CALS Convocation Information Fall 2017


Who:  Undergraduate students approved for fall graduation

Time:  Saturday, December 16, 2017, 9:30 a.m. (doors open at 8:30 a.m.)

Place:  C.Y. Stephens Auditorium 

Dress for students: Business professional attire.  No caps and gowns are worn.

Purpose: To recognize students graduating from the college.

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Convocation is a separate event from the official Iowa State University commencement ceremony. Convocation includes only students from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and allows students and their guests a more individualized celebration of their achievement. Diploma covers are not presented at the college event nor are caps and gowns worn – these are part of the University commencement ceremony. 

Reception:  The doors to C.Y. Stephens will open at 8:30 a.m. for a reception for graduates, families, friends, and faculty. This reception will be held in the upper lobby of C.Y. Stephens, and beverages will be provided.  Students and guests are invited to use this opportunity to visit with friends, family, faculty, and staff, as well as to take small group photographs.   

Dress for participating students: Students participating in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences convocation are asked to wear business professional attire.  No graduation gowns and caps will be worn by students at the college convocation. Wearing of graduation gowns and caps is reserved for the official all-University commencement ceremony.

The Convocation

The Fall 2017 College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Convocation will be held in C.Y. Stephens Auditorium on Saturday, December 16, 2017. Tickets are not required for admission. Attendance is optional.  


Invitations will be mailed in early November to students at their University addresses on file with the Office of the Registrar.  Families will receive a personal invitation at the permanent addresses on file with the Registrar’s Office.  Students who plan to attend the convocation are asked to RSVP on their ISU AccessPlus account by Wednesday, November 29, 2017.

Professional Business Attire

Professional business attire is strongly encouraged.

Caps and gowns will not to be worn in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Convocation. Caps and gowns are required for the University Commencement ceremony.


In order for a student to sign up to attend the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Convocation, students should login in to AccessPlus.  Click on the “student” tab and select “graduation” and then “diploma/ceremony”.  Complete all of the required fields.  The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Convocation RSVP deadline is November 29, 2017.  Graduates who attempt to RSVP after November 29 should not expect to be listed in the event program or listed on any multimedia broadcasts the day of the event.  However, they will be able to be recognized by the Dean at the event.

Arriving at C.Y. Stephens Auditorium  

Gradutes should plan to enter through the south side of the auditorium and meet backstage no later than 9:15 a.m.  Participants will then line up by their department, which will be designated by a sign. A faculty representative from each department will assist with this process.  Students graduating with double major or degree will need to choose the major by which they would like to be recognized and line up with the appropriate department. 

Graduates will enter the auditorium together at 9:25 a.m. and will be seated in the front rows. We ask participants to please leave coats, purses, and other valuables with family or friends.  

Special Arrangements

Any graduate who plans to participate in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Convocation and who will need special assistance during the ceremony should contact Charley Turner at or 515-294-8653 prior to the ceremony to make arrangements.

Guests who need special arrangements should contact the Iowa State Center at 515-294-3347.

The facility is handicapped accessable.  Wheelchair seating is at the back of the main floor, but guests must bring their own wheelchairs.  

Crossing the Stage

The most important part of Convocation is the individual recognition of graduates. Only those present will be recognized.  Students with multiple degrees or majors will only be recognized once with the department with which they are seated. The graduates will present a card to the reader and proceed to cross the stage to be recognized by the Dean and appropriate department representative. Students will return to their seats after crossing the stage.


Flash Photography, a private photography company, will take a photo of each graduate as she/he crosses the stage and is greeted by the Dean.  Within one week of the ceremony, graduates will receive electronic proofs.  Graduating students are able to order photos using an online ordering system.  However, you are under no obligation to order any photos.

Questions regarding photographs should be directed to:

Flash Photography

1 (888)-325-3930


Students who have applied to graduate by no later than November 29th will have their name in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Convocation program. A printed program will be available at the ceremony. 

University Commencement Information

Iowa State University graduation information

For more information about the University's graduation ceremony, visit the Commencement website.

Approximately one month before graduation, specifics regarding the University ceremony will be emailed to all students at their email address on file with the Office of the Registrar. The email will direct graduating students to AccessPlus where they will be asked to provide information about attendance at the university ceremony and a diploma mailing address. Ceremony instructions and a graduation checklist will also be posted on the graduation website. If a student does not receive this information, he or she should contact the Graduation Office at (515) 294-9372.

Iowa State University Alumni Association (ISUAA) Commencement Reception

ISUAA invites graduates and guests to a post-commencement reception at the ISU Alumni Center. This event is open to everyone, regardless of alumni or ISUAA member status and is free of charge for all graduates and their guests. Refreshments will be served. For more information, please visit the ISUAA 2017 Commencement Reception website.


For information about lodging, contact the Ames Convention and Visitors Bureau at 1-800-288-7470, or go to We recommend that you make hotel reservations well in advance, as hotels are usually booked on graduation weekend.

Dining Plans

Nearly all restaurants in the Ames area operate on a first-come-first-served basis during graduation weekend and are usually quite busy.