Degree Conferral | Doctoral Convocation Logistics


2021 Doctoral Convocation

There is no doctoral convocation ceremony for 2021, only plenary commencement. Details can be found at Information for degree candidates can be found in the PDF here.

Key details & timeline for graduates & hooding faculty

In 2021 there will be no formal doctoral convocation. In a typical year, doctoral candidates and faculty hooders are asked to arrive in the Shepherd School main hallway at 1:00 p.m. in their regalia. Graduates and faculty will need to have a cap, gown and hood when you arrive for the ceremony. Marshals and staff will be available to assist you in preparation and with the marching order. Faculty hooders will march with and sit next to their first student to be hooded.

  • 1:00 p.m. Arrive at Alice Pratt Brown Hall.
  • Doctoral students: Arrive wearing your doctoral robes and cap, but NOT the hood. This will be placed on your shoulders during the ceremony.
  • Faculty: Arrive wearing full regalia, including cap, gown, and hood.
  • Upon arrival, locate and stand with your graduate program. A gathering location for each program is marked on the wall in the hallways adjacent to the Alice Pratt Brown foyer. A Marshall will assist you and verify that you are in the correct marching order.
  • 2:00 p.m. sharp – The procession into Stude Concert Hall will begin.

In 2021 there will be no formal doctoral convocation. Only the plenary commencement ceremony will be held. In a typical year, the format for doctoral convocation is quite simple. Faculty and students will process into the concert hall. There will be a greeting by Dean Seiichi Matsuda, followed by a welcome speech by University President, David Leebron. Then each graduating student will be called to the front individually, along with his or her advisor. The advisor places the hood over the student’s head. Immediately following the ceremony there will be a reception for students, families, faculty, and friends in the Foyer of Alice Pratt Brown Hall. The order of events is as follows:

  • Academic Procession
  • Greeting and introduction of platform guests by Dean Seiichi Matsuda
  • Welcome from President David Leebron
  • Hooding of the doctoral candidates
  • Closing Remarks by Provost
  • Recessional
Hooding Procedure

In 2021 there will be no formal doctoral convocation. In a typical year:

  • The hooding advisor will march in and sit next to the first person he/she will hood.
  • As names are called by Dean Seiichi Matsuda, the student will precede the hooding advisor as they approach the stage.
  • The student and advisor will walk to the center of the stage where a block is located.
  • The student will stand in front of the block, facing the audience as he or she is hooded.
  • The advisor will stand behind the student on the block and place the hood over the student's head.
  • A photograph will be taken while the advisor places the hood on the student's shoulders.
  • After being hooded, you will shake Provost Miranda's hand, exit off the stage, and return to your seat.
  • Faculty with multiple students to be hooded will be seated on the stage behind the staging guests to wait for their next student. Faculty will exit with their last student to be hooded.

If you have not already picked up your previously ordered regalia, please contact the Campus Store at 713-348-2039 for information or arrangements.

Guest Attendees

In 2021 there will be no formal doctoral convocation. In a typical year, tickets to the doctoral convocation are required for guests. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis and guests are advised to arrive early. Doors will open at 1:00 p.m., and guests should be seated no later than 1:50 p.m. Additional seating is available on the balcony. There will also be a large video display set up in the foyer for overflow seating. The foyer seating may actually be preferable for guests with young children.


In 2021 there will be no formal doctoral convocation. In a typical year, free parking will be available in the nearby West Lots 2, 3, 4, and 5, adjacent to Alice Pratt Brown Hall (see campus map). The closest accessible parking is available in West Lot 2. You may also drop off guests with accessibility needs on the south and north side of Alice Pratt Brown Hall, which you may reach by driving along the Inner Loop (suggested drop off locations are bus stops 4 and 17 on the campus map).


Because there will be processions up and down all the aisles, strollers will not be allowed in the downstairs auditorium of the Shepherd School's Alice Pratt Brown Hall. They may be parked in the foyer before entering or may be taken by elevator to the balcony seating area.

Webcast and Photography

The Doctoral Convocation is typically available to watch live. Visit for details. The ceremony will also be professionally recorded. After commencement, the videographer will contact each graduate at their permanent address on file with the registrar with information about purchasing a recording of the ceremony.

At the Doctoral Convocation, a photographer will take still photographs of each graduate being hooded and exiting the stage. After commencement, the photographer will contact each graduate at the address on file with the Registrar’s Office with information about how you may purchase photographs, if you wish to.


In 2021 there will be no formal doctoral convocation. In a typical year, a reception for students, families, faculty, and friends will typically follows the convocation ceremony in the foyer of Alice Pratt Brown Hall.

Text Updates

A special Commencement communication system has been set-up to provide students, families, faculty and staff with the most up-to-date information (including Inclement Weather updates). To opt in to this system, please text RUGRAD2021 to 888-777. You may opt out at any time by replying STOP. For help, reply HELP. Standard messaging and data rates may apply.

Doctoral Convocation vs. Plenary Commencement Ceremony

Please note that the Doctoral Convocation is in addition to and does not replace the University’s Commencement ceremony. In 2021, no separate doctoral convocation will be held. For general information regarding commencement activities see the University website regarding commencement.


Please e-mail or call 713-348-4002 for more information.