What to Expect on Convocation Day 

3 female NAIT grads standing outside smiling on convocation day

The day is finally here

It’s your big day, and we want to make sure you feel prepared for your moment to shine! Here is everything you need to know in a handy guide to ace Convocation! 

Get ready

Make sure your guests have an electronic confirmation or printed version of their guest tickets. Please ensure they take their seats 30 minutes before the ceremony starts. 

Look your best. Wear comfy shoes, a nice outfit and eat a good meal before you go

Decorate your cap. This year, all graduates will receive a cap with their grad gown package that they can keep! We encourage you to celebrate your accomplishment by decorating the top of your cap prior to the ceremony and proudly displaying it throughout.

Arrive at the Convention Centre

Arrive at least 60 minutes prior to the ceremony. Check the ceremony schedule by program or your Convocation confirmation email for your ceremony time.

Prepare your gown. Check out the gown page for details on how to pin your hood or liripipe to your gown. 

Optional: get grad photos taken if you have not done so already. If you haven’t booked your graduation photos, there will be an opportunity to get your photos taken at the Edmonton Convention Centre in Salon 5.  Please give yourself plenty of time before your ceremony if you’d like grad photos taken.   

Leave bags, coats and belongings with your guests. If you don’t have a guest attending, you may leave your belongings at the Information Desk.  If you bring your phone, make sure to turn off the flash and remain seated during the ceremony!

Lining up with your program

Enter the grad prep area and find your program sign. The representative for your program will hand you your name card. Find your place in the line, which will be sorted alphabetically by last name (A-Z). Make sure you are in line at least 30 minutes before the ceremony starts. Important: if aren't in line on time, you WILL NOT be able to cross the stage with your program.

Check your name card. Your name card will include your preferred first and last name and "with Honours", if applicable. Please make sure the information is correct. Important: "with Honours" recognizes students who achieve a Graduation GPA of 3.7 or higher. If you do not have “with Honours” included but believe you should, please talk to the event staff at the info desk. Read our FAQ section for more information.

 The ceremony

Wait for the procession into the auditorium. All grads will enter the auditorium while staying in alphabetical order and you’ll be guided to your seat.

Enjoy the first half of the ceremony. This will include the piper, singing of Oh Canada, opening marketing, messages from the Board of Governors, students, Honorary Degree recipients and special guests and the Honour Song.

Get ready to walk the stage. The volunteers will let you know when to get up and where to go. Note that you will not return to the same seat so please don’t leave anything behind. 

Cross the stage. You will wait backstage with your fellow grads until it's your turn to walk. Pass your name card to a reader and start walking when your name is called. 

Get your photo taken. A photographer will take your complimentary photo backstage after you cross the stage.

Enjoy the rest of the ceremony. You will be guided to a new seat to enjoy the rest of the ceremony. The ceremony will take about 1.5 - 2 hours. As a courtesy to your fellow graduates, do not leave until the ceremony ends. 

Turning the tassel. Graduates will not toss caps at the end of the ceremony, but as a group will be engaging in a tradition called the turning of the tassel. After NAIT President and CEO Laura Jo Gunter’s speech, all students will move the tassel from the right side of the hat over to the left side, which signifies earning a credential. 

 After the ceremony

Return your rented hood or liripipe. You can drop off your rented hood or liripipe at a return bin at the ceremony, follow signage to find these bins. Make sure to remove the pins before returning your hood or liripipe. You may keep your gown and cap if you’d like, or you may drop them in the return bin to be recycled. 

CELEBRATE! Congratulations, you've done it. Take a moment to reflect on all you've accomplished.

Browse the lobby. In the lobby, you will find several booths to peruse including grad gift selection courtesy of NAIT, graduation rings from Jostens, beautiful flower bouquets, Alumni, NAITSA and Career Services areas and a photobooth to check out with fellow graduates, courtesy of the NAIT Alumni Association. Don't forget to take photos with friends and family at the venue.


Convocation Venue Map

Details for guests and loved ones

If you haven’t done so already, make sure to order your guest tickets before June 14. After placing your order, you’ll receive an email confirmation with one PDF for all guest tickets, which you can forward to your guests. Please ensure guests have an electronic confirmation in hand or print off ticket at home. 

Upon arrival, guests may:  

  • browse shops in the lobby.
  • purchase refreshments from the concession.
  • find seat by entering the auditorium through the guest entrance.  

The auditorium doors open 45 minutes before the ceremony begins, and family and friends must find their seats at least 30 minutes prior to the ceremony. There is no assigned seating with guest tickets, so please encourage them to arrive early to get a good view.

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