Graduation and Commencement

NOTICE: The Fall 2020 Sul Ross State University Commencement will be a virtual ceremony on Saturday, December 12, 2020 beginning at 10:00 a.m.  All four Sul Ross campuses – Alpine, Del Rio, Eagle Pass and Uvalde – will participate in this single commencement event.  Sul Ross Alpine will switch to fully online course delivery following the Thanksgiving break in our continuing effort to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 virus.  The Rio Grande Campuses have already been fully online for the fall semester.  The health and wellbeing of our students, their families, our faculty and staff is paramount during this time.  In that spirit we will provide a virtual commencement exercise to recognize this important milestone in the lives of our students and their families.  The Sul Ross family is deeply disappointed that we are unable to socially gather for this traditional celebration, and we look forward to a return to our regular commencement celebration format in the near future. 
Welcome to the commencement and graduation page.  Below you will find information about graduation, commencement, diplomas, location, rehearsal, and what to do on your special day.

Graduation Application Deadlines
Graduation Application
Participating in the Ceremony but not Graduating
Summer Graduation
Tradition of Commencement
On the Day of Commencement
Families and Guests
Accommodations and Restaurants

Pictures During the Ceremony
Alumni Affairs and Bookstore
Cap and Gown Instructions
Contact Information
Map of the Campus
Driving Directions

FALL 2020 Commencement Ceremony – VIRTUAL COMMENCEMENCE CEREMONY Saturday December 12, 2020 at 10:00 am

IMPORTANT DOs and DON'Ts for graduates and guests:

  • Check in will be 5:30-6:00 p.m. on the day of graduation, Friday December 11th.  The ceremony will begin promptly at 7:00 pm.
  • Leave valuables with family members during the ceremony.  There is no secure place for your belongings.
  • Wear proper academic regalia
  • No selfies, hijinks, or inappropriate behavior as you cross the stage.
  • Cell phones should be turned off or placed on silent.
  • Students are expected to return to their seats after the on-stage presentation.  The last person is just as important as the first.
  • Diplomas will be given out after the ceremony.  If you have any holds, you will not receive your diploma.  Arrangements will be made to mail or pick up your diploma after the hold has been cleared. Please contact the Provost’s office at 432-837-8036 or email to make arrangements.
  • Guests should arrive early as seating is on a first come, first serve basis.
  • Use of air horns, noisemakers, or other disruptive items is strictly PROHIBITED.      
  • Guests are expected to remain in their seats during the ceremony.
  • Photos are allowed in the designated area only.  To avoid congestion, please limit the number of guests on the venue floor.
  • Guests should sit in the designated areas only; seats on the floor are reserved for faculty and graduates only.  Do not stand in the aisles.
  • Map of the campus

2020-2021 Graduation Application Deadlines
Everyone expected to graduate must complete the graduation application and pay the $30 application fee.  To avoid the $25 late fee, please pay by the deadlines listed below.  The fee may be paid with Enrollment Services at the Alpine campus or with Business Services at Rio Grande College.  To ensure your name is included in the commencement program, you must apply on time.

May 8th, 2020 Graduation - Friday November 15th, 2019

December 11th, 2020 Graduation  -  Friday April 3rd, 2020

Back to top

Application for Graduation
The Degree Audit Coordinator is charged with certifying that students have met all requirements for conferral of a degree. In order for an official audit to be performed, an application to graduate must be submitted. This is required even if you do not plan to participate in a commencement ceremony. Click here for the application form and instructions. Back to top

Summer Graduation
If you expect to complete your course requirements and officially graduate by the end of the second summer session (August), you will need to apply for summer graduation.  An August date will show on your transcript as your completion date. You will walk in the Fall commencement ceremony. 

Diplomas will be mailed two weeks after Summer II finals.  If you would like to pick up your diploma, please notify Lori Conant at 432-837-8036 or send an email to

Tradition of Commencement
Commencement day will be a day to celebrate accomplishments and academic successes, a day of recognition of our degree candidates. Sul Ross State University will honor our graduating class and their families with the commencement exercises in the Pete P. Gallego Center. We expect the Commencement Exercise to last approximately ninety minutes. The commencement exercises will include the University's traditional ceremony, a ceremony whose style stretches back to the earliest origin of Sul Ross State University, honoring each degree candidate individually. President Kibler will join the guest speaker to greet each candidate individually as his or her name is called. The ceremonies will begin with an academic procession including representatives of the University officials and deans, members of the Board of Regents, distinguished guests, and University faculty. The University maintains the proud and rare tradition of permitting each graduate to shake hands with the President and guest speaker as that person's name is called.  The last graduate is as important as the first. No person should leave the ceremonies until they are concluded in their entirety. As a courtesy to those around you, our degree candidates and guests, please silence all electronic devices during the ceremonies.  The speaker at the Commencement Exercises will be announced in advance. 

The academic regalia worn at the Commencement Exercises and at other formal university occasions trace their origins to those worn by faculty and students at medieval European universities. With only minor modifications, this regalia has remained largely unchanged since the 16th century. Standards for colleges and universities in the United States were established in 1895 with the adoption of an intercollegiate code, which specifies design and color appropriate for various degrees. A partial listing from the Intercollegiate Code for colors signifying disciplines follows:
• Agriculture: maize
• Arts, Letters, Humanities: white
• Accountancy, Business, Commerce: drab
• Education: light blue
• Fine Arts: brown
• Library Science: lemon
• Medicine: green
• Music: pink
• Nursing: apricot
• Pharmacy: olive green
• Philosophy: dark blue
• Physical Education: sage green
• Public Health: salmon pink
• Public Service: peacock blue
• Science: golden yellow
Back to top

The commencement ceremony will be at 7 p.m. in the Pete P. Gallego Center on campus.  Map of Sul Ross State University

There will be no separate graduation rehearsal.  All candidates for graduation (including those walking only) will meet at 5:30-6:00pm on the day of graduation. Candidates will gather in a room located on the ground level of the east side of Pete P. Gallego Center. When you enter the building from the ground level north entrance, you will go to your left and down the hallway.  Signs will be available to guide you.  Back to top

On the Day of Commencement
Please arrive by 5:30-6:00 p.m.  All candidates for graduation will gather in a room located on the ground level of the east side of Pete P. Gallego Center.  When you enter the building from the ground level north entrance, you will be greeted by staff and given a packet with information. This packet will contain your seating assignment.  The degree candidates are expected to wear the traditional cap and gown in manner to suit the formal occasion.  We recommend that men wear dark slacks and shoes, and an appropriate shirt underneath their gowns. Women should wear dark shoes and either dark slacks, dress, or skirt and an appropriate blouse underneath their gowns.  You may robe in the area designated for candidates at the end of the east hallway on the ground level. Please do not bring cameras, umbrellas or purses with you, as there will not be a secure place to store them.

Seating assignments are made by College and degree. Do not move your location as this determines your order in the procession.  Seating is arranged in the following order:

  • Front: Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
  • Middle: Arts and Sciences
  • Back: Education and Professional Studies 

Once all graduates are seated, you will be given a typed card that will be used to read your name and degree as you walk across the stage. Time to be robed and seated in your assigned seat is 6:00 p.m.

As you walk across the stage, you will receive a diploma tube.  The tube is yours to keep. Graduate candidates will carry their hood draped over their right arm. The Academic Dean will hood each graduate student when they first step up on the stage, before receiving their diploma tube.  Candidates graduating with honors will be seated on the first rows of the auditorium floor.  The President will recognize the honor graduates, and drape them with a gold cord at the beginning of the ceremony.  Honor Graduates will receive their diploma tubes with their College. Once their College name is called, they will file in line with their classmates.  

Diplomas will be handed out after the commencement ceremony.  Please ensure you have cleared any holds with the university; you will not receive your diploma if you have a hold. Once your hold is cleared, your diploma will be mailed to you or if you'd like to pick up your diploma, please contact Lori Conant at 432-837-8036 or by e-mail at lconant@sulross.eduBack to top

Families and Guests
Commencement day is the culmination of the efforts of our faculty, administrators, staff, students, and their families. We cordially invite you to join the university family in the recognition of our candidates for graduation.

Tickets or invitations are not required; the commencement exercises are open to the public and you may invite as many guests as you wish. Guest seating will be on a first-come-first-seated basis. Guests will enter the Pete P. Gallego on the ground level or either side of the Concourse level. The doors to the Pete P. Gallego Center will open at 5:30pm. prior to the commencement exercises. Families and guests are urged to be seated approximately 30 minutes before the beginning of the exercises.   A reception for everyone attending will follow the ceremony on the second level of the Pete P. Gallego Center.   

The commencement ceremony will be featured live by clicking on the following link:  Back to top

Accommodations and Restaurants
For information regarding hotel accommodations and restaurants, you may wish to check with the Alpine Chamber of Commerce by calling (800) 561-3735 or (432)837-2326. Visit their web site at  Back to top

Pictures During the Ceremony
Families and guests are permitted on the arena floor during the ceremonies as long as they do not disrupt the flow of the ceremony.  You may also have pictures taken after the ceremony.  Back to top

Alumni Affairs and Bookstore
Both the Sul Ross Alumni Association and the Bookstore will be present at commencement.  They will be located on the second level of the Pete P. Gallego Center.  The Alumni Association will have samples of the frames you can order (  They will also be selling roses.  The Bookstore will have a variety of merchandise including frames for you to purchase.  Back to top

Cap and Gown Instructions

  • Where can I get my cap and gown? Caps, gowns, tassels, and academic hoods may be purchased in the University Bookstore in the Morgan University Center. Only degree candidates attired in appropriate academic regalia will be permitted to participate in the exercises. You may wish to telephone the University Bookstore at (432) 837-8194, or visit their web site
  • How should my cap be worn?
    The cap should be worn so that the Mortarboard is level. It should not be tilted to the back or side of the head. The crown should be approximately one inch above the eyebrow.
  • Can I decorate my cap to draw extra attention to myself?
    While students are permitted to celebrate this event appropriately and some may wish to further adorn their caps, we strongly recommend against this practice.  Graduation is a celebration of all who will graduate and individual attention during the ceremony may detract from this experience.  Be considerate of others and if you do adorn your cap, please be careful not to offend others.
  • How do I tell the front from the back of the cap?
    The front of the cap is indicated on the inside of the crown.
  • Should the cap be removed anytime during the graduation ceremony?
    Only men should remove their caps and that should be during the playing of the National Anthem and the school song.
  • How do I wear the tassel?
    Your tassel should hang from the right side of your cap.  During the ceremony, you will be instructed to move the tassel to designate that you are a graduate of the University.
  • How do I take care of my gown?
    The gown should be removed immediately from the package and placed on a hanger.
  • The gown seemed wrinkled when I took it out of the package, should I send it to the cleaners?
    The gown should not be washed or dry-cleaned. It may be pressed with a cool iron or steamed.
    Back to top

Colleges and Contact Information
Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, RAS 101, 432-837-8201
Arts and Sciences, FERG 108, 432-837-8368
Education and Professional Studies, MAB 203, 432-837-8134

Academic Affairs - Lori Conant / 432-837-8036 /
Back to top

Driving Directions
By Car: Any interstate or other highway which will lead you to Interstate10 at Fort Stockton or Van Horn will lead you to us. Here are directions for several routes to Alpine:

From: Miles Hours Route
Austin (Option I) 401 7 I-35 south to San Antonio, I-10 west to 10 miles past Fort Stockton, south on Hwy 67 to Alpine
Austin (Option II) 455 8 I-35 south to San Antonio, Hwy 90 west (through Del Rio) to Alpine
Dallas 497 9 I-20 west to Monahans, south on Hwy 18 to Fort Stockton, west on I-10 for 10 miles, south on Hwy 67 to Alpine
El Paso 218 3.5 I-10 east to Van Horn, south on Hwy 90 to Alpine
Houston (Option I) 558 10 I-10 west to 10 miles past Fort Stockton, south on Hwy 67 to Alpine
Houston (Option II) 552 10 I-10 west to San Antonio, Hwy 90 west (through Del Rio) to Alpine
Lubbock 290 5 US 62 south to Brownfield, south on Hwy 385 to Odessa, west on I-20 to Monahans, south on Hwy 18 to Fort Stockton, west on I-10 for 10 miles, south on Hwy 67 to Alpine
Midland-Odessa 160 3 West on I-20 to Monahans, south on Hwy 18 to Fort Stockton, west on I-10 for 10 miles, south on Hwy 67 to Alpine
San Antonio (Option I) 376 6-7 I-10 west to 10 miles past Fort Stockton, south on Hwy 67 to Alpine
San Antonio (Option II) 357 6-7 Hwy 90 west (through Del Rio) to Alpine

Back to top