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Florida Commencement Ceremonies

    2021 Commencement, Tampa Florida

    Registration for the Tampa ceremony is closed; late registrants will not be accepted

    Florida Commencement Ceremony Update:

    Commencement exercises will be held in the Expo Hall at the Florida State Fairgrounds located at 4800 U.S. Highway 301 North, Tampa, FL 33610. Venue information and preferred hotel partners of the Florida State Fairgrounds at

    Commencement 2021 programs



    The Tampa Commencement ceremonies will follow the schedule below:

    Friday, May 21, 2021
    Evening Ceremony
    7:00 p.m.

    College of Education and Social Services Ed.S and Ed.D Students
    College of Arts and Science Graduate Students
    Worldwide Undergraduate Students

    Saturday, May 22, 2021
    Morning Ceremony
    9:00 a.m.

    Tapia College of Business Graduate Students
    College of Education and Social Services Graduate Students

    Afternoon Ceremony
    2:30 p.m.

    University Campus Undergraduate Students
    Tapia College of Business DBA Students

    Guests may arrive one hour prior to the start of each ceremony and should be seated within 15 minutes of the ceremony start time.

    There is a drop-off area for graduates and guests to use for those who cannot walk through the parking lot.


    Facemasks are required for all within the Expo Hall at the Florida State Fairgrounds. Social distancing will be implemented. Please be mindful of others.

    Temperature checks will be taken prior to entry. Anyone displaying a fever will not be admitted.

    In order to provide a greater level of safety for our graduates, all students participating in a commencement ceremony are asked to don a glove for the ceremonial handshake with the university president. This practice prevents the potential spreading of germs from one graduate to another. Gloves will be provided. All gloves used in the ceremony are biodegradable in order to minimize the impact on our environment.


    Graduates should arrive one hour prior to the ceremony. Check-in is required in the Entertainment Hall connected to the Expo Hall. There is no rehearsal; instructions will be provided upon check-in.

    Graduates may add event-appropriate decorations to their cap. Additional cords and stoles are allowed.

    What to Bring

    Be sure to bring your regalia. Academic regalia is required to participate in the commencement ceremony.

    Face masks are required. Graduates are permitted to carry a small purse and/or cell phone. Any belongings will need to be kept with the graduate throughout the ceremony. There is not a place to leave, store, or secure personal belongings.

    What NOT to Bring

    Do not bring large bags, laptops, selfie sticks, balloons, air horns, or noisemakers. There is not a place to leave, store, or secure personal belongings.


    Students who have confirmed their registration may claim guest tickets through the personalized link sent to their email. If not received, email to have it reissued.

    Each graduate will be given four (4) guest tickets to accommodate social distancing. There is no charge for these tickets. Additional tickets are NOT available. Tickets will be distributed electronically and can be claimed in Marching Order.

    Seats will be sectioned into pods of four (4) to enforce social distancing. Seating will not be assigned. Guest seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis. All guest seating is bleacher style with stairs to access. Please have your guest visit an attendant at the ceremony if handicapped seating is required. Children age 2 and older must have their own seats and therefore must have a ticket.

    Baby carriers and strollers are permitted in the Expo Hall; however, they may not be taken into the bleachers. Please note that this is bleacher seating so the stroller will be left unattended. Do not leave valuables with the stroller unattended.

    Please make post-commencement plans in accordance with the published ceremony schedule. Each ceremony will be approximately 2 hours. Graduates and guests should remain seated through the conclusion of the ceremony.


    Friends and family who are not able to attend the ceremony in person may watch via live streaming video. A link to access the live stream will be posted on the day of the ceremony at


    Regalia is required to participate in the ceremony. Contact the Bookstore with any questions about caps and gowns at (352) 588-8344 or Maureen Tarpey at


    Before May 3, 2021, you must submit your degree conferral application (if you have not already). To submit this required application and payment, go to eLion – Academic Profile – Application for Graduation-Degree Conferral. Payment of $125 with credit card is due at the time of submission. This application and payment are required to confer your degree, issue your diploma, and participate in the commencement ceremony. You only need to submit one Degree Conferral Application per program.


    You must be financially clear to participate in the commencement event. Balances for 2021SP2 and prior will need to be resolved prior to May 14 to be eligible to walk. To make payment or to discuss your account balance, please contact Student Financial Services at (800) 240-7658 or via email at


    Leis, bouquets and Saint Leo Kukui Nut necklaces will be available for sale at the commencement ceremonies. Students/guests are encouraged to pre-order and pick up before each ceremony, that way graduates can wear the leis/kukui necklaces in pictures. Graduation Day Flowers Pre-order website:


    Grad Images will contact each graduate individually within a week after the ceremony. You will have the option to purchase professional photos of you on your special day!


    Latin honor designations will be listed in the commencement program. The designation is based on the cumulative grade point average earned at the end of the prior fall term/semester. Once all grades are posted and the degree is conferred, Latin honors are calculated and will be on your diploma and transcript. Latin honors are awarded to bachelor degree recipients only. Honor cords are not given for Latin honors.


    Contact your Honor Society Advisor for information on other regalia such as cords. For international sashes, contact Paige Ramsey-Hamacher at in Center for Global Engagement. For military veteran cords, contact Luke McClees at Veteran cords can be picked up at University Campus or at check-in on the day of the ceremony (these cords will not be mailed).


    The commencement ceremony will take place rain or shine (hopefully it will be a sun-shiny Florida day). The Expo Hall is indoors so the ceremony will not be impacted by the weather.


    If you or your guests require disability-related accommodations to participate in the commencement ceremony, please contact the Office of Accessibility Services at (352)588-8464 or no later than (2 weeks before commencement date). 

    LAPTOP RETURN - University Campus Students Only

    Saint Leo laptops and/or tablets are due back to the Department of Information Technology (DoIT) no later than noon on, May 6 for all graduating seniors. Devices that are NOT returned by this date will be billed up to $1,200 for the device (based on replacement value) and a $250 late fee. Graduates who fail to return their devices will be placed on a financial hold and will not receive their transcript or diploma without first settling the account. NOTE: If you return the device after noon on Thursday, May 6, you will still be liable for the $250 late fee. If you have any questions, please contact Ivey Moran in DoIT at


    University Campus residential students should contact the Office of Residence Life at to discuss housing options for May 2021.

    Finally, if your plans have changed and you no longer intend to attend commencement, please send an email to

    Request more information