Baccalaureate Service and Rotunda RecessionalFriday, May 10, 2024, at 5 p.m.
May CommencementSaturday, May 11, 2024 at 8:30 a.m.
The Baccalaureate Service is a nondenominational religious ceremony held the Friday evening before May Commencement. This small and intimate service features a special sermon for undergraduate candidates and their guests. The service lasts approximately one hour.
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 new members 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. 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 May Commencement assembles degree candidates from all of SMU’s schools and professional programs. The commencement speaker will offer their congratulations to our newest class of graduates and President Turner will confer degrees. Doctoral students (Ph.D., Ed.D., DE, and DLS) will receive recognition as they cross the stage. All other students receive individual recognition at their school/department ceremonies. At the conclusion of the ceremony, “Varsity” is played and a prayer is said for the new alumni.