Graduation Ceremony

Important Graduation Information

Date: Thursday, May 15, 2014
Location: Neal Blaisdell Center, 777 Ward Ave., Honolulu
Graduating Student Check-In: 3 p.m., Blaisdell Exhibition Hall
Doors Open for Guests: 4 p.m.
Graduate Line-up: 4:30 p.m. , Blaisdell Exhibition Hall
Ceremony: 5 p.m. , Blaisdell Arena
Exhibition Hall Viewing Room: Doors open approximately 30 minutes after processional
Guests not seated by 5 p.m. will be seated following the graduate processional.

Neil Blaisdell CenterDoors
Arena doors will open at 4 p.m. Handicapped guests may be seated at 3:45 p.m. Guests not seated by 5 p.m. will be held at the door to be seated after the conclusion of the processional. Family and friends will not be able to enter the Exhibition Hall during student check-in and must wait on the concourse until the doors open.

Mobility Challenged (Handicapped) Seating
Limited Handicapped-accessible seating is available at the venue. Mobility challenged persons may be accompanied by up to three (3) able-bodied guests. To request for mobility challenged seating. Contact

Parking is available for $6 at the Neal Blaisdell Center if entering before 5 p.m. Parking after 5 p.m. is $7. Handicapped parking is available. Limited free or metered parking is available on city streets near the Blaisdell Center.

Everyone, children included, will need a ticket for entry into the Blaisdell Arena. Tickets are not needed for the Exhibition Hall Viewing Room. For more information on ticket distribution, please visit

VIP Seating
The reserved VIP seating area will be designated with signage for guests of student valedictory speakers and university administrators only. Please check in at the VIP host table to be directed to the reserved seating area.

Exhibition Hall Viewing Room
Enjoy the live viewing of HPU Commencement in the Exhibition Hall. Doors will open about 30 minutes after the processional. Tickets are not needed for entry.

Exhibition Hall Post Ceremony Meet-And-Greet
Following the graduate recessional, the Exhibition Hall will be open to your guests for a meet-and-greet event. Graduates may meet faculty, friends and family near signs designated with the first letter of your last name. The event will conclude at 9 p.m. Those who do not wish to participate in the meet-and-greet may leave the Exhibition Hall at the conclusion of the recessional.

The ceremony will be webcast live at HPU does not guarantee the quality of webcast.

Ceremony Length
The ceremony is anticipated to take up to 2.5 hours. The ceremony is not complete until the recessional has ended. We ask that all graduating students stay for the entire ceremony and recessional.

Outside Food
No outside food or coolers are allowed at the Neal Blaisdell Center. Concession areas are open in the Exhibition Hall for graduates and in the Arena concourse for family and friends.

Large signs, balloons, infl atable toys, noisemakers, and camera tripods are not allowed inside the Blaisdell Arena or Exhibition Hall. Guests may not bring any items that may infringe upon the view of other guests. Guests who do not comply may be denied entry by Arena ushers.

Alcohol is not allowed at the ceremony. Do not come to the ceremony under the infl uence of alcohol or illegal drugs. If your behavior is unacceptable or unsafe to you or others, HPU reserves the right to prohibit you from participating in the ceremony.

Photography and Video
Photographers and videographers are not allowed in the graduate seating section, near the stage, in aisles, or in handicapped seating sections. Security and ushers reserve the right to remove photographers and videographers from restricted areas. The ceremony will be professionally videotaped and photographed.

Appropriate Attire for Graduates
Please arrive to the Exhibition Hall dressed in your cap and gown. For attire under the gown, we recommend dark pants and dark shoes for men, with a white or light-colored collared shirt. We recommend a dress or dark trousers and comfortable shoes for women. For safety reasons, please do not wear casual sandals or slippers or extremely high heels. Please do not bring purses or bags to the Exhibition Hall. Leave valuables with a trusted friend or family member.

Lei, Honor Cords, International Graduation Sashes and Cap Decorations
Graduates may wear lei, international graduation sashes, and cords representing academic honor societies. Honor society cords should be picked up from the Center for Student Life and First-Year Programs (MP 105, 1188 Fort Street Mall, next to Flower Fair) prior to commencement day. Contact

Graduates may decorate their caps within reason. Cap decorations must not include balloons or items that may infringe upon the view of other students in the graduate seating section.

Honors designated at the graduation ceremony include all grades through terms previously completed, but not the fi nal term, due to the proximity of the ceremony date after fi nal exams. HPU honors are cumulative and based on all coursework taken at all institutions. They should not be confused with membership in individual honor societies. If you have a question about your honors designation, contact Carole Komatsabura at or (808) 566-2433.

Caps and Gowns
You will be notifi ed by email when caps and gowns are ready to pick up at the Downtown HPU bookstore. We encourage you to pick up your cap and gown prior to the day of graduation to make sure you have the appropriate attire before leaving the store. Please check list below:

  Degree Gown Tassel Hood
Associate Bachelor All Straight Sleeve Black None
BA Straight Sleeve White None
BS Straight Sleeve Gold None
BSHS Straight Sleeve Gold None
BSBA Straight Sleeve Drab None
BSN Straight Sleeve Apricot None
BSW Straight Sleeve Citron None
Master MA Oblong Sleeve White White w/Blue & Green
MATESOL Oblong Sleeve White White w/Blue & Green
MBA Oblong Sleeve Drab Drab w/Blue & Green
MEd Oblong Sleeve Lt. Blue Lt. Blue w/Blue & Green
MSIS Oblong Sleeve Gold Gold w/Blue & Green
MSMS Oblong Sleeve Gold Gold w/Blue & Green
MSN Oblong Sleeve Apricot Apricot w/Blue & Green
MSW Oblong Sleeve Citron Citron w/Blue & Green
Collars: The Bachelor/Associate set may include a white collar (women only) to attach to your gown. Collars are optional.
Hoods: The Master’s set should include a hood which is worn draped down the back, colors folded out.
Tassels: These are looped around the button in the center of the cap and worn over the right side, and will be moved to the left side at the conclusion of the ceremony.
Caps: Caps should be worn with the mortarboard parallel with the ground, not set on an angle on the back of your head.
There will be volunteer staff to help

Commencement Ceremony Procedures for Graduates

  1. Report to the Neal Blaisdell Exhibition Hall dressed in your cap and gown at 3 p.m. The Exhibition Hall is located directly across the concourse from the Blaisdell Arena main entrance. Your guests will not be allowed in the Exhibition Hall.
  2. Pick up your name card at the Name Cards table. Cards will be in alphabetical order. Check your name card for accuracy, including the spelling of your name, name of your degree, and if applicable, your honors designation.
  3. If you are receiving HPU honors, proceed to the Honors Sash table to pick up your sash and wear it during the ceremony. If you have questions about your honors designation, HPU staff at the table will help you.
  4. Meet with the assigned Name Reader to review the appropriate pronunciation of your name if you believe your name is challenging to pronounce. They will be seated in the marked Name Readers room in the Exhibition Hall.
  5. Proceed to your line, which will be indicated by signs. Your name card will indicate your row number and line position number. You must stay in the order indicated on your name card.
  6. The processional will begin promptly at 5 p.m. You will follow your line leader out of the hall, across the concourse and into the entrance of the Arena. Once inside, you will follow your leader to promenade around the Arena, and will be directed to your seat. Students who do not participate in the processional will be kept behind and may be unable to graduate with their degree group.
  7. At the designated time, your usher will signal you to stand and proceed to the stage. As you approach the stage, you will be directed when to move forward to hand your name card to the card reader so that your name is announced as you walk across the stage.
  8. Walk across the stage to the diploma table for a handshake with HPU President Dr. Geoffrey Bannister and to receive your diploma cover. Don’t forget to smile as your handshake photo is taken.
  9. You will exit the stage and return to your seat, directed by HPU staff.
  10. The ceremony concludes with the recessional back into the Exhibition Hall. Graduating students must participate in the recessional. You may leave after the recessional is complete or stay for the student meet-and-greet, which will end at 9 p.m. Faculty members will attend the meet-and-greet.
For information on the graduation ceremony, please contact Renee V. Ornellas, (808) 356-5224 or email at

    Congratulations to our Ohana!