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Commencement for the Twenty-Ninth Graduating Class will be held on Friday, May 10th, 2024 at 6 PM. This is a momentous occasion, marking the end of one chapter and the beginning of another. It is a time for reflection, gratitude, and looking ahead to the future. The dedication of our graduates is unmatched. We hope that this Commencement ceremony will be a joyful and memorable event for you and your loved ones.

The ceremony will take place in the Richland Campus Auditorium. Graduates will report to East Hills Main Gymnasium by 5:15 PM with gown, cap, and tassel. Guests will be asked to go directly to the Auditorium.

Guest Information

Tickets will be distributed in early May after we confirm how many graduates are walking. They will have your names on them. If you need handicap tickets, please contact Student Activities.

Guests should arrive no later than 5:45 pm to gain entrance to the auditorium.

For those who do not have a ticket, they will still be able to spend the evening with you on campus. They will be directed to the live-streaming areas on campus. This is also a great location for children to watch.

Accessing Graduation Photos

Each graduate will be photographed on stage with the President after receiving their diploma.

Gowns, Honors, & Regalia

Graduation Gowns

Please try your gown on as soon as you get home and contact Student Activities if you have any problems.

  • Everyone should have a gown, hat, and tassel. You may decorate your cap!
  • You will keep your regalia.
  • Please wear business casual/professional clothing and shoes.
  • If wearing heels, please make sure you can walk comfortably and up and down stairs.


Honors are based on the GPA you have earned by the end of the Fall 2023 semester.

  • It must be a cumulative (throughout your time at Penn Highlands) 3.5 or higher.
  • Honor cords will be awarded at the Student Engagement Awards on Thursday, April 25, 2024, at 6pm in the Richland Campus Auditorium. 

If you are close to a 3.5, your GPA will be reassessed on Friday, May 12, and if you obtained a 3.5 or higher, your honor cord will be distributed to you on your chair on the day of Commencement. 

Phi Theta Kappa Regalia

If you have not ordered your Phi Theta Kappa Regalia, please log in to the website by clicking here. Click on shop, then the graduation link. Penn Highlands Students wear the double cord, honors stole, and tassel. Do not purchase medallions. 

Sigma Alpha Pi Regalia

If you have not ordered your Sigma Alpha Pi Regalia, please log in to the website by clicking here. Then, go to shop. Use your email address used to log in to order your regalia. Penn Highlands students wear the double cord, honors stole, and tassel. Do not purchase medallions.

Before the Ceremony

Graduates report to East Hills Main Gymnasium. Guests will go to the Auditorium.

All students should arrive by 5:15 pm with gown, cap, and tassel. 

Graduates: name cards that will be handed to the Vice President during the ceremony will be distributed as you enter the gym, and your name will be on the chairs in alphabetical order according to your degree. Please know what degree (AA, AAS, AS, Diploma, and Certificate) you are receiving.

What Happens When Procession Begins

  • Graduates will be called to the hallway to line up for the procession and will fill all empty seats.
  • Please take your name card with you. Mark your name phonetically, (i.e., Brugh – Brew)!
  • Graduates will follow the Mace Carrier and Faculty Marshalls who will direct them into their seats in the auditorium.
  • Please advance to the stage when your degree group is announced.
  • Graduates will hand their name cards to the Vice President.
  • You will proceed across the stage and accept your diploma cover in your left hand.
  • Graduates will shake hands with Dr. Steve Nunez, College President while having their photo taken.
  • Please return to your seat.
  • After graduates have received their degrees, you will move your tassel from right to left when instructed to do so.
  • Graduates will process following the Mace Carrier.
  • Only Spring (May) graduates will receive their diplomas during the ceremony. December diplomas were already distributed, and summer grads will have them mailed when completing their course work. All graduates will be handed a diploma cover

Photographer: Each graduate will be photographed with the President. The photos will be available at this link.

Graduation Fair

Graduates will pick up their caps and gowns for Commencement at their respective Graduation Fair to be held at each Center Location:

  • Monday, April 8 – Somerset and Ebensburg, 9am to 4:45pm
  • Tuesday, April 9 – Blair, 9am to 4:45pm
  • Wednesday, April 10 – Richland, 9am to 4:45pm
  • Thursday, April 11 – Richland, 9am to 4:45pm

If you are unable to attend a Graduation Fair may pick up their regalia at the Student Engagement Awards on Thursday, April 25.

Your cap and gown will be processed by the height and weight indicated on your graduation application.

*Please note: A special graduation rehearsal meeting will not be held, as we know you all have complicated schedules. We are sensitive to your busy lives.

Commencement Archives