Attention Class Of 2016

The unofficial handbook for commencement

Campus News > Attention Class Of 2016
Attention Class Of 2016
Know where to go on graduation day
Amanda Petty

It’s time for students to get all their ducks in row for a time regarded as one of the proudest moments of their lives.

Commencement marks the end of a chapter and the start of another. This is the day students’ mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers, siblings and friends, the graduates themselves, have marked on the calendar since beginning this journey at Kean University.

Years and years consumed by the dedication to earn a degree of higher education. To come to this end of the road, it took some graduates to invest some blood from papercuts after handling 20-page papers, sweat from rushing to and from class, and tears of exhaustion after pulling an all-nighter studying.

With things like senioritis going strong since spring break, senior seminar paper due dates closing in and trying to figure out post-graduation life, the little details of commencement may slip a graduate’s mind.

All things related to the final round that is commencement is conveniently mapped out below for graduates to follow.

When and Where

On Thursday, May 19, 2016, Kean University graduates of 2016 will be recognized in front of thousands at Prudential Center. The Commencement ceremony of 2016 will begin at 8:30 a.m. Prudential Center is located in Newark on 25 Lafayette Street.

Caps and Gowns

Caps and gowns should have been ordered by Tuesday, March 29, 2016. When the order was completed, students should have received a confirmation number. Make sure to keep this receipt as it is required to be shown when picking up a student’s cap and gown order.

Students are given several days to pick up their caps and gowns. Cap and gown distribution will take place the last week of the semester, Monday, May 9 through Friday, May 13, 2016. Students go can go to Miron Student Center (MSC) room 228 to collect their orders.

The first two days serve as Priority Pick-Ups, in which only those who submitted their cap and gown orders on Jostens website and were sent an order confirmation are qualified.

Refer to the list below for times.

  • Monday, May 9: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Priority Pick-Up
  • Tuesday, May 10: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Priority Pick-Up
  • Wednesday, May 11: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Thursday, May 12: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Friday, May 13: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

From Wednesday, May 11 to Friday, May 13 all graduates can pick up their caps and gowns.

For whatever reason a student is unable to collect their order, they are able to give written permission for another individual to pick it up. The sanctioned individual must bring the note with them.

It is crucial for students to remember to bring their caps and gowns to the commencement ceremony as extra caps and gowns will not be available at the Prudential Center.

Ceremony Tickets Information

For this significant moment, it is understandable for graduates to want all their friends and family in the stands, supporting them as they walk across that stage. While Kean University realizes this, Prudential Center is unfortunately not large enough to accommodate.

 For this reason, graduates will receive a total of six tickets for guests. Ticket vouchers will be dispersed when graduates collect their caps and gowns. The ticket voucher does not act as a substitute for ceremony tickets on commencement day. Prior to commencement, graduates must take the voucher to Little Theatre Box Office to exchange it for the actual guest tickets.

Guests must have tickets upon arrival. If a guest does not present a ticket at the door, he or she won’t be allowed into the building. Children require tickets as well.

There is no assigned seating. The seating policy is first-come, first-serve. Graduates should make sure their guests are aware of which side of Prudential Center to sit on for the best photo opportunities of the graduate. Refer to the image below.

There are Luxury Suites available for the ceremony. The suite easily fits 16 people. Suites feature a TV, some tables and high-back chairs. As the ceremony can be a bit tedious in length and hunger typically makes an appearance, an optional food service is also available for a Luxury Suite.

If guests or graduates are interested in purchasing a Luxury Suite, they can call 973-757-6250 or email

Graduate Arrival Expectations

Graduates are expected to arrive at the Prudential Center Lafayette Tower prior to 7 a.m. Arriving on time is important as it affects the processional lineup.

Graduates should have with them:

  • Cap
  • Gown
  • Reader card

Once in Lafayette Tower, students will receive instructions to their proper lineup area, which is determined by which college they earned their degree in. Commencement marshals will be available to assist graduates. Lineup begins at 7 a.m.

Keep in mind guests are not permitted in the lineup area.

Graduate and Guest Entrances

On the morning of the commencement ceremony, graduates must enter the building via Lafayette Tower.

Guests are to enter Prudential Center one of three entrances:

  • PNC Bank Tower: which is the northeast corner of Prudential Center, located at Mulberry and Edison Place
  • Lafayette Tower: the Southeast corner of Prudential Center, located at Mulberry and Lafayette
  • Lafayette Street Entrance: located on Lafayette Street

Travel Alternative

As mentioned previously, the ceremony begins promptly at 8:30 a.m. Given the special occasion that is graduation, the traffic will intensify as time ticks closer to the starting time. Guests and graduates should calculate travel time into arrival.

An alternative to driving to Prudential Center is taking the train. It is a fairly easy travel from Kean University to the center. Take Union Station to Newark Penn Station and walk the short distance to Prudential Center.

Commencement Attire

As stressed earlier, caps and gowns must be in the possession of graduates upon arrival. Remember, the photos taken on graduation day will be framed and hung on walls for all to see. Take care to air out, hang and press gowns.

Worried that a gown is too long or too short? Break out a ruler or measuring tape. When a graduate is adorning his or her gown, it should be 8 inches from the floor.

When selecting which shoes to wear for commencement, keep in mind that stairs will be involved in the procession. It is highly suggested graduates wear shoes that are comfortable and don’t feature heels that are sky-high.

A graduate’s cap is expected to be worn slightly forward on the head and not tilted. The tassel is on the front-right of the cap; the crossover of tassel ritual happens once all graduates walk across the stage.

Awarding of Degrees

Graduates of a shared program of study will cohesively stand and make their way towards the stage. When a graduate’s name is called, he or she will walk across the stage to meet the dead of the college, who will congratulate and shake the graduate’s hand. The graduate will then make his or her way back to his or her seat.

Reminder: graduates will not receive their diplomas during the ceremony. Diplomas will be mailed after commencement.

Photo Opportunities

Island Photography is providing professional photographers. They will photograph the iconic moment of each graduate as he or she walks across the stage and receives his or her diploma cover.

Graduates will receive the photos from Island Photography 48 hours or less after the ceremony. They can then look at the photos and decide if they wish to order the photos or not. There is no obligation to purchase the photos.

Photos can be ordered from Island Photography by calling at 1-800-869-0908 or emailing

It is also asked that all graduation-related photos to adorn the #KeadGrads2016 on any social media platform.


Any questions or concerns can be addressed to MSC Operations and Event Management by going to the Information Desk in the MSC Atrium or calling 908-737-5200.

Congratulations Kean University graduates of 2016! The staff, faculty and student body wishes the best of luck to the newest additions to the alumni community of Kean University.

about the author

Amanda Petty is double majoring in English-writing and communication studies while also pursuing a minor in marketing. Amanda has been a member of The Cougar's Byte, as an Editor and now Senior Editor, since Fall 2014. In her senior year at Kean University, she is excited to strive after a career in book publishing. The ultimate goal is to go into the editorial department, ideally working with young adult fiction.