Commencement

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.

Winter 2018 Commencement

Two commencement ceremonies will be held in December 2018. Both ceremonies are held in the Jane and Ken Meyer Wellness and Sports Center on the Bolivar campus (building #33 on this campus map).

Thursday, December 13 at 7 p.m.

This ceremony is for graduates of the Mercy College of Nursing and Health Sciences. Graduate lineup is at 6 p.m.; ceremony begins at 7 p.m.

Friday, December 14 at 7 p.m.

This ceremony is for graduates of 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

Graduate lineup is at 6 p.m.; ceremony begins at 7 pm.

Frequently Asked Questions

Guest FAQ

  • College of Nursing and Health Sciences graduates will attend the ceremony at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13. Lineup for graduates begins at 6 p.m.
  • All other undergraduates will attend the ceremony at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14. Lineup for graduates begins at 6 p.m.
  • Seating is first-come, first-served.
  • Doors will open at 5:45 p.m.
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.
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 Meyer arena floor. Enter the south/main entrance.
  • Second-floor seating also is available and may be reached by elevator.

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

  • 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).

Student FAQ

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, December 13

  • Mercy College of Nursing and Health Sciences

Friday, December 14

  • 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
Lineup for both ceremonies is at 6 p.m. in the intramural gym in the northeast corner of the Meyer Wellness and Sports Center on the Bolivar campus. The Wellness Center is building #33 on the campus 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 at the links below.

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 October 26. To make a request, send an email to provostoffice@SBUniv.edu, 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 Nov. 29. 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, Dec. 14. Please check your cap and gown before leaving to be sure you have the correct sizes.
  • Springfield campus: Watch the portal and digital signs for the date and time to pick up your gown.
  • Mountain View and Salem campuses: Office staff will distribute your cap and gown to you.
  • 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. 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.

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. This regalia is for you to keep.

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.

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.

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 www.gradimages.com or call 1-800-261-2576 with questions.

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

You should receive your diploma four to six weeks after graduation.

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.