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 small and intimate service 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 event of rain, candidates are seated directly upon arrival.

Additionally, seating in McFarlin Auditorium is limited; therefore, candidates may request two guest passes. Extra passes not requested for Baccalaureate are 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

One of the University's most symbolic traditions is Rotunda Passage, which includes both a processional and a recessional. The processional occurs the day before students' first day of classes as new students. 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. Undergraduate candidates, led by faculty and alumni marshals, march through the front doors of Dallas Hall, through the Rotunda and around to the quad.

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-Hess 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 into the ceremony to grand, processional music.

Honorary degree recipients are hooded and doctoral candidates are given their hoods, 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 two hours. Simulcast locations for overflow guests are Crum Auditorium and Bolin 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 1969 Reunion

The SMU Class of 1969 celebrates its 50-year reunion the weekend of May 18-19, 2018. Led by reunion co-chairs, our newest Golden Mustangs receive special recognition as they process in 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