Commencement 2017

The Henry Ford College (HFC) Commencement will take place in May 2017. This ceremony recognizes students who will graduate with a degree in either the fall 2016, winter 2017, or summer 2017 semesters.

The Graduation Fair is being held at the University Center (3rd Floor Welcome Center) on Tuesday-Thursday March 21-23 from 11 AM - 6 PM. At the Graduation Fair you place your order for your cap/gown/tassel.

Apply for Commencement

Event Details


Ford Community and Performing Arts Center
15801 Michigan Ave.
Dearborn MI 48126


Commencement is Saturday, May 6, 2017. Two ceremonies take place; the first at 10 a.m. and the second at 1:30 p.m. Students will receive a HawkMail email with the specific ceremony time assigned to you. The assigned time cannot be changed.

Theater & Guest Protocol

  • Appropriate guest attire is business or business casual.
  • Each guest must have a ticket to enter the theater—this includes babies and children. No exceptions. Tickets will only be distributed to the graduate. Tickets are for general admissions seating. Graduates: See “Obtaining Tickets” section for instructions.
  • Guests without tickets may view the ceremony via an overflow room. The overflow room offers a live feed of the ceremony projected on a 10' by 10' screen. Guests with small children may use the overflow room for comfort. Guests must vacate the theater and overflow room after each ceremony.
  • Cellular phones must remain silent and guests should refrain from accepting phone calls during the ceremony.
  • Balloons are not allowed on the premises, or noise-makers, confetti, silly string, shaving cream, and anything else disruptive to the ceremony.
  • Disruptive guests will be escorted from the theater.
  • Food and beverages are not permitted in the theater.
  • Saving seats is not permitted due to seating limitations.
  • Guests must enter the theater with their entire party to avoid having their party being seated separately.
  • Large bouquets of flowers should not be brought into the theater since space is limited.
  • Guests will not be allowed to enter the graduate area to take pictures.
  • Guests and graduates should decide on a meeting place in advance once the ceremony is completed.

Graduate Instructions


  • Graduates receiving a bachelor degree must have an HFC approved black fabric matte cap and gown. Graduates receiving an associate degree must have an HFC approved blue matte fabric cap and gown.
  • Comfortable business attire should be worn underneath gown. Soft sole shoes are encouraged.
  • Graduates can wear Honors, Student Council, Nursing, Phi Theta Kappa cords, sashes, tassels, pins and medallions during the ceremony. Note: These items will not be provided at the ceremony; graduates must obtain items in advance.
  • Graduates cannot wear decorative pins, corsages, boutonnieres and other distracting items during the ceremony.
  • Graduates must leave personal belongings in vehicles or with guests. This includes purses, flowers, balloons, noise-makers, phones and similar items.

Honor Cords

  • Eligible graduates will receive an honor cord when they pick up their Commencement tickets.
  • Note: Eligibility is determined by current cumulative GPA (prior to the winter 2017 semester ending); it is not for an individual semester.

Commencement Photos

  • A professional photographer will take two photographs of each graduate.
  • There is no obligation to buy photographs.
  • A photo company representative will collect a photo card from each graduate to send thumbnail proofs and purchase information to the graduate after the ceremony.

Commencement Flowers

Commencement Flowers provides graduates and guests with the opportunity to pre-order products online. Customers can purchase and reserve their products ahead of time and have them available for pick-up at the commencement venue.

Ceremony Preparation

  • Graduates must arrive at the venue one hour prior to the start of the ceremony.
  • Graduates will pick up a name card upon arrival. Graduates must stand in the appropriate line according to the first letter of their last name.
  • Graduates should review their name card for spelling accuracy and apply corrections to it. If needed, please add a phonic spelling to help the announcer pronounce name correctly (i.e., If a graduate's last name is "CHARBONEAU," state on the name card that it is pronounced "SHAR-BO-NO").
  • Graduates will be asked to go to another table to complete a card for the photographer. Graduates should complete a photography card even if they do not intend to purchase photos.
  • Once graduates have received their name card and completed their photography card, graduates will be seated in the chairs provided. Do not rearrange the chairs; the chairs have been set to mimic the graduate seating arrangement inside the theater.
  • Graduates should ensure that their tassel is on the right side of their cap. Graduates will be told when to move the tassel from the right to the left side of their cap.
  • Graduates must remain in the ballroom for further instructions.

During the Ceremony

  • Graduates should walk at least one arm's length behind the person in front of them.
  • Rise as a group and sit as a group when directed.
  • When a graduate proceeds to the podium on the stage, the photographer’s assistant will collect his or her photography card. The graduate will then hand his or her name card to the announcer who will read the name as the graduate crosses the stage.
  • The photographer will photograph the graduate as he or she is handed his or her diploma cover. The photographer will photograph the graduate again before he or she returns to his or her seat.
  • Graduates are expected to stay the entire duration of the ceremony. Leaving during the event is disruptive and disrespectful to fellow graduates.
  • When the ceremony ends, graduates will be excused by rows and led out of the theater. Graduates will be directed to exit the theater through left and right side doors. Pay attention to which way the row is exiting.
  • Do not stop in front of theater doors. Move away from the theater doors to ease congestion. Guests and graduates should decide a meeting place in advance for after the ceremony.

After Commencement

  • Soon after Commencement, the photography company (not affiliated with HFC) will mail thumbnail proofs of each graduate, along with information on how to order pictures.
  • Diploma packets for May 2017 graduates will be mailed by the end of August.
  • Diploma packets for August 2017 graduates will be mailed by the end of November.


Email for questions regarding Commencement. Questions will be answered within one to two business days. It may not be possible to answer questions sent after Thursday, May 4.