Kutztown University will celebrate 2021 fall commencement on Friday, December 17 and Saturday, December 18. Both ceremonies will take place at the O'Pake Fieldhouse.

  • Graduate ceremony - Friday, December 17 at 5 p.m.         

Masters and Doctoral candidates in all four colleges

  • Undergraduate Ceremony - Saturday, December 18 at 10 a.m. 

Undergraduate candidates in all four colleges

Quotation Mark

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams

Eleanor Roosevelt
Important Dates

Friday, October 8, 2021:  Last day for Undergraduate and Graduate students to apply for Fall 2021 graduation.

If you have not completed the application to graduate, log on to "MyKU" and click on "KU Academic Services" and then click on the link: "Apply for Graduation" and follow the prompts. For questions regarding graduation eligibility or the application process, contact one of the following individuals:

Tuesday, October 26, 2021: Grad Fest

Kutztown University Student Services, Inc. ("KUSSI") is sponsoring Grad Fest for the graduating class of Fall 2021. Grad Fest will be held in MSU 218 from 11 am - 7 pm.

The Graduation Festival is a "one-stop-shop" for graduates to purchase caps and gowns, order class rings, purchase diploma frames and learn more about KU Alumni Engagement.
bear statue wearing a cap and gown
  • Student Commencement Speakers

    Applications are being accepted through Monday, October 18, 2021 for student commencement speakers for the fall commencement ceremonies this December. Two students will be selected to speak before their graduating class and guests:

    • One masters or doctoral student 

    • One undergraduate student

    Interested students can find more information and an application here.  Please direct all questions about the commencement speaker application process to Dr. Andrea Kirshman at (Undergraduate students) or to Dr. Michelle Kiec at (Graduate students).

  • Graduation Festival

    Kutztown University Student Services, Inc. ("KUSSI") is sponsoring a Graduation Festival for the graduating class of Fall 2021 on Tuesday, October 26 from 11 am - 7 pm in MSU 218.

    Grad Fest is a "one-stop-shop" for graduates to purchase caps and gowns, order class rings, purchase diploma frames and learn more about KU Alumni Engagement. The following vendors and KU offices will be available on site at Grad Fest:

    • Oak Hall Caps & Gowns
    • Balfour Class Rings & Announcements
    • KU Campus Store Official Logo and Alumni Merchandise
    • Diploma Frames
    • KU Registrar's Office
    • PSECU
    • KU Graduate Admissions
    • KU College of Graduate Studies
    • Career Development Center
    • Alumni Engagement
    • Financial Aid
    • KU Outcomes Survey
    • Senior Portraits

    Take advantage of this event to purchase your cap & gown at a discount. For additional information or questions regarding purchases, contact KUSSI at 610-683-4090.

  • Academic Regalia

    Purchasing Your Cap and Gown    

    If you participate in the commencement exercise, you must purchase complete academic regalia from the KU Campus Store. The use of any other academic regalia is NOT permitted. Purchasing your regalia indicates your intention to participate in the commencement ceremony. Only students who are participating in the commencement ceremony will receive tickets.

    Academic regalia may be purchased at the Graduation Festival for a discount. The bachelors regalia package will be $35, and the masters package will be $54. Payment can be made by cash, check, credit card, or Bear Bucks.  Please note that the Campus Store is unable to accept credit cards or checks belonging to someone other than the student, unless that individual is present. You will be required to present photo identification to purchase your regalia.

    If you cannot attend the Graduation Festival, academic regalia may be purchased through the KU Campus Store at full price during normal business hours between the dates of December 6 through December 17. The Campus Store is open Monday through Thursday from 7:45 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday from 7:45 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.  The bachelors regalia package is $40, and the masters package is $59. For additional information or questions regarding regalia purchases, contact the KUSSI Service Center at 610-683-4090.

    Kutztown University uses GreenWeaver® graduation gowns as part of the ongoing effort to "go green."  Each gown is made of 23 recycled plastic bottles. This fabric is softer to the touch and more breathable than traditional polyester fabric. For every gown purchased, Oak Hall will make a donation to support Kutztown University's sustainability programs. The changes that were made to the undergraduate cap & gown package also provide a cost savings to those students.

    Cap and Gown Care Instructions

    For the best appearance, the academic gown should be removed from the package immediately and placed on a hanger to allow the folds to fall out.  Hanging it in a high humidity area, such as the bathroom while you shower, will accelerate this process. If you wish to press, turn inside out and press with a warm, NOT HOT, iron.  Steaming is also an option.  The commencement regalia are yours to keep.

  • Class Rings

    The official Kutztown University class ring collection will be on sale on the following dates:

    To be announced at a later date

    Visit the Kutztown University section of the Balfour website for custom designs and to order online.

  • Commencement Announcements

    Commencement announcements may be purchased at Grad Fest. They will also be available at the KU Campus Store, located on the lower level of the McFarland Student Union during normal hours of operation.

  • Graduation Portraits

    Prestige Portraits by Lifetouch Photography

    Students now have the opportunity to have professional photographs taken prior to commencement. Lifetouch Photography will be on campus taking individual cap and gown and professional dress photographs. Students will be provided with hard copy proofs as well as electronic copies to review with their family and friends. There is no cost to be photographed or the obligation to make a purchase. A Lifetouch photographer will be on campus on the following dates:

    • October 26, 27, 28, and 29

    Appointments recommended. Walk-up's possible based on availability. 

    Appointments can be made at (school code 022 or by calling 1-800-OUR-YEARTM(687-9327), during normal business hours. Students are encouraged to wear professional attire.

  • Outstanding Balances and Restrictions

    Please take a moment to log onto MyKU to see if you have any outstanding balances that could cause your account to be restricted (i.e. parking tickets, Hall room damages, ID replacement and tuition balances). This restriction will stop you from formally graduating, getting a diploma and block your accessibility to transcripts. If you are unable to access MyKU, you may contact the Office of Student Accounts. All outstanding issues, balances, and appeals must be resolved before commencement. You can reach the Office of Student Accounts at 610-683-4133.

    For future reference, transcript requests can be made through the Registrar's Office.

    If you move, please be sure to change your address online. You may be receiving tuition tax documents and other necessary communications from Kutztown University.

  • Career Outcomes Survey

    Undergraduate and Graduate Students: Please click HERE to log in to Handshake to complete your Career Outcomes Profile BEFORE graduation. The brief survey takes just five minutes. 

  • Tickets
    Tickets for Admission to Commencement

    Each undergraduate degree candidate will be allotted six (6) guest tickets for the commencement ceremony on Saturday, December 18, 2021.

    Tickets will be distributed with your cap and gown purchased at Grad Fest on Tuesday, October 26, 2021 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. in MSU 218. You will be required to present a valid KU ID to receive your tickets.

    • Candidates do not need tickets for themselves.
    • Children ages 3 and up are required to have a ticket.
    • Be sure to keep your tickets safe - lost tickets will not be replaced.
    • Guests will not be admitted without a ticket.

    All candidates and guests must wear a mask that covers nose and mouth at all times when indoors.

    If you are unable to attend Grad Fest, tickets will be included with your purchase of your cap and gown in the KU Campus Store Monday, December 6 through Friday, December 17, 2021 during normal business hours.

    The ceremonies will be streamed live so that those who can't attend will be able to see you on the stage with President Hawkinson.

    Extra Tickets: 

    Seating at the commencement ceremony is limited. The number of candidates applying for graduation determines the actual number of extra tickets we are able give. 

    If we are able to provide extra tickets, a link will be added to this page. Please check back in mid to late November.

  • Academic Etiquette

    Candidates are expected to wear complete commencement attire, WITH NO ALTERATIONS. Candidates wearing profane messages of any type on the caps and gowns will NOT be permitted to participate in the commencement ceremony.

    At commencement, the men will remove their hats for the invocation, benediction and alma mater.

    • All bachelor's degree candidates will wear mortarboard caps with tassels on their RIGHT side prior to degrees being conferred. The President will formally confer degrees and will instruct graduates to move the tassel to the left side of the mortarboard cap.
    • Master's and doctoral degree candidates will wear their tassels on the LEFT side at all times.

    Dignity of Ceremony

    You are expected to be robed and conduct yourself in a dignified manner as you participate in this traditional ceremony. Please do not leave your seats or engage in lengthy conversation with others during the ceremony.

    In order to allow for a smooth exit of all in attendance, please maintain an orderly pace during the recessional from the Kutztown University O'Pake Fieldhouse.

  • Time and Place To Report

    Students are to report to the Keystone Hall robing area on the day of commencement as follows:

    • Graduate ceremony - Friday, December 17 at 4 pm                                                                                   
    • Undergraduate ceremony - Saturday, December 18 at 9 am                                                                    

    Please note that the commencement ceremony will begin promptly at the scheduled time. Locate the robing area by clicking on the specific ceremony link below:  

    • Robing area maps will be posted at a later date.

    Once you have robed, you must sign in with the Dean of your college and pick up your index card, which includes your name, designated academic college, and honors, if earned. 

    Seating at the ceremony:  If you wish to sit near a friend who is receiving a degree in your discipline, you must line up in front or in back of that person, not beside him/her. Once the line begins to move, candidates will not be permitted to switch places in the line.

  • Parking

    Plan to arrive early to allow plenty of time to find a parking space and walk/take the shuttle to the Fieldhouse for the ceremony. Primary parking areas for the ceremonies are:

    • Graduate ceremony, Friday, December 17 - Lots F1, F4, F6, E2, and C1                                                    
    • Undergraduate ceremony, Saturday, December 18:
      • Lots A2, F1, F4, F6, E2, and C1                                                                                                                                     

    Click here to view a map of the campus.

    Lots A2 and A3 are the most convenient parking areas in terms of arriving to and leaving campus after commencement. Complimentary shuttles will run continuously on Saturday, December 18 from 8:45 a.m. until 2 p.m. from the A2 lot to the O'Pake Fieldhouse.

    Parking closest to the O'Pake Fieldhouse (lot E-1 & E-2) is reserved for patrons with state-issued handicap plates or placards. While there are other lots that are reasonably close to the facility, individuals with mobility issues should plan to arrive early as these spaces are very limited. Alternatively, a drop-off area will be available to families that wish to drop off patrons with mobility issues near the venue. Both of these areas are accessible from Baldy Street.  A state-issued handicap placard does not guarantee guests parking in our reserved parking areas.

    It is a good idea to arrange a place to meet your family after the program concludes. South Campus Drive will be closed from Court Lane to Baldy Street after commencement has concluded for pedestrian movement. If you have any questions or concerns about parking for commencement, feel free to contact Public Safety and Police Services at 610-683-4002.

  • Accessible Accomodations


    Persons with a disability who require special seating should notify commencement staff immediately. 

    Parking closest to the O'Pake Fieldhouse (lot E-1 & lot E-2) is reserved for patrons with state-issued handicap plates or placards. While there are other lots that are reasonably close to the facility, individuals with mobility issues should plan to arrive early as these spaces are very limited. Alternatively, a drop-off area will be available to families that wish to drop off patrons with mobility issues near the venue. Both of these areas are accessible from Baldy Street.  A state-issued handicap placard does not guarantee guests parking in our reserved parking areas.


    Persons with a disability and who require assisted listening devices, an ASL interpreter, or other special accommodation should notify the Disability Services Office at 610-683-4108 immediately. (TDD number 610-683-4499). It is recommended that requests be submitted as early as possible but at least two weeks prior to the ceremony to ensure the availability of accommodations needed.

  • Seating

    Most guests attending commencement are seated in the general seating area. Special seating in the Kutztown University O'Pake Fieldhouse is available for guests with special needs. Seating in this area is by reservation only. Please have someone capable of assisting you from your parking area to the O'Pake Fieldhouse.  You may view the Fieldhouse map for an arrangement of the seating areas.

    Ushers assigned to the Accessible Seating area are not trained to assist you with your disability. Please make sure that you have someone with you who is capable of handling your special need.

    Seating in this area is by reservation only. Please contact commencement staff to make your reservation as soon as possible.

    Wheelchairs are available during the ceremony for emergencies, with limited availability to transport guests from the Fieldhouse entrance to their seats. An area will be provided in the Fieldhouse to store personal wheelchairs that are not in use during the ceremony.

  • Diplomas

    Students will cross the stage at the commencement ceremony to receive a diploma cover only, not their actual diploma. Given the time limitations associated with commencement, the actual awarding of a degree by the University in all cases is subject to verification by the Registrar that all requirements for your degree have been satisfied.  Since verification cannot be accomplished until after commencement, exercises are to be considered as ceremonial only. The honors listing for undergraduate students in the commencement program is based on the previous semester's GPA.  The University will notify graduates when diplomas become available.

  • Photographs

    In order to provide the best opportunity for a quality photograph to document the occasion, a professional photographer from Grad Images will be on stage during the commencement ceremony to take a picture of each graduate with President Hawkinson as he/she/they receives the diploma cover. 

    Not only will graduating students have the best possible photograph of their accomplishment, their guests will be able to remain seated without worrying about getting close to the stage to "capture the moment."

    Visit to sign up and receive a 20% off coupon code. When you pre-register you will receive notification when your proofs are online and ready to view. Customer service is available at 800-261-2576.

  • Driving Directions

    From the Reading Area:

    From Route 222 North, take the Kutztown exit, pass the Airport Diner and make a right onto South Campus Drive. Parking will be available in lots C1, C2, E2, F1, F4, and F6.  Another option would be to continue past South Campus drive and turn left at the second light onto College Boulevard.  Proceed to lots A1 and A2, where guests take the shuttle bus from lot A2 to the O'Pake Fieldhouse. View a map of campus.

    From the Allentown Area:

    From Route 222 South, take the Kutztown exit; this ramp will lead you onto Main Street. Take Main Street the entire way through town until you come to the light at the top of the hill. Make a left onto Normal Avenue and a right into lot F1. Another option is to turn right off of Main Street onto College Boulevard and park in lots A1 and A2, where guests can take the shuttle bus from lot A2 to the O'Pake Fieldhouse. View a map of campus. 

    From Interstate 78:

    Take exit 54A onto Route 222 South. Continue on South 222 for 13 miles. Take the Kutztown exit (where freeway begins). Follow the directions for "From the Allentown Area" above.

Picture of the stage set up for commencement
Maroon graduation cap with KU written on top and class gift written underneath the cap

As graduation nears, you may feel compelled to support the KU students who are following in your footsteps. If you want to leave a legacy and support the GOLDEN experience at Kutztown, please consider giving to the Class Gift of 2021 during the 1866 Minute Giving Challenge on October 26th and 27th.

You will have an opportunity to give during Grad Fest this year by finding the #1866Challenge Table by the Bear’s Den in the MSU. Your Class gift of $5 or more can be made online, with cash or by check. Visit for more information! Together, We’re Golden!


Any updates for the 2021 Class Gift campaign will be posted directly on this page. However, you can visit the websites and also follow the social media accounts below for more additional updates as well as many other exciting events and initiatives still to come!