Ideas for High School Graduation Ceremonies

List of Things to Do for Commencement

Commencement Details

We finish up our ideas for high school graduation ceremonies with a list of things to do for the commencement of high school students. In other words, the actual graduation from high school. While this checklist is applicable to preparing a high school graduation list, most of these ideas are equally useful for organizing a college graduation ceremony, or even a kindergarten graduation ceremony.

1. Music, Songs, and the National Anthem. Generally, in addition to the school songs and "Pomp and Circumstance", the U.S. National Anthem is played. Men should remove their caps during the national anthem.

2. Faculty Commencement Speeches: Commencement ceremonies traditionally involve a large number of speeches. Principals, Vice Principals, Deans, and sometimes faculty address the assembly during the ceremony.

3. The Student Graduation Speech: Students are also represented in the list of speeches. Traditionally at least one honors speech is given, usually by the Valedictorian or summa cum laude student, and sometimes by a class President. Please proceed to our cum laude page for further details.

4. Keynote Graduation Speech: Usually a prestigious outsider will be invited to offer a keynote speech to the graduating class. Such individuals may be noted people from business, politics, science, journalism, law, and other fields. They may be a alumnus of the school, but that is not required. Please see our commencement speech page for further details.

5. Processional of Graduates: Graduates are called to the stage for the conferring of a degree and receipt of diploma. Generally, the procession is done by rows, with either a cleared aisle for each side of the seating space.

6. Conferring of Diplomas: Students are handed their diploma (or a replacement diploma copy pending mailing of the real diploma), and generally it is appropriate to shake the hand of the individual handing out the diploma and offer a quiet thanks. To make sure the correct diplomas are handed out, various procedures may be used to keep track of students, such as the handing in of note cards as students approach the staging area.

7. Conferring of Honorary Degrees: While not required, schools sometimes confer an honorary degree on important individuals who have some attachment to the school, or who offer a keynote address.

Proceed to Commencement Speech.


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