Commencement

Kutztown University May 2020 Commencement Updates

May 21, 2020

After conducting a survey of our graduating seniors, we learned that they would like to have their own rescheduled commencement ceremony in the fall.

As a reminder, the ability to hold large gatherings the size of a commencement would be contingent on the status of our campus as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic. We will not know about that status until later in the summer.

With this in mind, we have reserved the weekend of Oct. 2-3, for our rescheduled 2020 Spring Commencement. The graduate ceremony is scheduled for Friday evening, Oct. 2, and undergraduate ceremonies are scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 3. We will provide a more detailed schedule and keep you posted on developments in the weeks ahead.

If we are unable to gather in the early fall, we would eye our traditional December commencement to honor our 2020 spring and fall graduates. We will make every effort to honor our spring graduates with their own ceremony at that time. The December commencement is scheduled to be held Dec. 11-12.

May 9, 2020

This week, Kutztown University will celebrate the class of 2020 virtually on what would have been its commencement weekend.

April 22, 2020

COMMENCEMENT REGALIA AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE

Students who are eligible to graduate this semester can now begin purchasing their regalia online at www.kubstore.com/category/regalia, and have it shipped to their home. Students will receive an invitation to attend the rescheduled commencement ceremony, once that date is determined. Those who RSVP to the invitation will receive their guest tickets in the mail.

March 25, 2020

Dear Kutztown University Campus Community,

We know that our commencement ceremony is an important event for the KU campus community including our students, family/friends, faculty, staff and alumni.

At this time, we feel that it is in the best interest of the health and safety of our campus community for the formal May commencement ceremonies to be rescheduled for a later date, most likely during the fall semester.

I know this is disappointing news to our seniors, who have already lost the final weeks of their on-campus experience. I assure you we will consider all options to give our graduates and their families a time to celebrate the honor of earning a college degree in person, and on campus.

Further updates, including cap and gown information, will be announced at a later date on the commencement website, email and university social media.

Students who are eligible will officially graduate when their degree requirements are verified after the spring semester ends. We anticipate mailing diplomas to students, as usual, before August.

Thank you for your understanding, and please stay healthy.

Sincerely,

 Dr. Kenneth S. Hawkinson
President
Kutztown University

Quotation Mark

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

Eleanor Roosevelt
Important Dates

Tuesday, February 4, 2020:  Last day for Undergraduate and Graduate students to apply for Spring 2020 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:


Graduation Festival has been postponed. Further updates will be announced at a later date on this website, by email, and on university social media.

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

bear statue wearing a cap and gown
  • Student Commencement Speakers

    Applications are being accepted through March 16, 2020 for student commencement speakers for the spring commencement ceremonies this May.  Three students will be selected to speak before their graduating class and guests:

    • One masters or doctoral student for the graduate commencement ceremony on Friday, May 8 at 5:00 p.m.

    • One undergraduate from the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences or the College of Education for the undergraduate ceremony on Saturday, May 9 at 9:00 a.m.

    • One undergraduate from the College of Business or the College of Visual & Performing Arts for the undergraduate ceremony on Saturday, May 9 at 2:30 p.m.

    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

    Grad Fest is postponed. Further updates will be announced at a later date on the this website, by email, and on university social media.

    Kutztown University Student Services, Inc. ("KUSSI") sponsors a Graduation Festival each semester for graduating students. 

    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
      • PSECU
      • KU Graduate Admissions
      • KU College of Graduate Studies
      • Career Development Center
      • Alumni Engagement
      • Office of Veteran Services
      • Financial Aid
      • KU Outcomes Survey

    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 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.

    Students who are eligible to graduate this semester can now begin purchasing their regalia online at www.kubstore.com/category/regalia, and have it shipped to their home. Students will receive an invitation to attend the rescheduled commencement ceremony, once that date is determined. Those who RSVP to the invitation will receive their guest tickets in the mail.

    Academic regalia may be purchased at the Graduation Festival for a discount. The bachelors regalia package will be $35, and the masters package will be $54. Payment can be made by cash, check, credit card, or Bear Bucks.  Please note that the Campus Store is unable 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 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.  The bachelors regalia package is $40, and the masters package is $59. 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. This 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.

  • Class Rings

    Grad Fest is postponed. Further updates, including cap and gown information, will be announced at a later date on the this website, by email, and on university social media.

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

    To be announced at a later date

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

  • Commencement Announcements

    Grad Fest is postponed. Further updates, including cap and gown information, will be announced at a later date on the this website, by email, and on university social media.

    Commencement announcements may be purchased at the Graduation Festival. 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:

    • To be announced at a later date.

    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 necessary communications from Kutztown University.

  • Career Outcomes Survey

    Undergraduate and Graduate Students: Please click HERE to log in to Handshake 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.

    Grad Fest is postponed. Further updates, including cap and gown information, will be announced at a later date on the this website, by email, and on university social media.

    Tickets will be distributed with your cap and gown purchased at the Graduation Festival. 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 during normal business hours.

    Extra Tickets: 

    May commencement will be rescheduled. Further updates will be announced at a later date on the this website, by email, and on university social media.

    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 (date to be announced at a later time) to qualify.  Students identified through the randomized selection process will be notified by email.  Tickets will be available for pick up in the Dean of Students Office, 119 Stratton Administration Center.  Selected students must present a valid KU ID to obtain their tickets. 

    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 - date to be announced at a later time. 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

    May commencement ceremonies will be rescheduled for a later date, most likely during the fall semester. Further updates will be announced at a later date on this website, by email, and on university social media.

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

    • Reporting times will be announced at a later date.

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

    • Robing area maps will be announced at a later date.

    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 commencement. Complimentary shuttles will run continuously from 7:00 a.m. until 5:30 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 interpreter, 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
Maroon graduation cap with KU written on top and class gift written underneath the cap

Kutztown University's 2020 Class Gift     

The 2020 Class Gift is a wonderful opportunity for graduating Kutztown University students like yourself to make your Class of 2020, a permanent part of KU history, literally.  

This spring the Kutztown University Foundation & Alumni Relations introduces the first ever Class Brick Initiative in the Alumni Plaza, starting with your class! Contributions towards your Class Gift will go towards having this 2'x2’ brick installed right in front of the waterfall wall in the Alumni Plaza. This way no matter what growth occurs in KU when you leave, you can be assured your class will always be seen front and center in the Alumni Plaza for years to come. There are plenty of other perks and advantages that come with showing your philanthropic side this spring, so keep on reading!

This sounds interesting, but what are some other reasons I should contribute

Apart from your class being the first ever to receive your own Class Brick, you will be offered individual recognition throughout the years including a special Homecoming gathering with other perks!

We know money is tight in college. So, we have made sure to include other giving levels so all KU students can contribute and know that they are a part of something bigger! Below are the giving levels that will be offered throughout this Class Gift, as well as the advantages of reaching each level…

  • $5 Giving Level
    • Sign the Class of 2020 banner that will be presented at your Commencement ceremony and will be on display after.
  • $20.20 Giving Level
    • Sign the Class of 2020 banner
    • Receive the new KU Class of 2020 Drink Koozie
  • $30 Giving Level – Golden Status
    • Receive all previously mentioned giving level perks
    • Receive this year’s Class of 2020 T-Shirt
    • Special email and marketing materials that will give you updates on the class brick progress, distinctive Homecoming invite, and more.

 Okay, I’m sold. Now how do I participate?

Below are several ways you can become a part of this new and improved version of your Class Gift…

  • Make your gift online at the link below and watch your class reach their goal in real time!
    • Visit this link to donate
    • If you made your gift online and want to pick up your giving level swag, stop by the Maple Manor building on campus to pick it up! Just bring us a copy of your receipt (paper or email)!

By contributing to the Class Gift, you are at the forefront of this new Class Gift Brick Initiative and will be paving the way for all future classes to join yours with their honorary place in the Alumni Plaza. Thank you for being a part of Kutztown on this part of your journey through life, and we wish you the best in your future endeavors after graduation!