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'24 Commencement Ceremony

Commencement is quickly approaching! We look forward to celebrating your accomplishment with you and your loved-ones. Cleary University’s 2024 Commencement Ceremony will be held rain or shine:

Saturday, May 4, 2024, 10:00 AM
Lake Trust Stadium (outdoors)
Gates open at 8am.

If there’s a STORM, we plan to DELAY the ceremony until 3 PM. 
Additional details for the day’s festivities will be shared soon.

Keynote Speaker:

Steve Hoeft

President, Bridgestone Americas
Commercial Truck Group


Students will receive both an eDiploma and a printed diploma when all degree requirements have been fulfilled and all outstanding financial balances have been paid in full. This process takes approximately 1 month after final semester grades are submitted. 

No. The commencement ceremony is a public recognition of graduates but is not a requirement to graduate. Nor does attendance officially confer the degree. Both the eDiploma and the printed diploma will be mailed to students approximately one month after each semester ends (January for Fall semester, June for Spring Semester, and September for Summer semester).

Students have been charged a graduation fee ($100 – UG, or $125 Grad) for both the FA22 and SP23 semesters.  SU23 Students were notified that they need to pay this and that it has been added to their SU23 tuition bill. 

The graduation fee covers the degree audit and verification from each department along with the Registrar’s Office. The Registar reviews each transcript to ensure that the student passes their required courses. The graduation fee covers the cost of the diploma and cover, program expenses, mailing fees, and other expenses associated with graduation. All graduates are listed in the Commencement Program and all graduates must pay the fee, regardless of attendance at the ceremony.

As a measure of student academic achievement, all graduates at the baccalaureate (BBA) and master’s (MBA) levels are required to complete a standardized test and end of program surveys. The University uses this test to measure and improve curricula as well as to measure how well Cleary students are doing compared to students at other institutions. Although there is no minimum score required, the outcomes are important to the University as a comparison against the national average. The results of this test will be used to determine which students qualify for special honors. Students will receive medallions before our graduation ceremonies based on their percentile scores from their graduating class at Cleary. This percentile may be different than the national percentile shown on the certificate of completion students receive upon completing the online test. The honors medallions are determined as follows:

*Students who score in the top 10% (90th percentile and above) in the graduating class will be awarded a gold medallion;

*Students who score in the top 11% – 20% (80th to 89th percentile) in the graduating class will be awarded a silver medallion;

*Students who score in the top 21% – 30% (70th to 79th percentile) in the graduating class will be awarded a bronze medallion.

Medallion recipients will receive it at the sign-in table on commencement day, and should wear it at the ceremony. Medallions will be mailed to recipients who unable to attend the commencement ceremony.

Undergraduate academic honors printed on the diploma are computed based on all graded academic work completed at Cleary University. A bachelor’s degree (BBA and BS) candidate who maintains a GPA of 3.5 or above is recognized as follows:




cum laude “with distinction”


magna cum laude “with great distinction”


summa cum laude “with the highest distinction”

Students completing an ABA or AAS with a cumulative GPA of 3.50 or higher graduate ‘With Honors.’ Academic honors are not offered as part of the graduate program.

If you need immediate confirmation of your degree (for example, for a current or potential employer), contact records@cleary.edu to request a confirmation of degree letter.

The ceremony is generally held at the Howell campus on the first Saturday in May. Details are available on the Cleary website and will be updated in the weeks prior to the ceremony. Additionally, students who are graduating and want to attend the ceremony will receive an email with detailed instructions approximately a month prior to the commencement ceremony.

Our main focus at this ceremony is to celebrate students who have completed their degree programs or certificates. We also honor students, faculty and staff with special achievements.

Although we don’t give out actual diplomas until all requirements are met (e.g., completion of summer classes), we will be giving each graduating student a diploma cover.

We also recognize the significance of this ceremony with some pomp and circumstance, plus words of wisdom from honorable guests.

We ask graduates and their guests to arrive no earlier than two hours before their ceremony. Late arrivals will not be able to walk in the procession or sit with their class, so please aim for that two-hours-early arrival time.

The ceremony takes about 90 minutes. At the end of the ceremony, plan for another 30 – 60 minutes to collect your personal items, find your family, take pictures, and exit the campus grounds.

At the start of the ceremony, guests are asked to stand while the Academic Procession (including faculty and students) enters the stadium. Music plays during this time. Everyone should remain standing until asked to be seated.

The Chairperson of the Cleary University Board of Directors opens the ceremony and the President gives a welcome address. The Provost announces several student honors and recognizes different student groups within the Cleary University community.

The Chairperson and President present the honorary degree recipient and the recipient addresses the graduates and attendees.

The Provost presents the graduates to the President and the President confers their degrees.

Our announcers introduce graduating students to be individually recognized in the following order: Master’s degrees, Bachelor’s degrees, and Associates degrees. Ceremony marshals ask students to move from their seats to the side of the stage, and then onto the stage for presentation of the diploma covers. As you approach the stage, please have your information card (that you received at check in) ready for the announcer to properly introduce you. Please wait at the marked spot until your name is presented and then walk across the stage to the President. You will receive your diploma cover and have your picture taken with the President.

After taking your picture, continue across the stage, down the steps, and return to your seat.

After all graduates have been presented, the President offers final remarks, during which you are instructed to move your mortarboard tassel from the right to the left to indicate you have graduated.

The Chairperson provides final thoughts and directions to the students and attendees. This is the conclusion of the ceremony and the Academic Procession (including faculty and students) exits the stadium. Music plays during this time.

Privacy: Please be aware that Cleary University live-streams the ceremony on its website for the benefit of family members and friends who are unable to attend. Cleary University keeps a permanent recording of this live-stream for archival purposes.

Cleary University will provide a photographer during commencement. Photos will be posted on our website and available FREE for download by Saturday, May 13. Visit Cleary.edu. 


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Privacy: Please be aware that Cleary University live-streams the ceremony on its website for the benefit of family members and friends who are unable to attend. Cleary University keeps a permanent recording of this live-stream for archival purposes.

Special thanks to: