Winter 2018 Commencement FAQs

Are the December Commencement ceremonies really cancelled?
The December 2018 Commencement ceremonies and the Baccalaureate Mass are rescheduled for the weekend of May 17-19, 2019. This decision was not taken lightly and we understand that this will create hardships for our graduates and their loved ones. This decision is consistent with our cancellation or rescheduling of all public events occurring on campus before December 28, 2018, a decision designed to mitigate the further transmission of the mumps.

Why are classes and exams still being held while we reschedule Commencement?
The University has a responsibility to provide students the opportunity to earn credit for the classes they are enrolled in, and maintaining the academic schedule is the best way to provide that educational opportunity. Even though Commencement is a very important ceremony and academic tradition, it is not required to earn academic credit. Through required vaccinations and our own record keeping, our classrooms are controlled environments, and we can exclude individuals and support students who are not vaccinated. We cannot control on short notice information about all of the people who attend public events, including commencement. 

Why can't we just have Commencement in January?
There’s still the potential risk that we would have to postpone the Ceremonies again if any newly declared cases came forward because of the lengthy average mumps incubation period (25 days).

Why can't we move Commencement off-site?
While that certainly was a consideration, the fact remains that there is still a risk to those loved ones -particularly babies, the elderly, those with compromised immune systems, and those who are not vaccinated - who would be in attendance, regardless of where the ceremony is held. For public health concerns and to mitigate the risk to our students and their loved ones, it was in the best interest of all involved to reschedule Commencement.

Will I still get my diploma? How do I get my transcript?
August Graduates:

December 2018 Candidates:

  • Your graduation processing continues as normally scheduled, and you will continue to receive messages from the Office of the Registrar. As indicated in your individual status letter, certification of degree occurs after our final transcript review. Fall 2018 semester grades are due December 18, and our final record review should be completed before Winter Break.
  • After we certify degrees, diplomas will be mailed home to graduates without outstanding financial obligations to the University; typically, this is within 60 days after the December 16 graduation date.
  • Transcripts are your official proof of degree, and ordering information may be found via: https://lewisu.edu/admissions/ordertranscripts.htm

Will my Graduation Fee be refunded?
This fee is not directly related to the cost of the Commencement ceremonies and is nonrefundable. This fee covers costs associated with file evaluation of all graduation applicants, posting of transcripts, diploma ordering and mailing, permanent file archiving and maintenance for transcript fulfillment, and the retainable cap and gown.  For every graduation, students are required to pay this non-refundable fee, regardless of whether or not they attend their ceremony.

What is the schedule for the ceremonies in May 2019?

Friday, May 17; 7:00 p.m. August/December 2018 Graduate Degree Ceremony
Saturday, May 18; 9:00 a.m. August/December 2018 Professional Colleges Undergraduate Degree Ceremony
Saturday, May 18; 1:00 p.m. August/December 2018 College of Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Degree Ceremony
Saturday, May 18; 5:00 p.m. Baccalaureate Mass and President’s Reception for Graduates
Sunday, May 19; 9:00 a.m. May 2019 Professional Colleges Undergraduate Degree Ceremony
Sunday, May 19; 1:00 p.m. May 2019 Graduate Degree Ceremony
Sunday, May 19; 5:00 p.m. May 2019 College of Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Degree Ceremony

If I’m an August/December 2018 graduate, do I need to reapply for graduation?
No. You will receive ongoing communication and instructions from the Registrar’s Office about plans for May 2019.

If I’m an August/December 2018 graduate, will I receive the same number of tickets to the rescheduled ceremony in May?
Yes! Graduates will receive the same number of tickets, but they will be reissued prior to May using the University’s digital ticketing system. Watch for more information from the Registrar’s Office about ticket availability.

If I’m an August/December 2018 graduate, what do I do with my cap and gown?
Please keep your cap and gown and save it for May.

If I’m an August/December 2018 graduate, must I attend my rescheduled ceremony in May to graduate from Lewis University?
Even though Commencement is a very important ceremony and academic tradition, it is not required in order to graduate from Lewis University. The official date of graduation for August graduates is August 26, 2018, and the official graduation date for December graduates is December 16, 2018. After the Registrar’s Office certifies degrees, diplomas will be mailed home to graduates without outstanding financial obligations to the University; typically, this is within 60 days after the December 16 graduation date. Transcripts are your official proof of degree, and ordering information may be found via: https://lewisu.edu/admissions/ordertranscripts.htm

What do I do with my August/December 2018 Ceremony tickets?
Tickets issued for the December 2018 ceremony are no longer valid. Tickets for May 2019 will be reissued in the Spring. Watch for more information from the Registrar’s Office about ticket availability.