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Commencement

Honors and Awards- May 8

Commencement Weekend- May 14-16

(Both Commencement ceremonies will be livestreamed on this page. Links will be added the week of the event.)

Cottey is planning to host in-person commencement festivities for graduates.  The College is working on creative ways to maintain Cottey traditions while ensuring the safety of graduates, guests, faculty and staff. Cottey College is working to accommodate as many guests as possible while maintaining social distancing guidelines.  At this point in time, we expect to be limiting each graduate to 3 guests in attendance for the Yellow and White Dinner, the Blue and White Luncheon and the Commencement ceremonies.  The College plans to set up on-campus options to view a live stream of the Commencement ceremonies for any guests who cannot be accommodated in the Hinkhouse Gymnasium.  All graduates, guests, faculty and staff will be required to wear masks while on campus. More information will be shared online and sent out to students as it becomes available. Below is the tentative schedule of Commencement activities. Please be aware that these are subject to change, but should assist with any planning for the event.

Additional Information

Many of the Commencement activities are long-standing traditions at Cottey and all students are encouraged to participate in these traditions. Students intending to walk at Commencement must have filed an Intent to Graduate or Graduation Application form in the Office of Academic Records by March 26. Students within nine credits of completing graduation requirements may walk at Commencement, but must have filed a Late Graduation Petition form in the Office of Academic Records by March 26. Walking at Commencement does not guarantee that degree requirements have been met by May 16.

Honors and Awards Convocation: Students are recognized for outstanding achievements at Honors and Awards Convocation on Saturday, May 8, at 4 p.m. Prestigious scholarships and awards in recognition of distinguished achievement as selected by the faculty are presented. Other noteworthy awards, including the Marie K. Busch Freshman of the Year, selected by vote of the student body, will be awarded. The Student Commencement Speaker and the Outstanding Associate Graduate, who will receive Hawaiian leis from Chapter C, Hawaii, will be announced.

Required Rehearsals: Associate graduates are required to attend a Commencement rehearsal on Thursday afternoon, May 13, at 1 p.m. in the Hinkhouse Gymnasium. Baccalaureate graduates are required to attend a Commencement rehearsal on Thursday afternoon, May 13, at 2:30 p.m. in the Hinkhouse Gymnasium. Students participating in the Daisy Chain for either Commencement ceremony are required to participate in a Daisy Chain rehearsal on Thursday afternoon, May 13, at 1 p.m. in the Chapel. Students must be present to receive important instructions essential for the ceremonies to run smoothly.

Yellow and White Dinner and Blue and White Luncheon: Due to social distancing requirements, the Blue, Yellow, and White Dinner (a tradition where graduating students are honored by their classmates), will be two separate events. Yellow and White Dinner for associate graduates will take place on Friday, May 14, at 5:30 p.m. in Raney Dining Room. Blue and White Luncheon for baccalaureate graduates will take place on Saturday, May 15, at 11:30 a.m. Dressier attire is appropriate for all who attend. Seating for these meals is limited and advanced tickets are required. There is no charge for residential students; commuter student tickets are $7.00. Each graduating student will be able to reserve her own ticket and purchase three guest tickets in Raney Dining Room on April 12 and 13. Guest tickets are $10.00 for adults and $6.00 for children ages 6-12, and tickets must be paid for at the time the reservation is made. If seating is available, other Cottey students will be able to reserve their tickets April 14-16.

A Baccalaureate Service follows the dinner at 7 p.m. in the Chapel. This service honors the associate and baccalaureate graduates, but is open to all students. Seating will be limited due to social distancing guidelines and attendance is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Capping on Saturday evening is a tradition that dates to the early days of the College when each graduate of the two-year program selected a first-year student to place the traditional mortarboard upon her head the evening before Commencement. Today, each student selects two or three cappers who are special to her to participate in the ceremony, which takes place on the front steps of Main Hall, weather permitting. Graduating students will wear their academic regalia. Capping is organized by the second- and fourth-year classes and further information and instructions will be shared later.

Cottey’s 137th Commencement will take place as two ceremonies on Sunday morning, May 16, at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. I am pleased to announce that the 2021 Commencement speaker is Morgan Shaw Parker, Class of 1996. Ms. Shaw Parker serves as vice president and chief marketing officer for AMB Sports + Entertainment, overseeing all brand marketing, media group (brand communications, broadcast, digital and social media) and creative design functions for the Atlanta Falcons and Mercedes-Benz Stadium. She is responsible for building and driving integrated strategies to support the brand, stadium, and football team. Associate graduates will meet in the Chapel at 8:30 a.m. and baccalaureate graduates will meet in the Chapel at 10:30 a.m. Each will receive a daisy to carry in the procession to Hinkhouse Center, placing it in a basket in the foyer when entering. The daisies will then be distributed to students participating in the Daisy Chain. Passing Cottey’s flower from one class to another on this occasion symbolizes the tie between past and future classes. Freshmen and juniors participating in the Daisy Chain must wear white.

The top academic achieving students will be recognized at Commencement. The top ten associate students with the highest grade point averages receive white tassels to wear. Baccalaureate degree students graduating Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, and Summa Cum Laude honors receive gold cords to wear. These tassels and cords will be distributed to students on Sunday morning in the Chapel. In addition, the honor will be announced as students walk across the stage.

Members of the national honor societies are also authorized by the College to wear stoles or cords with their academic regalia. It is up to each student organization or group to determine eligibility and obtain the stoles or cords for their members. Members of the International Chapter of the P.E.O. Sisterhood are encouraged to wear their P.E.O. pins. Graduates may decorate their mortarboards. Decorations cannot include offensive or political materials. No other accessories may be worn on the regalia without the authorization of the vice president for academic affairs.

Brunch will be offered in Raney Dining Room on Sunday. Please refer to the Commencement Schedule for designated times. Seating for brunch is limited and advanced tickets are required. There is no charge for residential students; commuter student tickets are $7.00. Each graduating student will be able to reserve her own ticket and purchase three guest tickets in Raney Dining Room on April 12 and 13. Guest tickets are $10.00 for adults and $6.00 for children ages 6-12, and tickets must be paid for at the time the reservation is made. If seating is available, other Cottey students will be able to reserve their tickets April 14-16. The residence halls close at 5 p.m.

If you have additional questions about Commencement please email: acadaffairs@cottey.edu.

Commencement weekend is important for Cottey, and we will have many visitors on campus. Cottey students who require disability related accommodations or have questions about accessibility for Commencement events should contact Stephanie D. McGhee at (417) 667-8181, extension 2131 or smcghee@cottey.edu by April 23, 2021, or as soon as the need is realized. To request accessibility accommodations for guests, please contact McGee Stoller at (417) 667-8181, extension 2103 or mstoller@cottey.edu by April 23, 2021, or as soon as the need is realized.

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