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Frequently Asked Questions

Commencement Quick Facts

Date: Sunday, May 15

Times: 9 a.m. (graduate), 2 p.m. (undergrad)

Location: XL Center in downtown Hartford

Here are some common questions spanning multiple topics to help graduates and guests prepare for Commencement on May 15 at downtown Hartford's XL Center.

When and where are the ceremonies?
Ceremony start times will be:

9 a.m. for graduate students and doctoral candidates

2 p.m. for undergraduate students

Both Commencement ceremonies will take place on Sunday, May 15 at the XL Center in downtown Hartford.

How long are the ceremonies expected to last?

The morning graduate and doctoral ceremony is expected to last about two hours. The afternoon undergraduate ceremony is expected to last about three hours.


What time should I arrive and do I bring anything with me?
Please arrive no more than one hour prior to your ceremony start time. There will be thorough cleanings and air circulation occurring before each ceremony, so students and guests will not be permitted to enter the XL Center earlier than one hour before their ceremony begins.

Graduating students need to bring their complete regalia with them. We recommend pressing or steaming regalia at home; there will not be a place to do so at the XL Center. You may bring a small purse or bag for personal items. There will not be a place to store personal belongings during the ceremony.


Where do I go when I arrive?
There will be plenty of signs and XL Center staff to guide you when you arrive. Students will be brought to a staging area to line up for the ceremony, while guests will be led directly to audience seating.

 

Will there be a livestream of the ceremony?
A livestream of each ceremony will be available for viewing on May 15. The livestream will be on our Commencement page and our main UHart page the morning of Commencement. Watch Commencement Livestream.

Where should I park?
There are many parking garages near the XL Center. Street parking is also available. Street parking in Hartford is free and without time limitations all day every Saturday and Sunday (excluding holidays). You can find additional information about parking here.


Are there hotels nearby?
You can find plenty of information on local hotels, restaurants, and bars at hartford.com.


What accessibility accommodations will there be for students and guests
Individuals needing limited mobility or wheelchair-accessible seating for Commencement should arrive an hour prior to the ceremony start to allow for plenty of time to find parking and seating. Guests requiring mobility assistance should park in the Hartford 21 garage located at 210 Asylum Street in downtown Hartford. After parking, take the elevators up to Level 1 and turn right upon exiting the elevator. Once you walk through the magnetometer, head into the arena and walk to the Guest Services desk to the right of the main entrance behind Section 124. Please let the Guest Services attendant know that you require accessible seating and you will be directed to your seat.

There will be a sign language interpreter at both Commencement ceremonies. Individuals who need to be seated near a sign language interpreter should email hawkgrad@hartford.edu for more information.

Are there any security restrictions?
Guests attending XL Center events are advised that large bags, backpacks, luggage, coolers, parcels, briefcases, and like articles will be strictly prohibited from the facility. All guests will be subject to search, at the XL Center's discretion, of their person and/or possessions (including women's handbags of normal size which may be allowed entry after such search). Guests with prohibited articles will be turned away at the entrances to return items to their vehicle or dispose of the items. No storage or "check-in area" will be provided. Enforcement will be without exceptions. 

Graduating students are advised that alcoholic beverages will not be allowed in the staging area. Anyone found to have alcohol on their person will not be allowed to participate in Commencement exercises.

Find complete details on the XL Center’s security policies, including a list of all prohibited items.

Will transportation to the XL Center be provided?
Round-trip shuttles will be available for graduating students between campus and the XL Center. If you would like to reserve a space on a shuttle, please email the Commencement Committee by May 13 with your name and Commencement ceremony (graduate or undergraduate). Shuttle pickup will be in Millard Circle (in front of The Hartt School) 90 minutes prior to your ceremony start time.

The shuttle will return to campus directly after the Commencement ceremony. Shuttles are only available for graduating students; guests will need to provide their own transportation. Guests can find additional information about parking here.

Will food/drink be available for purchase?
Yes. Food and drink will be available for purchase by guests. All concessions will be cashless.

Will flowers be available for purchase?

Yes. Flowers will be available for purchase on site. You may bring your own flowers if you choose. Balloons and signs will not be permitted.

Are graduating students limited in the amount of guests they can invite?
Graduating students may invite as many guests as they would like to attend their Commencement ceremonies.

Do guests need tickets to attend?
Guests will not be required to have tickets to attend either Commencement ceremony.


Will guests be assigned seats?
No; audience seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Guests may arrive up to one hour prior to the ceremony start time. Guests will not be permitted to hold seats.

Is there any cost for guests to attend Commencement?
No, there is no charge for guests to attend either Commencement ceremony. Guests will not receive tickets and seating will be first-come, first-served. Printed Commencement programs will be available to guests free of charge.

Will transportation to the XL Center be provided for the campus community?
Round-trip shuttles will be available for graduating students between campus and the XL Center. If you would like to reserve a space on a shuttle, please email the Commencement Committee by May 13 with your name and Commencement ceremony (graduate or undergraduate). Shuttle pickup will be in Millard Circle (in front of The Hartt School) 90 minutes prior to your ceremony start time.

The shuttle will return to campus directly after the Commencement ceremony. Shuttles are only available for graduating students; guests will need to provide their own transportation. Guests can find additional information about parking here.

Will there be a livestream of the ceremony?
A livestream of each ceremony will be available for viewing on May 15. The livestream link will be on our Commencement page and our main UHart page the day of Commencement. Watch the Livestream.

Do I need to sign up for the livestream?
No, you will be able to select the provided links and instantly get access to the Commencement ceremonies through our Commencement Livestream page.

Will guests need to wear masks?
The wearing of masks will be strongly encouraged but not required at our May Commencement ceremonies (subject to change).

Will I need to provide any documentation to attend?
At this time, proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test will not be required to participate in or attend the ceremony.

How do I find the photos that were taken at Commencement?
Photographs were taken by a professional photography company, GradImages, and proofs will be emailed to students at their UHart email addresses. You may also search for your photos online please allow a week for photos to be posted. If you have questions about your photos, please reach out to GradImages directly.

Will I be able to take a photo of my student walking across the stage?
Guests will need to take any photos from their seats; going closer to the stage or student seating area will not be permitted. There will be a professional photographer taking photos of all graduating students, and you will have the option to purchase those pictures.

The UHart main campus will be open to graduating students and their guests on May 15 so that you can take graduation photos at your favorite outdoor campus locations.

I haven’t ordered my regalia but it is past the March 31 online ordering deadline. What do I do?

Online ordering has closed, but there will be extra regalia available at the Campus Store during the late pickup period of May 9–13. Please go to the Campus Store during its regular business hours during that time frame and let the staff know that you did not place an online order and they will be happy to assist you. 

If you have additional questions or concerns, please contact the Campus Store directly at 860.768.4801 or 0885mgr@follett.com, or stop by in person during normal business hours.

Can I check the status of my regalia order?
If you placed an order for home shipment, you can check the status of your regalia order online. Enter your internet reference number, which can be found on the order confirmation email that you received after placing your order.


What do I get with my cap and gown order?
Undergraduate degree recipients and master's degree recipients will receive custom University of Hartford "keeper" gowns, which do not need to be returned. These gowns with University of Hartford seals embroidered in red are manufactured from recycled plastic bottles. Doctoral candidates will receive custom rental gowns with hood and keeper tam. All graduates will be given a degree-specific color tassel with a University of Hartford "H." Souvenir red-and-white tassels with the 2022 date may be purchased as an option. Honor cords may be purchased by eligible undergraduates only (GPA of 3.25 and above).


How do I pick up my cap and gown?

When ordering regalia, graduates will choose one of two ways to receive their cap and gown:

  • Pick up your regalia on campus. Pickup dates were May 4 and 5, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the Campus Store (bookstore). If you did pick up your regalia at that time, the Campus Store will also be offering regalia pickup during regular business hours May 9-13.
  • Choose to have your regalia shipped to your home (fee applies as noted below):
    Undergraduate and master's candidates: $12.95
    Doctoral candidates (includes return shipping label to return rental): $15.95


How do I know if I am eligible for an honor cord?
If you are an undergraduate student and are graduating with a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher, you are eligible to purchase an honor cord. Honor cords will be available for purchase on the Herff Jones website beginning Feb. 14. Any questions about eligibility should be directed to your academic advisor.

Are there different honor cords?
Any undergraduate student graduating with a 3.25 GPA or higher is eligible to purchase a gold honor cord from the Herff Jones website. There are not different honor cords for different honor levels.

Will I receive my diploma at Commencement?
Diploma jackets will be handed out at all May Commencement ceremonies. Actual diplomas will be mailed to students’ permanent addresses and can be expected to be received in early fall.


What if I need proof of graduation before I receive my diploma?
To verify completion of your degree for employment, advanced study, or any other reason prior to receiving your unofficial transcript, email your school or college evaluator (if prior to May 15) or email commence@hartford.edu (after May 15). If you need to order an official transcript, you may do so online at Requesting a Transcript.


What if I have other questions regarding my diploma?
For any other questions regarding your diploma, please reach out to the Registrar at commence@hartford.edu.

Do I need to order a Yearbook?No. All graduating undergrad students will receive a Yearbook, which will be sent to their permanent address in the fall.

How do I schedule my senior portraits? 

The final round of senior portraits will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Gengras Student Union Room 339 on the following dates:

Tuesday–Friday, April 19-22

Students should schedule their appointments online using 25 as the school code.

Students should wear business attire and will be provided with regalia for the portraits.

 

I am not able to attend a senior portrait sitting. Can I submit my own photo to the Yearbook?

Yes. If you are unable to schedule a senior portrait sitting, you may submit your own photo to the Yearbook.

Here are a few guidelines to help you with submitting your senior portrait:

  1. Your portrait submission must be a vertical composition using a lighter tone solid background, soft lighting, and no harsh shadows.
  2. Please name your portrait image file using this convention: Lastname_Firstname_Middlename.
  3. Save as a JPG file.
  4. Photo must be at least 2x2.5 inches, and 300dpi.
  5. Please include with your submission the way you would like your name to appear in the yearbook.
  6. Suggested attire is business casual.

Additional Questions

If your question was not answered in our FAQ page, please email hawkgrad@hartford.edu for assistance.