Graduation from NEOMED represents a major accomplishment in your life and the lives of your families. We want your commencement to be a very special and memorable experience and ensure that degree candidates and their guests have the most satisfying and smooth commencement experience.

Prepare for Commencement

Order Your Regalia

Order your regalia online by March 1, 2020.

Remember to pick up the regalia you ordered through the NEOMED Nook Bookstore. Regalia pick-up dates, times, and location is listed below for each appropriate College:

  • College of Pharmacy: Pick-up dates TBD.
  • College of Medicine: Pick-up dates A-M beginning April 6th; N-Z beginning April 13th
  • College of Graduate Studies: Pick up dates beginning April 13th
  • Pick up location: The NOOK bookstore.
  • Hours of operations: Monday-Thursday, 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.)

For questions regarding regalia, please contact Christine Kovacich at 330.325.6551 or

Order Invitations & Announcements

All invitations, announcements, thank you notes, etc. are purchased online directly through Balfour. They are available in packages or may be purchased individually.

Questions? Contact the NEOMED Bookstore at 330.325.6551 or .

Attend Commencement

E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall, The University of Akron. Complete directions and parking information can be found in the Commencement Instructional Booklet.

Please plan ahead due to possible road closures in the University of Akron vicinity.

All Graduates must check in at the check-in table inside the Goodrich Lobby. Graduates will receive their University-approved tassels, row assignments, cords and final instructions.

Each graduating student will be lined up by College in alphabetical order in the Goodrich Lobby. Please follow the guidance of NEOMED staff to make sure you are lined up correctly. Degrees will be conferred in the following order: College of Medicine, College of Pharmacy, and concluding with the College of Graduate Studies.

Graduates are not permitted to carry anything onto the stage with them including children, pets, signs, purses or bags. Please leave personal items in your locked vehicle or with family.

Proper graduation regalia is required for all degree candidates participating in commencement ceremonies. Tams, gowns, tassels and hoods may be ordered here or in the NEOMED bookstore and should be pressed and prepared by each graduate. Bring ALL pieces of your Regalia to commencement. Regarding attire, recommended dress is PROFESSIONAL BUSINESS attire. Please wear appropriate shoes as you will need to navigate stage steps … no flip-flops or tennis shoes.

Leave any valuables including purses in the care of your guests. Please do not carry any items on stage.

Honorary Hooders for Medicine and Pharmacy are selected from the NEOMED faculty by graduating students during the College Awards process.

NEOMED will also accommodate a guest hooder for any graduating student if the guest hooder meets the following requirements to hood.

  • Guest hooders must be a member of the graduating student’s immediate family (father, mother, grandparent, sibling)
  • Guest hooders must hold the same degree as the graduating student (i.e. M.D. or Pharm.D)
  • Only one guest hooder is permitted per student. A NEOMED hooder will assist the guest hooder on stage with placing the hood.
  • Guest hooders are responsible for ordering and paying for their own regalia.
  • Guest hooders must register by the March 31, 2020 deadline in order to participate.

Access the FAQ page for more information about the Guest Hooder process.


Doctoral hoods for College of Graduate Studies students are applied by the students’ individual doctoral advisors.


Graduates: It is your responsibility to convey this information to your Guest Hooder.

What is a Guest Hooder?

A Guest Hooder is an individual selected by the graduate to assist in the hooding of a doctoral candidate during the Commencement Ceremony. As you enter the stage and prior to receiving your diploma, an individual “guest hooder” will “hood” you with your Doctoral colors (actually place the hood over the student’s shoulders) with the assistance of a Faculty Honorary Hooder. Absent a specific request via the Guest Hooder Request Form, that individual hooding each graduate will be a NEOMED faculty member chosen by students in their college.

Does my program permit me to invite a Guest Hooder?

Graduates from the Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Pharmacy and Doctor of Philosophy programs are permitted to invite one Guest Hooder.  Graduates from the College of Graduate Studies earning a masters degree will be wearing their Master’s hoods throughout the ceremony and will not be hooded, therefore, Guest Hooders will not be needed.

What if I do not want to use a Guest Hooder?

If you do not want to use a Guest Hooder, you don’t need to do anything. The NEOMED faculty members chosen by students in your college will hood you.

Whom may I invite to be my Guest Hooder?

Graduating students may invite one immediate family member (parent/guardian, significant other, grandparent or sibling) who holds a doctoral degree (M.D., D.O., Pharm.D., Ph.D., etc) to act as a Guest Hooder. Only one Guest Hooder will be permitted for each graduate. There are no exceptions to these qualifications.

I am a dual degree student.  Can I use two Guest Hooders?

No. Each graduate may use only one Guest Hooder. The Guest Hooder will only assist with the primary degree hooding ceremony.

I want to use a Guest Hooder and I have verified that my desired Guest Hooder’s degree qualifies. What do I do now?

You must then submit a Guest Hooder Request Form before the deadline, which will provide us with all the necessary information to approve and accommodate your Guest Hooder.

What is the deadline for submission of this information?

Guest Hooder Request Forms must be submitted by no later than midnight on March 29, 2020. Due to the nature of commencement, information must be finalized several weeks prior to the date of the ceremony. For this reason, no extensions to this deadline will be provided and no exceptions will be made. If you desire to use a Guest Hooder, please arrange to submit your information prior to the deadline.

What if my Guest Hooder Information Form does not get to your office by the deadline (March 29, 2020)?

If your information is not submitted via the online Guest Hooder Request Form by midnight of March 29, 2020, you will be hooded by the NEOMED college-specific faculty member chosen by students in your college.

Is my Guest Hooder required to rent/purchase regalia for the commencement ceremony?

Guest hooders who own their own personal doctoral regalia may wear their own, however we ask that you make note of that in the Request Form. Guest Hooders must wear appropriate doctoral regalia at their own expense.  The estimated rental cost is $57.00 (doctoral gowns approx $23.50, doctoral hoods approx $23.50, shipping costs approx $10). An instructional E-mail will be sent to all Guest Hooders regarding regalia ordering mid-March.

Recommended attire for Guest Hooders is appropriate business attire (no t-shirts or jeans) befitting a professional ceremony. We recommend that you leave your valuables with family members because you will be moving to the stage during graduation and your valuables in your seating section will be unattended.

Where or to whom should my Guest Hooder report on the morning of commencement?

Guest Hooders should enter the E.J. Thomas Hall and follow the signs to the Guest Hooder check in table near the Green Room and will be seated in a specific section of the hall behind the students and faculty so that these hooders can be gathered and lined up prior to the hooding portion of the ceremony.  A NEOMED staff member will assist Guest Hooders with locating their seats. A Guest Hooder who has not checked in or is not seated in the Guest Hooder section cannot participate in the ceremony.

Please note: Unless your Guest Hooder requires assistance from a family member (which should be noted on the Guest Hooder Request Form), only Guest Hooders will be permitted to sit in the Guest Hooder section.

By what time will my Guest Hooder be required to be present?

Guest Hooders are expected to be present by 9:15 A.M. and can enter the building through the General Public entrance. Please note: The 9:15 A.M. arrival time will permit us to issue instructions, answer questions, and ensure all Guest Hooders are appropriately seated in a special section of the auditorium. Doors to E.J. will open at 8:45 am.

Can you provide a general overview of the Guest Hooding process?

Facing the stage, all Guest Hooders will be seated behind the NEOMED faculty and students in the audience.  When directed, Guest Hooders will rise, be directed back stage, and be matched with their graduate at the hooding station.  Guest Hooders will join the NEOMED hooder behind the graduate at the hooding station, face the audience, and together the Guest Hooder and NEOMED hooder will place the doctoral hood over the graduate’s head when a photo will be taken.  The Guest Hooder will exit the stage as instructed and once the hooding is complete, all guest hooders will be returned to their seats as directed.

What is the expected duration of the commencement ceremony?

It is expected that the ceremony will last approximately 2.5 hours. Please note, however, that despite our best efforts, the ceremony may run long, depending on speeches, processional and recessional duration.

What if my Guest Hooder has mobility needs?

If your Guest Hooder has mobility issues please indicate such on the Guest Hooder Request Form AND contact  so that we can work with your Guest Hooder to arrange stage access. Handicap parking is available in the E.J. Thomas Hall parking deck.

How can my immediate family member still play a role in my hooding if they do not have a doctoral degree?

All graduating students (graduate or professional) may invite one immediate family member (parent/guardian, significant other, grandparent or sibling) to join them and be photographed with a University-supplied black gown immediately following the Colleges’ group photos near the main entry lobby. A professional photographer will be available.

Where may I obtain additional information regarding the commencement ceremony?

Additional information, including links to all required forms, may be found by visiting the Commencement Website.

No tickets are required for guests, but because of General Seating, selection of seats is first-come, first-served. The doors for General Seating open at 8:45 a.m. Seating will be available in all balconies. Please avoid saving seats for late-arrivers as all seats will be open at 9:40 a.m. Although tickets are not required, we suggest no more than 10 guests per graduate.

Please plan ahead due to possible road closures in the University of Akron vicinity.

Accommodations for Guests with Disabilities

All seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Guests with special needs should arrive early to be sure that their needs can be accommodated. Please park in the E.J. Thomas Hall parking deck if you require wheelchair access to E.J. Thomas Hall. Because wheelchair seating is limited, accompanying family members will be seated in nearby rows as space allows. For guests with hearing impairment, a special sound system is available at the Main Lobby Information Counter, and sign language interpreters will sign the ceremony. Guests requiring these services should see an usher for assistance.


Immediately following the NEOMED Commencement ceremony. NOTE: Please do not access food or drink prior to the end of the Commencement Ceremony.


Robertson and Goodrich Lobbies

Length of event

Approximately one hour

What will happen

Following required group photos of graduates outside of E.J. Thomas Hall, you will join your family and friends in the Robertson and Goodrich lobbies; light refreshments will be available. A photographer will be available to take family and group portraits that can be purchased. Please return your regalia to the Bookstore Regalia table. If you purchased regalia, you will need to pick these items up at the Bookstore Regalia table as well.


Professional photographers will take photos during the ceremony and a link will be provided after graduation for students to download free photographs on the commencement website.  All guests must remain seated until the program is over and therefore should not move to the stage area or in the vicinity of the graduates during the ceremony so that we can move the candidates in and out of seating for the diploma/hooding presentation.

Presentation of Hood

Students will be videotaped during the presentation of the hood.

Presentation of Diploma

Each student will be photographed as he/she receives the diploma.  A link will be provided after graduation (on the commencement website) for students to download free photographs.

Group Photographs

Immediately following the ceremony, ALL graduates must recess in line directly to the EJ Thomas Hall steps outdoors (or indoors in case of rain).  Families and friends will be asked to remain inside the building (plan a meeting location in the Robertson or Goodrich Lobby with your guests).

Commencement Videos Recording

Free MP4 Download of the Ceremony – Available after May 2, 2020

A professional quality recording of your graduation from NEOMED will be available. The recording includes the entire ceremony, from processional to recessional. If you would like to download a free MP4 copy, the link will be provided via email after the ceremony.  Video camcorders and similar equipment will be permitted, but no special provisions will be provided, and cameras may not be set up in the aisles.


Office of Student Services
Phone: 330.325.6735


Northeast Ohio Medical University