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Spring 2014 Commencement Highlights:

Date:  Sunday, May 11, 2014
Time:  2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. (Graduates must plan to arrive no later than 1:00 p.m.  More details will be forthcoming.)
Location:  Rice University - Tudor Fieldhouse - Map

Reference Points

Commencent Location: Autry Court (inside Tudor Fieldhouse)
Check-in and prep: Fox Gymnasium (inside Youngkin Center; Tudor Fieldhouse and Youngkin Center are situated side-by-side)

Graduation Photography

Marc Nathan Photographers, Inc. will be capturing your commencement photos. Every student will be photographed as they receive their diploma as well as a second “portrait” taken as they depart the stage. All proofs will be online at 2 days after the ceremony by using the password TWU2014.

When you pick up your regalia at TWU, please take a moment to complete the contact information card so the photographers may be in direct contact with you after the ceremony. Without this information, the photographer will not be able to identify your photographs with your name and you will not receive a notice that the photos are available to be viewed.  Be sure to leave it with the Student Life Office. All cards will be picked up prior to Commencement.

There is no obligation to purchase and all photos will go online for previewing. Prices start at $17 and go up, with the option to order packages, individual prints and digital files. GreenScreen images (a solid green or blue background) allow you to choose your own background! If you have any questions, please send the photography company an email to:

Marc Nathan Photographers, Inc.
281-549-2367 X 3
Subject Line MUST read – TWU2014

Parking at Rice University

  • FREE in WEST LOT #4
  • PAID Parking is available in West Lot #1 - credit card only - $1/20 minutes - $11/maximum


  • Traveling from TWU down Main Street, (Northbound) take a LEFT TURN at University Blvd. You will already see Rice University on your right.
  • Make a RIGHT TURN at Stockton. 
  • At the STOP sign, TURN LEFT.  West Lot #1 is at this corner.
  • Continue to the NEXT STOP sign, and TURN LEFT AGAIN.  The entrance to West Lot #4 is on your left. 

Parking - Special Assistance

Turn right at Stockton, the road will take you to a STOP sign. AHEAD on the RIGHT is Youngkin Center and Tudor Fieldhouse. There is a small cut-in curb area where individuals, who might find it challenging to get from the parking lot to the entrance, may be dropped off.  The ramp leading up to the entrance runs parallel with the cut-in curb area. Officers will be on site to keep the traffic moving.  After the passengers have exited from the vehicle, the drivers will need to continue straight, and make TWO LEFT TURNS to circle back around to the parking lots. AGAIN, WEST LOT #4 would be the recommended area for FREE Commencement Parking.

If the individual driving the vehicle has some challenges walking, please approach one of the officers in uniform posted around the parking areas.  Guidance will be given about where to park.  

Special accommodations inside the Tudor Fieldhouse

Wheel chair access: 2nd floor Autry Court
Once inside the lobby of Tudor Fieldhouse, those needing special accommodations will find an elevator down the corridor to the RIGHT off the lobby. Taking the elevator up to the 2nd floor, individuals in wheelchairs will find several open areas to park their chairs on both the right and left sides of Autry Court (the Fieldhouse Gymnasium).  Seating is first come, first served.


The doors to Tudor Fieldhouse  will open at 11:00 a.m. for those wishing to arrive early at Rice University.

630 “bleacher seats”, close to the floor, have seat backs. The remaining Seats in the upper level have a rubber pad at the base only for sitting; there are no “seat backs” in the majority of seats located on the 2nd floor. Seating is on a first come, first served basis. 

Graduate Arrival

ALL Graduates should plan on arriving by 12:45 p.m and must be checked-in and present in the Prep Area (Fox Gym) by 1:00 p.m. Please reference Expectations for the New Graduate Walking in Commencement for more details about how the day of Commencement will unfold -  describing the ways that the new grads and TWU administration will work together to bring about a Graduation Ceremony of honor and celebration for you! Additionally, a bookmark has been crafted that distills some of the basic information for easy reference. BOTH of these handouts will be distributed when the graduate candidates pick up their cap and gown, and additionally emailed to all those walking in Commencement. We strongly encourage each Graduate Candidate to peruse all the information, and carry the bookmark the day of Commencement. 

Personal Belongings

No personal items can be left behind in the Preparation Area (Fox Gym) while Graduate Candidates participate in the graduation ceremony.  It will be necessary to carry all personal belongings with you or leave them with a family member/friend during Commencement.  Please note also that the seat you take when the Commencement Ceremony begins may NOT be the seat you return to after coming off the stage.  Plan ahead so that you can carry with you at all times anything you choose to take with you during the Graduation Ceremony.  

Doctoral Candidates

Return rental gowns in Fox Gym until 4:45 pm. Deb from Student Life will be at one of the tables to collect your gown and cross your name off the rental list until 4:45 p.m.  The tam, tassel and hood are all yours to keep. We appreciate your cooperation in getting those back to us in a timely manner! 

Medial Assistance in case of Emergency

EMT on DUTY. In the unlikely occurrence that anyone attending Commencement might need immediate medical assistance, please reach out to one of the uniformed officers or TWU staff on site. They will contact one of two Emergency Medical Technicians that will be present throughout the day of Commencement.

Tickets and Number of Guests

The Houston Campus will not be issuing tickets for our Spring Commencement on May 11. Seating will be on a first come, first served basis. If you have any questions please contact Cheryl Holcombe at  

Cap and Gown Pick Up

Staff from Herff Jones will be on the Houston campus on Monday, April 28th from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. (2nd floor, across from 2305) for INITIAL cap and gown distribution. When they leave campus, the REMAINING ORDERS will be left in the Student Life Office on the 2nd floor (Suite # 2300) for pick-up. Please feel free to stop by the Student Life Office Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. through May 9th. Any orders that have not been claimed by Friday, 5/9 will be taken to Commencement on Sunday, May 11th. Please look for Deb in the preparation/line-up area.

Honor Cords

Students graduating with Bachelor Degrees who have earned a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or above would be eligible to purchase and wear honor cords. Please get with staff in the Registrar’s Office (Cheryl Holcombe: to determine if this might apply to you. More information can be found on this web page: Our apologies, but graduate students at the Master’s and Doctoral level would not be eligible for that particular academic distinction. The Graduate School deems your acceptance into a Master or Doctoral level program at TWU as an honor in and of itself.


Following Commencement, staff at TWU will be making a final review of your classes completed for your respective degree. It will be another 6 – 8 weeks following the graduation ceremony that you can expect your diploma to arrive at the address detailed on your graduation application.


Ordering Cap and Gown Online:   
Deadline - 4/1/2014
The Herff Jones web site is now available for orders through Tuesday, April 1, 11:59 p.m. When possible, it is preferred that ALL cap and gown orders (plus hood for graduate students) be accomplished online.

Doctoral Regalia – Rentals are Ordered online; Purchase Doctoral Regalia
Deadline - 3/25/2014
Those individuals graduating with a doctorate degree may rent the tam, gown, tassel and hood online.  Students renting will need to return their gown following the Graduation Ceremony.  The tam, tassel and hood are yours to keep. Please meet Deb in the preparation/line-up area immediately following Commencement to return your items. 

If you have an interest in purchasing these items, please review TWU Custom Doctoral Regalia Options May 2014  for pricing details.  It is requested that you complete the Order Form 2010 2011 Apparel Bookstore Order, scan and email to Gregg at to actually place your order for purchase.

It has been an honor to have walked with you for the last couple of years on this particular journey in life.  We wish you the best in this new chapter of your professional life!


page last updated 4/18/2014 11:38 AM