Graduation Information


Congratulations on your pending graduation. The University hopes you will participate all graduation activities as a way of celebrating your accomplishments!

The commencement ceremony is a joyous occasion for you, your friends and family, and for the University community as a whole. The conduct of the ceremony is governed by academic tradition, overall good manners, and state and local laws. Therefore, your cooperation is requested in creating an occasion which will appropriately highlight your academic achievements.


All university coursework requirements must be completed by the time of graduation. Your student account must be cleared with the university before graduation day, May 9, 2015. This includes any outstanding charges, parking fines, library fines, etc. If you have any questions, please contact the Cashier.

Academic Honors
Ave Maria University awards degrees with honors for distinguished achievement according to the following system:
  • Cum Laude is earned with a cumulative GPA of from 3.6 to 3.749.
  • Magna cum laude is earned with a cumulative GPA of between 3.75 and 3.899.
  • Summa cum laude is earned with a cumulative GPA of 3.9 and above.

To graduate with these honors recognitions, a minimum of 64 credits, or 16 courses, must be taken while the student is enrolled at Ave Maria University.

Honor cords will be given to eligible graduates on the day of the ceremony.



  • Complete a graduation audit
  • Complete and submit an Application to Graduate to the Office of Academic Records
  • Apply for graduation
  • Meet all university requirements
  • Settle your student account
  • Verify your name and address. If you have any changes, please contact the Office of Academic Records.
  • Conduct an exit interview with the Department Chair, if appropriate.


Senior Awards
Sunday, April 26, 2015
8:15 p.m.
Student Union Ballroom

Graduation Rehearsal
Thursday, May 7, 2015
1:00 p.m.
Golisano Field House

Students are required to attend graduation rehearsal at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 7. This is the time when you can ask questions about the commencement ceremonies and related activities. You will be given important instructions to make the weekend as enjoyable as possible for you and your guests. If for some reason you cannot attend, you must contact the Dean of Students at (239) 280-2540, or the Dean of Faculty at (239) 280-2550.

Baccalaureate Mass
Friday, May 8, 2015
5:00 p.m.
Ave Maria Oratory


All graduates, their families and guests are welcome to attend.  Academic regalia is required for this event. 
Graduates are to meet in the Academic Building, 1st floor at 4:30 p.m. for robing and to form the processional line.  No particular order will be observed for the procession and seating. Ushers and staff will be on hand to assist with any last-minute cap and gown issues. It is recommended that you do not bring valuables with you.

Families and guests can take their place in the Oratory.

President's Dinner
Friday, May 8, 2015
6:30 p.m.
Bob Thomas Student Union

  • This event requires advanced reservations and tickets.
The graduation dinner is open to all graduating seniors, their families and guests, and to all faculty members. Dinner will be served free of charge to graduating seniors and faculty. Families and guests are asked to make reservations and purchase tickets at the following rates:


    • Adults $25.00*
    • Children 6 to 15 Years Old $15.00*
    • 5 and under free
*Price subject to change

A letter will be sent to parents, including reservation form. RESERVATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED UNTIL APRIL 28.

Complete reservation form and send along with a check to:

Christy Dorer
Ave Maria University
5050 Ave Maria Blvd.
Ave Maria, FL 34142

A ticket envelope under your family name will be available for pick up at the bookstore after May 4th.
Cash bar of wine and beer will also be available.

Saturday, May 9, 2015
10:00 a.m.
Tom Golisano Field House

This event requires advanced reservations and tickets (at no charge).

All graduates, their families and guests are welcome to attend.  Academic regalia is required for this event.

Graduates, faculty and stage party are to meet in the Golisano Field House at 9:15 p.m. for robing and to form the processional line. Graduates will line up alphabetically, undergraduates first, followed by M.T.S., and M.A. last. Ushers and staff will be on hand to assist with any last-minute cap and gown issues. It is recommended that you do not bring valuables with you. All candidates will be led to their assigned seats by aisle marshals. Faculty will be seated in reserved section stage right.

Families and guests can take their place in the gymnasium.

Every effort will be made to accommodate all families and guests in the gymnasium. If we reach capacity in the gymnasium, the ceremony will be live-streamed in the ballroom of the Bob Thomas Student Union.  Relatives and friends will also be able to view the ceremony live in their home on their own computers!

Honorary Degrees and Commencement Speakers
Arthur C. Brooks, Ph.D., President of the American Enterprise Institute and Ave Maria University trustee.

Graduation Photos
GradImages® is the official photographer for our Commencement. Proofs will be sent to your home and via email within three to five days after graduation. Pictures can be ordered online, by phone or by mail. GradImages® can be contacted at 800-628-4509 or via email at

Registering with GradImages® provides them with the information they need to deliver your graduation proofs to you in a timely manner. Giving them an accurate mailing address and email address will allow them to get your proofs to you on the first try. You may also provide them with email addresses of up to six friends and family members to allow them to celebrate in the accomplishment.

Stop by the Mail Room in the Student Union to complete the GradImages® Address Card.

Cap and Gown Information
Academic regalia (cap, gown and tassel) as well as graduation announcements can be purchased via the Herff Jones website ( Scroll down and select "Ave Maria University" and follow the instructions. ORDER DEADLINE IS March 20th.

Regalia distribution will be:
Week of April 27, 2015
Ave Maria University Bookstore

Note: If you plan to participate in the ceremony and have your own cap and gown (not purchased through the Bookstore) please notify the Bookstore. YOU WILL NEED TO PURCHASE A TASSEL.

Bring bobby pins to secure cap.

Gowns are to be worn with a collared shirt and tie.