As of this year, students who graduate this December have the choice of attending a formal convocation during the winter to honor their collegiate accomplishments rather than waiting until next May to walk with the rest of the students.

The convocation is taking place on Dec. 20 and between 1200 – 1300 students, including doctoral, are expected to attend.

Students interested in attending the ceremony will not be from participating in next May’s convocation, but they will still be able to have the traditional commencement where they are identified by their majors.

Unlike the formal university commencement, convocations are important to many students because, by attending them, they are individually recognized for their achievements.

“There was a sense that we needed to have some way to really honor the December graduates,” said Dr. Janette Muir, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education.

There have been graduate receptions held during winter in the past but last year’s gave way to a new idea.  Muir said that the reception held at Mason Inn last December was a product of success because it was so crowded.

“Mason Inn was just too small for our needs,” Muir said.

The ceremony this December will be held at the Patriot Center, which can accommodate 10,000 people.  Each student will receive six tickets and more may be available on the day of the event.


Students are also encouraged to wear regalia, which and will be available at the Mason bookstore.

The name “convocation” is derived from the already-existing college convocations that occur in the spring.

“Being able to attend the convocation this winter will make me feel like an actual graduate,” said Stefanie Juvinel, Integrative Studies Major with a concentration in Elementary Education.

Juvinel will be the first person in her family to acquire a bachelor’s degree and her loved ones are eager to attend this event.