Congratulations on your upcoming graduation! Here you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions about our graduation ceremonies and related activities.
Sunday, April 26, 2020
Bob Thomas Student Union
Thursday, May 7, 2020
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 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.
Friday, May 3, 2019
Ave Maria Catholic Church
All graduates, their families, and guests are welcome to attend. Academic regalia is required for this event. Graduates are to meet in the Paul M. Henkels Academic Building Lecture Hall, at 4:15 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.
Friday, May 8, 2020
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 $28.00*
- Children 6 to 15 years old $15.00*
- 5 and under are free
*price subject to change
A letter and reservation form will be sent to parents.
RESERVATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED UNTIL APRIL 24. Please complete the reservation form and send along with payment to:
Ave Maria University
5050 Ave Maria Blvd.
Ave Maria, FL 34142
A ticket envelope under the graduate’s name will be available for pick up at the Ave Maria University bookstore starting May 4. A cash bar of wine and beer will also be available.
Saturday, May 9, 2020
Golisano Field House
This event requires advanced reservations and tickets (at no charge). A letter and reservation form will be sent to parents (see President’s Dinner for additional ticket ordering information).
Seating is limited and every effort will be made to accommodate all family members. Each graduate will be provided with a set number of tickets, and a waiting list is available for those needing additional tickets.
Academic regalia is required for this event.
Graduates, faculty, and stage party are to meet in the Golisano Field House at 9:15 a.m. for robing and to form the processional line. Graduates will line up alphabetically, undergraduates first, followed by M.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. All candidates will be led to their assigned seats by student marshals. Faculty will be seated in a reserved section.
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 capacity is reached in the gymnasium, the ceremony will be live-streamed in the O’Bryan Performance Hall in the Thomas and Selby Prince Building. Relatives and friends will also be able to view the ceremony live in their home on their own computers.
A ticket envelope under the graduate’s name will be available for pick up at the Ave Maria University bookstore starting May 4.
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 9, 2020. This includes any outstanding charges, parking fines, library fines, etc. If you have any questions, please contact Student Billing at (239) 280-1673.
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
Honorary Degree and Commencement Speaker
Philip Rivers, Eight-time Pro-Bowl Selection and Future NFL Hall of Famer
AVE MARIA, Fla. (November 1, 2019) — Ave Maria University announced today that Philip Rivers, devout Catholic layman and eight-time NFL Pro Bowl quarterback of the Los Angeles Chargers, will address the Class of 2020 at its Commencement exercises next year.
“We are thrilled to have number 17 with us to celebrate our 17th year as a University and be with our graduates,” President Jim Towey said. “As a father of nine children who, at age 19, married his middle-school sweetheart, Philip Rivers has conducted his NFL career and family life in an exemplary fashion. He is truly a role model for our graduates.” Rivers is in his 16th year in the NFL and is 6th all-time in passing touchdowns, and 8th all-time in passing yards.
Chairman of the Board Michael Timmis is excited about Rivers’ willingness to travel coast-to-coast to be with the Class of 2020 on their special day. Rivers may have a special motivation for the journey: his youngest sister, Anna, an Ave Maria nursing student, will be among the day’s graduates. “It seems everything about Rivers’ life is centered on faith and family, including his football family,” Timmis said. Rivers’ children range in age from 17 years to 8 months old.
Ave Maria University’s commencement takes place on May 9, 2020 at 10AM in the Tom Golisano Field House. Recent commencement speakers have included U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos; former Florida Governor Jeb Bush; Carlyle Group Co-founder, Dan D’Aniello; U.S. Senator Rick Scott; Librarian of Congress Dr. James Billington; President of the American Enterprise Institute, Dr. Arthur Brooks; and His Eminence Sean Cardinal O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston and AMU trustee.
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 www.gradimages.com.
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 (www.herffjones.com/college/graduation). Scroll down and select “Ave Maria University” and follow the instructions. ORDER DEADLINE IS March 20.
Academic regalia will be available for pickup at the Ave Maria Bookstore the week of April 27.
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.