CALS Convocation Information Spring 2020

View the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Convocation video on YouTube

Who:  Undergraduate students approved for spring and summer graduation

Time:  Friday, May 8, 2020, 9:30 a.m. (doors open at 8:30 a.m.)

Place:  Hilton Coliseum

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 with majors in 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. 

Location:  The convocation will be held in Hilton Coliseum to better serve graduating students and their families and friends who wish to attend the college event. The venue has a large seating capacity allowing no limits on the number of guests who wish to attend the event.   

Dress for participating students: Students participating in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences convocation are asked to wear business professional attire. Caps and gowns are typically not worn at this event. 

The Convocation

The Spring 2020 College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Convocation will be held in Hilton Coliseum on Friday, May 8, 2020. Tickets are not required for admission. Attendance is optional.  

The College Convocation will begin promptly at 9:30 a.m. and end in approximately 90 minutes. The ceremony will include individual recognition of graduates in attendance by the Dean of the College and appropriate department representatives.

Please note: Hilton Coliseum will be performing a bag check for all individuals entering the facility for convocation ceremonies.  Concessions will not be available.


Invitations will be mailed in April 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, April 22, 2020.


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 April 22, 2020.  Graduates who attempt to RSVP after April 22 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 Hilton Coliseum   

Students will need to plan to arrive at Hilton Coliseum by 8:50 a.m. so that they can get their reader card (card to be read as graduate crosses the stage) and be seated in a timely manner. Please check in at the CALS table on the concourse level by the north entrance of Hilton by seating section 109.  At the check in table you will be instructed where to pick up your reader card and where to go to be seated for the event. If you are a double major/degree, you can choose with which major you would like to sit/cross the stage. Please leave coats, purses, and other valuables with family or friends.

Special Arrangements

Any guests or graduates attending the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Convocation that require special assistance should contact Charley Turner at or 515-294-8653 prior to the day of the ceremony to make arrangements.

Students and guests who are mobility impaired may enter through the lower west door of Hilton.  It is located on the ground level under the elevated sidewalk and has elevator access to all levels of Hilton. Parking for persons with disabilities is also located on the west end of Hilton in lot B2.  

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 April 22 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 ceremonies, visit the Commencement website.


For information about lodging, contact the Ames Convention and Visitors Bureau at 1-800-288-7470.  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.