2018 Graduates

The School of Public Affairs & Administration faculty and staff are looking forward to celebrating your academic achievements at our annual graduation banquet Friday, April 27. Here are some important details for the evening.

University Commencement
The University holds a traditional graduation ceremony on Sunday, May 13 at 10:30 a.m. where all KU graduates walk through the Campanile and down the hill into Memorial Stadium. Visit the KU Commencement website for more information. 

The School’s Graduation Banquet
The School of Public Affairs and Administration hosts a banquet to honor graduates from all 3 degree programs (undergraduate, master’s and doctoral). This year's banquet will be held on Friday, April 27 and it includes dinner, a program, and a master’s hooding ceremony. This will be held in the Ballroom (level 5) of the Kansas Union, and door will open for seating at 6:00 p.m. The banquet will begin at 6:30 p.m. and will last until about 9:30 p.m.

In order for our program, press release, name pronunciation, and other materials to be correct, we ask that you register for the banquet. This is separate from guest registration. You will also submit a few words about a memorable aspect of their time in the School. Those brief remarks are read aloud as the you make your way across the stage. The favorite memory can be anything significant that comes to mind when you think of pursuing your degree. Past graduates have mentioned particular classes, faculty members, humorous or memorable experiences, etc.

Registration is now closed.

**Please note: if you need to register and pay for family members and other guests, you must do so through GUEST REGISTRATION >>
Also - please communicate with your guests to avoid double registration and payments. Thank you.

The banquet will begin at 6:30 pm in the Ballroom (level 5) of the Kansas Union. Seating in the Ballroom will begin at 6:00 p.m. and the banquet will last until about 9:00 pm The program for the banquet will include opening remarks, a dinner served buffet-style, recognition of our undergraduate and doctoral graduates, and a masters hooding ceremony. We expect that the evening will wrap up between 8:45-9:00 pm.

This is the order of events:

  • Welcome
  • Dinner
  • Pi Alpha Alpha Honor Society Recognition
  • Award Presentations
  • Intermission
  • Processional
  • Doctoral Recognition
  • Undergraduate Recognition
  • Master’s Recognition & Hooding Ceremony
  • Closing
  • Group photos

Typically, people dress up a bit. Men wear a suit or jacket and tie, and women wear a dress or business suit. Those who have uniforms – law enforcement, fire fighters, military, etc. – may choose to wear them.

When you arrive, you can store your regalia in the Parlor Room, where there will be coatracks available to hang it on. We will have labels available, since everyone's will look similar.

  • Undergraduates: graduation regalia consists of two pieces: a cap with a tassel and a gown.
  • MPA Graduates: graduation regalia consists of three pieces: a black cap with a black tassel, a black gown, and a master’s hood. The hood is black with a crimson and blue interior (each school has its own colors) and white velvet lining (each academic specialty has its own colors as well). You will need regalia to participate in the SPAA graduation banquet and any of the University graduation events.
  • Doctoral Graduates: graduation regalia consists of three pieces: a cap with tassel, a gown, and a doctoral hood.

Where do I get regalia?
All regalia can be purchased or rented from the Kansas Union Bookstore (kubookstore.com/c-230-graduation.aspx).  

Regalia will be put on during the intermission of the evening. The School has a limited number of regalia items that graduates are welcome to borrow on a first come, first served basis. Email Jennifer Grogg if you're interested in this option and would like to know what is available. She will need to know your height and US hat size. Visit this website to determine your sizes. 

The School will not have extra regalia items at the banquet, so please arrange for purchasing or borrowing these items ahead of time.

Pi Alpha Alpha
Pi Alpha Alpha is the honor society for schools of public affairs and administration. Student eligibility in Pi Alpha Alpha is determined in advance of the banquet. Eligible students are contacted and given the opportunity to join Pi Alpha Alpha, which requires a $50 payment. At the graduation banquet, Pi Alpha Alpha inductees are presented with a pin and certificate. Students who have earned Pi Alpha Alpha honors are also designated in the graduation program. There is no formal induction ceremony.

Arriving at the banquet
Plan to arrive at the banquet no later than 6:15 pm so you have time to hang up your regalia (in the Parlor Room) and get a seat in the Ballroom before the program begins at 6:30. Graduates do not have reserved seating – feel free to sit with your families and friends. If you have a large group of guests attending the banquet and you would like to sit together, we highly suggest arriving at 6:00 so you’re able to find a table that seats your group. Each table in the Ballroom will have 8 chairs.

All graduates and guests will check in with School staff at the check-in table right outside the Ballroom doors. Graduates will pick up a pre-printed nametag and program, and guests can pick up a nametag and program.

Your part in the program
During intermission, you will gather in the Parlors and put on your regalia. Please see the links files for a visual representation of the flow of the processional and hooding ceremony.

  1. You will line up in alphabetical order in the Parlors during the intermission and School staff will instruct you when to enter the Ballroom.
  2. Graduates will enter the Ballroom, walking in a single file line. Each graduate will come onto the stage as their name is called.
  3. When your name is called you will walk onto the stage, shake hands with the Director, and pose for a photo for the official photographer.
    1. Undergraduates and PhD grads: You will then exit the stage, take an individual photo with the photographer, and pick up your gift from the gift table on the way back to your seat.
    2. MPA grads: You will then walk to the line of faculty stationed in the center of the stage, hand your hood to the first faculty member in line, and stand (with bended knees for taller graduates) in front of the faculty member to be hooded. Here’s a helpful video that shows you how to hold your hood, and how the faculty member will hood you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruq51CRW1CQ
      1. You will then walk down the line and shake hands with each faculty member.
      2. Finally, you will exit the stage, take an individual photo with your hood, and pick up your gift from the gift table on the way back to your seat.

Rock Chalk Chant & class photos
We will end the evening with all graduates returning to the stage and participating in the singing of “Crimson and the Blue” and the Rock Chalk Chant lead by John Nalbandian. We will be taking class photos at the conclusion of the program, so please stay close by until this is completed. Each program, including undergraduate, masters and doctoral, will get class photos taken. Masters students will get a group photo for the entire graduating masters class, and also separate photos for the career-option graduates and the intern-option graduates.

Parking will be available in the Mississippi Street Parking Garage, which is adjacent to the Kansas Union, as well as on the streets around campus. A map of campus can be found here http://places.ku.edu/map.

Should you have any further questions, please feel free to see our FAQ page or email me.

See you at the banquet!

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