Commencement at Durham Tech

Monday, May 21, 2018

students holding up diplomas Commencement starts at 7 p.m.
Doors open for guests at 6 p.m.

Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC)
123 Vivian Street, Durham, NC 27701
Guest Protocol
Driving Directions (pdf)

Applying for Graduation

The graduation application deadline was March 1, 2018. All students who have applied for Spring 2018 graduation have received an audit letter that details the remaining requirements (if any) for degree, certificate, or diploma completion. Any unresolved graduation issues must be cleared with the Student Information and Records office (Wynn Center, room 10-201) by April 27, 2018. Names cannot be added to the printed graduation program after May 1, 2018.


Parking fees are in effect until 7 p.m. Please visit the DPAC website for nearby parking options, including cost and acceptable payment methods. You will also be able to view where the different parking options are located, in relationship to DPAC.


Students may request a maximum of six tickets for the commencement ceremony. Each guest requires a ticket, including children and infants that don't require a seat. Students will use their cap and gown as their “ticket” to enter DPAC.

Cap, Gown, and Ticket Pick Up

females in graduation gowns hugging To participate in the ceremony, graduating students must wear a commencement cap and gown. Students should not use borrowed or previous years' caps or gowns.

Curriculum students pick up their cap/gown/tickets in the Dean’s Suite (Wynn 10-211). Adult High School (AHS) and High School Equivalency (HSE) students should first see Ms. O'Keishe L. Wright (White 1-108).

Students may pick up caps and gowns May 1 – May 17: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays; 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays; and 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Fridays, except between 3 – 4 p.m. The office is closed May 11. If special arrangements for pick-up are needed, please call 919-536-7207, ext. 1418.

Student Rehearsal, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Please arrive by 11:15 a.m. so the rehearsal may begin on time. Students will receive instructions about the processional, recessional, and stage decorum for the commencement ceremony. All participating students, faculty marshals, student marshals, and key staff should attend. Platform guests may also attend. Rehearsal takes place in the DPAC theatre. Everyone should enter through the side door near the Johnson Lexus President’s Club, and be prepared to have your bags searched.

Bring with You

We recommend that you bring a bottle of water and a small snack (e.g. granola bar) with you, as you will be lined up for quite some time and the line-up area gets quite hot. Please leave other personal items (e.g. handbags, totes, etc.) with a guest, as all bags must be checked before you can enter the venue this year, and we prefer that you not have to store items/carry items in the procession/have bulky items underneath your gowns.

Graduate Check-In and Line-Up, 5 p.m.

After again entering through the side door near the Johnson Lexus President’s Club and having your bags searched, students should report to the Orchestra Lobby (2nd floor), check-in at the appropriate table, and then line-up with the other graduates.

Doors Open for Guests, 6 p.m.

Guests will enter DPAC through the main entrance, have tickets scanned and bags searched, then immediately proceed to the theatre in order to find a seat.

Processional Line-Up, 6:30 p.m.

All students and faculty participating in the commencement ceremony must be in place to prepare for the commencement at this time. Please note: All full-time and continuing part-time faculty are encouraged to participate in the processional. Faculty who are not processing and all staff are invited to be seated with all other guests, as space permits.

Commencement, 7 – 8:30 p.m.

Invited guests, students, faculty, and staff are all cordially invited to attend Durham Tech’s commencement ceremony. The focus of the ceremony is the achievements of students from curriculum (college) and College and Career Readiness (HSE, Adult High School, Gateway) programs. Since this is a formal occasion, students and faculty who march in the processional are required to wear academic regalia (or have it in hand) in order to be admitted to the theatre. Other faculty and staff must show their Durham Tech badge to enter DPAC. Students, faculty, and staff should enter through the side door near the Johnson Lexus President’s Club, and be prepared to have their bags checked. Business formal attire is appropriate for all.

Disability Accommodations:

Graduating students with documented disabilities requesting accommodations during the ceremony (e.g. interpreters for persons with hearing impairments or alternate print materials for persons with visual impairments, etc.) should contact the disability services coordinator at 919-536-7208, ext. 1409 prior to May 8 to make these arrangements. The college may not be able to properly accommodate requests received after this date.

Guests of graduates with seating and mobility concerns or who need wheelchair access and/or hearing amplification, can make a request directly to the DPAC.

Honors Recognition:

Students graduating with high cumulative grade point averages in program courses will be recognized as honor students. Honors are calculated according to the cumulative GPA of the student's courses in the program of study, not by the total cumulative GPA of all classes taken at Durham Tech. There are two potential ways that an honor student is recognized at commencement. First, in the commencement program, all students who graduate with a program GPA of 3.25 or higher are indicated on the graduation program with an asterisk indicating that they are Cum Laude (honors) graduates. Second, all those students who have a program GPA of 3.75 or higher receive honor cords indicating Magna Cum Laude (high honors), which should be worn over the gown during the commencement ceremony. Students graduating from a college associate degree program or a college diploma program with a program GPA of 4.0 indicating Summa Cum Laude (highest honors) will receive an honor medallion, which will be worn over the gown during the commencement ceremony.

Cultural or Religious Accommodations:

Students with questions or requests involving the commencement ceremony that are related to religious or cultural concerns should make these requests to allow adequate time for the college to respond appropriately to their requests. For more information, please call 919-536-7207, ext. 1406.

Graduate Photos:

PhotoSpecialties, Inc. will be present at the commencement ceremony and will take a picture of you as you receive your diploma and when you exit the stage. Every student will be photographed, but you have no obligation to purchase these photos. Students interested in receiving the proofs of their photos will have the opportunity to provide contact information when they pick up their cap and gown.

Class Rings

To purchase personalized items such as announcements, rings, frames, etc., visit and make payment online. Class rings will be available for sale from Jostens on May 1-2, when you pick up your graduation cap andgown in the Dean's Office, Wynn Center, room 10-211.