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Description of Events

Baccalaureate Service - Undergraduate Candidates

The Baccalaureate Service is a religious ceremony held the Friday evening before May Commencement Convocation in McFarlin Auditorium. This is a small and intimate service that features a special sermon for undergraduate candidates and their guests. The service lasts approximately one hour.

Wearing full regalia, candidates process into McFarlin Auditorium and are seated together. Weather permitting, students line up on the Historic Main Quadrangle in the order of their arrival. In the event of rain, candidates are seated directly upon arrival.

Additionally, seating in McFarlin Auditorium is very limited; therefore, candidates are entitled to two guest tickets only. Extra tickets that are not picked up for Baccalaureate will be distributed on the stairs in front of McFarlin Auditorium at 6:30 p.m. The ceremony is simulcast in the Hughes-Trigg Theater.

For detailed information and instructions:
Graduating Candidates Guests Faculty

Rotunda Recessional - Undergraduate Candidates

The Rotunda Recessional follows the Baccalaureate Service. Undergraduate candidates, led by faculty and alumni marshals, march through the front doors of Dallas Hall, through the Rotunda and around to the quad. This tradition welcomes graduates into their new phase of membership in the SMU community - their lives as alumni.

One of the University's most symbolic traditions is Rotunda Passage, which includes both a processional and a recessional. The processional occurs before Opening Convocation, held the day before students' first day of classes as first-years. Students process through the back of Dallas Hall, through the Rotunda and onto the quad as a new member of the SMU student body. This tradition is concluded with the Rotunda Recessional following the Baccalaureate Service during Commencement Weekend. Rotunda Recessional is a symbolic departure from campus and serves as a welcome to the newest members of the SMU Alumni family.

Alumni who are parents of graduating seniors are welcome to participate as marshals for Baccalaureate. Please contact Mindy Rowland at 214-768-4741.

Commencement Convocation

On Saturday morning, the all-University May Commencement Convocation assembles degree candidates from all of SMU's schools and professional programs. The ceremony takes place in Moody Coliseum, which is transformed by the pageantry. Students and faculty, dressed in academic regalia, march to the ceremony to grand, processional music.

Doctoral candidates and honorary degree recipients are hooded, Commencement speakers impart knowledge to our newest class of candidates and President Turner confers degrees. At the conclusion of the ceremony, "Varsity" is played and a prayer is said for the new alumni.

The ceremony lasts approximately one hour and a half. Simulcast locations for overflow guests are in the Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports, Crum Auditorium (located on the first floor of the Collins Executive Building) and on Mustang Plaza. For guests who are unable to attend, the ceremony will be simulcast live at

For detailed information and instructions:
Graduating Candidates Guests Faculty

Diploma Presentation Ceremonies

Wearing full academic regalia, graduates are individually recognized in school or departmental ceremonies.

Class of 1965 Reunion

The SMU Class of 1965 celebrates its 50-year reunion the weekend of May 15-16, 2015. Led by reunion co-chairs, our newest Golden Mustangs receive special recognition as they process to the Commencement ceremony. For more information or to register for your 50th reunion, please contact SMU Reunion Programs at 1-800-766-4371, by e-mail at or by visiting