Faculty and Staff

Information for Faculty Members

Official Responsibility

Commencement marks a most important occasion for the entire university community and it is a high point in the education achievement of the graduating students. Faculty and administrative staff at the University play an important role in the success of the commencement ceremony. The commencement ceremony permits the entire academic community to give special recognition to you, our faculty and administrative staff, who have contributed so greatly to the academic development and standing of the University. All faculty and administrative staff are invited and encouraged to participate in the many events over commencement weekend.


Commencement Marshal

The Commencement Marshal is a senior ranking active faculty member at the professor, associate or assistant level. As a senior faculty member the Commencement Marshal is one who has been instrumental in the teaching, research, and service components of the student's educational experience. The Commencement Marshal presides over the Academic Processional; leads the platform party to the stage; escorts the honorary degree candidate and the special recognition recipients to the presidential podium for honorary degree conferral or special recognition citation reading; and signifies the closing of the ceremony by leading the platform party from the stage. The Commencement Marshal is the bearer of the ceremonial mace.



The Processional marks the official beginning of the ceremony. The Processional is the entrance into the Coleman Coliseum arena by the Candidates, the Faculty, and the Platform Party. Degree conferring ceremonies begin with the Processional.  Faculty not participating as Dissertation Chairs should report to the Faculty room found on the lower level of the Coliseum in room 110 at least forty-five minutes prior to the beginning of the ceremony.  Faculty participating as Dissertation Chairs should report to the Crisp Indoor Practice Facility at least forty-five minutes prior to the beginning of the ceremony. You should be prepared to meet with your respective marshals for detailed instructions. Following the processional, remain standing at your seat until all faculty have arrived at their seat and the Platform Party is in place on the stage. The President will invite you to take your seat after the singing of the National Anthem and the offering of the Invocation.



The Recessional follows the Processional in reverse order. The Commencement Marshal begins the recessional by leading the Platform Party from the stage and exiting the arena floor. The faculty, led by the Faculty Marshals, follow the Platform Party in exiting the arena. The Recessional signifies the official end of the ceremony.


What time do I have to be there?

All Faculty should arrive at their assembly location no less than forty-five minutes prior to the start of the ceremony. Click here for event times and here for a parking, line-up and seating maps.

Dissertation chairpersons meet in the Crisp Indoor Practice Facility for doctoral candidate hooding practice. Dissertation chairpersons will receive specific information from the Graduate School.


Where do I go?

Faculty, emeriti faculty, and administrative staff enter the southeast ramp of the lower concourse of Coleman Coliseum and proceed to the faculty lineup marked "D1" on the Coliseum Line-Up and Seating Map found here.

Dissertation chairpersons enter the Crisp Indoor Practice Facility through the roll-up door at the Southeast corner of the building. Commencement marshals will be at both locations to instruct you in what to do next and in the progress of the ceremony. Please have your academic regalia with you when you enter the building.


What if I am hooding a doctoral candidate?

Faculty members assigned to hood doctoral candidates report first to the Crisp Indoor Practice Facility to practice the hooding ceremony. The Reporting time is 45 minutes prior to the start of your ceremony. You are reminded to submit your Faculty Ceremony Attendance Reply Card found in the email that is sent to faculty approximately four weeks prior to graduation to receive your reserved parking pass. See section titled 'Where do I park?"


Where do I park?

A special commencement parking hang tag is required to park in the reserved space on the east side of Coleman Coliseum. Faculty will receive an email approximately four weeks prior to the commencement ceremony containing parking information and a link to the Faculty Ceremony Participation Reply Card. Parking passes are sent to your campus office address based upon your email response 3-5 days prior to the ceremony. Parking passes are not issued on the day of graduation.  A faculty/staff parking map can be found here: Faculty/Staff Parking Map.


Apparel Information

Faculty, emeriti faculty, and administrative staff may purchase academic regalia at the University Supply Store located in the Ferguson Center. You should contact the Supply Store at 205-348-6168 or www.supestore.ua.edu for specific information.

Karen Steckol Academic Regalia Loan Program

To encourage the participation of faculty at commencement exercises, the Faculty Senate has assembled a collection of academic regalia. This project was initiated by the late Dr. Karen Steckol, former President of the Faculty Senate, and Professor and Chair of the Department of Communicative Disorders; in her memory the program was named the Karen Steckol Academic Regalia Loan Program. The regalia are maintained by the Senate and loaned to faculty on a first-come, first-served basis immediately prior to each commencement ceremony.

Please contact Linda Knowles (lknowles@cba.ua.edu; 348-6635), Administrative Secretary to the Faculty Senate, to reserve regalia and to arrange pick-up.  Clean regalia must be returned to room 401 Martha Parham West between 8:00 am and 4:45 pm on Tuesday or Thursday of the week immediately following Commencement.

Regalia donations may be delivered to room 401 Martha Parham West between 8:00 am and 4:45 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Please contact Linda Knowles (lknowles@cba.ua.edu; 348-6635) to ensure that she is available to accept the donation or the return of borrowed regalia.