School of Medicine

Saturday, May 4, 2024 • 2 p.m. • Hawkins Arena

Commencement will take place on Saturday, May 4 at Hawkins Arena in the University Center on the Macon campus. The ceremony is scheduled to start promptly at 2 p.m., the doors to Hawkins Arena will open at 1:00 pm for guests to arrive and take their seats. Please be aware that entry before 1 p.m. will not be permitted.


10 a.m. – Graduates arrive/check-in and put on full regalia │ Intramural Courts*
10:30 a.m.
– Commencement instructions │ Assigned seat in Hawkins Arena
11 a.m. – Class pictures │ Hawkins Arena
11 a.m. – Rehearsal for student and faculty marshals │ Hawkins Arena
11:30 a.m. – Faculty Lunch │ Presidents Dining Room
12 p.m. – Boxed lunch for graduates │ Intramural Courts*
12:30 p.m. – Faculty Check-in and put on regalia (check-in for faculty closes at 1 p.m.) │ Intramural Courts*
1 p.m. – Doors to Hawkins Arena open for guests
1:15 p.m. – Processional/Recessional Instructions │ Assigned seat in Intramural Courts*
1:30 p.m. – Graduates and faculty line up │ Intramural Courts*
2 p.m. – Commencement │ Hawkins Arena
3:30 p.m. – Military Promotion Ceremony │ Hawkins Arena

*The Intramural Courts are located on the lower level of the University Center below the fitness center. To access the lower level, please use the elevator or stairs just inside the fitness center.


  • Parking is available in the Medical School, Stetson School of Business, and areas near the University Center (UC).
  • Parking at University Center is limited to Handicapped parking only.
  • View map of parking areas available during commencement.
  • Golf carts will pick up in the designated parking areas and drop off at the University Center.
  • After the event, golf carts will shuttle individuals from the University Center back to parking lots.


At this time tickets are not required and there is no limit on guests.

Regalia and Attire

  • Cap, tassel, gown, and hood are required and should be free of wrinkles. (Follow instructions provided with gowns.)
  • Cap must be worn flat on the head.
  • Place tassel on the left side. DO NOT FLIP TASSEL after receiving diploma. (MD students should pin their tassel in place on their tam with a safety pin to avoid losing them.)
  • Dark attire looks best under the fabric of the gowns. Dark dress slacks or a dark skirt in black, brown or navy are ideal.
  • Wear dark dress shoes. Low heels or flats are strongly encouraged.
  • No flip flops, casual sandals, slides or sneakers.
  • Only honor society cords and honor medallions (i.e., Phi Kappa Phi) approved by the University will be allowed.
  • All regalia worn should pertain only to the degree you are earning. Improper attire, signs, decorations on caps, and insignia are not allowed and will be removed by the marshals. Do NOT decorate your cap.

Ceremony Etiquette

  • Turn off all cell phones.
  • Be respectful of the graduates and hold all applause and celebratory outbursts until after all names have been read so that all names can be heard.


  • Professional photographs, including class photos, individual photos on stage with Dean Sumner, and candid photos from the ceremony, will be available for download on the School’s SmugMug site.
  • No one is allowed on the arena floor during commencement.

Arena Regulations

  • No balloons are allowed in Hawkins Arena.
  • No food or drinks are allowed in Hawkins Arena.
  • No strollers are allowed in the seating area of Hawkins Arena.

ADA Accommodations

  • Accessible seating is available on the main floor of Hawkins Arena around the perimeter.
  • All accessible seating is first come first serve for individuals with a disability and one companion.
  • Complementary Wheel Chairs for Transportation to Seats:
    • Mercer University has collaborated with Scott Pharmacy to provide wheel chairs to be used by guests for travel to seating. Guests transported with the chairs will be assisted by family members and Mercer staff will accompany to return the chair to the drop off location for the next guest.
    • Following the completion of the ceremony guests may again use the chairs to assist guests to the drop off station only.
    • If a wheel chair is needed for seating during the ceremony, we encourage you to bring a personal chair.

For questions and additional information, please contact the Office of Student Affairs at (478) 301-2652. Please make requests for any accommodation including but not limited to: seating, closed-captioning, and interpreting or other accommodations by April 15, 2024, to ensure access. We will continue to make a good-faith effort to provide accommodations received after this date.

Extended Bookstore Hours for May 4

Main Store: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Hawkins Arena Box: 1 p.m. – 30 minutes after event conclusion

Area Hotels

Hilton Garden Inn

(adjacent to campus)
1220 Stadium Drive
(478) 741-5527

TownePlace Suites by Marriott

(adjacent to campus)
1550 Mercer University Drive
(478) 812-8522

Marriott Residence Inn

(approximately 7 miles to campus just off I-75)
3900 Sheraton Drive
(478) 475-4280

Homewood Suites by Hilton

(approximately 11 miles from campus just off I-75)
1514 Bass Road
(478) 477-9776

Commencement FAQ’s

Q. Do friends and family need tickets to attend commencement?

A. At this time tickets are not required and there is no limit on guests.

Q. When should I arrive?

A. Check in for students is at 10 a.m. Students are expected to be dressed in regalia and seated in Hawkins Arena at 10:30am for commencement instructions and class photos at 11 a.m. Please be sure to arrive with plenty of time to check in and put on your regalia (including hood and honor cords).

Q. When do doors open for guests to take their seats?

A. Doors to Hawkins Arena will open at 1 p.m. to allow time for your guests to be seated prior to the start of the ceremony at 2 p.m. sharp.

Q. Can my guests visit me in the intramural courts before the ceremony?

A. No, family and friends are not allowed on the arena floor or in any of the students areas.

Q. Can I drop off a guest with mobility concerns near the entrance and then park my vehicle?

A. Yes, a passenger drop-off area is located in front of the entrance to Hawkins Arena.

Q. Is there shuttle service from the parking lot to the entrance of Hawkins Arena?

A. Yes, shuttles will be running from the lots marked on the map.

Q. Are there any items that are not allowed inside Hawkins Arena?

A. Balloons, strollers, food or drinks are not allowed inside of Hawkins Arena.

Q. When will I receive my diploma?

A. Doctor of Medicine graduates will receive their diplomas on the day of commencement. Graduate diplomas will be ordered and mailed to students upon completion of requirements.

Q. How can I get a copy of the photos that are taken during commencement?

A. All pictures from Commencement, including regalia shots, will be on the School’s SmugMug site: You will have the option to download digital images or purchase prints through SmugMug.