Ceremony Information

Towson University has established ceremony guidelines to maintain the decorum of Commencement ceremonies, as well as safety measures to ensure the protection of all who attend. 

Arena Safety 

The following procedures to maintain safety at major events SECU Arena were established based on a review of TU’s security measures and an assessment of best practices at similar institutions and event destinations across the country.

Bag size limit and bag checks

Bags will be checked prior to event entrance, and bags larger than 22 x 12 x 8 inches will not be permitted in the arena. Guests with bags or other prohibited items will not be able to stow their items, and will be asked to discard these items or return them to their vehicle. Boxes that are 22 x 12 x 8 inches will be available at the entrance to the arena for size reference. Prohibited items include:

  • alcohol, food or beverages
  • animals (with the exception of service animals)
  • audio or video recording equipment
  • bags/purses larger than 22 x 12 x 8"
  • Bota bags, wineskins or flasks
  • balloons, confetti, streamers, glitter, fireworks, etc.
  • balls, bikes, hoverboards, roller blades, scooters, etc.
  • cameras with lenses greater than 8"(including monopods and tripods)
  • cigarettes, vapes, etc.
  • containers, coolers, flasks, baskets, etc.
  • drones or airborne devices
  • illegal drugs
  • knives over 3” in length
  • laser pointers, markers, dry erase boards, paint, etc.
  • noisemaking devices
  • open umbrellas
  • sticks or poles, including selfie-sticks
  • weapons (common examples include, but are not limited to: aerosol cans, mace, pepper spray, firearms, including CCW permit holders, pocket knives, knives, spiked bracelets, brass knuckles, martial arts weapons, stun guns, and chains)

arena safety

Metal Detection

Handheld metal detectors operated by Safe Management (security staff contracted by the university) employees will be used to check guests prior to event entrance. When attending an event, please give yourself adequate time for going through the safety procedures. Get more information on event procedures at Unitas Stadium and campus safety prevention.


Policies for Graduates

Commencement is a formal occasion and should be viewed as such in dress and demeanor. While a spirit of joy and enthusiasm is encouraged, commencement is a dignified ceremony that recognizes the academic achievements of Towson University graduates and honorees. 

regalia policies

  • For academic ceremonies such as Commencement, Towson University is guided by the American Council on Education's Academic Costume Code.

  • Graduation candidates at Commencement must wear regalia including: black caps with black tassels, and black gowns. Master's and doctoral candidates where lined black hoods. 

  • Graduates may wear a maximum of two stoles representing Towson University academic honors or university-recognized student activities and organizations.

  • Wearing a decorated cap during the ceremony is strongly discouraged. While the university recognizes that this may be an important activity for some, graduates who choose to wear a decorated cap during the Commencement ceremony must follow strict guidelines. The guidelines will be enforced on ceremony day and the university reserves the right to request that graduates change inappropriate attire such as decorated caps that do not adhere to the guidelines before they will be allowed to participate in the Commencement ceremony.

  • Braided cords only recognize university-approved academic honors. The list of organizations approved to distribute academic cords for members to wear during the commencement ceremony has been determined by the Office of the Provost in consultation with academic colleges. 

  • Graduating students must leave jackets, purses, boxes, backpacks, and/or bags at home or with guests. If desired a small, thin cross body bag (no larger than 22 x 12 x 8”) into the ceremony.  If student chooses to use a cross body bag, it must be worn under the gown. Bags larger than the dimensions listed above must be checked as they will not be permitted in the processional. 

Ceremony policies

  • All graduates will be required to show their TU student ID (OneCard) or another form of official identification in order to receive the name card needed to participate in the processional.

  • Graduates who do not present their OneCard (or other official form of identification) will be directed to the Participant Verification station where a staff member will verify the student's identity and authorization to participate in the ceremony.

  • Graduates found to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol will not be permitted to participate in the ceremony and will be referred to the TU Office of Student Conduct and Civility Education. Disciplinary sanctions may jeopardize or delay your diploma.

  • Graduates may take a mobile phone into the ceremony, but it must be turned off for the duration of the ceremony. Graduates are not permitted to live-stream or display mobile phones or electronic devices such as GoPro cameras across the stage.

  • Fraudulent activity or misrepresentation of information or eligibility to participate in commencement may result in disciplinary action through the TU Office of Student Conduct and Civility Education

Policies for Guests

  • Doors open for guests 90 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony (8:30 a.m. for the morning ceremonies and 1:30 p.m. for the afternoon ceremonies). All seating is first-come first -served, general seating. There is no assigned seating in any sections of the arena.

  • Guests should remain in their seats for the duration of the ceremony (approximately two hours).

  • Guests are not permitted to stand on the concourse level to watch the ceremony and will be directed to a seat.

  • Guests may not block the aisles or passageways by attempting to greet or take photos with graduates.

  • To allow for the names of all graduates to be heard by their family members and guests, we ask all audience members to be considerate of other graduates’ guests by providing no more than 3 seconds of celebration or applause for their graduate.

  • Guests who bring or use signs, fireworks, beach balls, balloons, air horns, bells or noisemakers will be asked to leave the arena.


In the event of an emergency, please contact University Police (410) 704-4444 and/or 911. The following coordinates can be used when giving the location of SECU arena 39.38980 -76.61565 or 7500 Osler Blvd. Towson University will provide a first aid station inside the arena in case of emergency.

Inclement Weather

Should inclement weather occur, please check the local radio and TV stations for announcements regarding delays. You may also call TU at 410-704-2000 or 410-704-NEWS (6397), or check weather announcements via TU’s homepage. Please note that once a ceremony has started, it will not be canceled.