2021 May Commencement

DATE:                    March 10, 2021

TO:                         Prospective Spring 2021 Graduates

FROM:                  Susan Rinn

                                Executive Assistant to the President


RE:                          COMMENCEMENT INFORMATION


Congratulations on your scheduled graduation from Texas Lutheran University!  We are excited to offer an in-person Commencement this May, assuming external conditions do not worsen. We encourage you to note all of the protocols provided to help ensure that we can make this happen.


This memorandum provides information about the May 8 Baccalaureate service and Commencement. Please read these instructions carefully as this will be the only communication you receive and there will be no rehearsals for these events.



In order to gather in person, we ask that you be mindful of the following safety protocols, which will be strictly enforced:

  • Masks will be worn at all times
  • Distancing will be enforced at all times
  • No hugging, handshaking or any other physical contact
  • No gathering in groups before or after the ceremony




  • Monday, March 22– Graduation announcements, caps and gown will be available for purchase at the TLU Bookstore.
  • Monday, April 19 – Commencement Tickets will be available for pick up at the TLU Bookstore.



Date:                     Saturday, May 8, 2020

Time:                    2 p.m.

Place:                    Virtual


Baccalaureate is a worship service honoring the graduates. All graduates, families and friends are encouraged to participate. Interim Campus Pastor, Katy Miles-Wallace will lead the service. The recorded service will be live streamed on Saturday, May 8 at 2 p.m.  The link will be posted on the Commencement page of the TLU Website at www.tlu.edu/graduation


If you are interested in being part of the planning team for Baccalaureate, please contact Pastor Katy at kewallace@tlu.edu. All are welcome to help plan the music, readings, and other aspects of the service.



Date:                     Saturday, May 8, 2020

Time:                    8 p.m.

Place:                    Bulldog Stadium


2021 Commencement will be held at Bulldog Stadium. Graduates and faculty will be seated on the field and guest seating will be limited to ticket holders only. Each graduate will be given 4 tickets for family and friends. Seating is general admission, but each set of tickets holders must sit together and maintain distancing.


Graduates are asked to report to the Student Activity Center at Jackson Park by 6:45 p.m.  for lining up for the processional, last minute instructions, clarification of the pronunciation of names, and picture taking.  The faculty marshals will be present to assist with the line-up and charts will be posted along the formation area. At this time, we will also present the diplomas for you to carry in to the stadium with you, the university honor cords to those graduating with honors.


At 7:55 p.m., the crucifer will lead the procession from the Student Activity Center to Bulldog Stadium. The faculty marshals will direct the faculty, graduates and platform party to their respective seats.  Remain standing in place until the signal to be seated.  If someone is missing from the assigned space on the seating chart, leave that seat open as the person may arrive late.


When we reach the part concerning the presentation of the candidates, listen for Dr. Cottrell to ask the Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) to present the candidates.  Dr. Ferguson, VPAA 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 marshal. At this point, you will be directed, row by row, to the steps on the right side of the stage. You will carry your diploma with you.  Proceed to the top step and wait for your name to be called.   You will then cross the stage to stand next to Dr. Cottrell for a photo. Keep in mind that you will not shake hands with Dr. Cottrell, but you will hold your diploma as your photo is taken with her. Distancing will be enforced. 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 seat, and be seated.


After the benediction, the crucifer will lead the recessional out of the stadium.  The platform party, graduates and faculty will follow as directed by the faculty marshals.  We ask that you do not gather with family in the stadium after the ceremony.


Note:  For your convenience on graduation day, the TLU Bookstore will be open from 3-7 p.m.


As a reminder, please note the following Commencement procedures:



Graduate Line-Up

Graduates are asked to arrive for line up at 6:45 p.m. The line-up location will be The Student Activity Center at Jackson Park, directly across from Bulldog Stadium on Fleming Street. Graduates should plan to arrive in their cap and gown, along with any honor cords from honor societies or student organizations.


Shoes and clothing

Women may not wear spiked heels, as it will damage the turf field. Please know that if you arrive in spiked heels, you will not be able to process. Chunky heels and platforms are fine.  We realize that it will be extremely hot, so feel free to wear shorts, sandals or anything comfortable under your robe.



All graduates and guests are required to wear masks at all times.



Caps may be decorated on the top only. Please do not have anything hanging from the cap.


Master’s Hoods

Information regarding the presentation of hoods for master’s degree candidates will be communicated directly from program advisors.


Honor Cords

TLU Honor cords (Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, Summa Cum Laude) will be given out to students at lineup. Individual honor society and student organization cords should have been distributed by the group’s advisor.



Each graduate will receive 4 tickets to share with family/guests. Every guest must have a ticket to enter the stadium, including children. Due to social distancing, no additional tickets will be available. Tickets will be available for pickup in the Bookstore on or after April 19.


Guest Seating

Seating is on a first come-first served basis, but family groups are asked to sit together and to maintain distance from other family groups.  The stadium gates will open at 6:30 p.m.


After the Ceremony

Due to social distancing recommendations, there will be no gathering after the Ceremony ends. Graduates will process out of the stadium and to Jackson Park, where they will exit to their vehicles.

Guests will also be asked to exit in an orderly fashion and not to gather within the stadium.

Please plan to meet with your families and guests at an off-campus location.


Rain Plans

In the event of rain, the Ceremony will take place in Jackson Auditorium for graduates only. Due to distancing guidelines, no guests will be allowed. The determination will be made 24 hours in advance, to give guests sufficient warning and the event will be livestreamed.


Handicapped Parking

There will be handicap parking at Jackson Park and the north side of the north apartment lot; handicap drop-off will be at the Fleming Street entrance and the University Street entrance. Due to distancing requirements, there will be no golf carts to assist in transportation from the parking lot to the ceremony. Please use the drop-off locations if necessary.


For general questions about graduation, please feel free to contact me at 380-372- 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/


Again, congratulations on your scheduled graduation!