Graduation Ceremony

Important Graduation Information


Date: Thursday, May 11th, 2017
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., Blaisdell Arena
Graduate Line-up: 4:30 p.m. , Blaisdell Exhibition Hall
Ceremony: 5 p.m. , Blaisdell Arena

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 two (2) 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.

There are 6 seating tickets per graduating student. Everyone, children included, will need a ticket for entry into the Blaisdell Arena. 

Tickets will be available for pickup at the HPU Downtown Bookstore the week of 4/24/16. You will be notified by Pipeline Announcement when caps, gowns, and tickets are ready to pick up at the Downtown HPU bookstore. Please bring a picture ID to pick up your tickets. Tickets can not be mailed or delivered to another HPU campus. Any tickets not picked up by 4 pm on Wednesday, May 11th will be available by 3 pm at the Concierge table at the Neal Blaisdell Center.

If you would like more tickets, please contact the HPU Bookstore at 808.544.0290 to request to be put on a wait list. On Tuesday, May 10, 2016, all extra tickets will be divided equally amongst the wait listed graduates per their requested number. They will be notified via email or phone that they can pick up their extra tickets by 4 pm on Wednesday, May 11, 2016. On the day of the ceremony, all remaining tickets will be available at the Neal Blaisdell Center on a first-come, first-served basis at the Concierge table after 3 pm.

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 Arena concourse.

Large signs, balloons, inflatable 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 influence 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 photographed.

Appropriate Attire for Graduates
Please arrive to the Exhibition Hall dressed in your cap and ironed 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. You will need both of your hands free during the ceremony; please do not bring purses, bags, or Go Pros to the Exhibition Hall. Leave valuables with a trusted friend or family member.

Graduation Announcements
Graduation announcements for the Spring 2016 ceremony will be available directly through the Herff Jones website. Upon selecting the announcement package, you will have the ability to preview the information on the announcement (including name, degree and minor if applicable) before they are printed. Also, all announcement orders are shipped directly to your home address.

Honor Cords, International Graduation Sashes and Cap Decorations
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.

International graduation sashes for standard countries can be ordered online at Sashes for non-standard countries can be ordered at the Downtown Bookstore, 808.544.0290. The deadline to order is Sunday, March 13, 2016.

Honors designated at the graduation ceremony include all grades through terms previously completed, but not the final term, due to the proximity of the ceremony date after final 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) 544-9383.

Caps and Gowns
Cap & Gowns sets can be pre-ordered at a discounted price from

Deadline for pre-orders is Sunday, October 16, 2016. After this deadline sets can be ordered online via and individual components as well as sets can be ordered through the Downtown Bookstore at 808.544.0290. Pre-ordered and extra regalia will be available for pickup/purchase the week of 11/28/16.

You will be notified by Pipeline Announcement 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