Montclair State University held a series of Commencement Ceremonies on campus for eligible graduates from July 18 – July 24, 2020.
The University is deeply appreciative of all who participated and offers its sincere thanks to those who helped make these events successful and memorable.
Location & Parking
- All ceremonies will be held at Sprague Field on the Montclair State University Campus
- Gates to the field will open 60 minutes before the start of ceremonies
- All parking is free during Commencement ceremonies at Red Hawk Deck and all surface lots
- Please enter campus via College Avenue or Yogi Berra Drive. See the campus map for details
- To ensure the safety of all attendees, please follow signs, arrows and verbal instructions from event staff
- Guests should bring umbrellas (or wear a hat). Guests will be far enough apart for the use of umbrellas.
- All guests must wear face coverings throughout the event (even outdoors)
- Any attendees who do not feel well on the day of the ceremony are asked to stay home
- Any attendees not feeling well will not be permitted to enter
- All guests must keep 6 feet of distance from others throughout the event
- Guests will be seated in the bleachers. Guests may only sit in the designated seating areas marked on the bleacher seats. Event staff will help direct guests to the seating areas
- ADA seating will be available. Event staff will help direct guests to these locations
- All guests must have a valid ticket to enter Sprague Field. Please review the guest registration information section above for more information
- Concessions will not be available. Students and guests must bring their own water bottles
- Sprague Field is an outside venue. Please dress according to the weather and bring a poncho in the event of inclement weather. Please visit this page for any updated weather information
- All guests will have their bags checked upon entering Sprague Field
- Strollers and wagons will not be permitted on the bleachers. Families who bring strollers or wagons must leave them behind prior to entering the bleachers. The University is not responsible for lost or stolen items
- The length of the ceremony will be approximately 50 minutes and it will be streamed live
Important Safety Information
Stay Home If You Might Be Infected
For everyone’s safety, if you or your guests might be infected with COVID-19, you must not come to the ceremony. We will not admit people who have, within the last 14 days:
- Tested positive for COVID-19
- Been directly exposed to someone with COVID-19
- Been directed by a medical professional to quarantine or isolate due to exposure to COVID-19
- Have had or currently have symptoms of COVID-19
- Returned in the last 14 days from travelling to another country or to one of the 31 states: View List of States
- Graduates must report 60 minutes prior to their ceremony start time. Commencement staff will direct students to graduate check-in and line-up area
- Guests and/or children will not be permitted in the student line-up or seating areas
- Graduates must wear face coverings and keep 6 feet of distance from others throughout the event
- To ensure the safety of all attendees, please follow signs, arrows, and verbal instructions from the event staff
- Concessions will not be available. Graduates must bring their own water bottle
- Any graduates who do not feel well on the day of the ceremony are asked to stay home
- Any graduates not feeling well will not be permitted to enter
Why did Montclair State decide to hold commencement ceremonies?
Commencement is an important milestone for Montclair State students, many of whom are the first in their families to graduate from college. Our graduates have asked for an opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments together with their loved ones. The University decided to hold multiple smaller ceremonies in accordance with state guidelines for outdoor events in order to give our students that opportunity.
When are they? And what will happen at the ceremonies?
The University will hold multiple ceremonies between July 18 and 23. The events will take less than an hour, and extensive safety protocols will be observed throughout.
Graduates will line up and march in (socially distanced). They will be seated on Sprague Field (socially distanced). There will be brief remarks from the platform, and students will walk across the stage (socially distanced) to be individually acknowledged. Graduates will recess (socially distanced).
What will be done to reduce the health risks?
The health and safety of our students, faculty, staff and guests is always our top priority. The University will follow state and federal public health guidelines. Specifically:
- Holding the ceremonies out of doors, in the football stadium, where graduates, guests and the platform party can be spaced widely apart
- Holding numerous ceremonies to limit the number of persons attending
- Separating graduates by 6 feet on Sprague Field
- Separating guests by 6 feet in the bleachers (except for those from the same household)
- Allowing graduates only two guests each, to reduce the number of people in attendance
- Keeping the size of the platform party small and seating them 6 feet apart
- Requiring everybody to wear face coverings
- Disinfecting all surfaces, including chairs and bleachers, before and after each ceremony
- Providing hand sanitizer
- Live-streaming the ceremony for those who cannot attend in person
- Separating those in the procession and recession by 6 feet
- Installing plexiglass between the name reader and graduates
- Providing separate microphones for each speaker
- Requiring advance registration and using a ticketing system to assure that only pre-registered persons are admitted
- Advising graduates and guests not to attend if they are sick, and refusing admission to anyone who is sick
- Prohibiting handshakes, hugs and exchanging of diplomas, flowers and other items
- Asking attendees to bring their own water bottles
Is this allowed by the State of New Jersey?
Yes. Governor Phil Murphy has announced that outdoor graduation events are allowed, with a limit of 500 attendees. The University is following the health and safety guidelines issued by the Office of the New Jersey Secretary of Higher Education.
Are faculty required to attend?
No. Faculty are always invited to commencement ceremonies, but they are not required to attend.
Are staff being required to work at the events?
No. All of the employees and volunteers who have been asked to help at the events will be there because they want to be.The University would never force an employee to do something that they felt was dangerous.We appreciate their willingness to help make these events a wonderful experience for our graduates and their guests.
Are graduates required to attend?
No. Participation is entirely voluntary. As of July 7, nearly 1900 students have registered to attend the 23 planned ceremonies.
Commencement Ceremonies will be held July 18- July 23. Ceremonies have been assigned by college/school departments and/or major. Please check with your college/school regarding the detailed ceremony schedule.
Please note that you must have regalia to participate. The deadline for ordering regalia has passed. If you ordered by the deadline, your regalia will be shipped to the University Bookstore and will be ready for pick up starting July 14.
Regalia rentals can be picked up beginning July 14. Bookstore hours are Monday – Thursday 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m
Regalia rentals must be returned to the bookstore following the Commencement ceremony.
Please RSVP to your Dean if you plan to attend Commencement.
If you plan to attend Commencement, you must register in advance. You should have already received an email from “email@example.com” with information on how to register at MarchingOrder. Registration closed on Tuesday, July 7.
To ensure compliance with the New Jersey governor’s directives regarding outdoor gatherings, ceremonies will be held across several days and limits on guests will be required. When registering, your ceremony assignment will be displayed. Students are only eligible to attend the ceremony to which they have been assigned.
You will also be able to request and allocate electronic guest tickets when you register. We are allowing each graduate to request two guest tickets. You must submit the names of your guests when you register.
- Click on the link to the MarchingOrder registration system that was sent to your MSU email address from “firstname.lastname@example.org” to start the registration process.
- If you didn’t receive the email, go to MarchingOrder, click on new users, and enter your @montclair.edu email address. You will receive an email prompting you to create a new password to access the site.
- Log in and complete the registration process. Be sure to include your guests.
- You may return to the site at any time by going to MarchingOrder and using your @montclair.edu email address and your newly created password.
Please review this important information regarding guest tickets:
- Each graduate will be allocated 2 guest tickets
- Guest names MUST be submitted in advance when registering
- Only guests whose names were submitted by the student may enter
- During registration, graduates will be asked to submit the email address of each of their guests for the electronic ticket process
- Each ticket has a unique barcode that will be scanned upon entering the event
- Each ticket can be scanned only once
- Ticket is only valid for the Commencement ceremony listed on the ticket
- All guests must have tickets to enter Sprague Field, including infants and children
- Graduates do not need a ticket to attend but must register by Tuesday, July 7
- Guests without an authorized ticket will not be permitted to enter. There will be no exceptions
- Academic attire is required to participate in the Commencement Ceremony
- Regalia will not be available for purchase at Commencement
- All Doctoral candidates need to contact The Graduate School at email@example.com to discuss regalia options
- The deadline to order regalia has passed. If you have questions about your order, email the University Bookstore at firstname.lastname@example.org