Commencement: What to Expect

Announcement: Spring 2020 Commencement is scheduled for Sunday, May 3, 2020, at 3:30 p.m.

Florida Poly holds one commencement ceremony each year, in May. The event is normally held on the first Sunday of May at 3:30 p.m. at the RP Funding Center. The center is located at 701 W. Lime St., Lakeland, Florida. All guests must have a ticket (except lap infants).

Commencement is hosted by University Relations and the Office of the University Registrar with assistance from many other departments on campus. For more information contact the Office of the University Registrar by email.

Information for Graduates

There are several key dates and deadlines for students who are graduating. The dates for each of these items is shared with students on the website, via the Weekly Phoenix, through emails from the Office of the University Registrar, and in the university’s mobile app.

Application to Graduate

Students are encouraged to Apply for Graduation at least two semesters prior to when they plan to graduate. Deadlines associated with this application are available on the Academic Calendar.

Application to Serve as the Student Speaker
Each year the Office of Student Development invites students to apply to serve as the student speaker at graduation. Review the criteria online. The application deadline is generally in February and auditions follow soon after. For more information contact the Student Development Department.

Application to Sing the National Anthem
Each year the Office of Student Development invites students to apply to sign the National Anthem at graduation. The application deadline and auditions are generally held in March. For more information contact the Student Development Department.

Apparel
Students must wear cap and gown purchased from the university bookstore. Cap and gowns are available for pickup during normal bookstore hours. Students are required to wear professional dress and dress shoes under their gown.

Alumni Association
Graduation doesn’t signal the end of your journey with Florida Poly. As a member of the Alumni Association, you can join in our efforts to foster the mission of the University, network with fellow alumni and inspire future generations of STEM leaders. For more information visit floridapoly.edu/alumni.

Commencement Fair

At the Commencement Fair, graduates will have the opportunity to:

  • Checkout with the Registrar’s Office
  • Pick-up their commencement guide and guest tickets
  • Checkout with financial aid
  • Order a cap and gown
  • Complete other required documents

Memorabilia
Commencement items, including graduation announcements, class rings and diploma frames, are available through Herff-Jones.

Official Photographer
Lifetouch is the official photographer for commencement. They will have photographers with clear access to the stage during the ceremony. Families may choose to order photos of their graduate. Visit events.lifetouch.com and provide Lifetouch with your contact information and they will email you a link as soon as your pictures become available. Those photos are generally available about two to four weeks after graduation.

Rehearsal
Graduates are encouraged to attend graduation rehearsal before commencement. Students do NOT need to wear their cap and gown for the rehearsal.

Security
The safety of all our guests and graduates is our utmost priority. Metal detectors will be stationed at all entrances to the arena and all bags are subjected to be searched. Please check the list of RP Funding Center guidelines of items that are prohibited in the arena.

Senior Class Gift
All graduates have the opportunity to participate in the Senior Class Gift. For more information visit floridapoly.edu/alumni.

Social Media
#FLPolyGrad is the official hashtag used on all university social media accounts to celebrate graduation. Before and after the ceremony, students, friends, and family will have the opportunity to take photos with props and a Florida Poly backdrop.

Tickets
All guests must have a ticket (except lap infants). The number of tickets each graduate receives is based on the total number of graduates and the capacity of the venue. Tickets are generally available to pick-up on campus in April.

Information for Families

Accessibility
The RP Funding Center is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). For more information, visit the RP Funding Center website. To request ADA accommodations, individuals should contact Michelle Disson at least 14 days in advance by sending an email to ada@floridapoly.edu or by calling 863-874-8484.

Accommodations

Hampton Inn & Suites Lakeland-South Polk Parkway
3630 LAKESIDE VILLAGE BLVD, LAKELAND, FL 33803
863-603-7600

Hampton Inn Lakeland
4420 NORTH SOCRUM LOOP RD., LAKELAND, FL 33809
863-816-2525

Hilton Garden Inn Lakeland
3839 DON EMERSON DR, LAKELAND, FL 33811
863-647-0066

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Lakeland North I-4
4500 LAKELAND PARK DRIVE, LAKELAND FL, 33809
863.595.4500

Residence Inn Lakeland
3701 HARDEN BLVD. LAKELAND, FL 33803
863-680-2323

The Terrace Hotel
329 E MAIN ST, LAKELAND, FL 33801
863-688-0800

TownePlace Suites by Marriott Lakeland
3370 NORTH ROAD 98, LAKELAND, FL 33805
863-680-1115

Best Western Auburndale Inn & Suites
1008 US HWY 92 W AUBURNDALE, FLORIDA 33823
863-551-3400

Arrival
Doors generally open one hour before the ceremony begins.

Memorabilia
Commencement items, including graduation announcements, class rings and diploma frames, are available through the university bookstore.

Security
The safety of all our guests and graduates is our utmost priority. Metal detectors will be stationed at all entrances to the arena and all bags are subjected to be searched. Please check the list of RP Funding Center guidelines of items that are prohibited in the arena.

Social Media
Share your Florida Poly pride before, during, and after the ceremony by tagging your pics #FLPolyGrad on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Tickets
All guests must have a ticket (except lap infants) to attend the ceremony.