Graduation | Hodges University

  • Graduation Information

    Graduation is the most significant academic event for students and the entire university community. It is the culmination of years of hard work and personal and financial sacrifice for students and families alike. The Graduation Committee has gone to great lengths to make this year's commencement one which will properly honor your accomplishment and provide lasting memories. The 27th Commencement Ceremony will celebrate the traditional observances that accompany one of the highest rewards of academic achievement.          

    This information has been prepared to answer questions for graduates, family and friends and replaces a formal rehearsal. Please click on each hyperlink as additional information has been provided. The 2016 Commencement Ceremony is for any student graduating August 2015, December 2015 or April 2016. The Commencement Ceremony will take place at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 12, 2016 at:

    Germain Arena
    11000 Everblades Parkway
    Estero, Florida

    In making preparations for graduation, it is imperative that graduates keep up to date with any new developments. Should you have any questions regarding graduation, please contact the registrar's office using the contact information listed below. The registrar’s office verifies you have completed all requirements necessary to participate in the ceremony so please reply promptly to any emails or phone calls you may receive. 

    • Fort Myers Campus:  (239) 938-7818 or (800) 466-0019;
    • Naples Campus:  (239) 938-7818 or (800) 466-8017;
    • Email the registrar’s office at  

    Please carefully review all information posted. Your cooperation and understanding of procedures will guarantee a smooth, enjoyable ceremony for you and your guests.

  • Candidate Information

    Graduation Requirements & Documentation Required

    All candidates need to complete graduation information requested in the link: prior to attending the Grad Celebration listed below.

    Graduation regalia (cap, gown and tassel) will need to be ordered online at  The graduation fee does NOT cover graduation regalia and ALL students will need to order their graduation regalia NO LATER THAN May 13, 2016.

    If graduation regalia is ordered after May 13, 2016, you will NOT be able to order from the link above and will need to contact the University Store at 800-466-8017 or 800-466-0019 for ordering, purchasing and regalia pick-up information.  There will be an additional $12.00 handling fee for orders made after the May 13 date.

    Honor cords, hoods and pins will be available for pick up during either of the Graduation Celebrations.  Information about the events are is provided below.

    Students may also purchase rings, announcements, picture frames, etc. from Herff Jones, our graduation vendor.  You may order these items online at or by coming to one of the Graduation Celebrations for assistance with ordering.

    Students may come to either of the Graduation Celebrations for assistance with ordering all graduation items and honor cord pick up on the following dates:

    • Fort Myers Campus: April 27, 2016 from 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
    • Naples Campus: April 28, 2016 from 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

    Students who live 60 miles or more from the university and plan to attend the ceremony may contact the Naples registrar’s office to make arrangements for graduation supplies and for assistance on ordering your graduation items online.

    Graduation Photography: GradImages has been hired to take three photographs of you during the ceremony and will additionally create a composite group shot from these photos based on the type of degree you are earning (i.e. an associate composite photo, a bachelor composite photo and master’s composite photo). Students who pre-register with GradImages will receive $5 off a future $25 order.  Pre-register with GradImages by visiting and clicking on the Pre-Event Registration at the bottom of the page. This provides them with the most correct and up to date contact information and ensures the delivery of your graduation proofs in a timely manner. You may register your email, as well as up to six additional emails of those who would like to share in your accomplishment by viewing and ordering photos.  

    Winter 2016 potential graduates must pass and complete all degree requirements by May 9, 2016, in order to be listed in the commencement program.  Please verify all coursework has been completed by the end of the semester.
    The details printed on your diploma will be determined by the information we have on file.  All Summer 2015 and Fall 2015 diplomas may be picked up at a Grad Celebration.  Winter 2016 graduates will be notified by university email when your diploma will be available.  It is your responsibility to make sure that the information in your file is correct.  We urge all students to check their account status with the Office of Student Account Services prior to Commencement.  Failure to satisfy all financial obligations with the university will prevent you from receiving your diploma and/or transcripts in a timely manner. 

    The Alumni Association of Hodges University was founded in 1992. The mission of the Alumni Association is to advance the needs of Hodges alumni through volunteerism, networking and community involvement while supporting the goals of the university and its pursuit of lifelong learning.

    All graduates of Hodges University are considered members of the association. There are no membership fees or dues. 

    Mr. Brian Hawkins serves as the employer and alumni relations manager and is the contact person for the Alumni Association.

    In 2014, the Alumni Advisory Council was established to:

    • sustain communication between alumni and the university;
    • increase alumni participation and involvement;
    • discover and recognize achievements of Hodges University alumni;
    • assess and plan specialty programming for alumni;
    • create opportunities for alumni to network with each other; and
    • develop and promote alumni/student relations.

    Please keep the Alumni Association updated of any address and employment changes, professional accomplishments and general alumni news. Contact us at or complete the Update Your Information form on the Alumni Association website.  A current email address is important for alumni contact and receipt of alumni information. 

    Also, please remember to contact the Registrar’s Office to update directory information such as email address, home address or phone number.

    Your alma mater, Hodges University, wishes to maintain a positive relationship with its graduates and strongly supports the development of a proactive Alumni Association.  Alumni may assist the institution through student referrals, professional mentorships, testimonials and responding to the annual surveys from the Institutional Effectiveness Committee.

  • Commencement Day

    Plan to arrive at 2:00 PM for a review of the ceremony instructions. 

    Graduates may enter through the east entrance. 

    Each graduate will pick up his/her name card at tables located behind the stage. This card should be carried by you until it is given to the announcer before crossing the stage. 

    • Your legal name is printed on the name card, which is also listed in the program. 
    • Complete your current contact information on the back of the card for our photographer.
    • Graduates will be assigned a seat number in either Section 115, 116 or 117 alphabetically by program.
    • Please note that to get to your seat, you must walk up stairs.  The card will have your seat listed in the lower right hand corner. 
    • Be sure you have your name card with you before you begin the procession. 

    Extra caps and gowns are always brought to the ceremony if yours needs to be replaced.


    You are expected to wear the full academic dress (cap, gown and honor cord or master's hood, if applicable). 

    Graduates will put on their caps and gowns after arriving at Germain Arena.  Staff will be available to help. 

    Please leave all valuables and personal items with family, friends or guests. 

    Attire traditionally worn with the gown: 

    • Men -- dress shirt with collar, dark slacks, plain dark tie and black shoes.
    • Women -- dark dress, or skirt or pants and blouse, with black, closed-toed shoes.   Flip-flops, tennis shoes and white shoes should not be worn. 

    If need be, please press your gowns with a cool iron. 

    The cap should lie flat with the tassel hanging on the front right side.  Graduates should be careful not to let the tassel interfere while photographs are being taken. 

    If applicable, honor cords should be worn around the neck with tassels hanging down from each side.  Honor cords will be distributed according to university policy:

    • gold for summa cum laude (3.90-4.0 GPA);
    • burgundy for magna cum laude (3.76-3.89 GPA); or
    • silver for cum laude (3.50-3.75 GPA). 

    The university makes every attempt to plan and conduct a meaningful, dignified ceremony.  The recognition of your academic achievements should be observed with respect.   Disorderly conduct, rowdiness or the presence of alcohol or drugs will be grounds for immediate removal and may result in your diploma being retained by the university.

    Graduates are advised to use the restroom facilities prior to the start of the ceremony, as you will not be permitted to leave your seats once the ceremony begins.  Graduates are required to remain seated throughout the program. 

    Graduates are seated in sections 115, 116 or 117 in the order that they will walk across the stage.  This order coincides with the way the degrees are listed in the commencement program, alphabetically and by degree. 

    You will be asked to move down to the floor area at 3:30 p.m.  You will form as many rows as possible behind the stage.  When the procession begins, students will continue to move to the floor area as quickly as possible.  (Students arriving late will be placed behind all other graduates and may not be seated next to others earning the same degree and major.)

    Processional Order

    • Grand Marshal
    • Carol Morrison, senior vice president of student and academic services
    • Faculty
    • Marcia Turner, dean of students
    • Master’s candidates
    • Bachelor’s candidates
    • Associate candidates
    • Stage guests

    Commencement programs will be provided as you enter the main floor.

    Enter the main floor along the north side of the arena.  Proceed all the way to the back of the seats, turn right and turn right again into the center aisle.


    The student speaker for the graduation ceremony is selected by the Graduation Committee.  To be considered for this honor, you must meet the following requirements: 

    • be receiving a baccalaureate degree,
    • have an institutional cumulative grade point average of 3.90 or higher, and
    • be recommended by your school. 

    All students who meet these requirements will have an information packet and application form mailed from Dr. Turner.  The student speaker will interview and be selected on April 28, 2016.

    After the student and guest speaker are finished, Dr. Wortham will ask all candidates for the master’s degree to please stand.  Master's degrees will be conferred by the president.  You will then be sent to the stage area by Ms. Morrison.  Dr. Turner will send you one at a time to see Ms. Klentzeris.  You will hand Ms. Klentzeris your name card face up so she can read your name.  Proceed across the stage as indicated in the chart.

    Accept the diploma cover from the president with your left hand.  Shake hands with your right hand.  This will be one of the photos taken so remember to smile. 

    The Grand Marshal will turn your tassel and shake hands with others on stage.  The Alumni Association will give you a gift and faculty will congratulate you before you return to your seat.

    Please sit down when you return to your seat.

    Bachelor and associate graduates will follow the same procedures.

    If you are seated in Section B, follow the directions to access the stage and return to your seat.

    GradImages has been hired to take three photographs of you during the ceremony, one before you go to the stage, one when you are shaking the president’s hand at center stage and one after you have exited the stage. An email will be sent when your proofs are available to your Hodges email address and any additional email address you provided on the back of the name card. Students who preregister with GradImages will receive a $5 off a future $25 order.

    Order of recessional:

    • Grand Marshal
    • Stage guests
    • Graduates
    • Faculty

    Dr. Turner and Ms. Morrison will let you know when your row may exit.

    Do not stop when you reach the area behind the stage as other graduates are trying to leave, too.

    Try to pre-arrange a meeting location with your family and friends as you may exit the arena from either side behind the stage.


    Please check back here for directions on how to view the live commencement ceremony online.
  • Guest Information

    Commencement Day

    The Commencement Ceremony will take place at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 12, 2016 at:

    Germain Arena
    11000 Everblades Parkway
    Estero, Florida 

    A more detailed interactive map may be referenced at the following website:

    From the North: Take I-75 to Exit 128 (Alico Road). Head east on Alico Road to Ben Hill Griffin Parkway. Take Ben Hill Griffin for approximately 3.5 miles south. The Arena is located on the right-hand side.

    From the South: Take I-75 to Exit 123 (Corkscrew Road). Head east on Corkscrew Road. Take Ben Hill Griffin north and the Arena is located on the left-hand side.

    The parking lot opens three hours prior to the Commencement Ceremony.

    There is ample parking available at Germain Arena in the surrounding parking lots.

    There is no charge for parking.


    Guests should arrive between 3:00 and 3:30 p.m. 

    Handicapped seating is available in the south side stands.  There is open space for wheelchairs and some free standing chairs.  One guest may sit with a handicapped guest.

    Please note that baby strollers, balloons and flowers are not allowed in the arena.  Strollers, balloons and flowers will be checked in with Germain staff and are kept at the main desk and may be picked up after the ceremony.

    One concession stand will be open for food and drinks on the south side of the arena.

    Parents, family and friends are encouraged to stay seated, as leaving the ceremony demonstrates extreme disrespect to all in attendance.

    NO one is allowed onto the main floor or in the aisles to take pictures.

    A professional photographer has been hired to take no-obligation photos of each graduate.

    Photographs may be taken by family and friends from the seating areas.

    Local hotels have been contacted and they are excited to be offering special discounts to Hodges University students and family members for our Commencement Celebration weekend events. HU Graduates and Guests - to secure these rates – at any of these hotels – identify yourself as being with Hodges University and you will be quoted these preferred rates. Please make your reservation early since these rates are based on availability at the time of reservation.

    $109.00 - 2 Doubles
    Estero, FL 33928
    (239) 949-4222 or (866) 949-9491 or

    Take I-75 to Exit 123. Go west onto Corkscrew Road. Hotel is on the right. Fort Myers only upscale, all suites, full-service hotel. Each suite has a private bedroom and spacious living room. Each room is fully equipped with two televisions, a refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker, two telephones with data ports and a dining/work table. Complimentary cooked-to-order breakfast, wireless internet and nightly manager reception.

    2630 Northbrooke Plaza Drive Naples, FL 34119
    Naples, FL 34119
    (239) 596-1299

    Take I-75 to Exit 111, next door to HU Naples Campus.

    $99.00 - 2 Queens
    9931 Interstate Commerce Drive
    Fort Myers, FL 33913

    Ideally located near Interstate 75 (exit 128) in Ft. Myers, FL, the brand new Holiday Inn is three miles from Southwest Florida International Airport and three miles from Germain Arena. Hotel is adjacent to Gulf Coast Town Center. The hotel has complimentary airport shuttle service to/from the airport and Gulf Coast Town Center. An outdoor pool, a well-equipped Fitness Center, “oasis” indoor/outdoor lounge with fire pit and a full-service restaurant with room service are some of the deluxe amenities.

    To book this special rate on line, please refer to group code HUG or call (239) 561-1550 and ask for the Hodges University Graduation (HUG) rate.

    LaQuinta Inn and Suites
    Fort Myers, FL 33912
    (239) 466-0012

    NOTE: Breakfast is included in the rate.

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