2021 Winter Commencement

DATE:                   October 18, 2021

TO:                       2021 Winter Graduates

FROM:                 Susan Rinn

Executive Assistant to the President


RE:                       COMMENCEMENT INFORMATION


Congratulations on your graduation from Texas Lutheran University!  This memorandum provides information about the December 18 baccalaureate service and commencement.


Please read these instructions carefully as this will be the only detailed communication you receive and there will be no rehearsals for these events. Also keep in mind that masks will be required by all participant and guests.



  • Monday, Oct. 18 -- Graduation Announcements, Caps and Gowns are available for purchase at the TLU Bookstore.  (Please note that any honor society or organization cords will be distributed by your faculty/staff sponsor.)


  • Wednesday, Dec. 1 (3-6 p.m.) -- Grad Gear Up! (ASC Conference Room A&B)

This is your opportunity to take care of all things pertaining to graduation at one location.  Pick up commencement tickets, verify the reading of your name at the ceremony and on your diploma, wrap up loose ends with the business and financial aid offices, and take care of any other important graduation business.


Due to the number of graduates and the amount of seating available (due to COVID restrictions) in Jackson Auditorium, each graduate will be given 5 tickets to share with family and invited guests. These tickets may be picked up at Grad Gear Up on Dec. 1, or in the TLU Bookstore after that date (ABSN students will be able to pick up their tickets at the New Braunfels campus after Grad Gear Up). No tickets will be available before that date.

The ceremony will also be livestreamed https://www.tlu.edu/events/winter-commencement-2021.



Date:     Saturday, Dec. 18

Time:    10:30 a.m.

Place:    Chapel of the Abiding Presence



Report to the Alumni Student Center by 10:10 a.m. to line up for the processional to the chapel.  Wear your gown, but not your cap.  Also, do not wear any honor cords or medals that you may receive from an honor society or other organization. These are not worn until the commencement ceremony that afternoon. The head marshal will be present to assist with the line-up.  The program participants will go first, followed by the faculty, then the graduates.  The crucifer will lead the processional into the chapel.  The head marshal will direct program participants and faculty to their seats.  The graduates will be led by an assistant marshal and directed to their seats.  Remain standing in place until the signal to be seated.


For the recessional, the crucifer will retrieve the cross from its stand and lead the way out.  The graduates, faculty, and program participants will follow.  Again, the marshals will be leading everyone out, so simply follow their direction.


If you are interested in being part of the planning team for Baccalaureate, please contact Interim Pastor Ofsdahl atsofsdahl@tlu.edu by Friday, Nov. 12. All are welcome to help plan the music, readings, and other aspects of the service.



Date:  Saturday, Dec. 18

Time:  3 p.m.

Place: Jackson Auditorium


Report to The Weston Center Studio Theatre by 2 p.m. for picture taking (a professional photographer will take portraits before the ceremony and as you receive your diploma), last-minute instructions, and clarification of the pronunciation of names.  The marshals will be present to assist with the line-up, and charts will be posted along the formation area.


You are welcome to decorate the top of your graduation cap, as long as the decoration is not deemed offensive. Please keep in mind that the decorations must lie flat on the top of the cap, and may not hang over the edge of the cap. We encourage you to be creative, but please keep it tasteful and decorate according to the rules. We reserve the right to ask you to remove any decorations that are not deemed appropriate.


At 2:55 p.m., the procession will move from the Studio Theatre to Jackson Auditorium.  It will be led by the crucifer and the head marshal.  The faculty will follow in a single file. Graduates will come next (also in a single file) following the assistant marshal to the graduates’ seating area.  If someone is missing from the assigned space on the seating chart, leave that seat open as the person may arrive late.  Once you are in, just follow the program and relax!  When we reach the part concerning the presentation of the candidates, listen for Dr. Cottrell to ask Dr. Ferguson, Vice President for Academic Affairs, to present the candidates.  Dr. Ferguson will read a line which ends with "please rise."  Do so as a group.  The president will speak a few more lines and then the VPAA will ask the candidates to present themselves as their names are called.  Watch the assistant marshal. At this point, you will be directed, row by row, to the steps on the right side of the stage.  Proceed to the top step and wait for your name to be called.  Mr. Wes Peoples, chair of the TLU Board of Regents, will present university honor cords (e.g., summa cum laude) as graduates cross the stage.  You will then receive your diploma from Dr. Cottrell and transfer the tassel on your cap from the right to the left side, as a traditional sign that you have graduated.  Proceed along the aisle in front of the stage, return to your respective row, and be seated.


After the benediction, the crucifer will retrieve the cross.  The head marshal will direct you to fall in line behind the platform party and proceed out of the auditorium.  The faculty will follow the students.


For general questions about graduation, please feel free to contact me at ext. 8001 or visit me in Beck Center Suite 220. You may also find graduation information on the TLU Portal by visiting https://my.tlu.edu/ICS/TLU_INFO/Information_For_Graduates/.