The Ceremony
Student Ambassadors

Student Ambassadors have been an integral part of commencement. The School Ambassador program provides an opportunity for outstanding students to serve as official hosts and goodwill ambassadors for their respective school. Student Ambassadors represent their school and SLPS with the highest level of integrity and professionalism.  These students are typically representative of class officers or student council.


The Chief Faculty Marshal leads the procession, this person is typically the Teacher of the Year for that respective school.  Faculty members are also chosen to serve as marshals and to assist with the ceremony. The marshals are easily identified by their lead position in the faculty and student processional lines.

The Processional

The dais party is the first group in the procession to enter the arena. The group consists of the superintendent, the school board members, the assistant superintendents and executive directors, the schools administration, and student leadership, and invited honored guests, such as the commencement speaker and recipients of awards. This group is followed by the graduates and participating faculty. When the graduates and members of the dais reach their seats, the processional ends.  At this point the chief faculty marshal declares the candidates for graduation to be assembled and the ceremony begins.

Academic Regalia

The caps and gowns worn at commencement connect contemporary graduates with scholarly tradition that dates back as long as universities have existed. Clerics, ecclesiastics, and scholars wore hoods or caps and heavy gowns at European universities during the Middle Ages. Beginning in the middle of the fourteenth century, scholars wore an academic costume of “bunge and sand-colored habits.” A costume for commencement has been a tradition since the beginning of higher education in America.

In 1895, the Intercollegiate Bureau of Academic Costume was created, and a standard code of academic dress for commencements was adopted. It calls for the existing cap and gown (the traditional bachelor’s gown with long, open, pointed sleeves) and the master’s gown (with its long sleeves hanging down from the elbow) to set apart the graduates at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Degree Colors

Maize: Agriculture

White: Art, Letters, and Humanities

Drab: Business Administration

Red and Gold: Chemistry

Lilac: Dentistry

Copper: Economics

Light Blue: Education

Orange: Engineering

Brown: Fine Arts, Architecture

Russet: Forestry

Maroon: Home Economics

Crimson: Journalism

Purple: Law

Lemon: Library Science

Green: Medicine

Pink: Music

Apricot: Nursing

Silver Gray: Oratory

Olive Green: Pharmacy

Dark Blue: Philosophy

Sage Green: Physical Education

Peacock Blue: Public Administration

Salmon Pink: Public Health

Gold Yellow: Science

Citron: Social Science

Scarlet: Theology or Divinity

Gray: Veterinary Science