Many students have been asking what is Convocation and how is it different from Commencement? The Graduate Convocation is organized by the Graduate Studies department and the information below is taken from their website.
Convocation (from the Latin ‘calling together’, translating the Greek ecclesia) – A convocation is a formal academic gathering for a special purpose. Our graduate convocation is an honors ceremony that celebrates the achievements of UMass Boston’s graduating graduate students. The graduate convocation includes the Book Awards in which every graduate program gives a special book in the discipline to one of its most outstanding students. In addition, doctoral students are hooded at graduate convocation and students that receive other departmental prizes are recognized.
All graduating graduate students and their families are invited to graduate convocation. Students who are receiving awards or being hooded wear their academic regalia and march in the procession, as do graduate faculty. You will be notified by the Office of Graduate Studies if you are receiving an award. Other master’s students and guests will be seated in the ballroom.
Graduate convocation lasts about one hour and forty-five minutes. While young children are welcome, they may find the ceremony long. The convocation will be broadcast to the reception area and guests with children may wish to watch the convocation from there.
There is no rehearsal. It is important for graduates to arrive at the Campus Center Ballroom robbing room by 2:15 so you can receive instructions and get assembled, etc.
Master’s students receiving awards should wear their gowns and hoods to convocation. You will line up in order in the robing room and process into the ballroom. You will be seated in the center section and your name will be on your seat. Please follow along in the program and be ready to come up to the stage as soon as the person in front of you leaves the stage. Your goal is
to be at the center of the stage as the announcer finishes your name! You will receive your award, shake hands with the stage party as you cross the stage, exit on the right, and return to your seat.
Doctoral students will line up in order in the robing room and process into the ballroom. Doctoral candidates are seated in the center front rows of the ballroom and your name will be on your seat. Please come to the stage quickly when your name is called – your goal is to get to the center of the stage before the reading of your dissertation title is complete! Please step up to the podium using the ramp/stairs to your left. Remember, if you are taller then the faculty member hooding you, please bend at your knees slightly. You will be hooded, shake hands with the stage party, exit on the right, and return to your seat.