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Commencement Day Instructions | Bismarck State College

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Commencement Day Instructions

May 10, 2024 – 2 p.m. (CST)
Bismarck Event Center
315 South 5th Street
Bismarck, N.D.
  • Ceremony will run approximately 1 1/2 hours.
  • There will be no commencement rehearsal.
  • Do not bring valuables such as purses, cameras, coats or cell phones into the Event Center.  There will be no security to protect these items.
  • Gowns are worn closed and should be wrinkle free.
  • No flowers or other decorations should be worn on gowns.
  • Black or dark shoes are appropriate, if you have them.
  • Cell phones should not be used during the ceremony.
Arrival and Check-In

  • Graduates begin arriving at 1:00 pm, and should arrive no later than 1:30 pm, to allow time for parking and entrance into the Event Center.
  • Parking is free in all lots except for Parking Lot B.  Parking/Entrance Map 
  • Graduates only, enter through door A5 (East side of the Event Center). A5 is the only door that will allow you to reach the east hallway for check-in and line-up.
  • Attendants will direct you to the Graduate Check-In Room where you will collect your reader card. This card will be used to announce your name during the ceremony as you cross the stage.
  • Card readers will be available to work with you on the correct pronunciation of your name.

  • After obtaining your reader card, attendants will direct you to the east hallway where you will:
    • If a Legacy graduate, pick up your legacy cord.
    • Proceed to line-up according to the degree you are earning. If you are receiving multiple degrees, you may choose the degree group you want to march in with. Large signs will be posted on the wall by degree (i.e. Bachelor of Applied Science, Associate in Arts, etc.) indicating where each graduate should line-up.
    • A hallway liner attendant will be present at each degree location to assist with line-up.

  • Stage Party will lead the Processional.
  • Your hallway liner attendant will lead you to arena entrance. (Graduate Processional Map)
  • From the entrance, Faculty Marshals will lead the processional and will direct you to a specific row.
    • Walk in line with whom the graduate you are paired. Leave at least an arms-length of space between you and the graduates in line in front of you.
    • Move down the row of chairs as far as possible, filling every seat.
  • Once you reach your seat, remain standing, facing the audience until asked to take your seat.
Receiving Your Diploma Cover

When it is time to cross the stage, Dr. Leingang will say, “We will now present the 2024 graduating class at Bismarck State College”. (Receiving Diploma Map)
  • The student speaker will receive a cover first.
  • The first row of graduates, when prompted by the Faculty Marshal, will rise, and proceed behind the curtain to the stage. 
  • Faculty Marshals will continue to release rows of graduates.
  • Hand your reader card to the reader assistant at the podium.
  • After your name is read, walk across the stage.
  • You will be greeted and given your cover by President Jensen. 
    • Receive your cover with your left hand and shake with your right hand. Pause to smile for the camera.
  • Continue across the stage, shaking hands with the other dignitaries.
  • Proceed carefully down the stairs when you reach the end of the stage. 
  • Attendants will direct you to the photographer where your picture will be taken.
  • A representative from the BSC National Alumni Association will greet you and present you with a small token.
  • An attendant will direct you to the curtain and back to your seat. Please be seated.
  • President Jensen will give his closing remarks, and you will be invited to participate in a celebratory cap toss. (If you want to be sure that you get your cap back, you should print your name on the inside of the cap prior to the ceremony.)
  • There will not be a recessional. After the celebratory cap toss, family members and guests are welcome to meet you on the main arena floor for pictures.
Choir and Band Graduates

Choir graduates:
  • Follow the Arrival, Check-in, Lineup and Processional instructions provided above.
  • Join the choir after the student speaker is finished and return to your seats with the rest of the graduates after your performance.
  • Follow the Receiving Your Diploma Cover instructions provided above.
Wind Ensemble graduates:
  • Follow the Arrival and Check-in instructions provided above.
  • If a Legacy graduate, pick up your legacy cord.
  • Proceed to the band area using the east hallway. (Do not walk through the arena.)
  • Wind Ensemble graduates will sit with the wind ensemble and perform two songs.
  • You will then be released by Dr. Darling.
  • At that time, you will exit through the curtain and meet a BSC staff member who will take you to line up with the rest of the graduates
Social Media

Graduates, share your commencement photos and posts by using the hashtag #2024BSCgrad on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.