Commencement


2021 Spring Commencement

Schedule of Events

Announcements

  • 2 Separate Ceremonies: one for undergraduate, another for master and doctoral graduates
  • Arrival and Processional Procedures: Scroll down to the Graduate Information section.
  • Live Streaming: Both ceremonies will be live streamed. The link will be posted on this page right before each ceremony begins.
  • Virtual Enhancement: We have partnered with a company called StageClip to enhance our in-person ceremonies with a virtual celebration. Learn more below.

Commencement Deadlines

  • DEADLINE TO APPLY FOR GRADUATION: Monday, March 15. Click here to apply to graduate.
  • Order your cap and gown through Jostens. Deadline: March 25. After this date, you must contact the Bookstore directly.
  • Pay your $35 graduation fee to Student Accounts. Deadline: May 6.
  • Clear any outstanding restrictions with the Library, Athletics Office, Student Accounts, Financial Aid, Bookstore, or Student Services

Schedule of Events 

Monday, May 10, 4 p.m.
Veterans Medaling Ceremony
Rogalski Center Ballroom
For graduating veterans

Friday, May 14

6 p.m., Master and Doctoral Hooding and Commencement Ceremony
TaxSlayer Center, Moline, Illinois
Graduate and doctoral programs will hold a joint hooding and commencement ceremony. Each graduate is allowed 2 guests. Information on seating and check-in can be found in the section "Graduate Information" below. 

7 p.m., Nursing Pinning Ceremony
Galvin Fine Arts Center
Each Nursing graduate is allowed two guests.

Saturday, May 15

9 a.m., Mass
Christ the King Chapel
All faiths welcome. Capacity is limited to 36 students (each student can bring up to 2 guests). Online reservation required.
Watch the Mass via Facebook Live

1 p.m., Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony (procession begins)
TaxSlayer Center, Moline, Illinois
Each graduate is allowed 2 guests.
Scroll down to Ceremony Procedure for instructions on where graduates should enter and check in.

3 p.m., Undergraduate Virtual Celebration
Live on YouTube
Share the link with family and friends who couldn't be there in person.
Tune in for an extra celebration of our graduates! 

3:30 p.m., Master and Doctoral Virtual Celebration
Live on YouTube
Share the link with family and friends who couldn't be there in person.
Tune in for an extra celebration of our graduates! 


If you have any questions about the events, call the Office of the Registrar at (563) 333-6203, or send an email to McAleerWilliamJ@sau.edu.

Conferring Degrees Student Accounts

Right or Left?

graduate with family

Tassels should be worn on the right side of your mortarboard prior to graduating. Once you receive your diploma, move the tassel to the left side.

I-74 Bridge Traffic

road work sign

Construction on the I-74 bridge may cause some traffic delays. Please allow yourself extra time to arrive and park at the TaxSlayer Center.

See current traffic alerts


row of chairs at commencement ceremony

Degree Candidates

For Spring 2021 Commencement

Congratulations to all of our soon-to-be graduates!

To view the listing click here.


COVID Protocols

For Graduates and Guests

St. Ambrose University follows CDC public health guidelines to wear mouth and nose coverings and distance from others in order to protect the most vulnerable among us and prevent spreading COVID-19.

To participate in Commencement ceremonies, the following is required of all students and guests while inside the TaxSlayer Center.

  • Masks covering the mouth and nose are required for all guests over the age of two. Gaitors and bandanas are not accepted, and entry into the venue using these is not permitted.
  • Abide by the seating arrangement. Guests may not move chairs.

Celebrate Your Graduate!

Guests

You have so much to celebrate!

Read below on ways to arrive and park for the ceremony, as well as how to make the day even more special with photos and flowers.

Directions and Parking

Spring Commencement Ceremony
TaxSlayer Center, 1201 River Drive, Moline, Ill., 309-764-2001

Please be aware there is construction occuring around the I-74 bridge, so give yourself extra travel time. See the interactive I-74 bridge map

The TaxSlayer Center parking lot has 937 parking spaces, 43 handicapped spaces on-site, and 1,400 nearby off-site parking spaces. The MetroLINK parking ramp has 250 spots. Guests can access the arena concourse directly from that ramp via the skywalk. There is a drop-off lane in front of the building.

From Iowa to Illinois:
If you are traveling from Iowa, be advised that the I-74 bridge construction can cause traffic delays. You will want to use the 6th Avenue exit coming from Iowa on the new I-74 bridge. Then turn left onto 6th Avenue and continue to 23rd Street. Turning left onto 23rd Street and continuing to River Drive. Turn left onto River Drive and continue to the TaxSlayer Center. The Centennial Bridge would be an alternate route to the TaxSlayer Center.

From Illinois to Iowa:
If you are traveling from Illinois, exit I-74 at 7th Avenue, Exit 2. Turn left onto 7th Avenue and then right onto 19th Street. Continue on 19th Street to River Drive. Turn left onto River Drive and continue to the TaxSlayer Center.

Coming from the Iowa Quad Cities:
Use the old bridge via the State Street onramp to get to River Drive.


Winter Commencement Ceremony
RiverCenter, 136 E. Third St., in downtown Davenport, Iowa, 563-326-8500

Parking is available at the RiverCenter parking ramp on Brady Street between 2nd and 3rd streets, under the Mid-American Energy building.

Parking is complimentary between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Graduation guests leaving the parking ramp after 3 p.m. will need to provide payment with one of the garage payment kiosks. On-street parking is free on weekends.


Ordering Photos and Diploma Frames

Order Photos
St. Ambrose University contracts with GradImages to take photos of graduates as they receive their diploma and as they walk off the graduation stage.

Graduates can pre-register prior to the event and receive a coupon code for a 20% discount on an order of at least $50. After the ceremony, graduates will receive the photo proofs via text message, email, and postal mail.

If you do not receive your proofs or have any additional questions, contact GradImages Customer Service Department at 800- 261-2576, online at www.gradimages.com, or email giservice@gradimages.net

St. Ambrose does not receive photo proofs or order forms from GradImages.

Order St. Ambrose Diploma Frames
Frames for St. Ambrose University bachelor's and master's degree diplomas may be ordered through the St. Ambrose Campus Bookstore.

Frames for doctoral degrees may be ordered through FramingSuccess.com. Search for St. Ambrose University and select the option at the bottom of the page for "Frame Creator," which will allow you to customize the frame size.

Dimensions for St. Ambrose diplomas:
Bachelor's diplomas: 11 inches wide x 8-½ inches high
Master's diplomas: 11 inches wide x 8-½ inches high
Doctoral diplomas: 14 inches wide x 11 inches high

For the Media

Contact the Communications and Marketing Office at 563-333-6295.

Special Accommodations

If you, or any of your guests, require special accommodations to attend the Commencement ceremony, please call Ryan Saddler at 563-333-6275.

If you have any questions about the events, call the Office of the Registrar at 563-333-6203, or send an email.

Virtual Celebrations

How it Works

As the COVID-19 pandemic still affects our daily lives, we won't be able to celebrate our graduates like we normally would. However, we want to make things as special as we possibly can for all our graduating students. 

On May 15 we'll be hosting two virtual celebration ceremonies to enhance our in-person, limited ceremonies. We will honor you as individuals and you'll be part of a special communal experience. We are focused on celebration, the sense of occasion, being with friends, and recognizing your unique place in history. The resilient Class of 2021 will be forever immortalized! Our wish is to create a memorable, uplifting moment for you.

We want you to look forward with confidence, look forward to graduating and look forward to your future! We're delighted to welcome you to your virtual graduation. Congratulations!

Watch the Undergraduate Celebration

Watch the Master and Doctoral Celebration

How Graduates Can Participate

Check back often for more details about how to submit your photo or video to be a part of our virtual celebration! Also, keep an eye on your SAU for emails from StageClip. 


Soon you will receive an email to your SAU email address with a link to upload a photo, personal message, and/or 10-second video. Your personal messages will be included in the ceremony for all to see.

On May 15, we'll use your custom content and put you in the graduation procession with your fellow classmates. On the big day, invite your friends and family to join!

You'll also receive your personal StageClip - an individual recognition video clip that celebrates your achievement. Share it proudly!

Graduate Information

Ceremony Procedure - Master and Doctoral (May 14)

Since the ceremony is taking place at the TaxSlayer Center, please allow additional travel time for bridge traffic and road construction. (See Directions and Parking above.)

GRADUATE ARRIVAL TIMES

College of Health and Human Services - 4:30 p.m.
College of Arts and Sciences and College of Business - 5 p.m.

Check-in officially ends at 5:50 p.m. We cannot guarantee your participation if you arrive after this time.

 

ENTERING THE BUILDING AND CHECK-IN

  • Graduates and their guests will enter the lobby separately (entry points will be posted) and proceed toward the escalators/stairs.
    • Guests: Use the escalators/stairs to reach seats in the upper or lower bowls
    • Graduates: Check-in at the table just past the stairs on the ground floor and complete the GradImages photo card (if not already completed). Once your photo has been taken, you will proceed to your assigned pod in the arena. Marshals will be available to escort you to the arena.

DURING THE CEREMONY

  • Each seat will hold a diploma cover, printed program, and alumni pin.
  • Once the Official Party enters the arena, rise and remain standing until the Bishop sits down.
  • Men are to remove their caps for all prayers, the National Anthem, and the Alma Mater.
  • When your name is called, please stand with your guests and hand your hood to the Hooder.
    • Step forward in front of the Hooder, crouching if necessary so the Hooder can then place the hood over your head.
    • You will then receive your diploma cover from your guest and be seated.

AFTER THE CEREMONY

Staff will direct your departure from the arena once the ceremony ends. You will be dismissed by row through the main entrance to meet your family/friends outside. Please make sure your family knows to meet you outside, because you won't be able to return once you exit the arena.

Ceremony Procedure - Undergraduate (May 15)

Since the ceremony is taking place at the TaxSlayer Center, please allow additional travel time for bridge traffic and road construction. (See Directions and Parking above.)

UNDERGRADUATE ARRIVAL TIMES
Students in the following colleges should arrive at the TaxSlayer Center at the following times (find your college below):

College of Health and Human Services – 11:30 a.m.
College of Arts and Sciences – 11:50 a.m.
College of Business – 12:10 p.m.

Check-in officially ends at 12:50 p.m. We cannot guarantee your participation if you arrive after this time!

ENTERING THE BUILDING AND CHECK-IN

  • Graduates and their guests will enter into the lobby separately (entry points will be posted) and proceed toward the escalators/stairs.
    • Guests: Use the escalators/stairs to reach seats in the upper or lower bowls
    • Graduates: Check-in at the table just past the stairs on the ground floor. You will receive your assigned seat number at Check-In.
  • Do not bring valuables to your seat; please leave them with family and/or friends.
  • After checking in, you will proceed into the hall and through the conference room area. Please follow the arrows/signs and stay socially distanced. Follow the path into the arena and proceed to your numbered seat.

DURING THE CEREMONY

  • Each seat will hold a diploma cover/printed program/alumni pin. You MUST carry your diploma cover with you to the stage when degrees are conferred.
  • Once the Official Party enters the arena, rise and remain standing until the Bishop sits down.
  • Men are to remove their caps for all prayers, the National Anthem, and the Alma Mater.
  • When it is time to confer degrees, SAU staff will stand by the rows that need to rise and move towards the stage. BRING YOUR DIPLOMA COVER WITH YOU.
  • When you reach the front corner on the stage, Bill McAleer will tell you when to start walking to the center of the stage. Your name will be read as you start across the stage. At that time, remove your mask as you proceed toward the "X" marked on the stage to stand for your photo. The photographer will be directly in front of you, waiting to snap the photo.
  • Once the photo is taken, put your mask back on, move your tassel to the left side, and proceed to the far side of the stage where the Registrar will direct you to the exit ramp. Staff members will then help direct you back to your seat.

AFTER THE CEREMONY

Staff will direct your departure from the arena once the ceremony ends. You will be dismissed by row through the Employee's Entrance to meet your family/friends outside. Please make sure your family knows to meet you outside, because you won't be able to return once you exit the arena.

Find Your College

College of Arts and Sciences – Arrival time is 11:50 a.m.
BA in Art + Design
BA in Art Teacher Education
BA in Art History
BA in Biology
BA in Book Arts
BA in Chemistry
BA in Chemistry Teacher Education
BA in Computer Network Administration
BA in Criminal Justice
BA in Cybersecurity
BA in Digital Filmmaking
BA in Digital Media Production
BA in English
BA in English for Secondary Education
BA in Forensic Psychology
BA in Graphic Design
BA in History
BA in History Teacher Education
BA in International Studies
BA in Integrative Studies
BA in Multimedia Journalism
BA in Music
Bachelor of Music Education
BA in Painting
BA in Philosophy
BA in Political Science
BA in Public Relations and Strategic Communication
BA in Psychology
BA in Strategic Communication
BA in Sociology
BA in Spanish Teacher Education
BA in Spanish
BA in Speech and Theatre Teacher Education
BA in Theology
BA in Women & Gender Studies
BS in Behavioral Neuropsychology
BS in Biology
BS in Biomedical Laboratory Science
BS in Chemistry
BS in Computer Science
BS in Data Science and Analytics
BS in Industrial Engineering
BS in Mathematics
BS in Mechanical Engineering
BS in Psychology

College of Business – Arrival time is 12:10 p.m.
Bachelor of Applied Management Studies
BA in Accounting
BA in Business Economics
BA in Business Sales
BA in Finance
BA in General Business Teacher Education
BA in Healthcare Sales
BA in Human Resource Management
BA in International Business
BA in Management
BA in Marketing
Bachelor of Business Administration
Bachelor of Business Admin in Accounting

College of Health and Human Services – Arrival time is 11:30 a.m.
BA in Early Childhood Education
BA in Elementary Education
BA in Sport Management
BS in Exercise Science
BS in Human Performance and Fitness
BS in Nursing
Bachelor of Social Work

Collecting Your Diploma

Degree Posting

Degrees should be posted within 7-10 days. Diplomas will be available for pick May 27-28, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Rogalski Center, Room #211. Diplomas not picked up during those two days will be available in the Registrar's Office until June 7, 2021.

After June 7, diplomas will be mailed to the current mailing address listed in the system. 

Please remember that diplomas will not be released until all restrictions have been cleared. 

Request Transcripts from SAU

Honorary Speakers and Degrees

Commencement Speakers

Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony Speaker and Honorary Degree Recipient– Fr. George McDaniel
Rev. George McDaniel '66, PhD, is a Professor Emeritus of History at St. Ambrose University. He has been the University's unofficial historian since retiring in 2007 from a 33-year career as an educator and administrator at his alma mater.

Prior to his retirement, Fr. McDaniel wrote the seminal history of St. Ambrose, A Great and Lasting Beginning: The First 125 Years of St. Ambrose University. Fr. McDaniel's reputation as a historian also extends far beyond campus. His published works include the 1995 biography about a U.S. senator from his hometown of Washington, Iowa, Smith Wildman Brookhart: Iowa's Renegade Republican. Fr. McDaniel is a Hoover Scholar and has won the Benjamin F. Shambaugh Outstanding Book in Iowa History Award and the State Historical Society of Iowa Shambaugh Award of Merit.

Fr. McDaniel earned St. Ambrose Bachelor of Arts degrees in Philosophy and History in 1966. He was ordained by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport in 1970 and returned to St. Ambrose as Dean of Students in 1974. He joined the history faculty in 1977, was promoted to the rank of Professor of History in 1993, and served in that role until his retirement.

Fr. McDaniel has remained a presence at the University since his retirement, writing monthly Spirit Day history pieces that he shares with the campus. He has been a leading supporter of numerous fundraising campaigns and a contributor to many campus improvements and student scholarships.

Graduate Commencement Ceremony Speaker – Michael Puthoff, PhD, DPT
Mike Puthoff, PT, PhD, the outgoing Dean of Graduate Studies and a professor and Director in the St. Ambrose Doctor of Physical Therapy Department, will address the graduate degree recipients.

Dr. Puthoff helped introduce Microcredentials to the SAU curriculum during his tenure in Graduate Studies. As the Physical Therapy Department Director he played a primary role in developing the Interprofessional Health Clinic in the College of Health and Human Services and served as the first clinic manager. He has served and led on numerous university committees and campus task forces since he joining the DPT faculty in 2004.

Honorary Degree – Dimitri Papageorgiou

Dimitri Papageorgiou has long been a primary sponsor and active volunteer for the St. Ambrose University Wine Festival since its inception 20 years ago. His assistance as a high-level sponsor, an in-kind donor, and a connected member of the vintner community have helped the Festival grow from a $25,000-per-year fundraising event in support of SAU student scholarships to a three-event series that annually raises more than $100,000.

Dimitri learned the skill of wine making from his father while growing up in Greece. He came to the U.S. in 1970 and earned business and accounting degrees at Truman State University, which is also where he met his wife Kathy. Dimitri came to the Quad Cities as a comptroller for a local wine and spirits retailer following graduation. He founded Dimitri Wine and Spirits in 1984, and it remains the area's premier distribution company for fine wines and beer.

Dimitri and Kathy's generous support of community organizations extends beyond St. Ambrose. The Boy Scouts of America, the Quad Cities Center for Active Seniors, the Festival of Trees, Habitat for Humanity, the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, the Rock Island Library, the Rock Island Park Board, Niabi Zoo, the Multiple Sclerosis Society, the Scott County Family Y, the Father Bader Scholarship Fund at St. Pius, and the St. George Greek Orthodox Church are among the many local organizations and charities that have benefited from Dimitri Papageorgiou's generous and active support.

Honorary Degree – Sister Joan Lescinski

Sr. Joan Lescinski, CSJ, PhD, will retire in August as president of St. Ambrose University. She will conclude a 14-year tenure as the 13th president of SAU and nearly 50 years spent in Catholic higher education.

Under Sr. Joan's leadership, St. Ambrose University grew its curriculum to include four new graduate degree programs and numerous forward-thinking undergraduate degrees; vastly expanded its physical footprint with eight new or newly-renovated buildings; transformed the Athletics Department with 13 teams added to varsity sports as well as vastly upgraded facilities, including the St. Vincent's Athletic Complex, Ambrose Dome, and Wellness and Recreation Center; and grew its endowment by nearly $130 million while doubling the number of endowed scholarships.

Sr. Joan is a native of Albany, N.Y. She earned a doctorate in English literature from Brown University in 1981. She received her master's and bachelor's degrees in English literature from the College of Saint Rose in 1974 and 1970, respectively. She has been a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, St. Louis, Mo., since 1965.

Sr. Joan taught English at every stop in her career, including at her alma mater from 1971 through 1991, where she rose to the rank of tenured full professor which she then held at every subsequent posting. She was associate dean, academic affairs at Avila University in Kansas City, Mo., from 1991-1993; vice president for academic affairs and dean at Fontbonne University, St. Louis, Mo., from 1993 to 1998; and president at St. Mary-of-the-Wood College in Indiana from 1998-2007 prior to becoming president at St. Ambrose.

Contact


Bill McAleer, Associate Registrar

Office of the Registrar
Ambrose Hall, 1st floor
518 W. Locust St.
Davenport, IA 52803
563-333-6201
Fax 563-333-6206
registrar@sau.edu

So, what's next?

Are you ready to take the next step? Click on the visit button below to learn more about our virtual and in-person visit options.