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Commencement Guide for Graduating Students


  • Saturday, May 7, 2016 at 10:30 a.m.
    ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks in Bethlehem
  • Graduates must arrive by 9:45 a.m. Report to the Blast Furnace Room on the second floor.
  • The Commencement Ceremony begins punctually at 10:30 a.m.
  • Valet parking will be provided by ArtsQuest at $7 per vehicle.


In observance of tradition, all participants in the commencement ceremony will wear full academic regalia, consisting of a traditional gown and mortarboard with tassel. Order your cap and gown from the Penn State Lehigh Valley Bookstore beginning March 30. The bookstore will host a senior information day from 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM on Tuesday, March 24. A Josten’s representative will be in Centre Hall with information on class rings, announcements, etc.


Doors will open at the MusikFest Cafe on the third floor of ArtsQuest at 9:45 a.m. for general admission guest seating. Tickets will be required for each guest who will be attending the ceremony. They can be picked up at the bookstore with your cap and gown. Each graduate will receive six tickets. Seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Personalized announcements may be ordered on Josten's website.

Valet parking will be offered by ArtsQuest at $7 per vehicle. Directions to ArtsQuest are available their website.


Graduates, dressed in their caps and gowns, will assemble in the Blast Furnace Room located on the second floor, where they will receive their name card and be placed in the order of procession. Wear the tassel of your cap forward and to the right until you are given the signal to shift it to the left after Chancellor Tina Richardson confers the degrees. The procession will advance to the ceremonial area led by the Campus Marshal, followed by the Student and Faculty Marshals, followed by the graduates, followed by the Penn State Lehigh Valley administration, visiting dignitaries, faculty, staff, and the stage party. There is no rehearsal.


Commencement is a time of celebration and reflection. Come to the ceremony with these thoughts in mind, and help to make this a special occasion for you, your fellow graduates, and for the community of family and friends who gather to join in the celebration. Please honor the significance and the dignity of the occasion. Remember to turn off cell phones and other electronic devices.

The speaker for Penn State Lehigh Valley's 2016 Commencement Ceremony will be Mr. Bill Phillips, Vice President and Editor-in-Chief of Men’s Health.


Each graduate will be photographed as they receive their degree on stage from Dr. Richardson. Our photographer is Dan Johnson of Dan Z. Johnson Photography and he will be taking various candid shots before, during, and after the ceremony. All photographs will be available for purchase directly from him through his website.


You will receive a diploma folder on stage. Your actual diploma will be mailed during the week of May 24 from University Park. If you did not verify the name to be printed on your diploma via eLion, you may verify that information with the campus registrar's office.

NOTE: Special inks are used in the printing of the diplomas. Do not store your diploma in a cedar chest.


The official transcript is the University's official statement of your academic record. It lists all courses completed, all grades earned, and the semester in which they were received. It also contains notations of distinctions, minors, options, certificates, and degree received. It is printed on security sensitive paper and contains the University seal and signature of the University Registrar.

Information on ordering official transcripts is available on the University website. There is also a new eLion “former student” application which can be used for accessing some of your Penn State information after your access account expires.


Your connection with Penn State doesn't end at graduation. Join over 177,000 Penn State supporters as a member of the largest alumni association in the country, and keep that Blue and White spirit alive. You will be given a complimentary one year membership upon graduation. Please visit the alumni website for more information on the association.