Commencement 2019

Lauren Murphy, a 2010 alumna and traumatic brain injury survivor, gave the address at Fontbonne University’s 2019 commencement ceremony, held May 6, 2019, at Chaifetz Arena. The university conferred 435 undergraduate and graduate degrees this spring.

Commencement Ceremony

Monday, May 6
4 p.m.
Chaifetz Arena

1 S. Compton Ave., St. Louis

The big day will be here before you know it! We look forward to seeing you and your loved ones, celebrating your achievements and recognizing you as part of the Fontbonne family of alumni.

If the pronunciation of your name is mistaken by others, please help us get it right on stage. Call the Commencement Pronunciation Line at 314-719-8036.

RSVP for Commencement

Commencement Livestream

The ceremony will be broadcast live on May 6, at 4 p.m. This link will be available for several weeks to share with your friends and loved ones.

Livestream Link

Schedule of Events

Graduation Celebration Event
A Toast to the Class of 2019

Thursday, May 2
5–7 p.m.

Griffin Grill
Dunham Student Activity Center, 2nd Floor

Join your fellow graduates, alumni, faculty and staff at a reception to congratulate and welcome the newest alumni of Fontbonne University. The reception will include beer, wine, and appetizers. All members of the Class of 2019 will also receive a special gift. 

Please note, this event is for graduates only. Admission is complimentary, but pre-registration is required.

RSVP for A Toast to the Class of 2019

Show your Class of 2019 pride and support for future Fontbonne students by making a gift of $20.19 or more, and get a commemorative tassel to wear during commencement.  

Make a Class Gift

Questions? Contact the Office of Alumni Relations and Community Engagement.

First-Generation Student Graduation Ceremony

Sunday, May 5
1–3 p.m.
Griffin Grill 
Dunham Student Activity Center, 2nd Floor

Are you a first-generation college student?* If so, we want to celebrate your success!

All graduating first-generation college students are invited to join us for this exciting gathering to recognize the accomplishments of our graduating students and those who have supported them on their journey. Graduating students will receive a 1G lapel pin to wear for commencement. This event will include lunch and each student may invite two guests.

Attendance is complimentary, but pre-registration is required by Friday, April 5.

RSVP for 1G Graduation Ceremony

Questions? Contact Sadie Weiss, Academic Affairs Program Coordinator. 

*You are considered a first-generation student if neither parent or guardian earned a four-year college degree.

Sending Ceremony
An Interfaith Service Honoring Our Graduates

Sunday, May 5
4 p.m.
Mabee Gymnasium
Dunham Student Activity Center

This event is designed for our graduates and their families. Students from all faith traditions are welcome. Light refreshments will be served immediately following the Sending Ceremony. All graduates are also invited to participate in the traditional Ringing of the Bell outside of Ryan Hall in the Golden Meadow after the ceremony.

RSVP for the Sending Ceremony

History of the Ringing of the Bell
The women of the Fontbonne graduating class of 1949 donated a bell for the Ryan Hall  Chapel. For many years, the bell was rung for a variety of occasions, including daily prayers.  It is believed that the bell was also rung at each Commencement, with the number of rings coinciding with the year of the graduating class (60 rings in 1960, 74 rings in 1974, and so on).

In 2000, a new tradition was started and the bell was rung one time for each graduating student as a way for Fontbonne to celebrate each individual  student’s  effort and success. Now all graduating students are invited to participate in the bell ringing.  The bell rope will be lowered into the Medaillle Golden Meadow following the Sending Ceremony so that each graduate  can individually ring the bell, marking the end of their student journey at Fontbonne.

If you are interested in helping to organize or participate in this event, please contact Sr. Linda Markway, CSJ, Director of Mission Stewardship.

Commencement Checklist

Use this checklist of mandatory items to be sure you’re ready to walk across the stage on commencement day.

Purchase Cap and Gown

Fill out this order form and return to the bookstore by Wed., March 13. For specific questions see bookstore contact information on the order form.

General Information for Participants

Caps, Gowns, Class Rings and Announcements

You may order personalized announcements, class rings and other commencement products from Jostens directly. Please note that custom announcements require at least 3 weeks for delivery.

Class rings and generic announcements may be ordered at any time from Jostens directly. 

Undergraduate tassels are to be worn on the right side of the cap until the announcement is made at the ceremony to formally move the tassels to the left side. Graduate tassels are worn on the left side at all times.

Graduate and undergraduate candidates are invited to wear the stole and pins that they have received at the convocation ceremonies held throughout their years at Fontbonne University.


Those undergraduate students that qualify and are receiving academic honors will be notified by the Academic Affairs Office. To calculate Latin honors, Fontbonne uses the grades for all courses taken at other colleges and universities, as well as all courses taken at Fontbonne (will include final semester grades).

Latin Honors are as follows:

    • Cum Laude: 3.7 to 3.79 cumulative grade point average
    • Magna Cum Laude: 3.8 to 3.89 cumulative grade point average
    • Summa Cum Laude: 3.9 or above cumulative grade point average

If you are graduating with Latin Honors, you will be presented your gold honors cords by the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at Honors Convocation on Sunday, April 28, 2019.  If you are unable to attend Honors Convocation, you may pick up your cords in the Registrar’s Office, Ryan 205, the following week. Master degree candidates do not wear honor cords.


Diplomas are not given at the commencement ceremony. Students participating in the ceremony will only receive a diploma cover as they process across the stage.

Diplomas for students graduating in the spring 2019 semester will be mailed out the first week of June, 2019. Please be sure your address is updated with the Registrar’s Office.

Students graduating in summer 2019 can expect to have their diplomas mailed 2-3 weeks after the degree conferral is completed.Diplomas are not given at the commencement ceremony. Students participating in the ceremony will only receive a diploma cover as they process across the stage.

Commencement Arrival Information

Information for Guests

  • Free parking courtesy of Fontbonne University will be available in the Olive Compton Parking Garage (located at corner of North Compton Ave. and Olive St.) More information is available at the Chaifetz Arena website
  • Shuttles will run from Olive Compton Garage and the Chaifetz Arena, 3–4 p.m. and again following the event. For handicap parking information, please see ticketing and seating information.
  • Chaifetz Arena has metal detectors present at all gates and entrances. Security for the event is provided by the Chaifetz Arena. Bags will be checked as you enter the arena. Noisemakers, balloons, weapons of any kind, food and drink are not permitted to be brought into the area. The security at Chaifetz retains, at their discretion, the final decision as to who or what possessions may enter the arena grounds. Please report any security concerns to the Chaifetz security personnel.
  • Chaifetz Arena provides ample accessible seating for guests with special needs. Please ask an usher for assistance upon entering.  Should any of your guests require hearing interpretation for the ceremony, please contact Ann Kauffman.
  • All guests (except children under 1 year old) must have tickets in order to gain access to the Chaifetz Arena. Ticketed guests for the commencement ceremony are expected to arrive in time adequate to park and enter the Chaifetz Arena and find a seat prior to the start of the ceremony at 4 p.m.
  • Please allow time to walk from the Olive Compton Garage (free parking is provided courtesy of Fontbonne). There will be a few golf cart shuttles that will be running from the garage to Chaifetz Arena before and after the event for those that need assistance. Your guests can also walk on the path that goes between the sports fields or along Compton Avenue if they prefer.
  • A drop off location for those needing ADA access is located on Compton Avenue and Laclede Avenue on the north side of the street.  From this location golf carts can provide transport to the main entrance (Gate A) before and after the ceremony. This service is offered back to the drop off location only.
  • Your guests will be able to gain access at Gates A, B or C prior to the event. ADA access is available at the Main entrance at Gate A. If additional assistance is needed, please inform the usher at the gate and they will find someone to take you to available seating.
  • The ceremony will be broadcast live for friends and loved ones who are not able to attend commencement. Please use this video link, which will be available for several weeks to share.

Ticket Information

All guests (except children under 1 year old) must have tickets in order to gain access to the Chaifetz Arena. Students must have submitted the online RSVP in order to pick up tickets. Tickets will be available on March 13th at the Grad Fair in DSAC, or any time after this date in the Registrar’s Office, Ryan 205, Monday – Friday 8:30am – 4:30pm.  All tickets must be picked up by Friday, May 3, 2019 at 4:30pm.

Chaifetz Arena provides ample accessible seating for guests with special needs. Please ask an usher for assistance upon entering.  Should any of your guests require hearing interpretation for the ceremony, please contact Regina Wade Johnson at or 314-719-to make arrangements by Friday, April 5th, 2019.

Instructions for Graduates

  • Graduates must assemble in the lower level of Chaifetz Arena at 2:30 p.m. via the VIP entrance located on the west side of Chaifetz Arena. Note: This entrance is for graduates only.
  • Check in, robing, name card distribution, processional and recessional instructions will occur at this time. Only graduates will be allowed on this lower level. Please leave all personal belongings with family or friends. The university cannot assume responsibility for the safety of your belongings.
  • Graduates will be guided to line up according to their college, along with their fellow undergraduate or graduate classmates. The procession into the arena will begin promptly.
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