on the "Biographical Info" tab to verify your name and address. If this information is incorrect, please click on the pencil. This will bring up a correction form for you to fill in and submit. Don’t wait to update your file; do this as soon as possible. Note: name changes must be documented with the Registrar’s Office. The Registrar’s Office will not mail documents to an SHU campus mailbox unless it is your legal mailing address. If you live in an apartment that is not your legal address, or if you will be leaving at the end of April, notify the Registrar’s Office at 517-264-7120 of where to send your diploma.


A live stream of the commencement ceremony will be available at 1:30 p.m. on May 3.


Siena Heights does not present honor cords at Commencement, although some honors are presented at the Honors Convocation ceremony on April 24. If you qualify for academic honors (cum laude, magna cum laude, and summa cum laude) and you have completed all requirements for graduation, your honors will be announced at Commencement and listed in the program. Honors listed in the program and read on stage will be based on grade records as of April 2020 and will not be official until all second semester grades are received. Note: Information about academic honors will not be available before Commencement.


In order to minimize the need for taking pictures at the time diplomas are presented, a professional photographer from Graduation Foto will be taking a picture of each graduate receiving their diploma. A registration card will be given to each graduate to fill out and turn in at the ceremony. Graduates will receive proofs via email a few days after Commencement with purchase information and pricing.

Family and friends may take pictures and video from their seats. Note: Tripods are NOT permitted. We ask that guests do NOT approach the stage from any direction to take pictures during the ceremony. Graduates and their guests may return to the stage after the ceremony for additional pictures. Make sure batteries and power packs are charged ahead of time.


The SHU Barnes & Noble Bookstore in Adrian will be open every day during the week of commencement from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, May 2-3, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The bookstore has a wide selection of Siena Heights University memorabilia in stock. Also, for your convenience, the bookstore has diploma frames and class rings available to order.


A Commencement Brunch will be available for all graduates and guests in the McLaughlin University Center Dining Hall from 10:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m. 

A wide variety of breakfast and lunch entrees will be served including: scrambled eggs, pork sausage patties, red skin potatoes, biscuits and gravy, pancakes, multiple pasta choices with meat balls and sliced chicken breasts, garlic bread, carved meat station, mashed potatoes with gravy, fresh green beans, salad bar with assorted options, beverage station with Coke products, juices, coffee, and a dessert bar with assorted fruit pies, cookies, and cake.

The cost is $10.50 for adults and $4.50 for children ages 2-12. No reservations are required. Cash, credit card, and checks will be accepted at the door.


The Torch Night ceremony, which takes place one week before Commencement, is a Siena Heights tradition involving a symbolic exchange between a graduate and another SHU student who is not yet ready to graduate. The graduate receives a rose, the Dominican symbol of friendship, and gives the undergraduate (also known as the “torch”) a candle symbolizing the light of truth and the “torch” of learning. Each graduate invites a SHU undergraduate student, usually a close friend, to be his or her “torch.” Graduates wear their caps and gowns for this event. This year’s ceremony is scheduled for Friday, April 24, at 8:00 p.m. in St. Dominic Chapel. Line-up for the ceremony begins at 7:30 p.m. Students from all SHU locations are welcome to participate. To participate: Contact Campus Ministry at 517-264-7192 for your name to appear in the Torch Night program.


Sponsored by Siena’s African American alumni, the Kente ceremony has become a cherished part of commencement for Siena’s African American graduates. SHU alumni provide a colorful Kente stole for each graduate to wear over his or her graduation robe. Stoles will be presented at a special Kente ceremony in St. Dominic Chapel on Saturday, May 2 at 11:00 a.m. for all graduates participating in Commencement on either Saturday or Sunday. The deadline for reservations is April 12. To participate: Register online here or contact Sharese Mathis at 517-264-7606.


In the Catholic Dominican tradition, we invite all graduating seniors and their families to begin Commencement day by thanking God with a Baccalaureate Mass on Sunday, May 3 at 10:30 a.m. in St. Dominic Chapel. All graduates who attend receive a special blessing and cross to wear from our University President Sister Peg Albert, OP, and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Sister Sharon Weber, OP, as a reminder that the God who loves us all is with them as the students go onto the next step of their life journey, wherever it may lead.


Students or guests who require special seating or assistance because of a handicap or advanced pregnancy should call the Student Life Office at 517-264-7600 to arrange for special seating. All requests must be submitted by April 12, 2020.

Guests with walker or wheelchair: Handicap seating is reserved for guests with walkers or wheelchairs and up to four people accompanying them. Guests who have arranged handicapped seating should enter the Fieldhouse at the east entrance and stop by the table there. This entrance is adjacent to the handicapped parking area.

Guests without walker or wheelchair: If needed, a helper with a wheelchair will be available at the east entrance to the Fieldhouse to transport your guest to any seat in the Fieldhouse before the ceremony—and then out to a chair on the lawn after the ceremony.

Graduates: Graduates who need assistance can be pre-seated if necessary, and/or use our ADA-approved handicapped ramp to receive their diploma. Please call or visit the Campus Nurse for details at 517-264-7190, or in Ledwidge 180.

Parking: For those with a state issued handicap-parking tag, there is parking on the east side of the Fieldhouse. Be prepared to show plate or tag to officers at intersections and lot entrances. Others may ride the golf cart shuttles to the Fieldhouse.


Assorted flowers will be available for sale at the commencement with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Siena Heights University scholarship fund. Sales will start an hour before the ceremony. Please look for the flower tent outside of the Fieldhouse.


The Siena Heights address is: 1247 E. Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan 49221. An Adrian campus map can be found here. A Google Map for directions to the Adrian campus can be found here.

To assist our students and guests with entering and exiting the Adrian campus efficiently, traffic heading east on Siena Heights Drive will be directed to the following parking lots: West Fieldhouse, Dominican & Performing Arts, and Addison Street Fairgrounds. Traffic heading west on Siena Heights Drive will be directed to the following parking lots: Adrian Dominican Motherhouse and the Siena Heights Drive Fairground entrance. Shuttles will be available for transportation to and from the Fieldhouse. Adjacent parking fills up quickly, so please allow plenty of time. All exiting traffic will be directed out the same direction as it entered. Handicapped parking will be available in the parking lot east of the Fieldhouse. A state issued handicapped permit is required to enter, and should be displayed to the officer directing traffic. For any special assistance with parking, please contact Cindy Birdwell at (517) 264-­7194.


  1. Register for your tickets to the Adrian campus Commencement before April 12! This is how you let the University know you plan to participate (walk) in the commencement ceremony. Remember, every guest must have a ticket.
  2. Read about Torch Night (above); contact Campus Ministry if you decide to participate.
  3. Read about the Kente ceremony (above); Register online here or contact Sharese Mathis at 517-264-7606.
  4. Purchase your cap and gown and any other graduation items you would like from the SHU Barnes & Noble Bookstore. Place online orders here.
  5. Make sure the Siena Heights University Registrar’s Office has your correct and current mailing address. This is VERY important, as this address is where your diploma will be mailed (instructions below).


What time should I be at the Fieldhouse before the commencement ceremony?
Students should arrive no later than 1:00 p.m. at the check-in table in front of Trinity Gardens to make sure they are in proper order in the procession line. In the event of inclement weather, the check-in tables will be set up in the Fieldhouse. Students will receive a call/photograph information card. Call cards are color coded and list the name and degree type. Please keep the call cards on you at all times. Caps and gowns should also be worn to the line-up. Hoods should be carried over students’ left arm and tassel on the left side of caps. Bring a safety pin/hairpin in case of emergency. Once you enter the line-up, we ask that you remain in line. Marshals will be on site to assist with line up assignments.

What time should my guests arrive at the Fieldhouse?
Guests will be admitted to the Fieldhouse at 1:00 p.m. Allow 20-30 minutes for parking and walking. Every guest (even babies!) must have a ticket to enter the Fieldhouse. No loud bells, horns, whistles etc. will be permitted during the ceremony.

What should I wear?
Early May weather is usually pleasant, but the Fieldhouse is NOT air conditioned, so dress for the weather. You may need to walk or stand a great deal, so comfortable shoes probably are a better idea than high heels and boots.

Is food allowed in the Fieldhouse?
Beverages and snacks will be available for purchase at the Fieldhouse snack bar prior to the ceremony.

What about smoking?
Siena Heights University is a Smoke Free Campus. Smoking is not allowed in any Siena Heights building or on the SHU campus grounds.

After the ceremony, are there places to eat in the area?
Yes! For a complete list of dining options, check out the Visit Lenawee website.

Whom do I call—about anything?
If you have more questions, try one of these numbers for help:

Consider being a part of leaving a legacy for the Class of 2020.
If you would like to designate your donation to support a legacy gift for the Class of 2020, please click here.