The Civilized Minute

a minute of manners and musings

graduation etiquette

It’s graduation time again.  I can’t believe another year has gone by!  It was this time last year that so many people commented to me about the lack of etiquette surrounding this occasion.  I think they were talking about things like this…. 

Save yourself and your graduate by following these 6 tips to get you through graduation gracefully:

1)  Receiving a graduation announcement does not mean you must give a gift, like it does in the case of a wedding invitation.  Of course, a gift or card is appreciated, but it’s not a requirement.

2)  At the ceremony, dress appropriately.  Commencement ceremonies take place to recognize these young adults for their accomplishment.  You should give them a little respect, too.  For ladies, dress pants or a summer skirt are appropriate.  For men, a collar shirt is in order.  No denim.

3)  Follow the rules during the program.  If the announcer asks that you hold your applause until all graduates have been named, don’t yell, clap and carry on when Johnny, Jr. walks across the stage.  That doesn’t honor his hard work, it embarrasses him.  And you!

4)  Don’t leave after the one you came for receives his or her diploma. If everyone did that, no one would be there to support graduates in the T’s or W’s. Stick around and support the entire class.

5)  Participate in the ceremony.  Don’t act like you are too cool to stand and sing the school alma mater.  Unless you are physically unable to stand, you should rise and sit each time the opportunity comes around.

6)  The appropriate way to acknowledge a recent graduate is with a hug or handshake and “Congratulations”.  Resist digging up bones by saying things like, “Boy, wasn’t sure they were going to let you graduate after that stunt you pulled in the school parking lot.”  Don’t ruin the festive mood with a bad attempt at humor.

  Now, you are ready to send off your graduate in style!



One response to “graduation etiquette

  1. Broahmomo May 23, 2010 at 7:44 am

    Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
    I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

    Thumbs up, and keep it going!


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