We are excitedly anticipating our upcoming Commencement ceremonies. This is one of our most time-honored traditions and the culmination of our students' experience at Arcadia. In working with the faculty, staff, and officers for the Class of 2021, Arcadia is pleased to announce information on our Commencement ceremonies to help graduates and families in their planning.
Arcadia's Commencement will take place May 20 and May 21 in smaller ceremonies, by program, and socially distanced on Haber Green.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation. We are looking forward to celebrating this milestone with you and with your help, we will do this safely and correctly.
The ability to host our ceremonies in person on the Green is contingent on several factors, including the continued mitigation of the spread of COVID within the Arcadia community after spring wellness break, continued adherence to University and federal and county health and safety guidelines, vaccine efficacy, and transitioning to Operational Tier 2 Status.
Date & Time
Ceremony #1 - Doctoral Ceremony
Thursday, May 20 at 10 a.m.
Ceremony #2 - Master's Ceremony for Medical Science and Public Health
Thursday, May 20 at 1 p.m.
Ceremony #3 - Master's Ceremony for CAS, SOE, SGB
Thursday, May 20 at 5 p.m.
Ceremony #4 - Bachelor's Ceremony for CAS specific programs*
Friday, May 21 at 9 a.m.
Ceremony #5 - Bachelor's Ceremony for SGB, CHS, SOE, REAL Certificate
Friday, May 21 at Noon
Ceremony #6 - Bachelor's Ceremony for CAS specific programs**
Friday, May 21 at 3 p.m.
*College of Arts and Sciences Specific Programs include: Acting, ARTS (History, Therapy, Ed, Studio, Camera, Theater), Anthropology, Ceramics, Communications (Global Media, Video), Computer Forensics, Criminal Justice, English, Environmental Journalism, Fine Arts, Graphic Design, General Studies, History, Illustration, International Studies, Metals and Jewelry, Multi-Media & Print, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Public Relations, Politics, Political Science, Government and Law, Political Science & Government Law, Political Science & Philosophy, Scientific Illustration, Sociology, Spanish
**College of Arts and Sciences Specific Programs include: Actuarial Science, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Math, Psychology, Sports Psychology
Graduates can pick up their regalia on Wednesday, May 19 at the Castle from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Please contact Commencement@arcadia.edu if you have any concerns or questions. Here is a video with instructions on how to put on your cap and gown with sashes, cords, and hoods.
Get Your Cap-and-Gown-with-Castle Photo Ahead of Time
In the two weeks leading up to Commencement, graduates who are in driving distance of Arcadia are welcome to come to campus to take pictures in your Cap and Gown in front of the Castle. As COVID measures are still tight until May 31 in Pennsylvania, please let Commencement@arcadia.edu and COVIDCareTeam@arcadia.edu know when you plan to come to campus.
What to Expect Before, During, and After the Ceremonies on Graduation Day
Arcadia has worked diligently to ensure that the ceremonies are safe, timely, and capture the Arcadia experience for graduates to venture beyond as a proud member of the Knight alumni. The success of our ceremonies depend on visitors enjoying their time and respecting the next ceremony that will follow. Staff and faculty will need time to reset and deep clean our set up and any areas where graduates will visit.
Arcadia is pleased to present honorary doctoral degrees to Pedro Rivera and Dr. Danchien Lu.
President Pedro Rivera
Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology
President Rivera, who earned his Superintendent’s Letter of Eligibility at Arcadia in 2005, has been a leader for education in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for decades. He served as Secretary of Education for Pennsylvania from 2015 to 2020 and prior to that, as Superintendent of the School District of Lancaster, the first Latino to serve in either of these roles. Rivera also was a teacher, assistant principal, principal, and executive director for the School District of Philadelphia for 13 years. In 2014, the White House named him as one of 10 individuals as a Champion of Change for his efforts to transform urban education with his holistic approach to student success. In 2020, then-President-Elect Biden named Rivera to the Agency Review Team for the Department of Education.
In October 2020, Rivera began his tenure as president of Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology, a residential, two-year, accredited technical college that provides equitable access to higher education to transform the lives of generations of families while supporting the economic growth of the industry across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
A first-generation college student, Rivera earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the Pennsylvania State University, a Master of Education Administration from Cheyney University, and a Superintendent's Letter of Eligibility from Arcadia University in 2005.
Dr. Danchien Lu
A full professor of mathematics at Jiangsu University, Dr. Lu’s research areas include computability theory, differential equations, logic and foundations of mathematics, and applied mathematics.
Dr. Lu has been instrumental in Arcadia’s Mathematics and Applied Mathematics Undergraduate Joint Education program with Jiangsu University, a 2+2 and 3+1 program that was established in 2011. Students who complete either two years at Jiangsu and two years at Arcadia or three years at Jiangsu and one year at Arcadia earn Bachelor of Science degrees in Mathematics or Actuarial Science from both institutions.
Dr. Lu earned his bachelor’s and doctoral degrees in mathematics from Jiangsu University. He joined Jiangsu University in 1982 and also served as a visiting scholar at the Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus in Germany in 2005-2006 and in 2007.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I register for Commencement?
Approved candidates for graduation were sent a link to register for the in-person commencement activities, if you have not registered yet, please do so by April 15 so we may include you and your guests (each graduate may invite up to 4 guests). If you have any questions, please contact Lisa Stephens.
Where do I get my guest tickets?
Tickets were emailed to graduates on May 12 and 13 for distribution to their four guests. If you have have not received your tickets via email, contact Commencement@arcadia.edu.
Arcadia is requesting local permission for extra space on the Green to consider offering additional seating for family members who would like to attend. Graduates who would like to request more than four tickets for the outdoor ceremonies should complete this form.
Graduates and their families are invited to arrive up to one hour before their scheduled ceremony begins. We ask that you arrive in the fewest number of cars possible. All cars should enter campus from Church Road—please DO NOT enter from Easton Road. For safety and better traffic flow, each ceremony will have designated parking. Signage and volunteers will direct cars to the correct parking lots.
Will the in-person Commencement ceremonies be accessible?
Any guests who have any mobility, hearing, or vision challenges should contact Commencement@arcadia.edu. Those who need extra time to get to their seats will be driven to the Green. Arcadia will also have golf carts available to help those who need assistance.
What happens if it rains?
In case of light rain, ceremonies will remain outdoors. Graduates and their guests will need to come prepared to sit through precipitation. Ponchos will be handed out while supplies last. Ceremonies will be streamed live throughout light rain if guests would prefer to watch off-campus.
In the event of predicted heavy rain or inclement weather that renders an outdoor ceremony unsafe, the ceremonies will be moved indoors to the Kuch Center Alumni Gymnasium. Graduates would be allowed two guests for the ceremonies (no other guests will be allowed on campus, and there will not be a simulcast staging area on campus). The decision to move indoors will be communicated by noon on Tuesday, May 18.
Can family members take photos of their graduate?
Each graduate is allowed to bring one guest with them to pass in front of the stage to take photos while the graduate is on stage. Arcadia also provides Island Photography for graduates and families to capture the moments. You are under no obligation to purchase any photos.
Diplomas will be mailed to each graduate after the commencement ceremonies.
Will my awards and honors be recognized on stage?
Since the academic year was adjusted, grades will not be tallied until after the Commencement ceremonies. Academic honors or distinction through groups are recognized by a graduate’s cords, when applicable. Otherwise, awards and distinctions recognized in the online graduation site will not be announced when graduates are on stage receiving their diploma envelope.
How long will each ceremony take?
Arcadia’s Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctoral degree all-modes ready ceremonies and delivered in a hybrid way to expand participation. Each will include a series of speakers, acknowledgments, reading the names of all graduates. In-person graduates will walk across the stage when they hear their name and receive an Official Arcadia casing. Each ceremony will be approximately one and a half hours.
Where do I make my graduate slide?
Each graduate is asked to create a graduate slide which will be shared online. Please create your slide following the directions listed here.
Can I come to campus to take photos?
Graduates who are in driving distance of Arcadia are welcome to come to campus to take pictures in your Cap and Gown in front of the Castle. As COVID measures are still tight until May 31 in Pennsylvania, please let Commencement@arcadia.edu and COVIDCareTeam@arcadia.edu know when you plan to come to campus. Don't forget to enter the graduation cap design contest on Instagram using #Arcadia2021.
The Class of 2021 is an extraordinary class, with six special ceremonies. The success of our ceremonies depends on visitors enjoying their time and respecting the next ceremony that will follow.