Congratulations on your exciting achievement! As we prepare for our combined Classes of 2020 and 2021 Commencement ceremonies on May 29, 2021, please watch this space as we keep everyone updated on important information you and your guests will need to enjoy this special day.

Please note, unless otherwise specified, questions regarding Commencement should always be sent to

Academic Regalia Rental & Pick-up

Regalia Rental: The university provides the student with rental regalia for use during the annual commencement ceremony. The regalia for all students includes a one-size-fits-all cap with tassel and a black robe. Master’s candidates also receive a degree-designated color hood. Upon the completion of the commencement ceremony, all participants must return the rented robe and hood.  You may keep your cap and tassel. 

Traditional academic regalia (cap and gown) is considered standard apparel for graduates at Commencement. Fraternity and sorority stoles, pins, etc. may be worn during the Commencement exercises and the Baccalaureate. 

Remember: You’ll be wearing a long robe over your clothes, so dress comfortably in cool, lightweight fabrics to avoid the possibility of overheating. Wear something with pockets so you can carry your wallet and phone. To make it through the area without incident or tripping, we recommend wearing closed-toe shoes and avoiding heels.

At this time, all Academic Regalia should have been picked up. If you still need your regalia and have not made arrangements to pick it up, or if you have any other questions questions, please contact Wilson Phillips at

Baccalaureate Mass

Friday, May 28 • 7:00 pm
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
1695 Central Avenue

Livestream Available! Join us online to watch the 2021 Baccalaureate ceremony from the Immaculate Conception Cathedral’s Facebook page.

You and two supporters are cordially invited to attend the Baccalaureate Mass on May 28 at 7:00 pm at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. The event celebrates the accomplishments of our graduates, both Bachelor’s and Master’s candidates from the Classes of 2020 and 2021. 

The Baccalaureate is a time to reflect on your Christian Brothers University experience.  This event is for graduates and supporters of all faiths and degree programs. You will have the opportunity to process in the Cathedral with two supporters (family or friends). All graduates and their supporters should arrive by 6:30 pm and gather on the front steps of the Cathedral. Masks are required, and everyone will also be required to complete the online COVID-19 assessment prior to entry.  

Undergraduates should wear regalia robe only; do not bring your cap. Graduate students should wear regalia robe and hood; please do not bring your cap. 

Families will have the opportunity to take photos and will receive a free professional photo. We hope that you can make this event a highlight of your graduation experience! 


Commencement Ceremonies Details

Covid-19 Precautions

Robust planning has gone into the development of COVID protocols for the commencement ceremonies as required by the Shelby County Health Department.  These plans have been approved and will be strictly adhered to in the interest of public health and the well-being of our Lasallian community.

  • All attendees (graduates, guests and University personnel) will be required to complete the online COVID Health Check before being allowed into the Renasant Convention Center. “Green dots” will be REQUIRED for entry into the venue. 
  • Every guest should be prepared to show their “green dot” on their phones. Graduates are strongly encouraged to show their guests how the COVID Health Check process works.
  •  Guests who are unable to show a “green dot” using a phone or other smart device will be required to have a completed print form of the COVID Health Check to show at entry to the venue. These guests should keep their completed print form with them for the duration of their time in the venue.
  • Print forms will be available at regalia pick-up on May 21. Graduates are responsible for getting a print form to every guest who may need one.
  • During the ceremony, our graduates and faculty will be seated at the required 6-feet of distance between chairs.
  • Seating for guests of the graduates will be in family pods.
  • Guests will not be allowed to move from their seats to take photographs or walk with graduates toward the stage.  All are asked to remain seated during the ceremony. Professional photographs will be available in the weeks following the ceremony and large screens will ensure everyone will be able to see from their seats.
  • Masks will be required to enter the venue and must be worn for the entirety of one’s time at the venue.
  • Should the Shelby County Health Department make any adjustments to the current health directives, CBU’s COVID protocols will remain in place.  We do not anticipate making any changes to the mask requirement, seating capacity, social distancing requirement, or COVID Health Check requirement as these protocols are part of the event plan approved by the Shelby County Health Department.

Arrival Procedures

Graduates should arrive at the times listed below in order to check-in and receive further instructions.

Bachelor’s and Associate Candidates

May 29, 2021 at 8:30 am  
Ballroom A, Level 2 
Renasant Convention Center 
255 N Main Street | Memphis, TN 38103 

Master’s Candidates

May 29, 2021 at 1:30 pm  
Ballroom A, Level 2 
Renasant Convention Center 
255 N Main Street | Memphis, TN 38103 

Grad Room

Upon arrival to the Renasant Convention Center, all commencement participants will report to Ballroom A to receive walking cards, honor cords, final instructions for the ceremony and be photographed. The Grad Room is open to commencement participants only. 


Renasant Convention Center has over 3,000 parking spaces on site. Parking for guests with disabilities is available at every entrance. Graduates should plan to use the West (Main) — Landers Nissan Entrance — in order to check-in to the Grad Room on the main level of the Renasant Convention Center. 

Parking for graduates and guests is complimentary in the parking garage connected to the Renasant Convention Center.  The code word for complimentary parking is “LASALLIAN.” In the event that parking in the garage is not available, guests may find parking spots in the various lots around the Convention Center.  Please carry cash, as many lots do not accept credit or debit card payments.  

Meeting Guests after the Ceremony 

Graduates are urged to make arrangements before Commencement on where to meet family and friends after the ceremonies. Please remind guests that the audience must remain in their seats during the Recessional. 

Commencement Ceremony Tickets

Seating for the Commencement ceremonies at the Renasant Convention Center is limited and tickets are required.

  • Both commencement ceremonies (undergrad and grad) will REQUIRE guest tickets. Only those guests with tickets will be allowed into the ceremony. Children under age 2 who will be sitting in a lap during the entire ceremony do not require a ticket. If the child needs a seat of his or her own, they will need a ticket. Please note that due to fire regulations, strollers cannot be in the aisles during the ceremony.
  • Each graduate will be issued four tickets to their designated Commencement ceremony at the time of regalia pick up on May 21.  Graduates are responsible for getting these printed tickets to their guests in advance of the Commencement ceremonies.
  • Tickets will NOT be available to pick-up at the ceremony. They must be picked up at the regalia pick-up on May 21.
  • In the event we are able to accommodate additional guests, graduates may also register for up to two additional guest tickets as part of our Wait List. The availability of wait list tickets will not be known until May 24 and will be determined based on the number of graduates expected to attend Commencement ceremonies. 
  • Wait list tickets will be distributed on a first come, first served basis so graduates are encouraged to submit their request to the Wait List as early as possible. 
  • The commencement committee will notify graduates regarding waitlist fulfillment via email on May 24.
  • Wait list tickets must be picked up in advance of the Commencement ceremony. Instructions will be provided via email on May 24.

Additional Event Guidelines

Commencement Programs

Printed programs containing the names of graduates and other information about Commencement will be distributed on Commencement day. Graduates’ programs will be on their chairs.


The 2021 Commencement ceremony will be livestreamed at and on the CBU YouTube channel. The livestream will be available at the start of each ceremony and will be archived on YouTube for viewers.

Guests with Disabilities or Mobility Limitations

The Renasant Convention Center is fully ADA compliant with an elevator that is accessible to both levels of the arena, designated disability seating locations, and wheelchair accessibility. Guests who require the use of an elevator should park in the attached garage and ask for assistance upon entry. Guests must bring their own wheelchairs. 

Graduates — or their family members — should email for further instructions. 

Concessions/Food & Beverage 

Guests are not permitted to bring any food or beverages into Renasant Convention Center. Containers such as bottles, cans, thermos bottles or plastic coolers are not permitted for the safety and protection of our guests.  


Except for registered members of the media and CBU staff, cameras and video equipment are not allowed in the graduate area during the ceremony. Guests are requested to be considerate of the graduates and other guests and remain in the public seating areas throughout Commencement exercises. 


Restrooms are available throughout the Renasant Convention Center. Contact a Renasant Convention Center staff member for further instruction. 


In compliance with local and state laws, Renasant Convention Center is a smoke-free facility.
Smoking may result in ejection from an event. 

Cell Phones 

Please silence cell phones and personal electronic devices during the ceremony. 


Dogs and other animals, other than service animals, are not permitted at Commencement or the Renasant Convention Center. 


Pursuant to CBU administrative policy, alcoholic beverages are not allowed in or around the Commencement exercises. All violators of this policy will be asked, at the least, to dispose of their open containers and remaining beverages, and may face ejection from the Renasant Convention Center. 

First Aid 

Certified medical professionals are available at the First Aid station during all events to assist guests with medical needs. In addition, Renasant Convention Center is equipped with Automatic External Defibrillators (AED) found in various locations throughout the facility. Designated employees, including our EMT staff, have been properly trained and certified to use the AED. Guests in need of emergency first aid should contact the nearest Renasant Convention Center employee for assistance.  


Diplomas, if not already received, will be available 4-6 weeks after Commencement.  The student must have a zero balance with the Business Office — addressing any holds that may exist on the account.  The Office of the Registrar will send an email to the  graduate’s CBU email address with details outlining the release of the diploma.