Information for Faculty

Commencement ceremonies would not be possible without the institution's extraordinary faculty. 

faculty

Each academic college's Lead Marshal works collaboratively with the dean, associate dean, chairs, Commencement Committee, and Office of the Provost to coordinate through nomination or expressed interest, faculty participation in Commencement. Faculty may contact their respective college's lead marshals for ceremony information and details.

College lead marshal
College of Business & Economics , Ph.D.
College of Education , Ph.D.
College of Fine Arts & Communication , MFA
College of Health Professions , Ph.D., RN, CNE
College of Liberal Arts , Ph.D.
Fisher College of Science and Mathematics , Sc.D.

Faculty Participation in Commencement

Faculty and the administration of each academic college play an important role in the planning and execution of Commencement. Both degree candidates and the Office of the Provost value the participation of faculty and staff of academic colleges. 

participation FAQ

How do faculty typically participate in Commencement?

The process for determining who attends Commencement and in what role varies by college. Generally speaking, participation primarily falls largely into two categories. 

  • Members of the stage party
  • Members of the processing faculty

Within these categories, there are several special roles (e.g. marshals, name card readers, and presenters) that faculty members fulfill during TU commencement ceremonies. 

Can I serve as a Commencement volunteer if I do not want to join the faculty processional or I am not in the stage party?

A third option for participating in Commencement is as part of the Volunteer Program. Faculty members who choose not to march in the ceremony may volunteer as a member of the candidate relations, guest relations, or logistical teams. Those who would like to participate in the Volunteer Program should respond to the call for volunteers sent via email eight weeks prior to the ceremony. The Office of the Provost coordinates all aspects of the Commencement Volunteer Program.

Who is my point of contact for participating in Commencement?

Specific details about your participation in Commencement are typically sent via email from your college's lead marshal, a member of the Commencement Committee, or a representative from the Office of the Provost prior to your college's ceremony. 

If you are a faculty member from another college who would like to join the processional in different ceremony in order to participate in a ceremony where a family member is a degree candidate, please contact the lead marshal for the candidate's academic college.

What safety and security protocols are in place for Commencement and how will it impact me as a faculty participant?

Anyone entering Towson Center or SECU Arena (i.e. faculty, staff, degree candidates, guests, etc.) will undergo handheld metal detection and bag checks. A TUPD officer will be present at every building entrance where metal detection and bag checks take place.

  • Please allow extra time for the safety protocols.
  • Bags larger than 22 x 12 x 8 may not be taken into the ceremony. 
  • Prohibited items (e.g. food, beverages, alcohol, pepper spray, noisemakers, etc.) are not permitted in SECU Arena or the Towson Center.  

Ceremony Day Information

Below you'll find commonly asked questions for both members of the faculty processional and members of the stage party. Answers vary based upon whether you are a processing faculty member or a member of the stage party. 

processing faculty faq

Who is part of the faculty processional?

Faculty marshals, degree candidate marshals and faculty members who attend Commencement and sit on the arena floor (in front of or next to degree candidates) during the ceremony are members of the faculty processional. 

 How do I get a parking pass and where do I park?

Your college's lead marshal will give you a parking permit for Lot 21 (see Commencement Parking mapprior to the ceremony. Instructions for parking, security protocols, arrival times, robing room locations and refreshments are printed on the back of the pass.

Permits are limited and cannot be replaced if lost. Please display your parking pass on your windshield when driving on campus so that you may park in the designated area. You will not be admitted to the lot without the designated parking pass. 

You may also carpool or take shuttle transportation from the Union Garage or Administration Building. Shuttles run from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

When should I arrive on ceremony day?

Please arrive by 8:45 a.m. (for the morning ceremony) or 1:45 p.m. (for the afternoon ceremony). All ceremony participants are subject to security screening at the building entrance. 

Where do I pick up my rental regalia?

If picking up rental regalia, please visit the University Store's regalia station located at the rear corner of the Towson Center Gym, which is just inside the entry door on the end of parking lot 21.

Where is the Faculty Robing Room located?

Once inside and after picking up rental regalia (if applicable), please report directly to the faculty robing room in Towson Center, Room 379 (new location). The faculty robing room is not secured during the ceremony to store belongings, so valuable items, as well as briefcases and handbags should be stored in your locked vehicle or left in another secure location.

What should I expect in the Faculty Robing Room?
  • College lead marshals and commencement staff members will be available upon arrival to check faculty in and assist with robing and processional instructions.  
  • After checking-in at the robing room, faculty members are encouraged to visit the candidate robing room, which is located nearby in the Towson Center gymnasiums (staff will provide directions to this area if needed). 
  • Refreshments are provided for members of the faculty processional prior to each Commencement ceremony. A variety of dietary options will be available.
  • All processing faculty members will line up for the processional into SECU Arena 15 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony (9:45 a.m. or 2:45 p.m.).
  • The Commencement procession will begin with the degree candidates at the stated ceremony start time. Faculty process into the arena after the students and just before the stage party.
What if I need an accommodation?

Processing faculty will spend approximately 20 minutes standing and walk a half a mile (each way) from the Towson Center to the SECU Arena. We strongly recommended that you wear comfortable shoes that day. However, if you cannot walk long distances, stand for a period of time, or need another accommodation, please contact your college's lead marshal, the member of the Commencement Committee assigned to your role, or Office of the Provost representative to request alternate arrangements.

Do I have to attend a rehearsal?

No. Only grand marshals, VIP marshals, name card presenters and readers are required to attend rehearsal the Tuesday prior to the ceremonies. Degree candidate marshals and faculty marshals will meet with the ceremony coordinator prior to the start of the ceremony to review the responsibilities of the role.

stage party faq

Who is a member of the stage party?

Members of the stage party include  department chairpersons, program directors, Grand Marshals, VIP marshals, Name Readers, Name Card Presenters and faculty members representing Senate, AAUP, TUSC, or another university entity sit on stage during the ceremony with the President, Provost, Vice-Provost, Vice-Presidents, General Counsel, Deans, Associate Deans, Board of Regent representative, Board of Visitor representatives, Alumni Association representative, and GSA and SGA representatives. 

A representative from the Office of the President or Office of the Provost will contact members of the stage party regarding participation in the ceremony approximately two months prior to the ceremony to provide preliminary information.

 How do I get a parking pass and where do I park?

The Office of the Provost will distribute your parking pass for Lot 20 (see Commencement Parking map) prior to the ceremony. Instructions for parking, security protocols, arrival times, robing room locations and refreshments are printed on the back of the pass.

Permits are limited and cannot be replaced if lost. Please display your parking pass on your windshield when driving on campus so that you may park in the designated area. You will not be admitted to the lot without the designated parking pass. 

When should I arrive on ceremony day?

Please arrive by 8:30 a.m. (for the morning ceremony) or 1:30 p.m. (for the afternoon ceremony). All ceremony participants are subject to security screening at the building entrance. 

Where is the Stage Party Robing Room located?

The stage party robing room is located on the third floor of SECU Arena in the Multipurpose Room (accessible via stairs or by elevator from the ground floor ). If you've requested rental regalia, a robing room coordinator will assist you once you arrive in the robing room.

What should I expect in the Stage Party Robing Room?
  • If you've rental regalia, the regalia will be in the stage party robing room. Please do not go to another location to pick up rental regalia.
  • The stage party robing room is secured during the ceremony to store belongings and items such as briefcases and handbags if needed.
  • Lunch and refreshments are provided for members of the stage party prior to or immediately following each Commencement ceremony. A variety of dietary options will be available.
What if I need an accomodation?

Members of the stage party will spend approximately 15 minutes standing and walk a short distance from the robing room to the SECU Arena. We strongly recommended that you wear comfortable shoes that day. However, if you cannot negotiate stairs, stand for a period of time, or need another accommodation please contact the Office of the Provost to make alternative arrangements.

Regalia Information

Faculty members who participate in the ceremony as part of the stage party or the processional are required to wear academic regalia. Faculty may rent regalia from the university's vendor, or borrow regalia from the Commencement Closet, an initiative of the Office of the Provost.

regalia faqs

What is the process for borrowing regalia from Commencement Closet?

A loaner closet with regalia donated by retired faculty is available for faculty use. Please email  to submit a request to use regalia from this inventory. Requests are accommodated on a first-come, first-served basis. While the loaner closet continues to grow, there are a limited number of gowns available for borrowing.  Prompt return of the regalia allows those who manage the regalia to return it to inventory and clean and/or repair items as necessary.

How do I rent a cap and gown from the university's regalia vendor?
  • Faculty may rent regalia online beginning October 1 (for Winter) or March 1 (for Spring). An early bird discount is provided for orders placed before November 30 (for Winter) or April 30 (for Spring).
  • Faculty who prefer to order via phone should contact  from the University Store at 410-704-4621 to place a rental order by the dates stated above.
  • Once ordered, a representative from the University Store will ensure that your rented regalia is waiting for you at the appropriate location (either the faculty robing room in 117 Towson Center or the Multipurpose Room in SECU Arena based upon your role in the ceremony) on ceremony day.
How much does it cost to rent regalia?
  BEFORE 11/30 OR 4/30 AFTER 11/30 OR 4/30
Master or Bachelor Gown, Hood, Cap & Tassel $48.00 $73.00
Doctoral Gown, Hood, Cap & Tassel $75.00 $100.00
Master or Bachelor Gown, Cap & Tassel  $25.00 $50.00
Master or Bachelor Hood, Cap & Tassel $25.00 $50.00
Doctoral Gown, Cap & Tassel $37.50 $62.50
Doctoral Hood & Cap $37.50 $62.50
Master or Bachelor Gown $25.00 $50.00
Doctoral Gown $37.50 $62.50
Tam $20.00 $45.00
Cap & Tassel $6.50 $6.50
Black or Gold Tassel $2.50 $2.50