Contact Information and FAQs

GWC Commencement

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GWC Registrar's Office

Frequently Asked Questions

Ceremony information - Saturday, May 3, 2014

The academic processional will start promptly at 11:00 a.m. for the Commencement Ceremony. All invited guests should be in their seats by the start of the ceremony. Late arrivals will be seated after the processional is complete (approximately 10 minutes). This includes anyone who leaves the seating area just before the processional – you will not be re-admitted until the processional is complete.

Once graduates are seated, guests are expected to remain in place during the entire ceremony. Seating is relatively crowded and movement can be inconvenient for others. Persons who leave the seating area may not be allowed to return to avoid disrupting the ceremony.

Bringing children to the ceremony

We recommend that you not bring small children to the ceremony. The campus is located on the edge of Geneva Lake and they would require constant supervision. If you choose to bring them, we recommend you sit in the open seating Upper Terrace area. This will afford more mobility and access to restrooms.

Academic regalia information

Commencement is a formal event at George Williams College of Aurora University. All graduating students participating in our commencement ceremonies are asked to leave their academic regalia (cap or mortarboard, academic gown, and master's or doctoral hood) unaltered.

Some graduates have been inducted into national honor societies and may wear their academic honor cords at the commencement ceremony; however, social organization stoles will not be permitted.

We would also ask that you refrain from carrying flowers, wearing corsages or any other adornments on your academic regalia until the ceremony is concluded. Thank you in advance for your cooperation!

What to wear

The robes are black, so color matching is not a problem. Wear lightweight street clothes in dark colors. For men, a light-colored dress shirt with a necktie is appropriate. Wear comfortable, dark-colored dress shoes. Women: Do not wear high heels, as you will be walking on uneven pavements and will be climbing stairs to obtain your diploma and to take your group photograph. Any slacks (for men and women) should be dark-colored.

Cameras at the ceremony

We have retained the services of a professional photographer to take graduates’ pictures in color as they receive degrees from the President of Aurora University and a second shot as they descend from the stage. You will receive a free proof and will be able to order additional prints at a reasonable price.

To avoid disruption of the ceremony, family members and friends are asked not to leave their seats to photograph during the ceremony. After the ceremony, university officials will be available at the tent area for posed photos with graduates.


Commencement is a formal occasion — the university's primary academic ceremony of the year. Because of the number of graduates, it is important that the awarding of degrees not be interrupted by applause. After each group of graduates has received their degrees, the presiding official will invite the audience to applaud them.

Be sure to impress upon your guests that they must maintain decorum during the ceremony. Anyone bringing any type of noisemakers will be asked to leave the ceremony.

Eating, drinking, smoking and electronic equipment

Eating, drinking and smoking are not permitted during the ceremony. George Williams College of Aurora University is a smoke-free campus. Smoking is not permitted on campus grounds. Alcoholic beverages are not allowed on the campus. We ask that all alarm watches, cellular phones and electronic pagers be turned off during the ceremony.