Commencement Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Where do I order my cap and gown?
The graduating student fee that is charged to each student covers the cost of the cap, gown, and hood (among other things), so these have already been ordered for you. Your regalia is ordered based on the height information you provided and your major, with your major determining your hood color.

Q: If I’m a double major, how do I know what major I will be graduating with?
Students with more than one major will be walking with the primary (first) major listed on the graduation application, and that determines the hood color that was ordered. Graduates were emailed in early March and given the chance to swap which major they want to walk with by informing the Registrar’s Office; however, the window for making these changes has now closed.

Q: When and where do I go to pick up my cap and gown (and Commencement guest tickets!)?
For Class of 2021 graduates, your cap and gown can be picked up on Wednesday, May 12 from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. or Thursday, May 13 from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m in O'Connell Hall. Class of 2020 graduates who are not yet in town on Wednesday and Thursday can also pick up regalia on Friday from the Registrar's Office in O'Connell Hall. Graduates will also receive their Commencement guest tickets and line-up number at this same time, so Class of 2020 graduates who collected their caps and gowns early will still need to make arrangements to pick up these additional items.

Q: When and where is graduation rehearsal and do I have to attend?
We will not be holding an in-person rehearsal this year but will have some virtual resources instead, including a video with information, tips, and instructions that all graduates will need to view. This video will be released sometime during the week prior to graduation – please stay tuned for more information!

Q: When and where will graduation be held and what time do I have to arrive?
If you are a Class of 2020 graduate, Commencement will start at 10:00 a.m. in Nelson Stadium on Saturday, May 15. You will need to arrive no later than 9:30 a.m. and assemble on the fields near Guadalupe Hall. For the Class of 2021, Commencement will start at 1:00 p.m. in Nelson Stadium on Saturday, May 15. You will need to arrive no later than 12:30 p.m. and assemble on the fields near Guadalupe Hall. Check the Health & Safety Protocols webpage for the inclement weather plan.

Q: When and where will the Baccalaureate Mass be held and what time do I have to arrive?
The Baccalaureate Mass for both 2020 and 2021 graduates will start at 4:00 p.m. at the Cathedral of Saint Helena on Friday, May 14. You will need to arrive no later than 3:30 p.m. and assemble on the lawn outside the Cathedral. Check the Health & Safety Protocols webpage for the inclement weather plan.

Q: How many guests can I bring to graduation?
Our event plan for Commencement has been approved by Lewis & Clark Public Health, which means we can move forward with allowing six (6) four (4) guests per graduate at each of the Commencement ceremonies scheduled to be held outside in Nelson Stadium (an updated plan was approved and so the number of tickets per graduate was increased to six each on 4/27/21). A livestream option will be available. All Commencement guest tickets are FREE and will be distributed to graduates at the same time as caps and gowns.

Q: How many guests can I bring to Baccalaureate?
Due to limited capacity in the Cathedral, graduates who have RSVP'd as attending the Baccalaureate Mass will be allowed up to two (2) guests in person; guest tickets can be picked up from the Campus Ministry offices during the same time as cap and gown pick-up. A live stream option will be available for additional family members and guests.

Q: What happens if there is rain or snow?
The Commencement ceremony will be held outside rain or shine, so come prepared. In case of a weather event that makes it unsafe to be outside, such as lightning or a thunderstorm or hailstorm, we have an inclement weather plan; check the Health & Safety Protocols webpage for more details.

Q: Will masks be required?
Masks will be required for all attendees -- graduates, faculty, staff, and guests -- at all graduation events; check the Health & Safety Protocols webpage for more details about mask requirements.

Q: What if one of my guests has special seating needs? 
Nelson Stadium is able to accommodate guests who might need special seating during the Commencement ceremony, such as wheelchair access or seating on a lower level. The first row of seating across the entire front of the stadium will be designated as Accessible Seating and will be available on a first come, first served basis.

Q: Who is the Commencement speaker this year?
The Commencement ceremonies will focus on the graduating students, the families who have supported them, and the Carroll community. There will be no invited outside speaker so that we can celebrate you, the graduates! Each ceremony will include a student speaker from the graduating class.

Q: Will there be class toasts, and when will the class bricks be unveiled?
We are still working out the details for these graduation traditions and will be announcing plans as soon as they are available.

Q: What does the $160 graduation fee cover?
The fee that is charged to all graduating students covers the cost of the diplomas, the diploma covers distributed at the graduation ceremony, the class bricks, the academic regalia (cap, gown, hood), various senior student and graduation event costs, and various administrative costs. All graduating students are charged the full graduation fee, even if they do not plan to participate in the May ceremony (though we hope everyone will!).

Q: Where can I purchase graduation announcements?
Standard graduation announcements can be ordered at the Carroll Saints Shoppe (bookstore). For personalized graduation announcements, visit www.jostens.com to place your order.

Q: Where can I get graduation pictures?
Helena Photography will be taking a class and individual photographs at graduation. Kevin Hudson, the owner, will be sending information to graduates and their families about how to order pictures. He can also be contacted via www.helenaphotography.com or (406) 443-1966.

Q: Where can I direct my out-of-town guests to for lodging needs?
For out-of-town guests, please refer them to www.visitmt.com. We recommend booking a place as soon as possible.

Q: What if I have more questions?
The Registrar’s Office can field your questions – please stop by our office in O’Connell Hall, call us at (406) 447-5435, or email us at registraroffice@carroll.edu.