commencement processional

Southwest Baptist University is proud of the accomplishments of our graduates and we look forward to celebrating their accomplishments at commencement. Please refer to this site for important details about our commencement ceremonies.

commencement times and locations

Multiple commencement ceremonies are held to honor SBU graduates. See below for the time and location of your commencement.

Spring 2019 Commencement

Three commencement ceremonies will be held in May 2019. Ceremonies are held in the Jane and Ken Meyer Wellness and Sports Center on the Bolivar campus (building #33 on this campus map). More details will be available soon.

Thursday, May 16 at 7 p.m.

This ceremony is for associate and bachelor's degree graduates of the Mercy College of Nursing and Health Sciences. Graduates line up at 6 p.m.; ceremony begins at 7 p.m.

Live Stream

Saturday, May 18 at 10 a.m.

This ceremony is for graduates of associate and bachelor's degree programs in the following colleges:

  • College of Education and Social Sciences
  • College of Science and Mathematics
  • Courts Redford College of Theology and Ministry
  • Geneva Casebolt College of Music, Arts and Letters
  • Robert W. Plaster College of Business and Computer Science

Graduates line up at 9 a.m.; ceremony begins at 10 a.m.

Live Stream

Saturday, May 18 at 3 p.m.

This ceremony is for students of all Southwest Baptist University graduate and post-graduate programs (all master's, specialist's and doctoral degrees).

Graduates line up at 2 p.m.; ceremony begins at 3 p.m.

Live Stream

Frequently Asked Questions

Guest FAQ

  • College of Nursing and Health Sciences associate and bachelor's degree graduates will attend the 7 p.m. Thursday, May 16, ceremony. 
  • All other associate and bachelor's degree graduates will attend the 10 a.m. Saturday, May 18, ceremony.
  • Graduate program students will attend the 3 p.m. Saturday, May 18, ceremony. This ceremony includes all master's, specialist's and doctoral degrees.
  • Seating is first-come, first-served.
  • Doors to the Hammons Court floor will open one hour before each ceremony.
Graduates are encouraged to limit the number of guests to no more than 10 to allow family members of all graduates the opportunity to attend. Tickets or reservations are not required for guests. For the Saturday morning ceremony, overflow seating will be in Pike Auditorium.
There are handicap spaces near the entrances of the Meyer Wellness and Sports Center. They are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • A designated area for special needs will be on the Hammons Court floor. Enter the south/main entrance and follow the signs to Special Needs Seating. Enter gym floor through the door on the right and go straight back.
  • Second-floor seating also is available and may be reached by elevator.

Yes! A livestream of the commencement ceremonies will be available.

  • Undergraduate ceremonies last approximately two hours.
  • The graduate student ceremony in May lasts approximately one hour and 15 minutes.
Local accommodations are listed on our campus location page. Additional accommodations are located in nearby Springfield, Mo.
The Bolivar Area Chamber of Commerce maintains a partial listing of Bolivar restaurants (those who are Chamber members).


Watch your SBU email account and the MySBU portal announcements for specific instructions for steps you need to complete prior to graduation.

The ceremony you attend depends upon the academic college that houses your major, as detailed below.

Thursday, May 16

  • Mercy College of Nursing and Health Sciences associate and bachelor's degree recipients

Saturday, May 18 at 10 a.m.

Associate and bachelor's degree recipients from the following colleges:

  • College of Education and Social Sciences
  • College of Science and Mathematics
  • Courts Redford College of Theology and Ministry
  • Geneva Casebolt College of Music, Arts and Letters
  • Robert W. Plaster College of Business and Computer Science

Saturday, May 18 at 3 p.m.

  • Graduate-level degree recipients (all master's and specialist degrees)
  • Post-graduate degree recipients (DPT and Ed.D.)
No. There is no rehearsal. Therefore, reporting at lineup no later than 1 hour prior to the start of the ceremony is important so that you receive necessary instructions.
All graduates need to report to the Intramural Gym no later than 1 hour before your ceremony begins. The Intramural Gym is in the northeast corner of the Meyer Wellness Center (Building #33 on this map).
Leave personal belongings with others, as the lineup location is not locked during the ceremony.

Yes! A livestream of the commencement ceremonies will be available.

Your attendance at the ceremony is required. If you cannot attend due to extreme circumstances, you must gain permission to graduate "in absentia." Requests must be submitted as soon as possible but no later than April 1, 2019. To make a request, send an email to, stating your reason for being absent. You will receive a response by email within five business days.

A minimum of 45 semester hours of credit must have been completed at SBU prior to semester of graduation. For the graduation ceremony, honors are calculated on overall Grade Point Average from the previous semester.

  • Summa Cum Laude: 3.850-4.00
  • Magna Cum Laude: 3.700-3.849
  • Cum Laude: 3.500-3.699

After final semester grades are completed, official honors will be determined for transcripts.

Honor cords will be distributed at graduation.

  • Bolivar campus: Caps and gowns will be ready to be picked up from the SBU Bookstore after May 1. Bookstore hours are 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Fridays; and 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Friday, May 17. Please check your cap and gown before leaving to be sure you have the correct sizes.
  • Springfield campus undergraduates and MSN: Monday, May 6, from 9 a.m.-noon, Springfield Campus Library.
  • Mountain View and Salem campuses: Office staff will distribute your cap and gown to you.
  • Graduate Degree recipients: If you would like to pick up your graduation regalia from Salem or Mountain View campus, please call the Bolivar campus bookstore three weeks before graduation. MSN graduates: Your regalia will be delivered to the Springfield campus.
  • NOTE FOR ALL GRADUATES: The cost of regalia is included in your graduation fee, but you must order your regalia prior to the regalia pickup no later than March 18. Information about how to order the regalia will be sent to your SBU email address and posted on the MySBU portal in advance of the ordering deadline.
  • Questions regarding picking up your regalia? Contact the SBU Bookstore at (417) 328-1530.
Gown pressing is available for Bolivar campus undergraduates and all graduate degree recipients. A fee applies. Contact the SBU Bookstore by May 8 at (417) 328-1530.

Recommended attire:

  • Men: White dress shirt, dark slacks and dark dress shoes
  • Women: Dark dress (or dark skirt/slacks and blouse) and dark dress shoes

Caps are worn level with tassels on the left at all times. Men will remove caps at times of prayer; ladies will leave caps on at all times. This regalia is for you to keep.

Undergraduate degrees: The stole is worn like an honor cord, draped around the neck with the seal on your right. Those receiving honor cords will wear them on top of the stole.

Only the stoles, honor cords distributed at graduation lineup, and medals awarded to the Dutile Honors Program graduates may be worn with the graduation gown. It is NOT appropriate to wear cords/sashes/pins/ribbons from honor societies or Who's Who organizations during commencement.

Graduate degrees: The graduate hoods will be distributed at lineup.

Announcements may be ordered directly from CB Announcements or generic announcements may be purchased at the SBU Bookstore

The list of graduates will be posted online, on the Media Relations page, once grades have been finalized.

News releases will be sent to Missouri newspapers.

For out-of-state newspaper announcements, complete this form if you would like to have a news release sent to your hometown newspaper.

Grad Images will make pictures available online for your purchase. Visit or call 1-800-261-2576 with questions.

To be eligible for a discount on photo purchases, visit prior to the ceremony to pre-register for your graduation photos.

Diplomas and transcripts will be available within four weeks of graduation.

  • Pick up in the Registrar's Office: You are encouraged to pick up your diploma and transcript in the Registrar's Office. Please call (417) 328-1896 if you plan to pick up your diploma and transcript so that you can be notified when it is available.
  • Receive by mail: Diplomas and transcripts not picked up in the Registrar's Office will be mailed to the address you supplied when you submitted your online application to graduate.

All degrees will be granted contingent upon successful completion of all academic degree requirements, which includes the Community Life and Worship (CLW) requirements for graduates on the Bolivar campus, and payment of all financial balances. Once grades are determined and finalized, diplomas and official transcripts will be mailed to students who have successfully completed all requirements.