Winthrop University: Records & Registration - December Commencement/Graduation

December 2020 Graduation & Commencement Ceremony

As we continue to navigate limitations on large gatherings and with continued concerns regarding the Coronavirus, Winthrop University has decided that an in-person regular Commencement Ceremony will not take place on Saturday, December 19, 2020 for the upcoming December 2020 Degree Applicants (and August 2020 Graduates).

Please take a look at the Office of Records & Registration website under the Commencement tab as we will continue to keep our graduates, their families and the Winthrop community informed as plans develop.


All December 2020 Degree Applicants are invited to attend:

 FALL 2020 Graduation 101 Information Session:

When:  TBA

Graduation 101 Information Session is for all Undergraduate December 2020 Degree Applicants, as well as August 2020 graduates who wish to participate in the December 2020 Commencement Ceremony. 

Come learn more about the final weeks leading up to graduation and receive information regarding the commencement ceremony such as check-in, seating, photography and other ceremony proceedings.



This event  will be held at VIRTUALLY.  At this event you will be able to learn more about purchasing your cap/gown, invitations, etc.;  learn more about alumni benefit; and be able to ask graduation questions to Records & Registration staff. 


Contact Information:

For information on...


Graduation Status/Eligibility

Records and Registration — 803-323-2194

Caps, gowns and announcements

Winthrop Bookstore (Barnes & Noble) — 803-323-3800

Diplomas, Honors

Associate Registrar — 803-323-4839

Disability Services

Office of Accessibility — 803-323-3290


LifeTouch Photography -1-800-505-9496


Perkins Loan Exit Interview:

If you have had a Perkins Loan at any time while enrolled at Winthrop University, you MUST complete a Perkins Loan Exit Interview. This will be separate from any other exit interview you complete. Contact the Perkins Loan Accountant at 803/323-2439 with any questions.

Account Balance:

Please be reminded that your account balance at Winthrop must be cleared prior to graduation. Pursuant to Winthrop University policy, if you have an outstanding balance remaining on your account, you will not be allowed to receive your diploma, grade report, or transcript until the balance is paid in full. Check your account frequently, in the event a miscellaneous charge is posted to your account. You will then have time to pay any balance due, prior to graduation.

Graduate & Undergraduate — Balance must be paid no later than December 11, 2020.

December 4th  - last day for e-checks and personal checks

December 11th -  last day for Debit/Credit payments

If you have a balance, payment may be made in the Cashier's Office by cash, check or money order, Monday through Friday, 8:30 until 5:00. Payments can also be made by e-check or by credit card online, through Wingspan at Account Summary and Payment Gateway. MasterCard, American Express, Visa and Discover are accepted.


Degree candidates should park in the north parking lot of the coliseum (1162 Eden Terrace). Campus Police officers will direct you to the nearest available space. Please enter the coliseum ONLY through the north tunnel.

In the south side parking lot, there will be a designated area for special guests. All remaining parking is available for family and guests.

Street Map

NOTE: Parking off of Winthrop property could lead to your vehicle being towed.

Check In and Line Up:

CHECK-IN: Degree candidates should report to the check-in area located just inside the north entrance of the coliseum, in academic cap and gown between 9:15 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.

Please note:

-- Only participating graduates are allowed in the Check-In Area! Make arrangements with family and friends to meet in a designated area after the ceremony.

Personal belongings (purses, umbrellas) are not appropriate ceremonial dress. Make arrangements for personal items to be stored with family or friends before reporting to the Check-in Area.

  • Upon arrival, report to the CHECK-IN TABLE of your College (Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, or Visual and Performing Arts)
  • Each degree candidate will be given a READER CARD with his or her name, line-up number, and any honors he or she will receive. Do not lose or alter this card. This card is used to read your name as you walk across the stage.
  • SEATING AND READER CARD QUESTIONS: If you believe the information printed is incorrect, please bring this to the attention of the staff at the check-in area. There will be a "Seating and Reader Card" area for questions.
  • READER Pronunciation Table: The name readers will be available in the check in area if you have concerns regarding the pronunciation of your name. You will be able to indicate the phonetic pronunciation of your name to assist the reader.
  • The Reader Card contains a line-up number that indicates your place in line. You must line up according to this number. There will be signs on the wall. Please find the number signs that your number falls between and find your place in line. For example, if your number is 10R, find the signs that show 1R and 11R; next, place yourself between them in line behind 9R and in front of 11R.
  • Line-Up must be organized and orderly to facilitate the timely beginning of the ceremony.


Procession will begin at 10:50 a.m. and the ceremony will begin promptly at 11:00 a.m.

Please be prompt. We cannot place students in line after the procession begins.

The Procession will form two abreast in the following order:
Platform party
Degree Candidates
Faculty and degree candidates will be led by marshals. The appropriate marshals will direct each group to their seat.

At the signal from the Chief Faculty Marshal, the procession will enter the arena down the center aisle. The degree candidates will split to the left and right outside aisles, respectively, upon reaching the stage and be directed to their seats by a marshal. Seats will be filled as rapidly as possible under the direction of the marshals. Please do not leave empty seats. Members of the procession and all guests will remain standing until after the National Anthem has been sung.

Conferring of Degrees:

After the Master's Degree graduates receive their degrees, the academic deans will present the candidates for undergraduate degrees from their respective college to the Provost. Once all undergraduate degrees are conferred, the president will then instruct graduates to move their tassels from the right front side to the left front side of the cap.

Marshals will then direct the movement of bachelor's degree recipients to the stage. Graduates will give their name cards to the reader when they reach the top of the ramp leading onto the stage. When their name is announced, they will cross the stage, receive their diploma cover from their academic dean and shake hands with the chair of the board of trustees and the president.

Final Procession:

Upon conclusion of the singing of the Alma Mater, the platform party will leave first, followed by the faculty. The graduates will exit under the direction of the Student Marshals. Please meet family and friends in the upper concourse after the ceremony. The ceremony should last approximately an hour and a half.


Located on the concourse are information tables at sections 123 and 130 and representatives from several Rock Hill businesses, including a florist, frame shop, and The Winthrop Bookstore.

Sweatshirts, T-shirts, baseball caps, disposable cameras, film, diploma frames, and flowers will be available for purchase. Balloons and balloon bouquets are not allowed in the arena as they may obstruct the view of other guests. Consider leaving these items in your car or having a member of your party wait outside until the ceremony concludes.

Each degree candidate is asked to invite no more than TEN guests to the ceremony due to seating limitations in the Coliseum. Seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Family and guests of the degree candidates should enter the Coliseum through the upper concourse level and can be seated beginning at 9:45 a.m. In fairness to all guests, we ask that you not reserve seating.

For information on the Rock Hill area, including a list of local accommodations, check out the Winthrop Visitors' Center.

Special Assistance:

In order to attend commencement, if you or your guest(s) require an auxiliary aid or service identified in the Americans with Disabilities Act, please contact the Director of Office of Accessibility at (803) 323-3290 (V/TTD) or Office of Accessibility for more information.

Seating will be designated for guests, including the elderly, who may need special assistance. In an effort to ensure accessible seating for those who need it, we ask that only one family member accompany the person in the designated seating area. This will be enforced.

These individuals should plan to arrive prior to 9:00 a.m. for the 11:00 commencement ceremony. Please use the entrance for the disabled, and proceed to the section for the disabled. A sign language interpreter will be at the ceremony.

Photographs by Lifetouch:

Lifetouch professional photographers will take pictures during the Commencement Ceremony. Two photographs will be taken, one with the president and the other a more posed shot in front of the Winthrop logo. Lifetouch will contact graduates after graduation regarding the sale of the photos.

Go to the information about commencement photographs. Any questions can be addressed to,800-505-9496 Monday — Friday 8:00am — 6:00pm EST, or via the Web site

Guests may take their own photos and videos of the ceremony but shall not block the aisles or the view of other guests. The Commencement stage will be left intact for a short time following the ceremony for those guests who wish to take photographs.

Winthrop Class Ring:

The official ring of Winthrop University is reserved exclusively for alumni, graduate students who have completed at least 18 credit hours, and undergraduate students of junior or senior standing who have completed at least 54 credit hours. For more information, call Josten's at 1-800-854-7464.  Any questions about the ring ceremony contact Winthrop Alumni.

Inclement Weather Policy:

In the instance of extreme weather, unsafe road conditions, or natural disasters, the university will notify local media outlets regarding the feasibility of proceeding with the graduation ceremony as scheduled.

FAQ's | Academic Honors | Diploma and Regalia

Last Updated: 10/20/20