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Questions and Answers East Hawaiʻi Ceremony

Congratulations graduate!  The Graduation Committee is excited about celebrating your graduation with you.  To preserve the dignity of this momentous event and to ensure that the ceremony runs in an orderly manner, we ask the following: 

  1. Arrive on time to check in and line up.
  2. Be dressed in your cap and gown.
  3. Act in a respectful and appropriate manner throughout the ceremony (i.e., no cellular phone usage, refrain from inappropriate language or gestures, no food or drinks, etc.)

To answer some of your questions and answers, we've developed the following list.  We hope you find it both helpful and informative.

Is there a practice or rehearsal for graduation?
Yes, the rehearsal is mandatory and will be held on the day of graduation. Rehearsal is at the Edith Kanaka'ole Multi-Purpose Stadium and is scheduled for 12:00 noon. It should take about an hour and refreshments will be provided.

When and where is graduation?
Commencement is on Friday, May 11, 2018 at the Edith Kanaka'ole Multi-Purpose Stadium.

What time is graduation?
The ceremony begins at 7:00 p.m. The doors will open to the public at 6:00 p.m. All graduates must arrive no later than 5:30 p.m. to check in and line up.

How long will the graduation take?
The ceremony should last for about 2 hours and end at approximately 9:00 p.m.

Do I need to sign up to participate in the ceremony?
Yes. All graduates must RSVP online by Friday, May 4, 2018.

Do my family and friends need a ticket to attend the ceremony?
No. Seating is open and is first-come, first-serve.

What if someone in my family needs special accommodations?
Individuals with disabilities or those needing special accommodations should call Mari Giel at (808) 934-2725 V/TTY or A sign language interpreter will also be provided.

What do I need to wear?
All students participating in the ceremony MUST purchase a cap, tassel and gown from the UH-Hilo Bookstore. be sure your tassel is maroon. You will also receive the gift of a kihei to wear as part of your formal graduation attire when you check-in to participate in the cremony. Although not required, we recommend you wear semi-formal or aloha attire under your gown. Wearing the white collar is optional.

Where do I go to check in?
Graduates will check in at Aunty Sally's Lu'au Hale beginning at 5:30 p.m. CHECK IN at the registration table located at the main entrance. At the check in table, you will receive a card with your name on it. DO NOT LOSE IT! When you come up on stage to receive your diploma, you will need to bring this card up with you so that the announcer may read your name.

Where do I go to line up?
After checking in, you will be directed towards the lining up area. Graduates will line up and march into the stadium by their majors and with their classmates. If you are receiving multiple degrees, select the major you would like to sit with.

Where will I be sitting?
Graduates will sit by their majors on the ground level facing the stage. We cannot guarantee what side you'll be sitting on. Family and friends will sit on the upper level.

How do I go on stage to receive my diploma?
Ushers at each end of a row will indicate when it is time for your row to stand and move to the stage left ramp. Graduates will walk up stage left ramp or stage right, give the announcer your name card, cross the stage, and walk down stage middle ramp. Graduates will return to your seat and sit down.

Can my family and friends take pictures of me when I get my diploma?
No. No one will be allowed near the stage area. You may purchase a professional photo from the professional photographer hired for the ceremony.

Where do I meet my family and friends after the ceremony ends?
At the end of the ceremony, graduates will wait for the dignitaries on stage and the faculty and staff to exit the stage area before they meet and greet their family and friends on the ground level. There will be alphabets displayed around the stadium and you can meet them near the alphabet that matches the first letter of your last name.

Can my family and friends bring balloons?
Yes, however, if the balloons block other people's view of the stage, ushers will ask your family/friends to move seats or to hold the balloons down. Please remind them to be considerate of others attending the ceremony.

Will there be lei vendors?
Yes, they will be located on the Aunty Sally's side of the stadium. These approved vendors will have official permits authorizing them to sell their leis at our event.