Arcadia University's Graduate Commencement

Our 2019 Graduate Commencement will take place on Thursday, May 16. The ceremony will be available for on-demand viewing.

View Commencement Live Stream

Academic Attire

Commencement attire includes a cap, gown, hood and tassel. Academic hoods reflect Arcadia University colors of scarlet and gray and are trimmed in velvet with the color of the degree discipline. Caps are one size fits all and are mortarboards for masters' degrees and tams for doctoral degrees. Tassels are black for master's and gold for doctoral.

The attire ordering process will be available on March 1, 2019.  Orders must be placed by March 20, 2019.   


Arcadia has a tradition of recognizing the international academic experiences of graduating students by allowing them to wear a colorful sash over their graduation robe. Complete the 2019 Commencement International Sash Order Form  to order an international sash. 

Questions?  Contact Allison DeNoble, Office of International Programs at  DEADLINE:  No orders will be accepted after March 18, 2019.


If you are eligible for a cord, please complete this form. Those eligible are:

  • If you are graduating with a dual degree in Public Health
  • If you are graduating with a dual degree in the Arts
  • If you are a Veteran
  • If you are in the Peace Corps.

You may keep your academic attire after Commencement or recycle it in the boxes in the Commons Great Room following the ceremony.

Instructions for Pick-up
  • All MMS and Dual Degree MMS/MPH students (Glenside and Christiana campuses): Academic Attire will be available for pickup beginning Wednesday, May 1st at the PA department in Glenside at Brubaker Hall 101.
  • Graduate students in all other programs: Academic Attire can be picked up Wednesday, May 1, in the Commons Great Room, from 2 to 6 p.m.  Someone else may pick up attire for you.  To make other arrangements contact Lindsay McGann at

Please Note:

  • If you are unable to attend Commencement after you have ordered your academic attire, you must notify Mary Kate McNulty at 215-572-2877 or by e-mail at immediately in order to receive your degree in absentia. Please provide the address where your diploma should be mailed. Any questions about Commencement may also be directed to Mary Kate.

Graduate Commencement Day Schedule

Thursday, May 16, 2019
  • 3 p.m. Student Check-In, Commons Great Room; graduate students only, no family members. Refreshments will be available.
  • 5-6:30 p.m. Graduate Commencement, Haber Green. In case of severe weather, Alumni Gymnasium, Kuch Center.

Commencement begins promptly at 5 p.m. Graduates are to check-in beginning at 3 p.m. in the Commons, Great Room. ONLY graduates should be in The Commons before Commencement. Please direct family and friends to seating areas.

If you are a graduating student who required special accommodations to participate in the commencement ceremony, please contact Lindsay McGann at


Diplomas for students whose degree will be conferred on May 16, 2019 can be picked up after the Commencement Ceremony in the Great Room of the Commons.


One-way traffic patterns will be enforced to accommodate the large number of cars on campus. Traffic will enter from Easton Road and Church Road (Rte. 73) and will move counterclockwise until reaching the parking areas. When you arrive on campus, you will be directed to a parking area immediately. Once parked, you will not be permitted to drive on campus or exit until the ceremony is under way.

Guests with disability parking passes will be directed to special parking areas after entering campus. Golf carts will be available to take guests to seating area if needed.


Family members and guests can arrive on campus beginning at 3:30 p.m. Weather permitting, the ceremony will be held on Haber Green. In case of severe weather, the ceremony will be held in the Kuch Center Alumni Gymnasium. The decision regarding location may be made as late as the day of the ceremony.  Please check for updates. 

The University is using an online ticketing agency for Commencement. Graduates will receive email notification and instructions when the site becomes available in April.

All graduates are allotted five tickets for indoor seating. Tickets are not needed for outdoor seating. In case of severe weather, the ceremony will be held indoors in Kuch Gymnasium. Only those guests with tickets will be granted entrance to the gym. Those without tickets can watch a simulcast of the ceremony in various locations on campus.  The final decision regarding location will be made mid-day of the ceremony and posted on Arcadia's homepage.

Tickets for Guests with Special Needs

Guests with special needs require special seating. Students should order special seating tickets instead of regular seating tickets to allow guests to sit together. Special seating for indoors will be on the upper level of the Kuch Center and is limited to five tickets.  Special seating for outdoors is not required.  

Guests with special needs can be dropped off at the Walk of Pride where they can await transport by golf cart to the ceremony site.  Special Needs Permits are available for your guests with special needs – please email Mary Kate McNulty at


No alcoholic beverages are permitted at the Commencement ceremony. All students will have a water bottle placed under their chair for the ceremony. Water stations for guests will be placed around the perimeter of the seating areas.


Professional photographers from Island Photography will photograph graduates on the stage. The studio will mail proofs directly to the address on the photo request card that will be available when you pick up academic attire. You are under no obligation to order prints. Videotapes also are made available for purchase.

Flowers & Gifts

To pre-order flowers or gifts for the big day please visit:

Additional Participation


The 2019 Lavender Ceremony will be held on Friday, May 3 at 7:00pm in the University Commons Great Room.  

This ceremony is an annual tradition held at many campuses across the country and began at Arcadia in 2018. The event creates time to acknowledge the LGBTQIA+ and gender-non conforming students graduating  with Arcadia's class of 2019, and is a celebration of the unique and supportive community we have on campus. This includes bachelor's and master's students and their guest- the event is not open to the general public. The ceremony will consist of speakers, student recognition, and refreshments. Here, each student will receive a lavender cord (to keep). At commencement, those who are comfortable openly identifying with the community can wear their lavender cord with their commencement regalia. There will not be an awards ceremony this year.

Please RSVP by April 28, 2019


for December 2018 and May 2019 Graduates
May 11, 2019 at 1pm

The Commons Great Room

"The annual ALANA and International Student Recognition Ceremony is one in which Arcadia University recognizes and celebrates its graduates of African, Latino, Asian, Native American (ALANA) descent and those of International status and their journeys toward earning their college degree (both at the undergraduate and graduate levels).  Such recognition is of utmost importance for ALANA and International students, especially at predominantly and historically white institutions where their names and faces may often go unnoticed, and their stories and histories may go untold.  Student participation in this ceremony is optional and each is presented with a stole representative of their nationality or racial or ethnic heritage."   - Judith Dalton, Associate Dean of Institutional Diversity

Returning Academic Attire/Receiving Diploma

Graduates are encouarged to keep their academic attire after the ceremony.  If interested in recycling your regalia, there will be collection boxes in the Great Room following the ceremony.

Diplomas for students who graduate on May 16 will be distributed after the ceremony in the Commons Great Room.

Please make sure all required paperwork for the degree is completed. Degree Completion form is required to order your diploma and have your degree conferred. August/December 2018 graduates have already met these requirements.

Honorary Degree Recipient

Honorary Degree Recipient

Valerie Arkoosh, M.D.

In 2016, Dr. Arkoosh was unanimously elected as chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners, the first female to serve as chair in the Board’s history. This followed her election to the Board in 2015 for her first four-year term.

As a community leader, Dr. Arkoosh has been at the center of county efforts to overcome the heroin and opioid crisis, which led her to sign a 2015 “standing order” allowing Montgomery County pharmacies to dispense the overdose antidote naloxone– commonly known as Narcan– to members of the public on request. Additionally, Dr. Arkoosh worked with Arcadia University and Montgomery County Community College in their annual opiate solutions-driven symposium, where she was keynote speaker in 2018.

Prior to serving on the Board of Commissioners, Dr. Arkoosh taught as a professor of Clinical Anesthesiology and Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania. Throughout her career, she also held faculty positions at Drexel University College of Medicine—where she chaired the Department of Anesthesiology from 1999 to 2004— and Thomas Jefferson University Sidney Kimmel Medical College. Noting the impact of social and community factors on her patient’s health, Dr. Arkoosh earned a Master of Public Health with a focus in U.S. Health Policy 2007 from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. From 2010 to 2012, she served as president of the National Physicians Alliance, a national nonprofit multi-specialty physician organization committed to reducing conflicts of interest in medical practice and the belief that health care is a human right.

Dr. Arkoosh earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Northwestern University in 1982 and a doctorate from University of Nebraska College of Medicine in 1986.

 Previous Honorary Degree Recipients