DSU Spring Commencement

DSU Spring Commencement

Congratulations! You will soon achieve a milestone in your life when you graduate from Dakota State University at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 6, at the DSU Fieldhouse. The following information is provided to ensure that you and your family have an enjoyable day.

View the DSU Spring Master's Hooding Ceremony.

View the DSU Spring Commencement Ceremony. 

Spring/Summer Graduates

All students completing degrees in Spring or Summer must complete this survey by Friday, March 24. Please complete the survey, even if you don’t plan to attend the ceremony.

  • If your situation has changed and you do not plan to graduate this semester, please email the DSU’s Registrar Office by Friday, March 24.

Academic Apparel

Regalia is ordered through the Trojan Center Bookstore at this link: http://www.cbgrad.com/school/DAKSU. The last day to order your regalia is Friday, April 28, 2017.

  • Associate’s Apparel Unit includes: black cap, gown, tassel, year tab
  • Bachelor’s Apparel Unit includes: black cap, gown, tassel, year tab
  • Master’s Apparel Unit includes: black cap, Master sleeve gown, hood, year tab
    • A hood is required to participate in the special master’s hooding ceremony at the Dakota Prairie Playhouse.
  • Doctoral Apparel Unit includes: black cap, gown with velvet chevrons, tassel, hood, year tab
    • A hood is required to participate in the doctorate hooding ceremony at commencement.
    • Custom regalia is available through the Trojan Center Bookstore. The deadline to order is Monday, March 20.

Graduation Announcements | Class Rings | Diploma Frames

 If you have questions on academic apparel, announcements, frames or jewelry options please email or phone (605)256-5238.

Cords and Stoles

  • Gold/Silver Honors Cords. Will be distributed at rehearsal.
  • Legacy Cords. Do you have a family member who is a DSU Alumni? Please complete this section of the survey so you can be recognized at commencement. For more information about this new tradition, please contact the DSU Alumni Office.
  • Beadle Honors Stoles. Please contact Kurt Kemper for more information.
  • International Stoles. Please contact the International Programs Office for more information. 

Reserved Seating/Tickets

Due to the large size of the spring/summer graduating class and available seating in the Fieldhouse, tickets are required for ALL guests; including bleacher seats. For your convenience, additional seating is available at the Dakota Prairie Playhouse where live streaming of the ceremony can be viewed.

  • Each graduate in attendance will be guaranteed four (4) guest tickets for the commencement ceremony at the DSU Fieldhouse. The first 100 graduates to indicate they are attending the ceremony will be able to request 2 additional tickets for seating in the Fieldhouse.
  • You may indicate on the survey if you would like more tickets (up to 10), which will be assigned to the Dakota Prairie Playhouse for viewing via live stream. We will assess the number of tickets we have available at the beginning of April and disperse additional tickets to the Fieldhouse on a first-come, first-served basis based on survey submissions.
  • Special Accommodations. Bleacher seating tickets may be exchanged for floor seating tickets for family or friends who are unable to sit in the bleachers. To request floor seating tickets or to notify us of special needs (wheelchairs, hearing impairment, etc.) that we need to accommodate in our planning, please complete the survey referenced above as soon as possible.
  • Questions? Please contact events@dsu.edu.  


A commencement rehearsal will be held on Friday, May 5, at 4:15 p.m. at the DSU Fieldhouse. You are encouraged to attend this practice session so you will be familiar with:

  • the dressing room location,
  • the line of march,
  • and the procedures for the ceremony.

For the benefit of our master’s and doctoral graduates, we will walk through the hooding procedure.

To accommodate our graduates and families, the Trojan Center Bookstore (currently located in the Kennedy Center) will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, May 5.

Master’s Hooding Ceremony

Master’s Hooding Ceremony

Saturday, May 6

9:00 a.m.

Dakota Prairie Playhouse Convention Center

View live-stream of the ceremony. 

Dakota State University is holding an additional, separate Hooding Ceremony for graduate students to honor and celebrate the successful completion of their Master’s degree.

The hooding ceremony is in addition to and does not replace the university-wide commencement.

For the hooding ceremony faculty and students are dressed in academic attire. Faculty and students should report to the Fieldhouse dressed in your regalia by 8:30 a.m. before proceeding to the Dakota Prairie Playhouse for the ceremony. Graduate students must bring their hood to the ceremony to participate.

Professional photographs of the graduates will be taken during the Master’s and commencement ceremonies.  

Commencement Ceremony

The commencement march will begin promptly at 10:30 a.m. and the Fieldhouse; doors will open at 9:30 a.m. to allow guests to be seated. The ceremony will last approximately 1.5 to 2 hours.

  • Graduates, please arrive at the Fieldhouse dressed in your regalia by 9:45 a.m.
  • The commencement ceremony will be live-streamed

Commencement Speaker

Susan S. LawrenceSUSAN S. LAWRENCE


Booz Allen Hamilton Senior Vice President Susan S. Lawrence is a leader in the firm’s defense business. As a seasoned technology leader and retired senior military officer, she supports a number of businesses and initiatives that cut across the defense and security markets. These include Command, Control, Communications, and Computers (C4); Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR); enterprise IT; joint information environments; cyber; integrated mission systems; and emerging technologies.

As a retired Lieutenant General in the US Army, Susan served as CIO, reporting directly to the Secretary of the Army for setting strategic direction and objectives, and supervised all Army C4 (command, control, communications, and computers) and IT functions. As the G-6, she supported the Chief of Staff of the Army by advising on network, communications, and signal operations. This included advising on the impact of communications security, force structure, equipping, and employment of network, communications, and signal capabilities on Army operations.

Originally from Ida Grove, Iowa, Susan enlisted in the Army in 1972 and was commissioned in 1979. Throughout her career, she has served in operational assignments in Europe, Korea, Southwest Asia and the United States. She has commanded at every level from platoon to Army Signal Command.

Her principal staff assignments have been as Intelligence and Operations Officer, 67th Signal Battalion at Fort Gordon, Georgia; Branch Chief to U.S. Army Information Systems Engineering Command-Europe; Deputy G-6, 2nd Armor Division in South Korea; Executive Officer, 142nd Signal Battalion; Force Development Action Officer, Washington, D.C.; Chief, Signal Career Assignments Branch, Officer Personnel Management Directorate; Chief of Staff and Vice Director, J-6, Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon; CIO/Assistant Chief of Staff, G-6 for United States Europe and 7th Army (USAREUR); Director, Command and Control, Communications and Computer Systems, J-6, United States Central Command; and Special Assistant to the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, Pentagon.

She commanded B Company, 67th Signal Battalion at Fort Gordon, Georgia; 123rd Signal Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Georgia, which deployed in support of Operation Desert Thunder; and 7th Signal Brigade in Germany; served as Commanding General 5th Signal Command, and Commanding General, 9th Signal Command (Army)/NETCOM.

Lt. Gen. Lawrence has a Bachelor of Science Degree from Campbell University, North Carolina, where she received her commission, and she holds a Master’s Degree in Information Systems Management from the University of Georgia.


A professional photographer will take photos of each graduate. Photos may be purchased directly from the Lifetouch Special Events. Guests may take their own photographs during the ceremony, but must remain outside of the candidate seating area, in order to ensure an enjoyable ceremony for all candidates. Guests will have time after the ceremony to take personal photographs on the stage, near the commencement flags and other spots within and around the DSU Fieldhouse.

Graduates’ Reception

The Graduates’ Reception will be held at the Dakota Prairie Playhouse Convention Center immediately following the commencement ceremony. This reception is intended to provide an opportunity for you to relax and visit with family, classmates, and DSU faculty/staff while enjoying cake and punch.


For more information, please email graduation@dsu.edu.


Parking is available along Washington Avenue, in the lot north of the Dakota Prairie Playhouse and in the gravel lot directly west of the Fieldhouse.

Press Releases

Graduation DVD

Spring 2017 Graduation DVD Order Form

The cost is $10 per DVD. DVDs will be mailed within 10 business days following graduation. If you have any questions, please email video@dsu.edu with a subject line of Graduation DVD Order.