Spring 2019 Commencement

1 PM

Saturday, May 11, 2019
William “Billy” J. Nicks, Sr. Building (“Baby Dome)

All candidates should report at 11 a.m.

All Colleges

College of Agriculture and Human Sciences, School of Architecture, Marvin D. and June Samuel Brailsford College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business, Whitlowe R. Green College of Education, Roy G. Perry College of Engineering, College of Juvenile Justice and Psychology, College of Nursing, Graduate Studies



Pinning Ceremonies

Alumni Pinning Ceremony
Northwest Houston Center
May 7, 2019 at 6:00 pm

Alumni Pinning Ceremony
Willie A.Tempton Memorial Student Center
May 9, 2019 at 6:30 pm

The College of Nursing Pinning Ceremony
College of Nursing Houston Auditorium
May 9, 2019 at 7:00pm

The College of Nursing Pinning Ceremony
Willie A.Tempton Memorial Student Center
Opal Johnson – Smith Auditorium
May 10, 2019 at 4:00pm


Navy and Army Commissioning
H. Edison Anderson Recital Hall, Hobart Taylor Building
May 10, 2019 at 2:00pm

Date: May 10, 2019

To: To All Graduates

From: Commencement Planning Committee

Tomorrow’s Commencement Ceremony has been moved indoors to the William “Billy” J. Nicks Building (“Baby Dome”) and will begin at 1:00 p.m.  As a consequence, we must report a number of changes.

  • Unfortunately, due to travel difficulties arising from continuing inclement weather in the Greater Houston area, our invited Commencement speaker, distinguished author, activist and scholar, Michael Eric Dyson, will not be able to deliver his scheduled Commencement address.
  • On Saturday morning, all graduates must report to the Student Recreation Center in regalia at 11:00m.  For those graduates who have not yet purchased their regalia, the University Bookstore will be open from 8:00a.m. to 1:00p.m.
  • At the Student Recreation Center, graduates will receive the following important items:
  • Necessary graduation card to walk across the stage
  • Four guest tickets to enter the Baby Dome
  • Six tickets for an alternative viewing location
  • The honors cords for graduates who have earned honors status
  • Information regarding Exit Loan counseling
  • The doors of the Baby Dome and the alternative viewing locations will open at 11:30for guests with tickets.  For guests arriving early, the Memorial Student Center (MSC) will serve as a waiting area.

As a reminder, the alternative viewing locations will be at the following sites: Student Recreation Center; Memorial Student Center Ballroom; Opal John Smith Auditorium; Don K. Clark Auditorium; H. Edison Anderson Recital Hall and the Julius W. Becton, Jr. Auditorium). Tickets for the alternate viewing sites can be used at any of the aforementioned locations.

In spite of these changes, we fully expect to have an exciting and festive ceremony and we look forward to celebrating a great Commencement with you and your families.

Michael Eric Dyson

Commencement Speaker

* Unfortunately, due to travel difficulties arising from continuing inclement weather in the Greater Houston area, our invited Commencement speaker, distinguished author, activist and scholar, Michael Eric Dyson, will not be able to deliver his scheduled Commencement address.

Michael Eric Dyson

Michael Eric Dyson is an award-winning author, a widely celebrated Georgetown University professor, a prominent public intellectual and a noted political analyst. A native of Detroit, Michigan, he is also an ordained Baptist minister. Dr. Dyson has authored nearly twenty books on subjects such as the legacy Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Nas’s debut album Illmatic, Tupac, Marvin Gaye, and Hurricane Katrina’s devastating and long-lasting effects.

Read more

Commencement Guide


Guests tickets are not required for the ceremony in Panther Stadium. However, in the case of inclement weather, students will receive ticket information from their assigned college or school along with any updated ceremony changes.

Commencement Dress Code

All graduates must wear academic regalia, which consists of cap, gown, hoods, and stoles for the Commencement Ceremony. Avoid uncomfortable shoes or extreme high-heeled shoes as navigation of hills, turf, and stairs is required. The event will be a combination of standing and sitting, so make sure you are dressed comfortably enough for both.

Live Streaming

For those friends, families, and guests unable to attend the Commencement Ceremony in person, Prairie View A&M University will stream the event live. Links to the stream can be found on the PVAMU homepage as well as by visiting pvamu.edu/stream. Additionally the University will stream the ceremony live from the official Facebook page.


The Commencement Ceremony will be simulcast live and shown in the alternative viewing sites in real time.

Special Services

Persons needing special assistance, please call (936) 261-3585.


There is no reserved seating. Guests are encouraged to arrive early to find parking and seating.


Parking attendants will be on hand to guide visitors to parking spaces. Please follow instructions closely, as doing so will allow for convenient event parking and exiting. Parking for the event is free, and no prior permission or parking pass is needed to park. Drivers are expected to follow all parking regulations set forth by the parking attendants.

All graduates are required to park behind the Hobart Taylor Building.


Official photography for the Commencement Ceremony will be done by a professional photography service. Photos of all graduates will be taken while the graduate is on stage. Graduates will be given cards and order forms at the Commencement Rehearsal to be completed and returned to Flash Photography should he/she want to order photos. Guests may take personal photos of the graduate but are prohibited from blocking the aisles and walkways.


During the ceremony, graduates receive a diploma case presented to them by the President of the University or a University Representative. The actual diploma is mailed to the graduate at the mailing address designated by the graduate in his/her graduation application. Please allow 6-8 weeks for diplomas to arrive.

Caps and Gowns

The University Bookstore will provide information about pricing and pick-up of caps and gowns, class rings and graduation announcements.

Graduation Gifts & Memorabilia

Information about PVAMU branded gifts and alumni merchandise can be found on the University Bookstore’s website.

Social Media

We welcome graduates and guests to post their graduation photos to social media sites using the hashtag #PVGradSwag

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Will my name be read at the ceremony?
All graduates will have the opportunity to cross the stage where their name will be called and their diploma cover received.

2. How long is the ceremony?
The ceremony is expected to last 2 hours

3. What time will doors open for guests?
Doors will open at 7:30 A.M.

4. Can I bring my own food?
Outside food is prohibited, but bottled water is allowed.

5. What items are not allowed in the venue?
Balloons, gifts, flowers, strollers, food/drink, signs, banners, noise makers, and air horns are not allowed.

6. If rain is in the forecast, will the ceremony still take place outside?
Spring Commencement is scheduled to take place in Panther Stadium, rain or shine. In the event of severe weather – including thunderstorms with lighting, high winds, heavy or prolonged rain or risk of tornados as forecasted by the National Weather Service – instructions will be given to guests on how and where to seek shelter via the live PA announcement or Panther Alert.

7. In the case of inclement weather, how can I receive an update on any changes to the ceremony?
The University commencement staff will notify participants and their guests of program delays, location changes or the need to reschedule the ceremony by Panther Alert text message, Campus Announcements, the PVAMU homepage and official social media channels.

8. If I have achieved academic honors status, where can I pick up my Honors Cords?
Students who graduate with honors will be recognized by gold cords worn with academic attire at commencement. A student may graduate with honors in one of the following three categories:

  • Summa Cum Laude Cumulative GPA of: 3.9-4.00
  • Magna Cum Laude Cumulative GPA of: 3.7-3.89
  • Cum Laude Cumulative GPA of: 3.5-3.69

Honor cords may be secured from the Commencement Marshall at the scheduled graduation rehearsal.

9. What is the difference between “conferral only” and “ceremony participation status”?
Starting March 28 through May 5, you will only be able to apply for “Conferral Only.” As a “Conferral Only” candidate you will not be able to participate in the Spring Commencement Ceremony and your name will not be listed in the commencement program. Your diploma, however, will be mailed to your most recent mailing address in Panther tracks.

10. Will the University move toward one graduation ceremony a year?
At this time, there have been no discussions regarding the phase out of multiple commencement ceremonies throughout the year. The summer and fall commencement dates are scheduled to proceed as planned.

11. Can I view this information on a mobile site?
Yes, please access our graduation guide by visiting www.pvamu.edu/academicaffairs/commencement/