Coronavirus Information:
Bradley University will continue on-campus, in-person classes for the spring 2021 semester with limited restrictions.

2021 Commencement FAQs

When and where is the ceremony?

Six ceremonies will be held over the course of Saturday, May 15, 2021 and Sunday, May 16, 2021, at Shea Stadium, located at 1523 W Nebraska Ave, Peoria, Illinois rain or shine. Directions to Shea Stadium.. The schedule is as follows:

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Graduate Students Master’s and Doctoral candidates

8:00 am Student Lineup; 9:00 am Processional


College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Noon Student Lineup; 1:00 pm Processional

College of Education and Health Sciences

4:00 pm Student Lineup; 5:00 pm Processional

Sunday, May 16, 2021


Slane College of Communications and Fine Arts

8:00 am Student Lineup; 9:00 am Processional

Foster College of Business

Noon Student Lineup; 1:00 pm Processional


Caterpillar College of Engineering and Technology

4:00 pm Student Lineup; 5:00 pm Processional

Which ceremony should I attend?

If you choose to attend a ceremony, you must attend the ceremony of the college that is associated with your primary major listed in your Webster account under the Other Info tab. If you are unsure of which college your primary major is associated with, please contact the Registrar’s Office at

Can I choose to attend a ceremony other than my assigned ceremony?

No. Regretfully, to plan for the number of individuals for each ceremony, we will not be flexible with switching between commencement events.

How many guests can I invite?

Each graduate is allowed four guests only, and tickets will be required for entry into the commencement venue. Seating will be assigned in “pods’' of four to comply with contact tracing and social distancing guidelines set forth by the State of Illinois. The ceremonies will be live streamed for guests who are unable to attend.

Who needs a ticket?

All guests will require a ticket for entry into the commencement venue. Guests under the age of two (2) do not require a ticket, provided they do not require a seat. Graduates will not need a ticket for entry. Please note, tickets are ceremony specific and can only be used at their designated date and time.

Can I request additional guest tickets?

No. While we understand the challenge in providing limited tickets, we hope that all graduates will understand and respect this decision.

Will there be a charge per ticket?

No, all tickets will be free of charge.

Will I get physical tickets?

Tickets will be sent to students electronically. Students will then need to email the tickets to their guests per the instructions linked in the next question. Tickets must be scanned from a smart device at the gate. Paper tickets will not be available for pickup.

How do I get my tickets?

View the pdf instructions of how to obtain your tickets. Please note, tickets are ceremony specific and can only be used at their designated date and time.

Will there be accessible seating for those who need it?

Yes, accessible seating will be available to guests. Please contact Kathy Peters at or at 309-677-3162 to request accommodations.

Will ceremonies be canceled or postponed due to weather?

All events are going to be held rain or shine. Events will be canceled in the event of lightning or extreme weather. The university will not schedule a backup date or location. Illinois weather in May can be unpredictable. We therefore encourage guests to watch the weather forecast so that they may plan and dress accordingly.

What time do I have to arrive and how do I get to Shea Stadium ?

Graduates must arrive to line up one hour prior to the ceremony start time. Please review the ceremony schedule to ensure you attend the appropriate ceremony. Shea Stadium is located at 1523 W Nebraska Ave, Peoria, Illinois. Get directions. All graduates are responsible for their own transportation to and from the event.

Where do students line up?

Students will line up in a big white tent south of the parking area inside Shea Stadium clearly marked for the graduate lineup.

Do I need to bring anything with me?

Graduates should arrive dressed in their cap and gown to their ceremony. All Masters and Doctoral students should arrive wearing their hood. Personal items cannot be left in the lineup area, please give all personal items to your guests. Bradley University will not be held responsible for any items left behind, lost, or stolen during the ceremonies.

How will my name be announced?

All graduates will be provided a yellow reader card that you will hand to a designated reader before you cross the stage. The reader card will include an area for the phonetic spelling of your name, which readers will use to announce your name as you cross the stage.

Can I record my name for proper pronunciation?

All graduates should have received an email on April 23, 2021 with a personalized link to a website where they will be able to record their name, so that readers may review the recording ahead of the ceremonies. The deadline to record your name is 11:59pm (CST) Wednesday, May 5th, 2021. If you did not receive the above mentioned email please contact Kathy Peters at or at 309-677-3162.

How do I get my reader card?

Graduates will pick up their reader card the day of the ceremony in the lineup area.

What time can guests arrive?

Guests may begin arriving one hour prior to the start time of their graduate’s respective ceremony. Please review the ceremony schedule to ensure you attend the appropriate ceremony. Due to COVID-19 regulations, we ask that guests not arrive more than an hour prior to the start of their respective ceremony and depart promptly after the conclusion of the ceremony.

Where should I park?

Guests and graduates should park in the grassy parking lot to the east of the stadium. Overflow parking will be available at the National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research building, also located to the east of the stadium.

How long will my ceremony last?

Each ceremony is estimated to last between an hour and a half and two hours. Graduates and guests should plan accordingly.

Are there items that are not allowed in Shea Stadium during the ceremonies?

Yes. The following items are prohibited:

  • Backpacks / Bags Larger than 8" x 10"
  • Animals / Pets (excluding service animals)
  • Glitter / Confetti
  • Laser Pens / Laser Pointers
  • Noisemaking Devices (e.g. whistles, airhorns, etc.)
  • Large Signage
  • Food / Drinks
  • Alcohol / Illegal Substances / Tobacco Products
  • Marijuana / Marijuana Products
  • Weapons (including pepper spray, pocket knives, etc.)
  • other items deemed inappropriate or dangerous by the venue at its sole discretion

All guests are subject to bag checks, metal detection devices, and searches. If a guest is found inside the venue with a prohibited item, the item will be confiscated and the guest may be ejected from the facility. Illegal items will be confiscated and turned over to the police.

How do I order the cap and gown and when will I get it?

Order a cap and gown. The items you order will be sent to the address you provide when completing the order. The deadline to order a cap and gown at regular shipping cost has passed. All orders will now incur an expedited shipping fee. All ordering will close on Saturday, May 1, 2021. Please note, each separate order will incur a shipping fee.

What COVID-19 protocols will be in place during the events?

All graduates and guests must be prepared to wear a mask from the time they arrive until the time they depart the commencement venue, the only exception being that graduates can remove their face covering for their official commencement photo. In addition, all students and guests will be asked to:

  • Maintain six feet of physical distance from other guests that are not members of their household
  • Wash hands frequently
  • Remain in assigned seats for the duration of the event

What happens if COVID-19 guidelines change?

Any and all commencement ceremonies may be cancelled due to changing State of Illinois COVID-19 regulations.

How will I get my official commencement photo?

Professional photographers from Pro Pics will be at commencement to take portraits of graduates. Photos of the graduates crossing the stage, as well as individual portraits on multiple backgrounds, will be available for purchase from Pro Pics following the ceremonies. In order to identify your photos and receive proofs, please visit to submit your information. Questions about photos can be emailed to:

Am I allowed to visit campus to take photos in my cap and gown?

Yes, you may come to campus to take photos. Please visit Bradley Unite for all Bradley University safety guidelines.

Will the ceremonies be live streamed for guests who cannot attend?

Each ceremony will be live streamed for anyone to watch. The link will be available on Bradley’s Website at the morning of the ceremony.

Will Bradley print Commencement programs?

Yes, however they will not be handed out during the ceremonies. Two programs will be mailed to each student with their diploma cover after diplomas have been mailed. The program will be available as a pdf on the Commencement website when it is available.

Will I receive a diploma cover?

Yes, however, diploma covers will not be handed out during the ceremony. A diploma cover and a gift from the Alumni Association will be sent to you after your diploma has been mailed. We will have a diploma cover for you to hold for your official Commencement photo during the ceremony.

When will I get my diploma?

Diplomas and official transcripts will be mailed approximately six to eight weeks after graduation, pending successful completion of degree requirements.  If you have a grade hold on your record for any reason, your diploma(s) will not be released until the hold is cleared. Holds do not inhibit the conferral of a degree, only the release of the official documents (i.e., diplomas, transcripts). Please contact the Registrar at or 309-677-3101 if you have any questions.

Will I get a tassel?

If you ordered a cap and a gown through Herff Jones, your tassel will come with your order. The tassel, included with your cap and gown, is specific to the program you are completing. These tassels cannot be ordered separately. However, Mega-Tassels are Bradley themed tassels that can be ordered from Herff Jones.

What is a spirit tassel, and how can I get one?

The spirit tassel is a way to show your school spirit by making a contribution of $20.21 to represent your class year and to support the endowed scholarship fund established by the Bradley University Alumni Association (BUAA). You can purchase a spirit tassel using this link:

How do I get my honors stole?

If you have earned an honors stole and you order a cap and gown, the honors stole will be sent to you by the bookstore. If you do not order regalia, but would like to order a stole, you may do so. Please note that your order will only be fulfilled if you have earned an honors stole.

Where can I get graduation announcements?

You may do so through Herff Jones.

What is a Legacy Stole?

The legacy stole can be worn by a graduate who has a parent, grandparent or sibling that graduated from Bradley University. Order a Legacy Stole.

Does Bradley have yard signs?

Yes! You can order a standard or customizable sign.

Am I required to participate in my respective ceremony in order to graduate?

No, if you choose not to participate in your college’s ceremony and you have met the university requirements, you will receive your diploma in the mail.

If I don’t participate in my respective ceremony, do I still have to apply to graduate?

Yes, you must apply to graduate regardless of participation in a ceremony. For information about how to apply to graduate as an undergraduate student, please visit the Registrar’s Office. For information about how to apply to graduate as a graduate student, please visit the Graduate School.