Degree Completion Commencement Information
In order for students to participate in commencement, as well as receive their diploma(s) and official transcript(s), all financial obligations to Cairn University must be paid. Unpaid fines accrued prior to December 1 (Fall)/April 15 (Spring) April 15 are sent to Business Services for collection. Unpaid fines accrued after December 1 (Fall)/April 15 (Spring) April 15 will result in the holding of diploma(s) and official transcript(s).
Safety and Security
In order for students to participate in commencement, as well as receive their diploma(s) and official transcript(s), all financial obligations to Cairn University must be paid. Unpaid fines accrued prior to December 15 can be paid by cash, check or credit card at the Library; anything unpaid by December 15 will be sent to Business Services for collection. Unpaid fines accrued after December 15 will result in the holding of diploma(s) and official transcript(s). All library fines must be paid in the Business Services office.
Financial Aid Loan Counseling Requirements
All students who have borrowed federal loans during any portion of their education at Cairn are required to complete Direct Loan Exit Counseling. This requirement is completed online at studentaid.gov. As you get started, it would be helpful to have available information about your income, financial aid and living expenses. At the end of your exit counseling session, you will be asked for information that will be included as part of your federal student loan records. You must provide the following:
Name, address, email address and phone number for:
- Your next of kin
- Two references who live in the US
- Your future employer (if known)
You will need your FSA ID username and password to Sign In, then look for the “Manage Loans” and from the dropdown menu select “Complete Exit Counseling.”
- Select the School State: Pennsylvania and School Name: Cairn University
- Click the Add School button
- Click the Continue button
- Follow the instructions to continue through the counseling session.
The counseling session typically takes about 20-30 minutes. At the end you will click the Submit Counseling button that will send confirmation to the Cairn University Financial Aid office that you have completed this counseling requirement.
Contact Financial Aid at email@example.com if you have questions about this process.
Students will be emailed instructions to complete the required Student Exit Questionnaire. The data collected assists the University in evaluating its services as well as helps to create a community that provides an enriching experience for our students. It also allows for student comments regarding their Cairn experience and an opportunity to suggest improvements.
Please be aware that professors must submit current semester grades for all graduating students by 10 am on Wednesday, December 15. If students have a course grade of “NR” or “I” from a previous term, it is their responsibility to contact the professor and request they submit a Change of Grade Form to the Registrar’s Office by the December 15 deadline.
Undergraduate candidates who have completed at least 60 credits in residence are eligible for graduation honors. Those who attain a scholastic average of 3.50 graduate Cum Laude. Those who attain a scholastic average of 3.75 graduate Magna Cum Laude. Candidates who attain a scholastic average of 3.90 graduate Summa Cum Laude.
Custom personalized announcements can be purchased directly online at HerffJones.com.
Additional announcement products are also available online. These include thank you notes, envelope seals, tissue inserts, souvenir announcement covers, return address labels and appreciation gifts.
Diploma Frames are sold through the Campus Store as well as online. Custom matting is available and manufactured specifically for Cairn University including the University seal.
A limited collection of Cairn University custom rings are available for purchase. Ring styles include the Cairn University name, seal and can be further customized to include major and degree.
- Caps and gowns may be picked up in the Registrar’s Office.Dates and times: TBA
- An email will be sent out on dates/times that pick-up will be available.
- Men and women are to wear dark shoes; men are to wear dark socks.
- All graduates participating in the Commencement ceremony must arrive wearing full academic attire: cap with tassel, gown, and hood. Only University-issued honor cords and academic medals are to be worn with academic attire.
ACADEMIC REGALIA SHOULD NOT BE ALTERED IN ANY WAY. THIS INCLUDES BOTH CAP AND GOWN.
Tickets/Seating for Commencement
This is a special celebration for the University, its graduates and their family and friends. By following these guidelines, we hope to provide an honoring ceremony that respects the dedicated work of all those in attendance. Please keep the following in mind:
- A designated drop-off area for baby strollers will be available outside of the gymnasium.
- Tickets are not required for the ceremony.
- Seating is on a first-come, first serve basis.
- Doors open at 9 am for seating in the Mason Activity Center (MAC, Gymnasium).
- Attendees should be in their seats by 9:55 am. Ushers will ask individuals to remove any saved seats beginning at 9:50 am.
- After 9:55 am, individuals will be instructed to view the graduation ceremonies from the overflow area on the second floor of the MAC.
- For the safety of all, backpacks and oversized bags are not allowed in the gym; attendees are requested to leave these items in their vehicles. All bags are subject to search.
Please keep in mind that, due to fire code restrictions, the ushers will not allow individuals to stand or sit in undesignated areas (on the floor or steps of the bleachers) and will ask them to view the ceremonies from the overflow area.
Commencement Ceremony Guidelines
- All Graduates should check in at the table in the lower MAC (near the elevator) 45 minutes prior to their ceremony to receive a color-coded placement card. Graduates should come dressed in academic attire. Restrooms are available nearby.
- Graduates should not bring any personal items (purses, cameras, etc.) to the lineup. Personal items should be given to guests for safekeeping as there is no secure area to store valuables. Cairn University is not responsible for lost or stolen items.
- During the program, watch Dr. Todd Williams for signals to rise or to remove caps. Only men should remove caps for prayer.
- Listen carefully for the cue to rise with the correct degree group and enter the line for the platform.
- Tassels are to be worn on the right side of caps and remain there until after receiving the diploma cover, then, graduates should move the tassel to the left side of their cap.
THE USE OF AIR HORNS, NOISE MAKERS OF ANY KIND, AND INFLATABLE ITEMS ARE STRICTLY PROHIBITED.
Commencement Ceremony Conclusion
At the conclusion of the Commencement ceremony, board members and faculty will depart from the gym first. Graduates will exit next, starting with the last row. When exiting the gym, please continue moving outside into the circular driveway. Do not stop to greet family and friends in the MAC’s lower level.
When all graduates have exited the gym, family and friends may meet students outside. Graduates may return to the platform inside the gymnasium for photographs if desired.
In the event of inclement weather, board members, faculty, and graduates will be directed by the ushers to an alternate lineup area. Once the recessional has concluded, graduates may join their family and friends in the gymnasium.
Diplomas and transcripts will be printed following the Commencement ceremony and will be sent to the address indicated on your Graduation Application. Please notify the Registrar’s Office of any address changes after submission of the Graduation Application. Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery.
Cairn Security Officers will direct traffic on the day of Commencement. Handicapped parking is available in parking lot D. For all other parking lot locations please download the Campus Map at: https://cairn.edu/documents/2014/02/vehicle-rules-and-regulations.pdf/.
Chappell Graduation Images will photograph graduates as they receive their diplomas. Chappell will mail each graduate a passport-size proof within a week of graduation. Graduates will have the opportunity to select from a variety of photo packages but are under no obligation to make a purchase.
NOTE: We ask that during the ceremony, family and friends remain in their seats to prevent interference with the ceremony or the Chappell photographer.
Graduates with special needs who require accommodations should contact the Registrar’s Office at 215.702.4293 prior to Monday, November 29.
The Courtyard by Marriott and The Homewood Suites by Hilton offer a discounted rate for Cairn visitors. Be sure to ask for the “Cairn Commencement” rate when booking. You may also access a list of hotels in the area on our website.
Frequently Asked Questions:
If you have any other questions regarding Commencement please contact: