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  • PA Studies graduates look onward during their commencement ceremony

    Commencement 2021

    Join us in celebrating this milestone and honoring the dedication, hard work and resilience of our graduates.

  • MBKU Commencement Diploma

    Commencement 2021

    Join us in celebrating this milestone and honoring the dedication, hard work and resilience of our graduates.

  • SCCO Graduates take the oath during their commencement ceremony

    Commencement 2021

    Join us in celebrating this milestone and honoring the dedication, hard work and resilience of our graduates.

Celebrating MBKU's Class of 2021

Ceremony Details

After careful deliberation, Commencement Ceremonies for the Class of 2021 at the College of Pharmacy and Southern California College of Optometry will be a limited in-person live ceremony for graduates only.

Based on the current pandemic projections and the need for safety precautions, we will be unable to accommodate additional guests. This ceremony will provide the recognition of achievement and the pomp and circumstance that your four-year journey deserves while maintaining safety protocols.

Live Stream Details

Ceremonies will be broadcasted in real-time and guests are welcome to watch through a live stream on this page that will be provided closer to the ceremonies. View the details of each ceremony below.

College of Pharmacy

Friday, May 21, 2021
4:30 p.m.

View COP Ceremony

Southern California
College of Optometry

Saturday, May 22, 2021
4:30 p.m.

View SCCO Ceremony

School of PA Studies

Friday, November 12, 2021

                       4:30 p.m.

View SPAS Ceremony

Celebrate Together with #MBKU2021

Whichever way you celebrate, share those moments with us by using #MBKU2021 or tagging us on your social media posts. A collection of digital invitations, Instagram story templates and Facebook profile frames to add to your celebration will be added soon to celebrate our 2021 graduates.

Graduates reciting oath

Beyond MBKU

Quote wall on Fullerton campus

Additional Information for Graduates

 A professional photographer will photograph the graduates receiving their diploma and those photos will be provided to each graduate along with a class composite photo.

 

We will be unable to accommodate guests in-person, however, each ceremony will be live-streamed in real-time for family, friends, and faculty to watch in the comfort and safety of their homes.

 

Your diploma and commemorative commencement program will be given during commencement. Graduation regalia will be made available to the graduation candidates prior to graduation to allow for family and private photography opportunities.

Learn About Commencement Traditions

The academic gowns that you see today represent a tradition that we inherited from the universities of the Middle Ages. Those institutions were founded by the church; and the students, being clerics, were obliged to wear their clerical gowns and caps at all times. Through the ages, these regalia were altered to accommodate both fashion and fancy.

In the United States, academic gowns are usually black, but the way they are worn and their cut distinguish the wearer’s academic degree. The bachelor’s gown is worn closed; the master’s and doctor’s gown may be worn open or closed. Also, the sleeves of the gowns are shaped differently according to the level of degree: a bachelor’s gown has long, pointed sleeves; a master’s gown has oblong sleeves that are square in the back and have an arc cut away in the front, and a doctor’s gown has bell-shaped sleeves. In addition, velvet panels and chevrons, either in black or the color representing the academic discipline, distinguish doctoral gowns.

The mortarboards or tams for all degree holders are black. The tassels attached to the mortarboards can be black, the color that the individual academic disciplines choose to represent their field, or in the case of faculty, gold.

The hood is the most outstanding and colorful feature of the regalia. It is lined with the colors of the institution from which the wearers received their degrees. Its size and shape indicate the wearer’s degree, and its collar is the color of the academic discipline. Colors associated with different MBKU degrees include:

  • Sea Foam Green for the Southern California College of Optometry
  • Kelly Green for the School of Physician Assistant Studies
  • Olive Green for the College of Pharmacy

The colors are used for both the tassel and the velvet trim on the hood. The purple and gold satin lining of the hood represents the traditional colors of Marshall B. Ketchum University.

Honor cords are worn to signify academic achievement and/or membership in an honor society depending on the College.

The Southern California College of Optometry recognizes students with the highest GPAs. The gold Summa Cum Laude cord represents a GPA of 3.8 to 4.0. The silver Magna Cum Laude cord represents a GPA of 3.6 to 3.79. The white Cum Laude cord represents a GPA of 3.4 to 3.59. These honors are included on the student’s diploma.

The student with the highest cumulative GPA is the valedictorian, sits with the Platform Party and gives the valedictorian address. The student wears an engraved medallion.

The student with the second-highest cumulative GPA is the salutatorian. The student wears an engraved medallion.

Beta Sigma Kappa is the optometric honor society (BSK). If the student is a member during their last academic year, the student wears a single gold cord. If the student was a member all four years, the student wears a gold and black intertwined cord.

The students keep the honor cords and medallions.

The School of Physician Assistant Studies recognizes students at the Leadership Awards Ceremony held the day before commencement. The students are awarded certificates.

The Class President gives the graduate address during commencement. Marshall B. Ketchum University recognizes students from all Colleges for the Student Leadership Development Certificate. These students are identified by the leadership medals worn on their gowns during the Commencement Ceremony.

Colleges and universities often employ a “mace” to connect the institution’s customs with the best traditions of higher education dating to the first universities founded during the Middle Ages. A mace symbolizes authority, learning and scholarship, history, reputation and values. It suggests commemoration, elegance, honor, pageantry, purpose, quality, solemnity, stability and continuity. The mace is identified with the Office of the President of the University and is carried through the procession by the highest-ranking faculty member of the College.