Commencement Ceremony FAQ

Gateway holds its optional commencement ceremonies each year in May. Graduates of technical diploma, associate of applied science, associate of arts, and associate of science degree programs are invited to participate. It is a formal cap-and-gown ceremony that celebrates your scholastic achievements and all graduates are encouraged to participate and be recognized.

What format will Gateway be using for the commencement ceremonies this year?
We will be holding 2 separate  commencement ceremonies to celebrate our college level graduates this year.

Will the ceremonies also be live streamed?
The ceremonies will be live streamed. Links to view the live streams will be shared with graduates and published on the Gateway website prior to the commencement ceremonies at

What are the date, time and length of the Commencement Ceremonies?
The 2023 ceremonies, which are approximately 90 minutes long, will be held on Tuesday, May 14, and Wednesday, May 15, 2024. The individual ceremonies themselves will be held as follows:

  • Tuesday, May 14, 2024
    • 7 p.m. - School of Business & Transportation and School of Manufacturing, Engineering, and Information Technology Ceremony
  •  Wednesday, May 15, 2024
    • 7 p.m. - School of Health, School of Protective and Human Services, and School of Liberal Arts & Sciences Ceremony

Who is eligible to participate in the ceremonies?
All students who graduated from a commencement eligible program in Fall 2023 or Spring 2024, as well as all students who are registered for their final coursework in Summer 2024 by April 15, will be invited to participate in the appropriate ceremony for their program.

How do I know which ceremony I should attend for my program?
You can check this listing of the programs in each school. In addition, you will find the correct ceremony listed for you when you sign up to attend.

Where will the Commencement Ceremonies take place?
The ceremonies are being held at the University of Wisconsin Parkside Sports & Activity Center / DeSimone Arena in Kenosha. The address is as follows:

4130 Petrifying Springs Rd.
Kenosha, WI 53144
View the location on a map

How do I sign up to attend my Commencement Ceremony?
Eligible graduates will be invited to sign up for their ceremony via our online MarchingOrder portal. You will be sent information about the online portal via mail and email by early April. The final  deadline to sign up for your ceremony is April 23, 2024.

What time should I arrive?
Graduates are expected to arrive no later than 6:15 p.m. for each ceremony. Ceremonies will begin promptly at the scheduled time.

How many guests can I bring to my ceremony?
Each graduate will be issued 5 guest tickets for their ceremony. Guests will be admitted by ticket only. Each guest ticket will be distributed to the graduate electronically when signing up for the ceremony online. Electronic tickets can be presented on a printout or shown on a mobile device. Each ticket has an electronic bar code that can only be scanned once.

If additional guest tickets become available, all commencement participants will be emailed with instructions on how to reserve them within a week of their ceremony on a first come, first served basis.

Are formal graduation announcements available?
Yes, graduation announcements are available through

What if I need special accommodations at the ceremony?
If needed, you can submit a request for accommodations when you sign up to participate in your ceremony. Seating will be reserved for students with mobility issues. Furthermore, our Disability Support Services department will contact students who submit requests for accommodation to assure that their needs will be met.

What if my guests need special seating accommodations at the ceremony?
If needed, you can submit a request for guest seating accommodations when you sign up to participate in your ceremony. Seating will be reserved for guests with mobility issues on the floor level as well as in the first few rows of bleachers.

Is there a rehearsal?
No. You will be guided through the ceremony by our ushers.

When and where can I purchase my cap and gown?
To maintain the decorum of the ceremonies, all graduates must have a black cap and gown to participate.

Caps and gowns are available online and can be ordered at until April 11, 2024. A limited number of caps and gowns will be available for students who fail to place an online order by the deadline. These can be purchased at your campus bookstore on a first-come first-served basis. All prices for caps and gowns are listed below.

All orders or purchases can be picked up and paid for at the campus Follett Bookstores May 6 - May 10, 2024. Current bookstore hours are:

  • Monday-Thursday: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Friday: 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

How much will my cap and gown cost for college graduates?
Cost of the cap, gown, and tassel is $36.00 (plus tax). If you are eligible for honors, you have the option to purchase an honor cord from the bookstore for $6 (plus tax). Student veterans will be offered veterans’ cords in recognition of their service, which are available at the campus bookstore free of charge.

Are face masks required?
No. Students and guests wishing to wear masks may do so at their discretion.

Can I decorate my cap?
Yes, you may decorate your cap. Please remember that this is a formal ceremony. Derogatory terms, profanity, etc. are strictly prohibited.

What is the process for photos and videos during the ceremony?
Photos: A professional photographer will be taking photos of each graduate at the ceremony. Please ask your family and friends to refrain from approaching the stage to take pictures or video during the ceremony.

Video: A recording of the commencement ceremonies will be available via web stream approximately 10 days after the event.

Visit for links.

Will graduates who choose not to go to the ceremonies still receive their diplomas?
Yes, they will. All diplomas are mailed to graduates 6-8 weeks after the end of the term.