Student Instructions

BROOKHAVEN CAMPUS – Saturday, May 21, 2016


  • Graduates arrive by no later than 8:30 a.m.
  • Guests should be seated by no later than 9:30 a.m.
  • Line of March commences at 9:40 a.m.
  • CEREMONY BEGINS at 10:00 A.M.
  • No backpacks or large bags will be permitted on the field.
  • Dress properly for the occasion. No flip-flops, shorts or t-shirts. Ladies, watch the high spiked shoes – students have fallen in the past.
  • Directions to the Brookhaven Campus can be found on the back of the Admission Ticket.
  • Please ensure that your cell phones are turned off during the Ceremony.


The Dowling College Commencement exercise is a formal occasion and follows traditional academic protocol.

Please arrive at the Brookhaven Campus NO LATER than 8:30 a.m. It is essential that you arrive on time. Security will direct you to the parking sites. Student check-in is in the SOFTBALL FIELD. At check-in, you will be given an index card bearing your name, degree and school. Line up according to degree and school. Signs will be in the area

Please do not bring any personal belongings with you as there is no place to secure them. In case of rain, please call the Dowling College Weather Line at 631.244-3001.


All students and their guests will be directed to the student parking lot.


CAP: The academic cap is worn parallel to the ground and NOT on the side or the back of your head. Center point of the cap will be over your nose.

Men remove caps during the National Anthem and Benediction. Women keep caps on at all times.

TASSEL: (Undergraduate Students): The tassel (black only) is worn on the RIGHT forward (centered) corner of the cap for the processional. At the tassel turning exercise, the tassel is moved to left forward (centered) corner of the cap.

TASSEL: (Graduate Students): The tassel (black only) is worn on the LEFT forward (centered) corner of the cap for the processional.

HOOD: Your hood is carried on the right arm, velvet toward the elbow, with the top point outside. The hood colors symbolize your degree.


At 9:45 a.m., the academic procession will begin. Ushers will direct you to the Line of March. Remain standing at your seats. Once the dais party sits, you may sit.


  1. Candidates will rise when the degree from their schools is called. Degrees will be conferred by President Dr. Albert Inserra.
  2. The Student Marshals will lead undergraduate degree candidates to the stage in the following order: School of Arts and Sciences, School of Aviation, School of Business and School of Education. Only one row of candidates will proceed to the stage at a time.
  3. You will be hooded by a Faculty Marshal. It is essential that your cap be flat to the ground and the hood properly placed on your arm in order for the faculty to place the hood over your head gracefully.
  4. After you have been hooded, walk up the ramp and stop at the chalk line. Do not continue until your name is called.
  5. When your name is called, cross the stage to President Inserra. Take the diploma from President Inserra with your LEFT hand OVER your RIGHT hand and concurrently shake hands with him. A professional photographer will take your picture as you receive your diploma. Return to your seat by walking in front of the dais (follow directions by the ushers) and sit down.


Island Photography photographs all graduates. Photographers are strategically positioned by the stage which eliminates the need for your guests to photograph you themselves. Please share this information with your invited guests as they will not be able to approach the stage to take pictures. For more information on Island Photography, please visit:

TASSEL TURNING EXERCISE (Undergraduate Students Only)

President Inserra will introduce Alumni Association President Frank M. Corso, Jr. who will ask undergraduate candidates to rise for the Tassel Turning ceremony. Follow his lead as you place your right hand to the tassel and, when he instructs you do so, move the tassel from the right to the left corner. He will then indicate that you can be seated.


The recessional will follow in reverse order of the processional. All graduates are asked to go to the SOFTBALL FIELD without stopping to greet family and friends. In this way the remaining graduates will be able to leave the graduation area. There will be a reception for students and families located on the field.


Special accommodations will be made for special needs/handicapped guests including designated parking area with transportation to and from the venue. Please display your handicapped hang tag in your vehicle for assistance. To maintain traffic flow, there will be no curbside drop-off or pick-ups.

No smoking or gum chewing inside or in the immediate area outside of the entrance gate to the field.

Baby strollers will be safeguarded along the fence line at the entrance gate. For egress compliance, no strollers will be permitted in the seating area. The aisles MUST be kept clear at all times.

As a courtesy to all attendees, we ask that all invited guests remain seated during the ceremony; please do NOT stand.

The Suffolk County Police Department will be controlling the intersection on William Floyd Parkway. Please be patient—all parking lots are cleared within 30 minutes of the ceremony.

Please click here for a printable version of the Student Instructions in PDF format.