Henry Ford College Commencement 2020

The Henry Ford College (HFC) Commencement will take place Saturday, May 9, 2020. This ceremony recognizes students who graduated or will graduate with a degree in the Fall 2019, Winter 2020, or Summer 2020 semesters.

Apply for Commencement no later than March 20, 2020.

Event Details


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


Saturday, May 9, 2020. Students will be assigned to a ceremony based upon the degree you have earned. The assigned ceremony time cannot be changed.

Theater and 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 graduating student. Tickets are for general admissions seating. Guest seats may not be saved, due to seating limitations. If you wish to sit together, please enter the theater together.
  • 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.
  • Cell phones and other electronic devices must remain silent. Guests should refrain from accepting phone calls during the ceremony.
  • Decoration of the graduate’s commencement cap is permissible as long as the content is appropriate for an academic ceremony*. If the content is deemed inappropriate, the graduate will need to remove the content to participate in the ceremony. If the content cannot be removed, you will not be permitted to participate. * (Appropriate content for cap decorations must be respectful, relevant, non-political, non-discriminatory, and must not extend more than 1" above the level of the cap's surface. Decorations must be firmly affixed so they will not fall off and impede other graduates.)
  • Balloons are not allowed on the premises. Other prohibited items include noise-makers, confetti, silly string, shaving cream, and anything else that would be disruptive to the ceremony or our graduates and guests.
  • Disruptive guests, or those who violate these guidelines, 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 seated separately.
  • Large bouquets of flowers should not be brought into the theater, because space is limited.
  • Official photos of graduates will be available after the ceremony. Guests will not be allowed to enter the graduate area to take pictures. You may take photos from your seat.
  • Once the ceremony is completed, guests and graduates should meet in a location that you have determined in advance.

Graduate Instructions


Order your HFC cap and gown by March 20, 2020.

You must obtain the HFC-approved cap and gown to participate in the commencement ceremony. Cap and gowns from other ceremonies or institutions will not be permitted.

  • Graduates receiving a bachelor’s degree must have an HFC-approved black cap and gown. Graduates receiving an associate degree must have an HFC approved blue cap and gown.
  • Comfortable business attire should be worn underneath your gown. Comfortable 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 these items in advance.
  • Graduates may not 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, phones, and similar items.

Honor Cords

  • Eligible graduates will receive an honor cord when they pick up their Commencement tickets. Please e-mail Commencement@hfcc.edu no less than 4 days prior to the ceremony if you have questions regarding the cord.
  • Note: Eligibility is determined by current cumulative GPA at the end of the Fall 2019 semester; it is not for an individual semester. Cords will not be provided at the ceremony.

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 their photography card. The graduate will then hand their name card to the announcer who will read the name as the graduate crosses the stage.
  • The photographer will photograph the graduate as they are handed their diploma cover. The photographer will photograph the graduate again before they return to their 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 2020 graduates will be mailed by the end of August.
  • Diploma packets for August 2020 graduates will be mailed by the end of November.