Graduation Day Instructions


Duke University's
Fuqua School of Business

100 Fuqua Drive
Box 90120
Durham, NC 27708-0120 USA

This information will help you prepare for all the activities on graduation day.



Tickets are not required for the Executive MBA Programs Graduation in Cameron Indoor Stadium. There is ample seating in the stadium. 

Caps and Gowns

Your hood should be worn draped around your neck with the largest portion of the hood hanging down your back. The velvet border, which indicates your specific field of study, should be showing on the outside. The velvet should fold under on the lower back to allow the colors to show. For detailed instructions on how to wear a hood click here.

Here are a few things to keep in mind for graduation apparel:

  • If possible, wear a shirt that buttons in the front. This will allow you to hook a string from the hood to the button, keeping the hood from sliding.
  • Ladies may want to bring hair pins to help secure the cap and safety pins to secure the hood if you do not have a shirt with a button.
  • Business casual or business formal should be worn under your gown. To avoid overheating, gentlemen are encouraged to leave their suit jackets with friends or family during the ceremony.
  • The tassel of the academic cap is typically worn on the left front side; however, for photography purposes we ask that you wear your tassel on the right side during the ceremony.
  • Leave all personal items with family members.

Children at the Ceremony

Children are welcome to attend the ceremony. Please make sure you have someone available to supervise children while you participate in the graduation ceremony.

Class Photograph

The Weekend Executive class photo will be taken outside of Cameron Indoor Stadium at 8:00 am. The Cross Continent class photo will be taken outside of Cameron Indoor Stadium at 8:15 am.


A professional photographer will take pictures during the ceremony and reception. We will provide a website to all students after graduation to purchase pictures. Guests are encouraged to take pictures during the ceremony and reception, but we ask that they not interfere with the procession of students and avoid blocking the view of other guests.


All students (Cross Continent and Weekend Executive) will gather in the Hall of Honor at Cameron Indoor Stadium at 8:25 am and will be asked to line up alphabetically. After you have lined up, staff ushers and a bagpiper will lead you into Cameron Indoor Stadium. When the procession begins, please follow the lead of the ushers in charge; they will direct you to your appropriate seating. Please remain standing until the processional music has ended. Procession into Cameron begins at 8:50 am. We ask that your guests be seated by 8:30 am.


There will be a program at your seat that you may use to follow the ceremony. When it is time for you to receive your graduation scroll, you will be given instructions by the ushers. Please be alert to their instructions, particularly if you are seated at the end of a row. Once your name is called, walk across the stage to receive your scroll and shake hands with the distinguished individuals on stage. Please proceed down the stairs stage right and return to your seat and be seated.

Process Out

The faculty and staff on stage will process off the stage, past the graduates. After the group on stage processes out, an usher will direct the first row of graduates to follow. Graduates process out row by row. Please continue all the way outside of Cameron Indoor Stadium, allowing all graduates to leave the stadium in a timely fashion. Following the ceremony, students are welcome to take pictures in Cameron Indoor Stadium with their guests and classmates. However, please note that set up for another graduation ceremony will begin taking place at the conclusion of the Executive MBA Programs graduation ceremony.


Immediately following the graduation ceremony, there will be a reception in the Fox Student Center at The Fuqua School of Business. Heavy hors d'oeuvres will be served. All graduates, family and guests are invited.


When and Where to Line Up

All degree candidates should report to the processional line-up located in the Pascal Field House no later than 8:15am. More detailed instructions will be posted at a later date in the Spring.

Processional Instructions

Processional instructions will be added at a later date.

What Not to Bring

No food, drink (other than water), smoking or chewing gum allowed in the line-up area. Backpacks and oversized purses that do not fit underneath gowns will be confiscated and held until the end of the ceremony.

Spiked heels are prohibited.

What to Wear

Candidates for degrees should dress in academic apparel (cap, gown and hood). Academic caps are worn during the procession. Men remove their caps for the National Anthem and the Invocation and replace them for the conferring of degrees. Women keep their caps in place during the entire ceremony. The tassel of the academic cap is worn always on the left and front side. Please note low heels or flats are appropriate for navigating the procession.

Recessional Instructions

When the ceremony is concluded and members of the faculty and administration have departed, graduates will recess from the seating area via the marked pathways.