Commencement Event Details

Commencement Weekend: May 15-16, 2020

Caps and Gowns

  • Candidates that have completed their degree requirements by December 2019, May 2020 or August 2020 are eligible to participate in the May 2020 Commencement ceremony. Caps, gowns and/or hoods must be ordered by <date forthcoming>.
  • Caps & gowns can be picked up in the bookstore during regular business hours beginning Monday, April <??>, 2019 (for hours check with RU Bookstore).
  • The attire is packed in little plastic bags and needs to be hung to get out the wrinkles. 
  • Caps are one size, and should be worn with the tassel on your right side.
  • Deadline for graduation attire pick up is Monday, May 11, 2020.

Baccalaureate Mass, 2 p.m. Friday, May 15, 2020, at St. Francis Xavier Church, 1001 East 52nd Street, Kansas City, MO 64110 (across from Rockhurst University campus)

Doors will open for seating at 1 p.m. 

Parking for Baccalaureate Mass:

On Friday afternoon, please park in the lots or parking garage on the Rockhurst campus.  This will allow you to get to your cars more easily after the reception. The handicap accessible entry to St. Francis Xavier Church is on the north side, just west of Troost. There is a driveway that allows easy access to that entrance.

Baccalaureate Mass 2 p.m., Friday, May 15, 2020.

  • Graduates arrive at 1 p.m., in front of Conway Hall to line up for the procession
  • Faculty meets on Massman Hall porch.
  • Graduates wear your cap & gown.
  • Procession begins at 1:45 p.m. from Conway Hall to St. Francis Xavier Church (across from the Rockhurst University Campus) where you will sit with your class.
  • Men, remove your caps in the church.
  • Following Mass, there is a reception on campus in the Convocation Center at 3 p.m.

Commencement Ceremony, 1 p.m. Saturday, May 16, 2020, at Municipal Auditorium, 301 W. 13th St., Kansas City, MO 64105 (downtown Kansas City).

Parking for Commencement:

  • Park in the downtown public parking lots by Municipal Auditorium. Please do not leave valuables in your car.
  • There is a parking fee; Kansas City public parking lots will take only cash or check.
  • Handicap parking is available on the second level of the Barney Allis Plaza garage at the south end. These parking spaces are near the tunnel that leads to Municipal Auditorium and the Convention Center.  

Commencement Arrival Time on Saturday May 16, 2020 at Municipal Auditorium, 301 W. 13th St., Kansas City, MO: 

  • All participants should arrive by noon (12 p.m.) at Municipal Auditorium foyer (students, faculty & staff).
  • You may invite as many guests as you wish, tickets are not required.
  • The marshals will be lining students up in alphabetical order by degree for the procession. 
  • Rockhurst is not responsible for items left unattended at Municipal Auditorium. Please give your personal items to a guest to hold during the ceremony.
  • Accessible seating for graduation is located on the upper level. Please use elevator in the west hallway to access this seating. These spaces will be clearly marked. 

Order of Procession (the Academic Procession will begin at 1 p.m., immediately followed by the ceremony):

  • The flags are first, followed by the degree candidates who are arranged by alpha order within degree.  The faculty comes next, followed last by the administration.
  • We ask that coats, purses, hats, etc. be given to a guest to hold during the ceremony.  Rockhurst is not responsible for items left unattended at Municipal Auditorium.
  • Programs will be in the seats of graduates’ chairs, so there’s no need to take one from the ushers.

The Ceremony (Commencement ceremony begins at 1:30 p.m. after the students have been seated):

  • After the National Anthem and invocation (gentlemen, remove your caps for the National Anthem, invocation, and again for the benediction), the moment you’ve been waiting for! 
  • Students are asked to stand as their degree is recognized and Rev. Curran, S.J. confers the degree. 
  • Then you are asked to come forward, out of the row and around the faculty. There will a marshal to check your card one last time for order in procession. 
  • Graduate level candidates: You will process to the stage and receive your hood at that time. 
  • Then you walk to Fr. Curran, receive the diploma cover, shake his hand, and smile as your picture is taken. 
  • Continue across the stage, down the stairs on the other side, to an alumni representative who will give you an Alumni lapel pin.
  • Two additional pictures will be taken to the left of the stage.
  • Then proceed around in front of the audience and back to your seats.  There will be marshals to direct you.
  • After all graduates have received their covers, you’ll be instructed to move your tassel from right to left. 
  • Please remain in the recessional line until you are outside the auditorium – family and friends may join you on 13th Street and then all can process directly to the Power & Light District on the Hawk Walk (or meet your friends and family there.)
  • Rev. Curran, S.J. will be at the reception for a while after the ceremony for individual pictures.

Family Reception at the Power and Light District

Immediately following the ceremony, all new Rockhurst graduates and their family members and friends are invited to a reception at the Power & Light District.

  • We will ask all graduates to continue wearing their caps and gowns.
  • Pictures with Fr. Curran can be taken in the Power and Light District (the backdrop of the Rockhurst logo will be on site).
  • A private area is reserved for the Rockhurst celebration. A cash bar will be available and access to a wide variety of restaurants and eateries for the post-graduation celebration! Watch the slide show on the big screen and take pictures with Rockhurst faculty and staff. Honor our Class of 2019 and welcome the graduates as new Rockhurst alumni!


All diplomas (if there are no holds) will be mailed 6 to 8 weeks after commencement to the mailing address provided when you applied for graduation.  If you need to change your diploma mailing address, or have any questions, contact the Registrar’s Office at 816-501-3547 or