Commencement Event Details

Commencement Weekend: May 15-16, 2020

Commencement Calendar at-a-glance:

  • September 30, 2019: Deadline to Apply for Graduation (applications placed after September 30 will be charged a late application fee)
  • December 23, 2019 - March 6, 2020 Order Regalia, Announcements, Class Ring, and other Graduation Memorabilia online (click here for more details)
  • April 29, 2020Cap & Gown Pick-Up Party!!! 1:00 pm - 7:00 pm Rock Room/Bookstore (click here for more details)
  • April 24 -May 11, 2020: Regalia Pick-up in Rockhurst Bookstore during regular business hours (click here for more details)
  • May 15, 2020Baccaluareate Mass 2:00 pm St. Francis Xavier Church with Reception following in Convocation Center (see details below)
  • May 16, 2020Commencement Ceremony 1:00 pm Municipal Auditorium with Hawk Walk & Cap Toss Celebration following at KCLive! (see details below)

BACCALAUREATE MASS:  Friday May 15, 2020   2:00 pm

St. Francis Xavier Church - 1001 East 52nd Street, Kansas City, MO 64110 (across from Rockhurst University campus)

  • Doors open for Guest Seating at 1:00 pm
  • Graduates arrive at 1 p.m., in front of Conway Hall to line up for the procession
  • Faculty meets on Massman Hall porch.
  • Graduates & Faculty wear your cap & gown (graduates wear tassel on the RIGHT).
  • 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, please remove your caps in the church.
  • Following Mass, there is a reception on campus in the Convocation Center at 3 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.


COMMENCEMENT CEREMONY: Saturday, May 16, 2020 1:00 pm

Municipal Auditorium - 301 W. 13th St., Kansas City, MO 64105 (downtown Kansas City, Missouri)

PARKING for Commencement:

  • ADVANCE PARKING RESERVATIONS AVAILABLE:  Reserve and pay for a parking space in advance using the city's new Parking Reservation website (requires credit/debit card, no refunds):  
    • Search for Rockhurst University Commencement on Saturday May 16, 2020 for the closest available parking.  Select a lot closest to Municipal Auditorium.
    • We recommend you create an account to ensure access to your parking information via your mobile device.
  • There is NO FREE PARKING downtown Kansas City, Missouri
  • 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. 
  • Graduates should leave purses and other items they cannot place in their pockets in the car or with a family member; there is no place to store your valuables during the ceremony.

GENERAL Information:

  • 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.

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.

HAWK WALK & CAP TOSS CELEBRATION: 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.

  • Graduates remain in Cap and Gown
  • Graduates, Family, and Friends process immediately upon exit from the building; do not linger outside of Municipal Auditorium as there is another graduation immediately following and we need to clear the arena quickly
  • Arrange to meet your graduate/family at the Power & Light district after the procession
  • Procession will be led by Bagpipes  north on 13th street to Walnut Street to KC Live!; traffic is blocked during the procession
  • Shuttle Bus available at corner of 13th & Central every 15 minutes for those who are unable to walk to KC Live!
  • 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 2020 and welcome the graduates as new Rockhurst alumni!
  • Pictures with Fr. Curran are available with an RU Backdrop; photos will be publicly available on the Rockhurst web-based photo album about two weeks following the ceremony.



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