Commencement

Samuel Merritt University's spring 2019 commencement ceremonies will take place on Friday, May 24 at The Paramount Theatre in Oakland. Join us for a 9:30 am ceremony for the Masters Occupational Therapy, Doctor of Occupational Therapy, Doctor of Physical Therapy, and Doctor of Podiatric Medicine programs. And for a 1:30 pm ceremony for the Doctor of Nursing Practice, Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN, RN to BSN, and ABSN programs), and Master of Science in Nursing programs.

Commencement Participation

If you graduate between January 1 and June 30, you will attend the spring commencement held in May. 

If you graduate between July 1 and December 31, you will attend the fall commencement held in December. 

Commencement Speaker

Rupa Marya, MD is an associate professor of medicine within the Division of Hospital Medicine at UCSF. Her interests center around the intersection of society and illness, focusing research on how social structures may predispose different disadvantaged groups to certain illnesses. She is a faculty director of the Do No Harm Coalition of health workers and students dedicated to ending racism and state violence.

If you have additional questions about commencement, please contact the Office of Academic Affairs at 510.879.9200 ext. 7373.

Click here for information about Paramount Theatre.

SMU will live stream the graduation ceremony!

Dear Graduates:

Following is important information regarding Commencement:

COMMENCEMENT PARTICIPATION:

If you graduate from any program between July 1 and December 31, you will attend the fall commencement held in December. If you graduate between January 1 and June 30, you will attend the spring commencement held in May.

DATE / TIME / PLACE:

Commencement will be held on Friday, May 24, 2019 at 1:30 PM at the Paramount Theatre located at 2025 Broadway in Oakland.

Commencement will be held Wednesday, December 11, 2019 at 1:00 PM at the Paramount Theatre located at 2025 Broadway in Oakland. 

PARKING:

In addition to its own outdoor parking lot adjacent to the theatre, the Paramount is surrounded by three major parking facilities and is close to the 19th Street Oakland BART station. For more information, visit the Paramount Theatre website (http://www.paramounttheatre.com).

COMMENCEMENT PRACTICE:

There will be no practice for the Fall commencement. 

Practice will be held at 10:00 AM on Thursday, May 23 at the Paramount Theatre located at 2025 Broadway. At the practice we will determine the order of march, go over the pronunciation of your name, and give you essential information regarding the ceremony. Enter the theatre through the Box Office door on 21st Street (between Broadway and Telegraph Ave.). Please arrive a few minutes early as the security guard stationed at the door may ask you to sign in. After you enter the building, please come into the theatre and sit down in a seat close to the stage. We will make some general announcements before we practice lining up and processing in. Attending practice is essential for a smooth flowing ceremony. If you are unable to attend rehearsal, please make sure to get in touch with one of your classmates who did attend practice before Commencement to find out what was covered.

REGALIA:

If you chose the "ship to campus" option, and haven’t already picked up your regalia from the Bookstore (Oakland students) or your learning center, please make arrangements to do so no later than Tuesday, December 10 (Fall) or Thursday, May 23 (Spring). If you have not yet ordered regalia and plan to participate in the ceremony, please contact the Bookstore in Oakland, 510-879-9200 ext. 9287, Denis Korelov, (dkorelov@follett.com) ASAP. You will not be permitted to participate in the ceremony if you do not have a cap and gown.

TICKETS:

Tickets will be required for guests to enter the theatre for the December ceremony and the May afternoon ceremony. There will be no admission into the theatre without a ticket. Tickets will be distributed by your department. There will be no replacement tickets if lost or stolen.  

NAME CARD:

Be sure to bring your name card with you to the Paramount Theatre on the day of the ceremony. Your name card was included in your regalia package. You will give the card to the name reader for announcement before you cross the stage. If you lose or forget your name card please go to the table outside the Stage Door at the theatre prior to the ceremony to get a replacement.

PHONETIC PRONUNCIATION OF YOUR NAME:

If you think the name reader will need help in properly pronouncing your name at Commencement, clearly print how your name SOUNDS on the front your name card below the name label. Use accent marks or underline the stressed syllables if needed.

ACCESSIBILITY FOR GUESTS WITH MOBILITY LIMITATIONS:

If you haven’t already, contact Veronica Paniagua in the Office of Academic Affairs (vpaniagua@samuelmerritt.edu) by Tuesday, December 3rd (Fall), Monday, May 20th (Spring) to make arrangements for guests with disabilities/mobility limitations for special seating in the Americans with Disabilities (ADA) section of the venue. Please note that seating in the ADA section of the theatre is limited and your entire party may not be able to sit there. The guest needing the ADA access will be permitted to have ONE other member of their party sit with them in the ADA section.

 

COMMENCEMENT DAY SCHEDULE:

May

12:30 PM
Meet at the Box Office door at 475 21st Street and gather in that area. 21st Street will be closed to traffic. You must come dressed in your regalia as there is no place to gather to put on your regalia. Please note that the theatre does not have any place to leave your personal belongings. Please leave all belongings including purses, bags, cell phones, cameras, etc. with a member of your party. You may not carry them in to the theatre with you.

1:00 PM
Line up for Commencement

1:25 PM
Procession Begins

1:30 PM
Commencement Ceremony

3:30 PM (estimated)
Commencement Ceremony Concludes

December 

12:00 PM
Meet at the Box Office door at 475 21st Street and gather in that area. 21st Street will be closed to traffic. You must come dressed in your regalia as there is no place to gather to put on your regalia. Please note that the theatre does not have any place to leave your personal belongings. Please leave all belongings including purses, bags, cell phones, cameras, etc. with a member of your party. You may not carry them in to the theatre with you.

12:30 PM
Line up for Commencement

12:55 PM
Procession Begins

1:00 PM
Commencement Ceremony

3:30 PM (estimated)
Commencement Ceremony Concludes

Congratulations!

Dear Graduates:

Following is important information regarding Commencement:

DATE / TIME / PLACE:

Commencement will be held on Wednesday, December 12, 2018 at 1:00 PM at the Paramount Theatre located at 2025 Broadway in Oakland.

Commencement will be held on Friday, May 24, 2019 at 9:30 AM at the Paramount Theatre located at 2025 Broadway in Oakland.

PARKING:

In addition to its own outdoor parking lot adjacent to the theatre, the Paramount is surrounded by three major parking facilities and is close to the 19th Street Oakland BART station. For more information, visit the Paramount Theatre website (http://www.paramounttheatre.com).

COMMENCEMENT PRACTICE:

There will be no practice for the December 12 commencment ceremony.

Practice will be held at 12:00 PM on Thursday, May 23 at the Paramount Theatre located at 2025 Broadway. At the practice we will determine the order of march, go over the pronunciation of your name, and give you essential information regarding the ceremony. Enter the theatre through the Box Office door on 21st Street (between Broadway and Telegraph Ave.). Please arrive a few minutes early as the security guard stationed at the door may ask you to sign in. After you enter the building, please come into the theatre and sit down in a seat close to the stage. We will make some general announcements before we practice lining up and processing in. Attending practice is essential for a smooth flowing ceremony. If you are unable to attend rehearsal, please make sure to get in touch with one of your classmates who did attend practice before Commencement to find out what was covered.

REGALIA:

If you chose the "ship to campus" option, and haven’t already picked up your regalia from the Bookstore, please make arrangements to do so prior to the day of the ceremony. If you have not yet ordered regalia and plan to participate in the ceremony, please contact the Oakland Bookstore, 510-879-9200 ext. 9287, Denis Korelov, (dkorelov@follett.com) ASAP. You will not be permitted to participate in the ceremony if you do not have a cap and gown.

TICKETS:

Tickets are required for the December afternoon ceremony.

Tickets are required for the May morning and afternoon ceremony.
 

ACCESSIBILITY FOR GUESTS WITH MOBILITY LIMITATIONS:

If you haven’t already, contact Veronica Paniagua in the Office of Academic Affairs (vpaniagua@samuelmerritt.edu) by Tuesday, December 4 for the call ceremony or Monday, May 20 for the spring ceremony to make arrangements for guests with disabilities/mobility limitations for special seating in the Americans with Disabilities (ADA) section of the venue. Please note that seating in the ADA section of the theatre is limited and your entire party may not be able to sit there. The guest needing the ADA access will be permitted to have ONE other member of their party sit with them in the ADA section.

 

COMMENCEMENT DAY SCHEDULE:

December

12:00 PM

Meet at the Box Office door at 475 21st Street and gather in that area. 21st Street will be closed to traffic. You must come dressed in your regalia as there is no place to gather to put on your regalia. Please note that the theatre does not have any place to leave your personal belongings. Please leave all belongings including purses, bags, cell phones, cameras, etc. with a member of your party. You may not carry them in to the theatre with you.

12:30 PM
Line up for Commencement

12:55 PM
Procession Begins

1:00 PM
Commencment Ceremony

3:30 PM (estimated)
Commencement Ceremony Concludes

May

8:30 AM

Meet at the Box Office door at 475 21st Street and gather in that area. 21st Street will be closed to traffic. You must come dressed in your regalia as there is no place to gather to put on your regalia. Please note that the theatre does not have any place to leave your personal belongings. Please leave all belongings including purses, bags, cell phones, cameras, etc. with a member of your party. You may not carry them in to the theatre with you.

9:00 AM
Line up for Commencement

9:25 AM
Procession Begins

9:30 AM
Commencement Ceremony

11:30 AM (estimated)
Commencement Ceremony Concludes

Congratulations!

Do guests need tickets for the ceremony? If so, how many tickets will each graduate receive?
Yes, the Fall and Spring (afternoon) ceremony will require to have tickets for entry due to the number of graduates. Each graduate will receive 4 tickets. You will not be admitted into the theatre without a ticket.

The Spring (morning) ceremony will require tickets. You will not be admitted into the theatre without a ticket.

Which Commencement ceremony will my graduate be participating in?
Two Commencement ceremonies will be held on Friday, May 24, 2019. A 9:30 AM ceremony will be held for Masters Occupational Therapy, Doctor of Occupational Therapy, Doctor of Physical Therapy and Doctor of Podiatric Medicine. A 1:30 PM ceremony will be held for RN to BSN, Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Accelerated BSN and BSN programs), Master of Science in Nursing, and Doctor of Nursing Practice program graduates.

Fall Commencement ceremony will be held on Wednesday, December 11, 2019. A 1:00 PM ceremony will be held for Master Physician Assistant, Mater Occupational Therapy, RN to BSN, Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Accelerated BSN and BSN programs), Master of Science in Nursing, and Doctor of Nursing Practice program graduates.

Students that graduate from any program between July 1 and December 31, will attend the fall commencement held in December. If you graduate between January 1 and June 30, you will attend the spring commencement held in May.

Are there special arrangements at The Paramount Theatre for guests in wheelchairs or with mobility limitations?
Please ask the graduate to contact Veronica Paniagua in the Office of Academic Affairs (vpaniagua@samuelmerritt.edu or 510-879-9200 ext. 7373) at least one week prior to Commencement to make arrangements for special seating in the Americans with Disabilities (ADA) section of the venue for guests with disabilities/mobility limitations. Please note that seating in the ADA section of the theatre is limited and your entire party may not be able to sit there. The guest needing the ADA access will be permitted to have one other member of their party sit with them in the ADA section.

Where do I find directions to and/or parking information for The Paramount Theatre?
Please click here for directions and parking information on The Paramount Theatre's website.

How long will the ceremony last?
The Masters and Doctoral (9:30 AM) will last approximately an hour and a half to two hours. The Masters, Baccalaureate and Doctoral ceremony (1:30 PM) will last two to two and a half hours. Fall Masters, Baccalaureate and Doctoral ceremony (1:00 PM) will last two to two and a half hours . All graudates must remain in their seats until the end of the ceremony. You must not leave the theatre early, as it is disruptive and disrespectful to the other graduates and guests.

Does The Paramount allow guests to bring balloons for the graduates?
No, The Paramount does not allow balloons inside the theatre. Please click here for a brochure detailing The Paramount's graduation guidelines .

Can you provide me with a list of hotels are in the area?
Please click here to view a list of accommodations in Oakland on the Oakland Convention and Visitors Bureau website. There are also several hotels in the nearby city of Emeryville including a Courtyard by Marriott, Four Points by Sheraton, HYATT house , and the Hilton Garden Inn (ask the for Samuel Merritt University preferred rate for the Hilton Garden Inn).
If you are interested in staying in the city of Berkeley, please click here to view a list of accommodations on the Berkeley Convention and Visitors Bureau website.
Since Commencement will be held on the Friday of Memorial Day Weekend, we recommend that family and friends make their travel plans well in advance.

Will there be any kind of reception for graduates and their guests following Commencement?
Due to space and time limitations, the University does not sponsor a reception at the Theatre following Commencement. However, individual academic programs often organize their own reception or party at other venues to celebrate graduation. Please ask your graduate if their program is planning to host a reception.

Will there be a professional photographer at Commencement?
Yes. During the ceremony, graduates will be photographed in their regalia while being hooded and/or shaking hands with the President. The photographer will also take informal pictures of the graduates outside the Theatre before and after the ceremony. Prior to Commencement the photographer will contact the graduates directly with information on how to view proofs and order pictures.

Where can I meet up with my graduate before or after the ceremony to take pictures, etc.?
We request that family and friends wait until after the ceremony is over to meet up with their graduate to take pictures, give them flowers, etc. since prior to the ceremony students will be busy donning their regalia, listening to important instructions about the academic procession, and lining up. After the ceremony graduates will exit the Theatre on 21st Street where you can meet up with them. Please do not give your graduate any items such as flowers or balloons prior to the ceremony as they will not be allowed to carry them in to the theatre. (Flower leis are OK.)

Help! I forgot to order my Commencement regalia (cap, gown, hood, etc.)!
If you have not yet ordered your academic regalia (cap, gown, etc.) and plan to participate in Commencement, please contact the bookstore manager Denis Korelov (dkorelov@follett.com or 510-879-9200 ext. 9287) at your earliest opportunity. All grads MUST have the appropriate academic regalia in order to participate in Commencement. Regalia ordered ship to campus will arrive the second week of May.

How do I order my Commencement/Graduation announcements?
Go to http://colleges.herffjones.com/college/_samuelmerritt/, select Samuel Merritt University from the drop down list, and follow the prompts to find the announcement for your academic program. Announcements take 2-3 weeks for delivery.

Will my family and friends need tickets for the ceremony? If so, how many tickets will each graduate receive?

The Spring morning ceremony will require tickets for entry. You will not be permitted into the theatre without a ticket.

The Spring afternoon ceremony will require tickets for entry due to the large number of graduates. Each graduate will receive 4 tickets. You will not be permitted into the theatre without a ticket.

Due to the large number of graduates in the Fall tickets will be required to enter the theatre. Each graduate will receive 4 tickets. You will not be permitted into the theatre without a ticket. 

Will there be a rehearsal for the ceremony?

May rehearsals will be held on Thursday, May 23, 2019 at The Paramount Theatre. Rehearsal time for Nursing is 10:00 AM and Doctoral and Master will be at 12:00 PM. 

The Fall ceremony will not have a rehearsal. 

How long will the ceremony last?

The Masters and Doctoral ceremony (9:30 AM) will last approximately an hour and a half to two hours. The ceremony for School of Nursing, Doctoral, Masters and Baccalaureate graduates (1:30 PM) will last about two to two and a half hours.

The Fall ceremony (1:00 PM) will last two to two and a half hours. 

Will there be a professional photographer at Commencement?
Yes. During the ceremony, graduates will be photographed in their regalia while being hooded and/or shaking hands with the President. The photographer may also take informal pictures of the graduates outside the Theatre before and after the ceremony. The photographer will contact graduates directly by email with information on how to view proofs and order pictures.

Where do I find directions to and/or parking information for The Paramount Theatre?
Please click here for directions and parking information on The Paramount Theatre's website.

Is there any information about Commencement I should pass along to my guests?
Please refer your guests to the "Commencement Information for Family and Friends" page.

Are there special arrangements for guests in wheelchairs or with mobility limitations?
Contact Veronica Paniagua in the Office of Academic Affairs (vpaniagua@samuelmerritt.edu or 510-879-9200 ext. 7373) at least one week prior to Commencement to make arrangements for special seating in the Americans with Disabilities (ADA) section of the venue for guests with disabilities/mobility limitations. Please note that seating in the ADA section of the Theatre is limited and your entire party may not be able to sit there. The guest needing the ADA access will be permitted to have one other member of their party sit with them in the ADA section.

Will there be any kind of reception for graduates and their guests following Commencement?
Due to space and time limitations, the University does not host a reception at the Theatre following Commencement. However, individual academic programs/departments often organize their own reception or party at other venues to celebrate graduation. Please contact your program Dean, Chair or Director to find out if a reception is being planned.

What is the difference between "Graduation" and "Commencement"?
Completion of the academic requirements for a given degree is referred to as Graduation. The celebration marking this achievement is Commencement. Participation in the Commencement ceremony does not guarantee graduation, nor is graduation necessarily a prerequisite for participation in Commencement.

I am not planning to participate in the Commencement ceremony and don't want my academic regalia. Do I still have to pay the "Graduation Fee"?
Yes. The graduation fee, which is charged to all students in their final term at the University, will be assessed even if you do not participate in Commencement. In addition to regalia, the fee covers the cost of other graduation related expenses. Please refer to the "Graduation Procedures" information in the 2018-2019 Catalog and Student Handbook for more details about the graduation fee.