Summer 2018 Commencement

10 AM

Saturday, August 11, 2018
Berry Center of Northwest Houston
8877 Barker Cypress Rd, Cypress, TX 77433

Due to extreme heat in August and the construction project in the William “Billy” J. Nicks, Sr. Building (Baby Dome) currently underway, University leaders wanted to make sure the ceremony is enjoyable and memorable for all participants. Therefore, the ceremony will take place in a climate-controlled venue that allows graduates to invite 10 guests.

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


Candidates should report to the Berry Center of Northwest Houston by 7:30 AM for individual photo sessions. Commencement Rehearsal for ALL Candidates will be held on Friday, August 10 at 8:30 a.m. in the Opal Johnson-Smith Auditorium located in the Willie A. Tempton, Sr. Memorial Student Center (MSC).

Dr. Michael L. Lomax
Dr. Michael L. Lomax

Commencement Speaker

Dr. Michael L. Lomax

Since 2004, Dr. Michael Lomax has been president and CEO of UNCF, the nation’s largest private provider of scholarships and other educational support to African American students and a leading advocate of college readiness: students’ need for an education, from pre-school through high school, that prepares them for college success. Under his leadership, UNCF has raised more than $2.5 billion and helped more than 92,000 students earn college degrees and launch careers. Annually, UNCF’s work enables 60,000 students to go to college with UNCF scholarships and attend its 37 member historically black colleges and universities. Lomax has worked to provide educational opportunities for African Americans and other Americans of color.

Read more

Commencement Guide


Tickets will be distributed through each College and School to graduates who have been certified to participate in the ceremony. Each graduating student will be issued 10 tickets for family, friends and other guests. Tickets are required for admission to each commencement ceremony. Only children 12 months of age or younger who will sit on a guest’s lap during the entire ceremony will not require a ticket. If a student is not approved to graduate, the tickets MUST BE RETURNED to their College upon notification of graduation status. Selling extra tickets is strictly prohibited. However, students are free to give their unused tickets to their fellow classmates.

Clear Bag Policy

This policy limits contents to be carried in:

  • bags that are clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and do not exceed 12″ x 6″ x 12” (signs posted at the Berry Center will allow you to match the size of the bag with a diagram);
  • one-gallon clear plastic freezer bag (Ziploc bag or similar); or
  • small clutch bags, approximately the size of a hand, with or without a handle or strap can be taken into the facility with one of the clear plastic bags.​​

An exception will be made for medically necessary items after proper inspection. For more information please visit:


Parking is available in lots A,B,D,E,F,G, and H.
Designated drop off areas in front of the stairs on either side of the building.
Please do not block the driveway.


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

Accessible Parking & Seating

Patrons with disabilities may be dropped off near Entrance 1 in the vehicle turn-around for most events. There are numerous accessible parking spaces near all of the entrances. Wheelchair accessible seats are available in all levels.

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 Additionally the University will stream the ceremony live from the official Facebook page.


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 8:30 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 airhorns are not allowed.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. Why was the decision made to take the ceremony off campus?
Due to extreme heat in August and the construction project in the William “Billy” J. Nicks, Sr. Building (Baby Dome) currently underway, University leaders wanted to make sure the ceremony is enjoyable and memorable for all participants. Therefore, the ceremony will take place in a climate-controlled venue that allows graduates to invite 10 guests.