Information for Graduates


Information for Graduates

Congratulations to the Class of 2015!

How exciting it must be for you as you make preparations for this special day in your life. This letter will provide details regarding the steps prior to and during commencement week-end.

Admission Ticket Orders for Commencement Ceremony

  • Admission tickets are required for the 2:30 p.m. Commencement ceremony to be held in Siebens Fieldhouse at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 23. Tickets are free of charge.
  • Orders for commencement admission tickets must be placed by the graduate no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, May 1, 2015.
  • Order commencement admission tickets here.
    • Each graduate can order up to six tickets for their guests. Any additional tickets will be released during cap and gown distribution and then at 1 p.m. at Siebens Fieldhouse on commencement day. If there are additional tickets available after the deadline, additional tickets will be released on May 8, 2015.
    • If your ticket needs change after submitting your initial request, please enter a new request. The date of the most recent request will be honored. If you've ordered tickets and decide later that you will not be attending the commencement ceremony, please go back to the commencement ticket web site and place a new request for 0 tickets. This will free up tickets for the guests that still need tickets.

Cap and Gown Ordering

All graduates are encouraged to order a cap and gown whether or not you plan to attend the Commencement ceremony (the cost is included in your graduation fee). Herff-Jones Co. is our supplier for cap and gown orders.

Graduates can place their cap/gown order one of two ways:

Online orders may be placed by using at

  • Orders will be accepted through 11:59 p.m. on Friday, April 10, 2015. After that date, you need to contact the Lehnus Campus Bookstore (712.749.2395) to place your cap and gown order. Orders placed after the April 10 deadline will incur a $25 rush order charge. Please make sure your gown order reflects your correct size as we have a very limited supply of large sized gowns on hand if exchanges need to be made.
  • Graduates who don't have access to a computer may place their cap and gown order by contacting the office personnel at the site where they receive advising services (phone numbers are listed below).

Commencement Fair

Storm Lake Campus graduates will be sent an electronic invitation to attend the Commencement Fair, which is scheduled for Thursday, March 19. Various campus offices will be available for you to take care of end-of-the-year details in one location. Graduates from our Graduate and Professional Studies sites will be invited to a similar event at their respective location

Commencement Announcements

  • Each graduate receives five generic BVU commencement announcements.
  • Campus graduates can pick up the generic announcements at the Commencement Fair scheduled on Thursday, March 19 or at the Lehnus Campus Bookstore after that date.
  • Graduates not living on campus should contact the office where they receive advising services to request the generic announcements be mailed to them.
  • Personalized announcements can be ordered at the Commencement Fair or on the Herff-Jones website.

Admission Ticket/Cap and Gown Pick Up

  • Tickets can be picked up during cap & gown distribution on the stage of Anderson Auditorium (located in the Harold Walter Siebens School of Business/Siebens Forum):
    • 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Wednesday May 20 and Thursday May 21, and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, May 22
    • Commencement Day from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the table located outside Anderson Auditorium.
    • At 1 p.m. on Commencement Day, tickets that haven't been picked up will be given to guests who still need tickets at Siebens Fieldhouse.
  • Graduates unable to access Anderson Auditorium using the stairs may contact the VPAA/Dean of the Faculty Office ( or phone 712.749.2243) to request pick up of your cap/gown at the commencement admission ticket table located outside Anderson Auditorium.
  • The offices of Alumni Relations and Career Services request that you allow a few extra minutes when you pick up your cap and gown to complete forms needed by their offices. Graduate and Professional Studies site graduates will complete these forms at their respective site.


Our 2015 Baccalaureate service will be held in Schaller Memorial Chapel at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 23. Graduates are invited to sit with their families and friends. Academic apparel will not be worn at this service.

Buffet Brunch

A buffet brunch will be available from 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.. on Saturday, May 23, in Dows Grand Ballroom of the Harold Walter Siebens School of Business/Siebens Forum (see Commencement Brunch letter for additional details).

Assembly Location for Commencement Ceremony

Graduates should be in Schaller Chapel no later than 1:30 p.m. to receive instructions and assemble for the Commencement procession. The Commencement procession will begin to move through the Victory Arch at 2:15 p.m. and enter Siebens Fieldhouse at 2:30 p.m.. Graduates who arrive late will be placed at the end of the line for their school instead of alphabetical order.

Attendance at Ceremonies

All graduates are expected to participate in the ceremonies. If you must be absent, please contact the site where you receive advising services. The telephone numbers are:

Campus (Storm Lake) 800.383.2821 ext 2233 Nila Houska
Carroll 712.792.8515
Council Bluffs 800.798.0788
Creston 800.556.7151
Denison 712.749.1926
Emmetsburg 712.749.1960
Estherville 712.749.1965
Fort Dodge 712.749.1914
Iowa Falls 712.749.1944
LeMars 712.749.1940
Marshalltown 712.749.1930
Mason City 800.798.8764
Masters 800.383.2821 ext 2162Deb
Newton 800.236.0484
Online 877.288.0423
Ottumwa 712.749.1980
Spencer 712.749.1970
Spirit Lake 712.749.1975

Honors Recognition

Recognition of honors at the Commencement ceremony, including honor cords and announced honors, is based on coursework completed and grades processed by the Registrar's Office prior to April 1. Any additional transfer work, BVU grades, or grade changes received after April 1 will not affect the honors announced during the Commencement ceremony. You may check your current cumulative GPA via Campus Connect-Unofficial Transcripts, or Degree Audit.

Students who are completing their initial baccalaureate degree and have completed a minimum of 60 credit hours from BVU will be eligible to graduate with Latin honors. Latin honors are based on cumulative grade point averages listed below:

Cum Laude 3.500 - 3.699
Magna Cum Laude 3.700 - 3.899
Summa Cum Laude 3.900 - 4.000

Students who are completing a second or subsequent baccalaureate degree and have completed a minimum of 45 credit hours from BVU in that program will be eligible for the honors Distinction, High Distinction, and Highest Distinction. The minimum cumulative grade point averages for these honors are listed below:

Distinction 3.750 - 3.849
High Distinction 3.850 - 3.999
Highest Distinction 4.000

By policy, BVU will only award one baccalaureate degree to any individual; however, students who have undertaken coursework at BVU prior to matriculating in the second degree program may not count that coursework towards the 45-hour requirement or the grade point average requirement for such honor, nor shall coursework completed at any other institution count toward either requirement.

Designation of actual honors earned will be based on the cumulative grade point average upon completion of degree requirements and will be noted on the diploma and final transcript and you will receive the appropriate honors ribbon.

Graduate and Professional Studies graduates only: if you received honors and your GPA changed, please contact your Site Director during regular business hours to exchange your honors ribbon for the correct one.

Commencement Viewing Locations on Campus or BVU Website

  • Siebens Fieldhouse doors will open at 1 p.m. on Saturday for guests that have tickets for the Commencement ceremony. There is no reserved seating in Siebens Fieldhouse. The commencement procession will be broadcast to Siebens Fieldhouse for guests who want to view the procession from their seats at that location. Please make sure your guests are aware of these details.
  • The Baccalaureate and Commencement ceremonies will also be broadcast to Rooms 1-4 and Anderson Auditorium in the Harold Walter Siebens School of Business/Siebens Forum. These comfortable locations are convenient areas to view the ceremonies for those with health concerns, the elderly, and guests who do not have a ticket to Siebens Fieldhouse.
  • Family and friends of the graduates who are unable to attend the Commencement ceremony at BVU may wish to view the event live on the BVU website beginning at approximately 2:15 p.m. on Saturday, May 23, 2015.

Reserved Parking for Guests with Special Needs

  • To better accommodate our Commencement day guests, the parking lot north of Siebens Fieldhouse (parking lot B on the campus map) will be reserved for additional handicap and special needs parking.. Use Early Street to access this parking lot. This reserved area will accommodate up to 60 vehicles and is centrally located to the Harold Walter Siebens School of Business/Siebens Forum and to Siebens Fieldhouse. Shuttle service will be available in this area for those guests who need additional assistance. Handicap parking is also available at other locations on campus, with limited shuttle service.
  • Guests that aren't able to access bleacher seating in Siebens Fieldhouse may request seating on the floor when they arrive at Siebens Fieldhouse. One additional person will be allowed to accompany the person that requests seating in this area. Reservations are not needed for this seating area.
  • Guests needing use of a wheelchair that day will need to contact my office (712.749.2243 or e-mail to make a reservation.

Flower Sales

Grad Flowers will offer flowers for sale prior to the Commencement ceremony. Sales will begin at approximately 1 p.m. in front of Siebens Fieldhouse. In the event of rain, flowers will be available in the lobby of Siebens Fieldhouse.


GradImages will be photographing all Buena Vista University graduates as they receive their diploma cover from President Moore during the ceremony. Visit their website, and click on "Pre-Event Email Registration." By submitting your information and the email addresses of those you would like to share your photo with, proofs will be available to them to view and order within a few days after the graduation ceremony. Photo orders can be placed online or by calling 800.424.3686.

Because your proud moment will be captured by a professional photographer, we would prefer that personal photos be taken before and after, but not during the ceremony. Photos of graduates processing through and down the steps of Victory Arch on their way to Siebens Fieldhouse are great opportunities for personal photos.

Commencement Reception

A reception hosted by the National Alumni Association will be held immediately following the Commencement ceremony on the east lawn of Siebens Fieldhouse. All graduates, guests, faculty and staff are invited to relax and celebrate with you and your family. In case of inclement weather, the reception will be held in the Lamberti Recreation Center.

Video Orders

Video recordings of the Commencement ceremony and Baccalaureate service are available for purchase. To place an order, please complete the video order form and return it to the address listed on the form by June 5.


Barbara Byrne, Ph.D.
Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs
Dean of the Faculty