Graduation & Commencement Overview

The University of Mary invites families and the general public to attend the annual Commencement Ceremony, which celebrates the individual achievements of our students.

Graduation is the day the degree is conferred by the Registrar. All students must fulfill all university, school, and departmental requirements before degree conferral can take place. Please note: participation in the Commencement Ceremony does not guarantee degree completion.

Commencement 2021 will be held on Saturday, April 24, 2021 at the Bismarck Event Center. The graduating classes from both 2020 and 2021 will be honored on this day.

What Time is Commencement?

In order to both accommodate for COVID-19 safety protocols and for two graduating classes to be present together, we will be holding separate Graduate & Undergraduate Commencement ceremonies, both on April 24, 2021.

Schedule of Events:

  • Baccalaureate Mass will be held at 9:00 am at the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit in Bismarck.
  • Undergraduate Commencement will be held at 11:30 am at the Bismarck Event Center.
    • Student lineup begins at 10:00 am in Exhibit Hall B. Graduates should enter through door E42. Graduates must be in their place, ready to process by 11:10 am.
    • The main arena doors open to the public at 10:30 am. Guests can enter the arena through the main entrance.
  • Graduate Commencement will be held at 3:00 pm at the Bismarck Event Center.
    • Student lineup begins at 1:30 pm in Exhibit Hall B. Graduates should enter through door E42. Graduates must be in their place, ready to process by 2:40 pm.
    • The main arena doors open to the public at 2:00 pm. Guests can enter the arena through the main entrance.

Please download the Commencement Details document for the complete event schedule and detailed information for graduates.

How Many Guests Can I Bring?

There is no limit on number of guests per graduate.

Will Commencement Be Livestreamed?

Yes, Commencement will be livestreamed. If you have guests that are unable to attend in person, please invite them to watch online at

Can Students Participate Online Instead of In Person?

Yes. We invite any students who are unable to travel to the event or who are unable to attend in person due to health risks to instead be included as an online participant. If you previously RSVP’d to either not attend or to attend in person and would like to switch to Online Participation instead, please let us know by April 1 at [email protected].

Online participants will have their name and degree read aloud by the event MC after all of the in-person attendees have crossed the stage. You can watch and listen for your name to be read during the livestream.

Where Do I Pick Up My Honor Cords?

Undergraduate students with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher will receive a gold honor cord. Students who have signed up to be recognized through the Alumni Legacy program will receive a navy blue & gold cord. Returning graduates from the Class of 2020 will receive a kelly green cord. Students who have served in the military will be given a red, white, and blue tassel to replace their black tassel.

Honor cords and military tassels will be given to eligible students when they pick up their name card after arriving for lineup (Exhibit Hall B).

COVID-19 Safety Protocols

The Commencement ceremony will adhere to the same safety guidelines as established for the broader campus. The guidelines are laid out in the “Returning to Campus Guidelines & Protocols” document, including expectations for social distancing and masking requirements. Please refer to the document and other COVID-19 information, available on

UMary is currently at Risk/Action Level 3: Moderate.

Friday, April 23, 2021:

8:00 AM – 3:00PM Michael G. Parker Research & Scholarship Colloquium (Begins in Founders Hall within the Lumen Vitae University Center, additional    presentations throughout campus)

3:00 PM Respiratory Therapy Graduation – questions to [email protected] (Apple Creek Gallery within the Hospitality Center in the lower level of the Lumen Vitae University Center)

3:00 PM Physical Therapy Awards Ceremony – questions to [email protected](Butler Auditoriumwithin the Gary Tharaldson School of Business)

3:00 PM Kinesiology Medaling Ceremony – questions to [email protected](Simmons Centerwithin the Casey Center for Nursing)

4:00 PM Emerging Leaders Academy Awards Ceremony – questions to [email protected] (Arno Gustin Hall within the Harold J. Miller Center)

5:00 PM Nursing Pinning Ceremony – questions to [email protected] (Our Lady of Annunciation Chapel within the Benedictine Center)

5:15 PM Bioethics Graduation Party (5:15pm Social, 6:00pm Dinner) – questions to

[email protected] (Apple Creek Gallery within the Hospitality Center in the Lumen Vitae University Center)

5:30 PM Honorary Doctorate Social and Dinner (5:30pm Social, 6:30pm Dinner) (Founders Hall within the Lumen Vitae University Center)

7:30 PM Catholic Studies Final “Community Night” Celebration and Honoring (Butler Auditoriumwithin the Gary Tharaldson School of Business)

Saturday, April 24, 2021:

9:00 AM Baccalaureate Mass (Cathedral of the Holy Spirit,519 Raymond St., Bismarck, ND)

11:30 AM University of Mary Undergraduate Commencement (Bismarck Event Center, 315 S. 5th St., Bismarck, ND)

3:00 PM University of Mary Graduate Commencement (Bismarck Event Center, 315 S. 5th St., Bismarck, ND)

8:00 – 11:00 PM Graduation Celebration (Lumen Vitae University Center)

It is with deepest joy that we invite the Class of 2020 to participate in Commencement 2021. The pandemic made it impossible to celebrate your momentous achievement with you and your family during 2020, and it also deprived us of the opportunity to offer a heartfelt goodbye to our graduating students in person. A year later, we are delighted to have this chance to welcome you back for Commencement 2021. We hope you are able to take this opportunity to return and finally get a chance to cross that stage along with all your classmates. Class of 2020 graduates will receive a special, green honor cord to recognize their perseverance in the midst of unprecedented interruptions to what should have been a very joyous April 2020.

If you haven’t already responded to the email invitation you were sent, please RSVP here to let us know if you are able to attend in person, wish to participate online only, or if you are unable to attend.

All Graduating Students:

Application Information:

  • The University of Mary holds one yearly commencement at the end of the spring term. Graduating students include fall, spring, or summer applicants of current school term.
  • Diploma applications must be submitted to Office of the Registrar no later than April 1 to ensure the applicants name is included for university graduation publications.
  • Late applicants will be welcome to participate in the commencement ceremony, but the name cannot be added to the university graduation publications.
  • The application orders the diploma and reserves a chair at commencement, if attending.
  • All students must fulfill all academic requirements, and financial obligations, which includes the graduation processing fee. The fee is charged to a student’s account when registering for the applicable exit survey as undergraduate, master,  or doctoral.
  • Contact [email protected] for changes in participation, and with any changes to mailing addresses.
  • The diploma package will be mailed after the degree has been conferred and all financial obligations have been met. Students who do not attend the ceremony will also receive the university plaque and a copy of the commencement program.
  • Extra diploma copies or replacements can be purchased. Contact [email protected].

Please review the participation in commencement academic attire policy:

Ordering Attire:

Students are responsible for purchasing their own academic attire. The deadline for ordering academic attire online and having it shipped is March 18, 2021.

Visit the Jostens Graduation Store for graduation caps and gowns, class rings, graduation announcements, diploma frames, and more.

Jostens will also be present at the Bismarck Event Center the day of Commencement to assist with any last-minute purchases.

Please note, the attached information has been provided by the Bismarck-Mandan Convention and Visitor's Bureau. Rates and vacancies are not guaranteed by the University of Mary and are subject to change. See hotel websites for most up-to-date pricing information prior to booking.

Fort Riley Commencement
May 27, 2021
Time: To be determined
Hilton Garden Inn/Convention Center
410 S 3rd Street
Manhattan, KS 66502

Please contact the coordinator for this site, Mary Byington for additional information at 785-784-2158 or [email protected].

The 2021 Commencement Ceremony at the Grand Forks Air Force Base has been canceled.

Grand Forks graduates are invited to attend the main campus commencement ceremony at the Bismarck Event Center on April 24. Please let us know if you would like to RSVP for the Bismarck ceremony by emailing us at [email protected]. Deadline to RSVP is April 1.

If you need to purchase your attire or any other graduation-related products such as invitations or frames, please note that you can book a Virtual GradFest appointment with a Jostens rep for help placing your order. The GradFest event runs February 24-26 & March 1-2 from 10:00 AM-6:00 PM CST each day. Appointment time slots are set up in 30-min window blocks. Sign up for a timeslot below.

Book Your GradFest Appointment Here