Rotunda RecessionalFriday, December 15, 2023, at 5 p.m.
Main Quadrangle and Dallas Hall
December CommencementSaturday, December 16, 2023, at 9 a.m.
One of the University’s most symbolic traditions is Rotunda Passage, which includes both a processional and a recessional. The processional welcomes new undergraduate students to the University and is held the day before classes start. 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 during which undergraduate candidates, led by faculty and alumni marshals, march through the front doors of Dallas Hall, through the rotunda, and exit through the back of Dallas Hall. This is a symbolic departure from campus and serves as a welcome to the newest members of the SMU alumni family.
On Saturday morning, the All-University Commencement will assemble degree candidates from all of SMU’s schools and professional programs. Commencement speakers will offer their congratulations to our newest class of graduates, and President Turner will confer degrees. Candidates will cross the stage and have their names announced. At the conclusion of the ceremony, “Varsity” is played and a prayer is said for the new alumni.
Undergraduate candidates meet at the Flagpole in the Main Quadrangle in your regalia starting at 4:45 p.m. The ceremony begins with brief remarks from the chief marshal and student body president. Graduates will then march to Dallas Hall and complete Rotunda Passage. You do not need to RSVP for this event.
Candidate line up begins at 8 a.m. in Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports. Graduates must be in line by 8:40 a.m. Late admission will be denied. Arrive early to avoid graduation day traffic and for security checks. Signs will be posted, and faculty marshals will be on duty to help you assemble by school and degree type. Faculty marshals lead the student procession to Moody Coliseum at 8:50 a.m.
Please arrive with your candidate ticket wearing full SMU regalia. No other adornments may be worn. Students without regalia or with altered mortarboards will be directed to the SMU Bookstore to rent a cap and gown. Moody Coliseum may be cold, so dress accordingly under your regalia.
Leave bags, purses, coats and other personal belongings at home or in your car. There will be nowhere to store these items during the ceremony, and Dedman Center will not be accessible after the event. In addition, candidates are not allowed to bring clear bags, food or drinks into Moody Coliseum. A small clutch is permissible. Please silence cell phones.
Family and friends are welcome to watch the candidates walk to Dallas Hall from the Flagpole in the Main Quadrangle. There is no need to RSVP for this event. Parking is available in the Airline and Daniel Parking Centers.
Guest tickets are not required for this event. Seating in Moody Coliseum is general admission. If the venue reaches capacity, guests will be directed to a simulcast location. Security screening is in place. For guests who are unable to attend, the ceremony will be livestreamed.
Prior to the ceremony, there will be a faculty breakfast beginning at 7:45 a.m. in the Miller Champions Club in the Miller Event Center, directly inside the entrance to the coliseum on Binkley Avenue. If you want to attend the breakfast, please RSVP by Friday, December 8 at 4 p.m.
Faculty planning to attend Commencement are required to RSVP.
Faculty will assemble in academic dress no later than 8:45 a.m. in Miller Champions Club then process to the floor of Moody Coliseum, led by retired faculty. Faculty procession begins moving at approximately 9:10 a.m. following the graduation candidates, who take the floor at 9 a.m. Faculty remain standing until the president is seated. With respect to the removal or replacement of mortarboards, follow the lead of President Turner. After the playing of the University hymn, “Varsity,” the Platform Party leads the recessional, followed by the faculty in a single-file line.
Antonio Garza ’83 is an SMU graduate, a member of the University’s Board of Trustees, a director to the George W. Bush Foundation and a distinguished diplomat and attorney who served as the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico from 2002 to 2009.