Students in caps and gowns pose for group selfie

Graduate Recognition Ceremony

Every May, the honors community and guests celebrate the achievements of another graduating class with a ceremony held at the Lied Center.

Ceremony participation

To be formally included in the ceremony and to give program staff adequate time to prepare, graduating students must complete and submit the Graduate Recognition Ceremony Participation Form. Spring graduates should do so by March 1. (Students who graduated the previous summer or fall may participate in the program's spring ceremony.)

Further information about the requirements a student must meet to graduate with university honors and the steps to formally complete the program can be found on the "Progress" page.

Ceremony details

Our ceremony take places at 8:30 p.m. the Friday before KU Commencement at the Lied Center of Kansas. Attendees hear remarks from Program Director Sarah Crawford-Parker, as well as from special guests such as Dr. Arash Mafi, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, and select members of the graduating class.

Information for guests

Guests may join us in person or attend the ceremony via livestream on the Lied Center's website. There is no guest limit and no tickets are required to attend. The auditorium is accessible, and ushers will be present to assist guests in finding seating. Space in the second balcony will be reserved for guests arriving late.

Information for graduates

Before arrival, graduates should ensure they have a cap and gown, which are required to participate. Valuables should be left in cars or with guests, as the Lied Center will not have secure storage available.

Check-in will take place in the Lied Center Pavilion, accessible from the building's east entrance. Graduates must check in by 7:45 p.m. to receive a card with their name and degree, which they should confirm or adjust. On the back of that card, graduates should provide their personal, non-KU email address and mailing address so that photographers can make contact after the ceremony.

At 8:20 p.m, graduates line up to prepare for procession. (Graduates arriving after procession should check in at the pavilion, then enter through Door 2 to sit with fellow graduates.)

During the ceremony, graduates will take the stage individually, handing their card to a reader before crossing to receive their medallion. Once they do, graduates will move their tassel from right to left. Professional photographs will be taken during the presentation of medallions and backstage before graduates return to their seats.

Information about medallions

Medallions do not need to be purchased or ordered. Students taking portraits prior to the ceremony can arrange to borrow a medallion by emailing honors@ku.edu. Graduates who will not attend the ceremony can obtain a medallion during the Nunemaker Center's regular front office hours. During Commencement exercises, medallions can and should be worn in addition to other regalia.