Class of 2021 Commencement

Baccalaureate Mass - 5.7.21  |  Commencement - 5.8.21

COVID-19 protocols will be followed according to CDC guidelines – and seating capacity may be limited for each event. All guests may be required to wear a mask until they are safely seated and able to social distance.

Graduation Rehearsal

Thursday, May 6, 2021
10:00 a.m.
Gyrene Field

Students are required to attend graduation rehearsal at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, May 6. This is the time when you can ask questions about the commencement ceremony 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 Faculty at (239) 280-2550.

Baccalaureate Mass

Friday, May 7, 2021
5:00 p.m.
Ave Maria Catholic Church

It is our hope that seating capacity in the Church will be able to accommodate families and guests. However, the University will be required to follow the protocols for Mass attendance that the Diocese of Venice has in place at the time of the ceremony. Academic regalia is required for this event. Tickets are not required.

Graduates are to meet in the Paul M. Henkels Academic Building Lecture Hall at 4:15 p.m. for robing and to form the procession 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.

President’s Dinner

The 2021 President’s Dinner has been canceled. President Ice is saddened to cancel this event as this would have been his first President’s Award Dinner, but appreciates your understanding. We will offer full refunds for all who paid in advance.


Saturday, May 8, 2021
9:00 a.m.
Gyrene Field

Tickets are required. Each graduate will be allotted a set number of tickets for bleacher seating. Additional tickets will be available for the general standing-room only area. Relatives and friends will also be able to view the ceremony live in their home on their own computers (

Graduates, faculty, and stage party are to arrive at Gyrene Field no later than 8:00 a.m. Academic regalia is required.

Graduates will line up alphabetically, undergraduates first, followed by M.A.’s, M.B.A.’s and Ph.D.’s. 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.

Procession will enter Gyrene Field from the north endzone area and exit the same way. Please pay attention to the Student Marshals leading the procession and assisting at the steps to the stage when your name is called.

Access to Gyrene Field will be as follows:

Graduation candidates, administration, and faculty will register at registration tables under the white tent at the north end of the bleachers to receive their stage card and line up.

Family and guests will enter through the main entrance gates and proceed to their ticketed area (bleachers or standing-room only). Seating is “first come, first serve.”

Honorary Degree and
Commencement Speaker

His Eminence George Cardinal Pell

Cardinal George Pell of Sydney leaves a meeting of cardinals with Pope Francis in the synod hall at the Vatican Feb. 20. The Vatican announced Feb. 24 that Cardinal Pell has been appointed by Pope Francis to head a new Vatican office overseeing Vatican finances. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) (Feb. 24, 2014) See POPE-ECONOMY Feb. 24, 2014.

Graduation Photos

GradImages® is the official photographer for 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 Bob Thomas 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 19.

Academic regalia will be available for pickup at the Ave Maria Bookstore the week of April 26.

Note: If you plan to participate in the ceremony and have your own cap and gown (not purchased through the Herff Jones), 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.


Congratulations on your pending graduation. The faculty, administration, and staff are looking forward to recognizing and celebrating your accomplishments.

The commencement ceremony is a joyous occasion for you, your family and friends, 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, Saturday, May 8, 2021. This includes any outstanding charges, parking fines, library fines, etc. If you have any questions, please contact Student Billing at (239) 280-1673.

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 honor recognitions, a minimum of 64 credits, or 16 courses, must be taken while you are enrolled at Ave Maria University.

Honor cords for eligible graduates may be picked up in the Office of Academic Records after final grades are published and prior to the day of the ceremony.


  • Complete a graduation audit
  • Complete and submit an Application to Graduate to the Office of Academic Records by December 15, 2019. Applications received after December 15 will be subject to a $25 late fee.
  • 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