Commencement marks an important passage in every student’s academic journey—from student to graduate and now a lifelong Mount Mercy alum. Please join in celebrating our graduates’ hard work and success!

2020 Commencement Schedule

Friday, May 15

Honors Convocation | 4 PM
Chapel of Mercy, Busse Center, Mount Mercy University

Saturday, May 16

Nursing Pinning Ceremony | 2 PM
Gym, Hennessey Recreation Center, Mount Mercy University

Sunday, May 17

Commencement Mass | 9:30 AM
Chapel of Mercy, Busse Center, Mount Mercy University

Commencement Ceremony | 1 PM
U.S. Cellular Center | 370 1st Ave NE | Cedar Rapids, IA

Commencement Reception | 3:30 PM
Exhibit Hall A, DoubleTree by Hilton
(attached to U.S. Cellular Center)

Caps & Gowns

Mount Mercy partners with Herff-Jones to provide caps, gowns, announcements, and mementos. 

  • Caps and gowns must be ordered by Sunday, April 5 to avoid late fees and ensure availability. Orders placed after this date may incur additional fees.

  • The cost is $60 for undergraduate caps/gowns and $90 for graduate caps/gowns. The apparel is then yours to keep after Commencement. We're proud to support sustainability efforts by selecting apparel that's made from renewable material.

  • Apparel will be shipped to and can be picked up from Student Services during regular hours between May 4-8. Please try your gown on prior to Commencement to be certain that it fits. If it doesn't fit, you'll need to notify Student Services as soon as possible to see if an alternate can be provided.

  • If you can’t make it to Student Services during business hours (Monday-Thursday 8 AM–6 PM, Friday 8 AM–4 PM), you can have somebody else pick up your order or arrange with us to pick-up at the U.S. Cellular Center.

Frequently Asked Questions

All degrees are formally conferred during the Commencement ceremony—also known as graduation. During the ceremony, the provost formally presents to the university president the candidates who have been approved by the Registrar's Office. (See Apply for Graduation tab.) The president then confers the degrees and admits new graduates to their degree’s “rights and responsibilities.” Each student is then presented with a symbolic diploma from the president.
All degree candidates (bachelor's, master's, and doctoral) are encouraged to participate in the Commencement ceremony, including those who earned their degree at the end of the fall and winter terms.

Students on track to graduate during the summer semester are invited to participate, however, their diplomas will not be available until they have successfully completed all classes.

All students planning to participate in Commencement must:

  • Apply for graduation—Apply through the Office of the Registrar. 
  • Meet financial obligations—All financial obligations must be paid in full by 12 PM the Thursday before Commencement to participate in the ceremony, receive your diploma, and get your official transcripts.

Doors open at the U.S. Cellular Center at 11:30 AM.

Graduates should enter through the Box Office entryway and assemble on the 1st floor in Exhibit Hall C. Graduates must be on the lower level to check in and line up no later than 12:15 PM.

Families and guests can use the escalators on the concourse level or the skywalks from the parking ramps to get to the main level to watch the ceremony.
Tickets are not required, and there’s no limit to the number of guests you may bring.

Graduates may pick up their diploma at the Commencement reception in the Grand Ballroom at the DoubleTree (attached to the U.S. Cellular Center), immediately following the ceremony. Graduates must present a photo ID to receive their diploma.

Diplomas can be mailed upon request or picked up from the Registrar’s Office during regular business hours following graduation. Questions? Contact or 319-363-1323 x1584.

The Mary Frances Warde Award is the highest honor given to a student who transferred to Mount Mercy and acquired a minimum of 30 credit hours at the University. This award is given to a graduate who, in addition to high scholastic achievement (3.0 GPA or higher), has exemplified meaningful collaboration with administration, faculty, and students; integrity in his/her personal relationships; and leadership and loyalty in furthering the ideals of Mount Mercy. This award is named for Mary Frances Warde, who founded the Sisters of Mercy in America in 1843.

The Mary Catherine McAuley Award is given to a graduate who, in addition to high scholastic achievement (3.0 GPA or higher), attended MMU for all four years of undergraduate studies, and has exemplified meaningful collaboration with administration, faculty and students; integrity in his/her personal relationships; and leadership and loyalty in furthering the ideals of Mount Mercy. This award is named for Catherine McAuley, who founded the Sisters of Mercy in Ireland in 1831.

No. All candidates must have their bills resolved by 12 PM on the Thursday before Commencement to participate in the ceremony. Diplomas will not be issued and official transcripts will not be released until all financial obligations to the university have been paid in full. Questions? Contact the Business Office at or 319-368-6470.

Photos are linked above and also available on Joe Photo’s website

A livestream of the ceremony will be available on YouTube beginning a few minutes before the 1 PM Sunday ceremony. DVDs can also be purchased from ProVideo Productions.

Those who need accessibility accommodations at any event should contact or 319-363-1323 x1494 at least two weeks prior to the event.

Seating is available at the Commencement ceremony for guests who use wheelchairs and those with medical conditions or limited physical mobility. If needed, an usher can assist you in finding seating.

A sign language interpreter will be present during the Commencement ceremony at the U.S. Cellular Center. Seating for guests utilizing the interpreter can be arranged by contacting or 319-363-1323 x1494.

Though Mount Mercy does not anticipate any security problems, we constantly monitor events to protect the safety of our guests. Please observe the following restrictions for all commencement activities:

  • No artificial noise makers, air horns, or megaphones.
  • No poles, banners, large signs, flags, laser pointers, or incendiary devices.
  • No firearms, explosives, or other weapons.
  • No promotional items with commercial slogans or identification.
  • No alcohol is permitted at any of the events, unless organized by the University.
  • No strollers are allowed into seating areas at the U.S. Cellular Center. Guests attempting to park strollers in these areas will be required to remove them.

All Commencement venues have the authority to prohibit any items deemed to be a security risk. Patrons will not be allowed to bring such items inside the venues. These policies are subject to change without notice.

Mount Mercy enforces the State of Iowa’s Clean Air Act. Smoking is prohibited on all Mount Mercy property, including buildings, lawns, parking lots, athletic facilities, etc. The law also prohibits smoking in personal vehicles on Mount Mercy’s campus.

Smoking is also not permitted inside the U.S. Cellular Center.