noun · [kəˈmensmənt]
the end of one thing, the start of something new.
ORIGIN Middle English: from Old French, from the verb commencer.
There are important differences between commencement and graduation with which you should be familiar.
Commencement refers to the ceremony — officiated by the President of the College — where you share the excitement and importance of your academic accomplishments with peers, family, and friends. It is also a time for the College, Board of Trustees, senior administrators, and faculty to pay special tribute to you for the outstanding efforts you have shown in earning your degree.
The Commencement ceremony features the academic processional, remarks from the President, a keynote address, and the calling of your name, upon which you will proceed across the stage and receive your diploma.
Graduation, on the other hand, is a three-step process consisting of completing a graduation audit form, completing all academic requirements for your degree, and settling all financial obligations. The administrative process of degree conferral will indicate your official date of graduation.
If you are planning to graduate and you received financial aid assistance, please be sure to review the Graduates Financial Aid page for more information on finalizing your exit.