Graduate Ceremony Details


Graduate Commencement
Doctoral and Master degrees
Friday, May 13, 2022
3:00 p.m. Ceremony begins
1:30 p.m. Pinnacle Bank Arena doors open to public

Pinnacle Bank Arena
400 Pinnacle Arena Drive, Lincoln, NE 68508

The Ceremony is expected to last 2.5 hours.

Register To Attend

Do CURRENT May 2022 graduating students need to sign up to attend the May 13 commencement ceremony?
  • Yes.
  • On April 4, each graduating student will receive a notification at their email account from the Office of the University Registrar requesting them to complete the Commencement and Diploma Form in MyRED. Students need to log into MyRED and complete the MyRED To-Dos, including the Commencement and Diploma Form.
  • Commencement Attendance form registration will open April 4, and close April 15.
  • Doctoral degree participants may invite one faculty advisor/mentor to be seated on the arena floor and escort them to the stage for hooding. Doctoral students need to check their email account for immediate steps for participation details or contact Kelsey Sims at
  • Master degree candidates should direct any questions to Terri Eastin in Graduate Studies at
Do RETURNING graduates from 2020 or 2021 who were unable to attend their in-person ceremony due to COVID need to sign up to attend the May 13 commencement ceremony?
  • Yes.
  • If you would like to return to campus to attend the May 13 ceremony, please use this link to let us know your participation plans. Please complete by April 15.
  • Returning doctoral degree graduates may invite one faculty advisor/mentor to be seated on the arena floor and escort them to the stage for hooding. Doctoral students will be contacted by email regarding next steps and participation details.

Ceremony Details

Health Safety Measures

If you are planning to attend May 2022 commencement, please review and follow these health protocols.

Voluntary Testing Option Available

Anyone symptomatic or who would like to take advantage of this resource ahead of or following commencement is welcome. UNL COVID-19 saliva testing is available all week leading up to commencement.

  • Sunday, May 8: 2-5 p.m. City Union Only
  • Monday through Friday, May 9-13: 10-4 p.m. City and East Union
  • Sunday, May 15: 2-5 p.m. City Union Only

If you become symptomatic for COVID-19, please get tested and learn the result before attending commencement.
Symptoms of COVID-19 often resemble cold, flu or allergies; you may unknowingly spread COVID-19 to others if you assume your symptoms are due to another cause.

If you test positive for COVID-19, five or fewer days before commencement, please do not attend.

  • For those attending Graduate Commencement on May 13, do not attend if you test positive on or after May 8.
  • For those attending Undergraduate or Law Commencement on May 14, do not attend if you test positive on or after May 9.

We know this would be a disappointing situation. We greatly appreciate your responsibility in protecting others from COVID-19 by not attending commencement if you are infectious.

Graduates, please email the Registrar ( if your plans have changed.

If you test positive for COVID-19 between 6 and 10 days before your commencement, you may attend if any symptoms are improved, but must wear a face covering at all times.

More information about COVID-19 diagnosis and isolation is available on the UNL COVID-19 website.

**Face coverings are a helpful tool for reducing the spread of any illness, including COVID-19.

Graduate Arrival on May 13th
  • 1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. Graduates will enter Pinnacle Bank Arena via the south lobby entrance (off R Street). Look for the sign that denotes Graduate Only Entrance.
  • Please bring your NCard for check-in. If you do not have an NCard, please bring a photo form of ID and your NU ID number.
  • All graduates must be checked-in no later than 2:30 p.m. for the 3:00 p.m. ceremony.
  • Prior to the start of the ceremony on Friday, May 13 please confirm you have all your regalia items: your cap with tassel, gown and hood. If you are missing any items, visit the University Bookstore in the Nebraska Union on city campus Monday-Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Contact the bookstore via phone at (402) 472-7300 with questions.
  • You will be given a name/number card at check-in to find your place in the processional line up.
  • Limited coat room space will be available, so we recommend leaving any personal items and coats with family and friends as you will not be able to carry them with you during the processional/ceremony. We are not responsible for lost items.
  • Accommodations: The university is committed to full access and reasonable accommodation for all who participate in commencement events.
    • If you are a graduate with a permanent or temporary disability and need assistance during the ceremony, please contact the Office of the University Registrar by Friday, May 1. You can reach us by email at
    • American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation - Graduates requesting ASL interpreters for commencement should email us at by Friday, May 1. Open captioning will be provided on the arena screens.
  • Clear bag policies must be followed.
  • Current May 2022 graduates will receive their individual diplomas when crossing the stage.
  • For returning graduates, since you already received your diploma in the mail, you will receive a certificate when crossing the stage. The certificate will be in a diploma envelope so you will have the same photo opportunity to capture the moment. Therefore, you do not need to bring your diploma with you.
  • All graduates will process to the stage as directed by the University Marshals.
  • Please take your name/number card with you to the stage.
  • Pictures will be taken during the ceremony by Grad Images.
  • You will proceed across the stage to receive your diploma or certificate and congratulations from the Chancellor or College Dean, and then exit via the ramp and return to your seat.
  • You will hand your name/number card to the photographer's assistant toward the end of the ramp when you are exiting.
  • For the courtesy of all participants, we ask that you stay for the entire ceremony.
Will Commencement Be Streamed Live?
  • Yes.
  • For guests not able to join in person, commencement will be streamed live on the Commencement website.
  • The streaming will begin approximately 30 minutes prior to the beginning of the ceremony.
Health Safety Measures
  • The ceremony will comply with current campus and local health directives. The health safety measures for the ceremony will be posted on this commencement website when they are available.

Guests and Entering the Arena

Do guests need tickets to attend Graduate Commencement at Pinnacle Bank Arena?
  • No. Tickets are not required for guests and there is no limit to the number of guests for each graduate.
  • Doors open to public at 1:30 p.m., seating is general admission. Guests should enter the Pinnacle Bank Arena via the southwest door along R Street.
  • Clear bag policies must be followed.
  • Seating Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible seating with one companion seat for commencement guests is available in sections 106, 107, 110, 112, 114, 117 and 118 on the main concourse level of the Pinnacle Bank Arena. Pre-registration is not required.
  • Guests are not allowed on the arena floor.
  • Representatives from the American Red Cross are present at UNL commencement and are located on Level 3 at Gate 112. If you need additional assistance or have questions about seating, please see an arena usher.
  • Concessions will be open during the ceremony serving: coffee, water and soft drinks.

Cap and Gown 

What to expect when ordering regalia for Graduate Commencement.
  • To participate in commencement ceremonies, every graduate is required to wear UNL academic regalia.
  • Master’s degree students will purchase and keep their cap, tassel, hood and gown.

  • Doctoral students will rent UNL branded gowns and hoods for commencement. Doctoral students will purchase and keep their cap or tam and tassel. For doctoral graduates ordering regalia from the Herff Jones vendor website, the vendor will supply doctoral students with a return box, prepaid mailing label and return information for the gown and hood. Doctoral graduates who pick up their regalia at Gradfest or the bookstore, will receive return instructions from the bookstore.

  • If you are a doctoral graduate who would like to purchase custom academic regalia, please click on the "purchase fine quality doctor regalia" on the Herff Jones online ordering site.

How do I order my cap and gown for the Graduate Commencement?

    There are two options for ordering academic regalia for May 2022 commencement.


    Order online through UNL vendor, Herff Jones.

    • To order and pay online for your regalia go to: the Herff Jones website.
    • Herff Jones will ship directly to the student-provided address, with delivery prior to commencement. International orders will be accepted, but shipping costs and deliveries may vary.
    • Herff Jones will accept regular, online shipment orders until April 18.
    • After April 18, and until April 25, late shipping costs will apply.
    • April 25 is the final deadline for domestic (U.S.) home shipment and the final closing date for online ordering. Please contact Herff Jones about international deliveries.


    Attend Gradfest in person at the Wick Alumni Center (1520 R St, Lincoln, NE 68508) on Tuesday, April 19 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. or Wednesday, April 20 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    • No pre-ordering required.
    • Pay for academic regalia at Gradfest.
    • Graduate receives regalia at Gradfest.
    • After Gradfest, and once the Herff Jones website ordering is closed, caps and gowns can be purchased at the University Bookstore in the lower level of the Nebraska Union, City Campus.
    • All academic attire needs to be ordered online by the deadline date, picked up at Gradfest, or picked up at the University Bookstore by 5:00 pm Thursday, May 12, unless other arrangements have been made with the bookstore.
What is Gradfest?

Gradfest is a celebration event sponsored by the Nebraska Alumni Association.

Tuesday, April 19 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Wednesday, April 20 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Wick Alumni Center (1520 R St, Lincoln, NE 68508)

Details will also be sent via email to all graduates and posted on the Nebraska Alumni Association website.

At Gradfest students can:

  • Pick up in-person and pay for commencement regalia.
  • Purchase a diploma frame, class ring and other memorabilia.
  • Learn about the Nebraska Alumni Association membership.
  • Register to win prizes such as a diploma frame.
  • Celebrate achievement.
  • After Gradfest, and once the Herff Jones website ordering is closed, caps and gowns can be purchased at the University Bookstore in the Nebraska Union, City Campus.


  • Paid parking is available at city Park&Go parking garages and metered street parking around the Pinnacle Bank Arena (PBA).
  • R Street in front of the Pinnacle Bank Arena will be open for drop off for accessible needs guests.
  • Accessible parking is available in the paid city parking garages and the paid premium garage attached to Pinnacle Bank Arena.
  • Download a parking map PDF.


  • After check-in, look for the Photography area in the Haymarket Room if you wish to have a portrait photo taken by GradImages before the ceremony starts.
  • Every student crossing the stage will be photographed by GradImages photography. Photographs will be available to view and order within 48-72 hours after the ceremony. To order, go to the Grad Images website.
  • For additional help, call GradImages customer service department at 800-261-2576 or email
  • Pre-register before commencement to save on your commencement photos.

Pre-Order Flowers for Your Graduate

  • Pre-order flowers online for your graduate by 9 p.m. on Thursday, May 12.
  • All online orders will be available for pickup on-site the day of the graduation. To retrieve your order for the graduate ceremony, please stop by the commencement flower booth located conveniently in the south lobby of Pinnacle Bank Arena.
  • If you are unable to pre-order, flowers will also be available to purchase on-site the day of the ceremony at the commencement flower booth.