Events: Commencement

Graduation

The Golden Gate University School of Law commencement ceremony brings together law students' families, friends, faculty and staff in an annual rite and singular celebration.

Read the information below to learn more about this year's ceremony.

ABOUT THE CEREMONY

CEREMONY DETAILS

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Friday, May 17, 2013
11:00 am
Davies Symphony Hall
201 Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco

The main entrance to the building is located on Grove St. between Van Ness Ave and Franklin St. in San Francisco.

Students must arrive by 10:00 am to check in, line up and make sure they have properly put on their graduation regalia. Please see Student Check-In information.

Family and friends may not wait with students while they check in, line up and proceed to stage. Family and friends will be permitted into the auditorium at 10:30 am. Guests who have notified us they will need accommodated seating (please see Special Accommodations ) will be permitted to enter through a separate entrance and encouraged to take their seats between 10:00 and 10:30 am.

The ceremony will begin promptly at 11:00 am and will last between 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Please stay seated during the entire ceremony unless instructed to do otherwise. The venue states that food and drinks are prohibited inside the auditorium, and violators will be removed.

KEYNOTE SPEAKER

James R. Silkenat, a partner in Sullivan & Worcesters New York office, is the School of Law's 2013 Commencement Speaker. Mr. Silkenat is a member of the firm's Corporate Department and is President-Elect of the American Bar Association. His primary focus is on international joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, privatizations, project finance transactions (in developed and developing countries) and private equity investment funds. Mr. Silkenat has substantive industry experience in energy, hotels, manufacturing, transportation and telecommunications. Mr. Silkenat is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and of the American Law Institute, has served as a Fellow in the U.S. State Department Scholar/Diplomat Program, and was a Fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities. He is also a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and has served as National Chair of the Fellows. In 2000, he received the Outstanding Alumni Award for Career Achievement from Drury University and in 2007 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the ABA Section of International Law. In addition, he is currently secretary of the Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities and a member of the Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity. He is also past chair of the World Justice Project of which the ABA was a founding sponsor.


STUDENT SPEAKERs

The Graduation Committee is pleased to announce Kris Soudah has been selected to deliver the JD student speech and Yvonne Li for the Graduate Law student speech at the graduation ceremony.


PHOTOGRAPHY

GradImages will take professional pictures of the ceremony. Guests must remain in their seats and maintain the safety and dignity of this very important event. GradImages will take student photographs as they walk across the stage. On the back of thename card that students receive at check-in, they can indicate a mailing address or e-mail address. GradImages will mail or e-mail students a proof of their picture, which can then be purchased online.


SPECIAL ACCOMODATIONS

If you are attending and need accommodations for you or your guests, such as wheelchair space or extra time to get to their seats, please contact Carly South at csouth@ggu.edu or 415-442-6615. We have requested certain seating arrangements to meet the needs of the guests. If your guests arrive the day of the event without prior arrangements, we cannot guarantee accommodations.


STROLLER & COAT CHECK

Strollers are not permitted inside the auditorium. There will be a secured place to store strollers, and a venue staff member to watch over them during the ceremony. Before entering the auditorium, have your or guest's stroller placed in the stroller and coat check-in area. Please make sure to pick up your or guest's stroller immediately following the ceremony.


DIRECTIONS & PARKING

By Car from the Golden Gate Bridge:

After crossing the bridge, take US 101 to Lombard Street. Turn right on Van Ness Ave. Turn right on Grove Street. Davies Symphony Hall will be on your left. Continue on Grove Street to park in the Performing Arts Garage.


By Car from the Bay Bridge:

After crossing the bridge, take the Ninth Street/Civic Center Exit onto Harrison Street. Go one block and turn right onto Ninth. Stay to the left and continue on Ninth across Market Street onto Hayes Street. Take Hayes to Franklin Street and turn right. Drive one block on Franklin to Grove Street for parking in the Performing Arts Garage.


By Car from the Peninsula via 101:

Take US 101 North and exit at 9th Street. Turn left off the exit ramp onto 9th Street. Stay to the left and continue on 9th Street across Market Street onto Hayes Street. Take Hayes to Franklin Street and turn right. Drive one block on Franklin to Grove Street for parking in the Performing Arts Garage.


Parking Garage:

Commencement is taking place on a Friday during business hours, and parking will be limited. The Performing Arts Garage does not guarantee parking to the graduates or guests. The Civic Center Garage is also located near Davies Symphony Hall, at 355 McAllister Street between Polk and Larkin streets.

More detailed information about directions and parking can be found at http://sfwmpac.org/symphonyhall/sh_popups/directpark.html .

STUDENT CHECK-IN INFORMATION

Check-In Prior to Ceremony

When you arrive, you will be instructed to check-in at a particular table depending on your last name and degree. You will receive a colored card with a name label on it. Beneath the label, you are to write the phonetic spelling of your name to assist the name reader. Please hold on to this card until you hand it over to the name reader during the graduation ceremony. (If you have a particularly difficult name to pronounce, you may receive a call from Susanne Aronowitz (JD students) or John Pluebell (LLM/SJD students) in advance of graduation asking you to confirm the proper pronunciation of your name. You are free to contact them directly at saronowitz@ggu.edu or jpluebell@ggu.edu .

On the back of the name card is information from the photographer. See more information about Commencement Photography .

After you have checked-in, the staff will direct you to a robing area to put on your regalia. If you have not received your pre-ordered regalia prior to graduation day, you must contact the bookstore immediately. Please put on your regalia and be all ready to go. Line up for the processional begins at 10:30 am sharp.


Wearing the Cap & Gown

After check-in, you will be directed to the robing area. Staff will be available to help you with your regalia. Please bring safety pins and bobby pins to secure your cap and gown as necessary. Tassels should remain on the left since you already have received your undergraduate degree.

  • It is best to have your regalia ironed and ready to go when you arrive.
  • Please wear sensible shoes as you will be walking up and down stairs.
  • YOU MUST WEAR THE CAP AND GOWN IN ORDER TO PARTICIPATE IN THE GRADUATION CEREMONY.


Honor Cords

JD students who are graduating with Highest Honors or Honors will receive honor cords to wear during the graduation ceremony. The Law School's Highest Honors and Honors policy for JD graduates is as follows: based on cumulative GPAs as of the fall 2012 semester, Highest Honors will go to those students who were in the top 5% of their class. Honors will go to the students who were in the top 10% of their class. Eligible students will receive their honor cords when they check-in at the graduation ceremony.


Purses, Coats & Other Personal Belongings

There is no place to put your personal belongings in the check-in area. Please bring to the check-in area only what you intend to wear as you walk across the stage, and have your family and friends hold on to any other personal belongings. The staff is not responsible for any lost or left behind items.


Lining-Up & Walking

The processional will form at 10:30 am. JD, LLM and SJD graduates will line up in separate lines according to degree and program. Within each degree, the students will be lined up alphabetically by using the number labels on their cards. Students are to follow the directions of the marshals. The marshals will direct you into your lines, take you up the stairs and seat you. When it is your turn to receive your degree, the marshals will escort you up to the platform. You then will walk up the stairs, hand your card to the name reader, walk across the stage, shake hands with the faculty standing on stage, receive your scroll, and walk off the stage and down the stairs on the opposite side of the podium. When you are off the platform, the marshals will again direct you back to your seat. Please show respect for your classmates who receive their diplomas after you by remaining quiet and orderly as you leave the stage and are guided back to your seat. You must return to your seat until the recessional.

AFTER THE CEREMONY

Returning Regalia

The Bookstore will be collecting the rental gowns and hoods at the conclusion of the ceremony. Graduates will be returning their rental gowns and hoods at Box Office (the same location check-in occurred). If you're planning on taking portrait pictures, please make arrangements before the date of the ceremony. Your school account will be charged $300, if the bookstore does not receive your gown and hood by May 17th. Graduates and guests are free to leave the venue and attend their own celebrations.