Commencement

Congratulations on your upcoming graduation from Kutztown University!

Saturday, December 14, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. - Commencement for Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in all four colleges.

Commencement ceremony to be held in the O'Pake Fieldhouse.

Quotation Mark

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams

Eleanor Roosevelt
Important Dates

Saturday, October 12, 2019:  Last day to apply for graduation.

If you have not completed the application to graduate, log on to "MyKU" and click on "KU Academic Services" and then click on the link: "Apply for Graduation" and follow the prompts. For questions regarding graduation eligibility or the application process, contact one of the following individuals:


Tuesday, October 29, 2019 - 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.:  Graduation Festival

Hosted by KUSSI in the Multipurpose Room of the McFarland Student Union, the Graduation Festival provides KU students with a convenient way to access commencement information, tickets, purchase academic regalia (cap and gown) at a discount, rings, announcements and more.

If you cannot attend the Graduation Festival, academic regalia may be purchased through the KU Campus Store at full price Monday, December 2 through Friday, December 13, 2019. The KU Campus Store is open Monday through Thursday from 7:45 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday from 7:45 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. 

If you have questions, please contact the KUSSI Service Center in the McFarland Student Union, Room 171, or by calling 610-683-4090 prior to the event.  

bear statue wearing a cap and gown
  • Student Commencement Speakers

    Applications are being accepted through October 21, 2019 for student commencement speakers for the fall commencement ceremony on Saturday, December 14, 2019.  Two students will be selected to speak before their graduating class and guests:

    • One graduate student

    • One undergraduate student

    Interested undergraduate students can find more information and an application here: Undergraduate Commencement Speaker.  Please direct all questions about the undergraduate commencement speaker application process to Dr. Andrea Kirshman at kirshman@kutztown.edu.

    Graduate students interested in speaking can find more information and an application here: Graduate Commencement Speaker.  Please direct all questions about the graduate commencement application process to Dr. Carole Wells at wells@kutztown.edu.

  • Graduation Festival

    Kutztown University Student Services, Inc. ("KUSSI") sponsors a Graduation Festival each semester for graduating students. The Graduation Festival for December's commencement will be held on Tuesday, October 29 in the Multipurpose Room of the McFarland Student Union from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

    The Graduation Festival is a "one-stop shop" for graduates to purchase caps and gowns, order class rings, purchase diploma frames and learn more about KU Alumni Engagement. The festivities will include snacks, music and great prizes. 

    The following vendors and KU offices will be available at the Graduation Festival:

      • Oak Hall Caps & Gowns
      • Prestige Portraits by Lifetouch PhotographyTM
      • Balfour Class Rings & Announcements
      • KU Campus Store Official Logo and Alumni Merchandise
      • Diploma Frames
      • KU Registrar's Office
      • Liberty Mutual
      • PSECU
      • KU Graduate Admissions
      • KU College of Graduate Studies
      • Career Development Center
      • Alumni Engagement
      • PA Department of Banking and Securities
      • Office of Veteran Services
      • Financial Aid
      • KU Outcomes Survey       Graduating Outcomes Survey Logo

    Please remember that all graduates must attend the Graduation Festival to purchase their caps & gowns at a discount and to register to win great prizes.

    If you are unable to attend the Graduation Festival, academic regalia may be purchased through the KU Campus Store at full price Monday, December 2 through Friday, December 13, 2019 during normal business hours.  The Campus Store is open Monday through Thursday from 7:45 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday from 7:45 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Sunday from 1 p.m to 5 p.m.  For additional information or questions regarding regalia purchases, contact us at 610-683-4090.

  • Academic Regalia

    Purchasing Your Cap and Gown    

    If you participate in the commencement exercise, you must purchase complete academic regalia from the KU Campus Store. The use of any other academic regalia is NOT permitted. Purchasing your regalia indicates your intention to participate in the commencement ceremony. Only students who are participating in the commencement ceremony will receive tickets.

    Academic regalia may be purchased at the Graduation Festival on Tuesday, October 29, 2019 for a discount. The bachelors regalia package will be $33, and the masters package will be $49. Payment can be made by cash, check, credit card or Bear Bucks.  Please note that we are not able to accept credit cards or checks belonging to someone other than the student, unless that individual is present. You will be required to present photo identification to purchase your regalia.

    If you cannot attend the Graduation Festival, academic regalia may be purchased through the KU Campus Store at full price Monday, December 2 through Friday, December 13, 2019 during normal business hours. The Campus Store is open Monday through Thursday from 7:45 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday from 7:45 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.  For additional information or questions regarding regalia purchases, contact the KUSSI Service Center at 610-683-4090.

    Kutztown University uses GreenWeaver® graduation gowns as part of the ongoing effort to "go green."  Each gown is made of 23 recycled plastic bottles and can also be donated back after Commencement to be recycled into new fabric. This new fabric is softer to the touch and more breathable than traditional polyester fabric.  For every gown purchased, Oak Hall will make a donation to support Kutztown University's sustainability programs.  The changes that were made to the undergraduate cap & gown package also provide a cost savings to those students.

    Cap and Gown Care Instructions

    For the best appearance, the academic gown should be removed from the package immediately and placed on a hanger to allow the folds to fall out.  Hanging it in a high humidity area, such as the bathroom while you shower, will accelerate this process. If you wish to press, turn inside out and press with a warm, NOT HOT, iron.  Steaming is also an option.  The commencement regalia are yours to keep, or you may donate it after the ceremony to be recycled.  A gown recycling container will be located in the robing area immediately following the ceremony.

  • Class Rings

    The official Kutztown University class ring collection will be on sale on the following dates:

    Tuesday,

    October 29

    11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

    MSU 218

    (Grad Fest)

    Wednesday,

    October 30

    11 a.m. - 3 p.m. MSU

    Visit the Kutztown University section of the Balfour website for custom designs and to order online.

  • Commencement Announcements

    Commencement announcements may be purchased at the Graduation Festival, to be held in the Multipurpose Room of the McFarland Student Union on Tuesday, October 29, 2019. They will also be available at the KU Campus Store, located on the lower level of the McFarland Student Union during normal hours of operation.

  • Graduation Portraits

    Prestige Portraits by Lifetouch Photography

    Students now have the opportunity to have professional photographs taken prior to commencement. Lifetouch Photography will be on campus taking individual cap and gown and professional dress photographs. Students will be provided with hard copy proofs as well as electronic copies to review with their family and friends. There is no cost to be photographed or the obligation to make a purchase. A Lifetouch photographer will be on campus on the following dates:

    • October 29 during Grad Fest in the Multipurpose Room (MSU 218) from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

    • October 30 & 31 in MSU 157 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

    • December 2 in MSU 157 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

    Appointments recommended. Walk-up's possible based on availability. 

    Appointments can be made at www.ouryear.com (school code 022 or by calling 1-800-OUR-YEARTM(687-9327), during normal business hours. Students are encouraged to wear professional attire.

  • Outstanding Balances and Restrictions

    Please take a moment to log onto MyKU to see if you have any outstanding balances that could cause your account to be restricted (i.e. parking tickets, Hall room damages, ID replacement and tuition balances). This restriction will stop you from formally graduating, getting a diploma and block your accessibility to transcripts. If you are unable to access MyKU, you may contact the Office of Student Accounts. All outstanding issues, balances, and appeals must be resolved before commencement. You can reach the Office of Student Accounts at 610-683-4133.

    For future reference, transcript requests can be made through the Registrar's Office.

    If you move, please be sure to change your address online. You may be receiving tuition tax documents and other assorted necessary communications from Kutztown University.

  • Career Outcomes Survey

    Seniors and Masters Students: Please click HERE to complete your Career Outcomes Profile BEFORE graduation. The brief survey takes just five minutes. 

  • Tickets
    Tickets for Admission to Commencement

    Each degree candidate will be allotted admission tickets for relatives and friends to attend the commencement ceremony. The number of candidates applying for graduation determines the actual number of tickets each student receives.

    Tickets will be distributed with your cap and gown purchased at the Graduation Festival on Tuesday, October 29, 2019 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room of the McFarland Student Union. You will be required to present a valid KU ID to receive your tickets.

      • Candidates do not need tickets for themselves.                
      • Children ages 3 and up are required to have a ticket.
      • There is no replacement of lost or stolen tickets.
      • Guests will not be admitted without a ticket.

    If you are unable to attend the Graduation Festival, tickets will be included with your purchase of academic regalia in the KU Campus Store Monday, December 2 through Friday, December 13, 2019 during normal business hours.

    Extra Tickets: 

    Seating at the commencement ceremony is limited.  Students who have a need for one or two more guest tickets for the ceremony may click on the link below to be included in a random distribution of extra tickets. Completed forms must be submitted no later than Friday, November 22, 2019 to qualify.  Students identified through the randomized selection process will be notified by email on or after November 27.  Tickets will be available for pick up in the Dean of Students Office, 119 Stratton Administration Center, beginning December 2.  Selected students must present a valid KU ID to obtain their tickets, which must be picked up by Friday, December 13 at 4 p.m. 

    One entry per student.  Students submitting multiple entries will be removed from the process and lose the opportunity to obtain extra guest tickets to commencement.   Please be sure to enter your complete KU email address accurately on the form.  Emails that are bounced back for an incorrect email address will not be attempted a second time.

    The link for extra tickets will go live November 1. Click on TICKETS to apply for extra commencement guest tickets

    * The distribution is contingent on the availability of extra tickets.

    Please contact commencement staff with questions regarding tickets.

  • Academic Etiquette

    Candidates are expected to wear complete commencement attire, WITH NO ALTERATIONS. Candidates wearing messages of any type on the caps and gowns will NOT be permitted to participate in the commencement ceremony.

    At commencement, the men will remove their hats for the invocation, benediction and alma mater.

    • All bachelor's degree candidates will wear mortarboard caps with tassels on their RIGHT side prior to degrees being conferred. The President will formally confer degrees and will instruct graduates to move the tassel to the left side of the mortarboard cap.
    • Master's and doctoral degree candidates will wear their tassels on the LEFT side at all times.

    Dignity of Ceremony

    You are expected to be robed and conduct yourself in a dignified manner as you participate in this traditional ceremony. Please do not leave your seats or engage in lengthy conversation with others during the ceremony.

    In order to allow for a smooth exit of all in attendance, please maintain an orderly pace during the recessional from the Kutztown University O'Pake Fieldhouse.

  • Time and Place To Report

    Students are to report to Keystone Hall at their academic college robing area on the day of commencement as follows:

    • Bachelor's and Master's students should report no later than 8 a.m. on Saturday, December 14, 2019 for the 9 a.m. ceremony.

    Please note that the commencement ceremony will begin promptly at the scheduled time. Locate your college robing area by clicking on the link below:  

    Once you have robed, you must sign in with the Dean of your college and pick up your index card, which includes your name, designated academic college, and honors, if earned. 

    Seating at the ceremony:  If you wish to sit beside a friend who is receiving a degree in your discipline, you must line up in front or in back of that person, not beside him/her. Once the line begins to move, candidates will not be permitted to switch places in the line.

  • Parking

    Plan to arrive early to allow plenty of time to find a parking space and walk/take the shuttle to the Fieldhouse for the ceremony. Primary parking areas for the ceremonies are A2, A3, C1, C2 and F1 lots. Click here to view a map of the campus.

    Lots A2 and A3 are the most convenient parking areas in terms of arriving to and leaving campus after the commencement. Complimentary shuttles will run continuously from 7 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. from the A lots to the O'Pake Fieldhouse.

    Parking closest to the O'Pake Fieldhouse (lot E-1 & E-2) is reserved for patrons with state-issued handicap plates or placards. While there are other lots that are reasonably close to the facility, individuals with mobility issues should plan to arrive early as these spaces are very limited. Alternatively, a drop-off area will be available to families that wish to drop off patrons with mobility issues near the venue. Both of these areas are accessible from Baldy Street.  A state-issued handicap placard does not guarantee guests parking in our reserved parking areas.

    It is a good idea to arrange a place to meet your family after the program concludes. South Campus Drive will be closed from Court Lane to Baldy Street after commencement has concluded for pedestrian movement. If you have any questions or concerns about parking for commencement, feel free to contact Public Safety and Police Services at 610-683-4002.

  • Accessible Accomodations

    SPECIAL SEATING AND/OR PARKING

    Persons with a disability who require special seating should notify commencement staff immediately. 

    Parking closest to the O'Pake Fieldhouse (lot E-1 & lot E-2) is reserved for patrons with state-issued handicap plates or placards. While there are other lots that are reasonably close to the facility, individuals with mobility issues should plan to arrive early as these spaces are very limited. Alternatively, a drop-off area will be available to families that wish to drop off patrons with mobility issues near the venue. Both of these areas are accessible from Baldy Street.  A state-issued handicap placard does not guarantee guests parking in our reserved parking areas.

    OTHER SPECIAL ACCOMMODATIONS

    Persons with a disability and who require assisted listening devices, an ASL interpretor, or other special accommodation should notify the Disability Services Office at 610-683-4108 immediately. (TDD number 610-683-4499). It is recommended that requests be submitted as early as possible but at least two weeks prior to the ceremony to ensure the availability of accommodations needed.

  • Seating

    Most guests attending commencement are seated in the general seating area. Special seating in the Kutztown University O'Pake Fieldhouse is available for guests with special needs. Seating in this area is by reservation only. Please have someone capable of assisting you from your parking area to the O'Pake Fieldhouse.  You may view the Fieldhouse map for an arrangement of the seating areas.

    Ushers assigned to the Accessible Seating area are not trained to assist you with your disability. Please make sure that you have someone with you who is capable of handling your special need.

    Seating in this area is by reservation only. Please contact commencement staff to make your reservation as soon as possible.

    Wheelchairs are available during the ceremony for emergencies, with limited availability to transport guests from the Fieldhouse entrance to their seats. An area will be provided in the Fieldhouse to store personal wheelchairs that are not in use during the ceremony.

  • Diplomas

    Students will cross the stage at the commencement ceremony to receive a diploma cover only, not their actual diploma. Given the time limitations associated with commencement, the actual awarding of a degree by the University in all cases is subject to verification by the Registrar that all requirements for your degree have been satisfied.  Since verification cannot be accomplished until after commencement, exercises are to be considered as ceremonial only. The honors listing for undergraduate students in the commencement program is based on the previous semester's GPA.  The University will notify graduates when diplomas become available.

  • Photographs

    In order to provide the best opportunity for a quality photograph to document the occasion, a professional photographer from Grad Images will be on stage during the commencement ceremony to take a picture of each graduate with President Hawkinson as he/she receives the diploma cover. 

    Not only will graduating students have the best possible photograph of their accomplishment, their guests will be able to remain seated without worrying about getting close to the stage to "capture the moment."

    Visit www.gradimages.com/preregistration to sign up and receive a 20% off coupon code. When you pre-register you will receive notification when your proofs are online and ready to view. Customer service is available at 800-261-2576.

  • Driving Directions

    From the Reading Area:

    From Route 222 North, take the Kutztown exit, pass the Airport Diner and make a right onto South Campus Drive. Parking will be available in lots C1 and C2, where guests can board a shuttle that will take them to the O'Pake Fieldhouse beginning at 7 a.m.  Another option would be to continue past South Campus drive and turn left at the second light onto College Boulevard.  Proceed to lots A2 and A3, where guests take the shuttle bus from lot A2 to the O'Pake Fieldhouse. View a map of campus.

    From the Allentown Area:

    From Route 222 South, take the Kutztown exit; this ramp will lead you onto Main Street. Take Main Street the entire way through town until you come to the light at the top of the hill. Make a left onto Normal Avenue and a right into lot F1. Another option is to turn right off of Main Street onto College Boulevard and park in lots A2 and A3, where guests can take the shuttle bus from lot A2 to the O'Pake Fieldhouse. View a map of campus. 

    From Interstate 78:

    Take exit 54A onto Route 222 South. Continue on South 222 for 13 miles. Take the Kutztown exit (where freeway begins). Follow the directions for "From the Allentown Area" above.

Picture of the stage set up for commencement
Class gift wording on the top and a Maroon cap with KU logo on the botton
Senior Class Gift     

The 2019 Class Gift is a way to give back to KU and pay it forward! Your 2019 Class Gift paves the way for students who are just starting their KU journey!  

Graduating students who contribute $20.19 will get a signature pin to wear at commencement. The signature pin can also be worn as Alumni at interviews, conferences, or just to show KU pride! Students who contribute $5.00 or more can sign their names on a 2019 class gift banner that will be part of the 2019 commencement ceremony.  There are multiple ways to give: 

  • Online: Visit this link to donate
  • Campus Store:  Donations will be accepted at the cashier during business hours.
  • Class Gift Tables:  There will be a table at GradFest and at various locations on campus throughout the semester.

Donations can be made via credit card, cash or check made out to the KU Foundation.  For more information, please call 610-683-4110.  To make a donation in person, visit the KU Foundation and Alumni Relations Office located at 15197 Kutztown Rd. (This is the white Spanish style house across from Old Main and Rothermel Hall).