Before the Ceremony
Prior to the Ceremony
You are advised to arrive at least 2 hours before the start of your ceremony, in order to:
1. Register and collect your graduand seating ticket
2. Collect your pre-ordered academic dress
3. Have your photographs taken
4. Take your designated seat within the auditorium
Please be aware that additional security checks are currently in operation at Symphony Hall, including security scanning and bag searches. More information is available on their website: https://www.thsh.co.uk/
Due to the number of graduands attending each Ceremony, you are strongly advised to arrive at Symphony Hall as early as you can (at least 2 hours before the start of your ceremony) in order to allow the time required to register, have your academic dress fitted and your photographs taken, prior to the start of your Ceremony.
When you arrive, you are asked to register at the Registration Desks, which are located by to the main entrance to the Symphony Hall auditorium. You will be asked to register using the number provided to you in your confirmation letter in October.
When you register you will be given your graduand seating ticket, which confirms the number of your designated seat within the auditorium. You must retain your graduand seating ticket, as you will be required to present this to your Programme Leader or Head of Subject when you go on stage. This ensures that the correct name is announced as you cross the stage.
Once you have registered, you will be directed to the robing hall where you will be fitted with your pre-ordered academic dress. You may then proceed to the photography hall to commemorate your special day with a portrait, before returning to Symphony Hall to take your designated seat within the auditorium.
The registration desks will open at 9.00am for the morning ceremony and 1.00pm for the afternoon ceremony, with the robing hall and photography studios open from 8.30am to 6.00pm.
The robing and photography queues will close 30 minutes before your ceremony is due to begin, so if you are not able to have your photograph taken before the ceremony, you can return after your ceremony has finished. Please note that those graduands returning for photographs after the morning ceremony are advised to return at 3.00pm, when the afternoon ceremony begins, as graduands from the afternoon ceremony will begin arriving prior to the end of morning ceremony.
To reduce the length of queues experienced in previous years, only graduands will be permitted to enter the robing hall. Please note that staff from Newman University will be on hand to guide you through the process of registering and collecting your academic dress.
Once you have been fitted with your academic dress and had your photographs taken, you and your guests are asked to make your way to back to the main Symphony Hall auditorium. Mortarboards must not be worn in the main hall. You are only permitted to wear your mortarboard once the ceremony has ended.
We advise your guests to take their seats as soon as possible once the main doors to the auditorium have opened and to choose their seats within the designated seating level. Please note that doors will open at 9.45am for the morning ceremony and 1.45pm for the afternoon ceremony.
Please also ensure that you leave any personal belongings with your guests, or in the ICC Cloakroom. Do not take these with you into the main hall.
All graduands and guests must be seated at least 15 minutes before the morning and afternoon ceremonies commence, as the doors to the auditorium will close at 10.45am and 2.45pm, respectively, and will not be re-opened until each ceremony has ended. Therefore, if you, or any of your guests, are not seated by the time the doors close, you will not be permitted to enter the auditorium.
Please ensure that all mobile phones are turned off, before you, and your guests, enter the auditorium. You are not permitted to use these during the ceremony.
Once you enter the auditorium, you will be met by Symphony Hall and Newman University staff, who will ask to see your graduand seating ticket and direct you to your designated seat. You must sit in your allocated seat, as this corresponds to the order in which you will be taken onto the stage. You must also retain your seating ticket, as you are required to present it to your Programme Leader or Head of Subject on stage.
If you lose your seating ticket before entering the auditorium, please inform a member of staff on the Registration Desks, so that you can be given a replacement.
Your guests are asked to enter the auditorium via the door number indicated on their ticket, which corresponds to the seating level they have been allocated. As guests are not allocated specific seats within their designated seating level, we advise that they arrive early to take their seats, once the doors to the auditorium open for each ceremony, at 10.45am and 2.45pm, respectively.
Seating is reserved for guests with restricted mobility and the rest of their party, where required. Seating is also available for those guests in wheelchairs and a companion, in the boxes that run alongside the reserved seating area. As this area is limited, we regret that only one companion can be seated in the box. However, any remaining guests will be seated within the reserved seating area, so that they can sit in close proximity to each other.
Each Graduand will receive one free Graduation Programme when they register. Further programmes will be available for sale from the Information Desk. The programme includes the names of all Graduands and the order in which the awards are conferred at each ceremony, as well as indicating when the congregation is required to stand and sit during the ceremony.
The ceremony will begin when the procession (which is comprised of VIPs, Honorary Graduands, Governors and representatives of Newman University) enters the auditorium.
Graduands will be called up in a specific order according to their relevant programme of study. An usher will indicate when it is your time to stand and make your way on stage. You must take your seating ticket with you and ensure that you stay in the same order as you were when seated.
You will then wait at the side of the stage until you are directed forward to present your seating ticket to your Programme Leader or Head of Subject at the podium. When your name is announced you will make your way across the stage to shake hands with the Vice Chancellor and Principal before continuing across and offstage, where you will receive your award certificate. Once you have received your award certificate you must return quickly and quietly to your seat as indicated by the usher.
If you feel that you may have difficulty in making your way up to, across, or from the stage, please ensure that this is clearly indicated on the enclosed Attendance Confirmation and Guest Ticket Request Form, so that alternative arrangements can be made on your behalf.
If you should have a temporary disability at the time of the ceremony (e.g. broken leg), please ensure that you inform us prior to the day of the ceremony, so that alternative seating arrangements can be made.
After the Ceremony
Once the ceremony has been declared closed, the congregation is asked to stand and wait as the procession leaves the auditorium. Graduands will then follow the procession out of the auditorium, followed by their guests. Please ensure that you wait until all members of the procession have left the auditorium before you begin to leave.
Once you have left the auditorium, you are asked to make your way back to the Gowning Return Desk (located outside the entrance to the robing hall) to return your academic dress, unless you have requested and paid for extended hire with Ede and Ravenscroft Limited.
One you have returned your academic dress, you are free to continue your celebrations!