In-Person Graduation Ceremonies Planned for Sunday, May 16, 2021

Millikin University is excited to announce that May 2021 graduates, for both the undergraduate and graduate degree programs, will be recognized through two in-person ceremonies at Kirkland Fine Arts Center.

May 16 at 9:30 A.M.

College of Arts & Sciences and Tabor School of Business
*Includes MBA Graduates

May 16 at 2:30 P.M.

College of Fine Arts and College of Professional Studies​
*Includes MSN & DNP Graduates

Graduation ceremonies will take place at Kirkland Fine Arts Center. Graduating students will be allowed up to two guests (16 years of age or older) at the ceremony. Guests must be registered here by midnight Monday, May 10th 2021. Millikin community members will also be able to watch the graduation ceremonies through a public livestream on Millikin's graduation website and Facebook page.

All individuals in attendance at the ceremonies will be required to wear a well-fitting face mask (no gaiters or scarf-type coverings) and either be fully vaccinated or have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the ceremony. Millikin students and staff will participate in SHIELD Saliva-Based COVID-19 testing on campus. Testing will be provided to participants free of charge and will take place on Thursday and Friday, May 13th and 14th, 2021. Participant should schedule their tests through their MySHIELD account. Testing hours will be extended on these dates and results will be delivered to participants on Saturday, May 15th. Those participants who receive a positive result will be unable to participate in the ceremonies. As such, it is vital for both individual and community safety that all participants quarantine themselves as much as possible between the time of their test and the ceremonies. Participants will also be socially distanced before, during, and after the ceremonies.

Questions should be directed to the Office of the Provost at or 217.424.6220.

Cap and Gown Pick Up Procedures

You will have the opportunity to order your cap/gown/hood online only, beginning March 8, 2021. You will be able to order your cap/gown/tassel (hoods for graduate students only) online until April 7, 2021. Orders may be shipped to Millikin University free of charge. Pickup details will be provided at a later date. You will return the cap/gown/hood after the graduation ceremonies on May 16 outside Kirkland as you exit. There will be time to take a few photos after the ceremony.

If you would prefer to have your cap and gown sent to your home address, Herff Jones charges $12.95 for shipping. For those who choose the direct ship option, a prepaid shipping label will be included to return your cap/gown and hood. You get to keep your tassel. You must have your cap/gown/hood/tassel in order to participate in a graduation ceremony on May 16.

Graduation Fee

A $50.00 graduation fee will be charged to all May 2021 graduates. The fee will be charged to your account in the April billing cycle whether you participate in the ceremony or not.

Graduate Survey

It is extremely important that you fill out the online Millikin graduate survey. Please complete this important online survey between now and the graduation ceremony on May 16. We will send several reminders over the next couple of months. This is a short survey and will not take very long to complete.

No Graduation Rehearsal this Year

There will be no rehearsal for ceremonies.  Instructions regarding ceremony participation will be provided in early May.

Graduation Photography

Photographers from Grad Images (1.800.261.2576) will be at the ceremonies to take a photo of you after you have walked across the stage and picked up your diploma cover. We will have further details to share about the photos later. Photography will take place outside the auditorium.

Free Photo Gifts for Graduates

Approximately six weeks after the ceremony, each graduate will receive a free 5x7 print as a gift from Millikin’s Alumni Association. The pose for this complimentary print is chosen by Grad Images.

Ordering Photos

Within five business days after the ceremony, an email notification will be sent to your Millikin address with instructions to view free digital proofs. Prints may be ordered online at There is no obligation to purchase any prints; however, several enlargement packages are available. Remember, the graduate will receive a 5x7 portrait from the ceremony as a gift from the Alumni Association.


A professional videographer has been contracted to videotape the ceremony. If you wish to order a videotape of the ceremony, use this online form. Rutherford Photo and Video Studio will be helping with livestreaming the ceremonies. The link for each ceremony will be on the Millikin University homepage website closer to the graduation date.


Since Graduation is taking place prior to final grades being submitted, you will not receive an actual diploma at the ceremony. Diplomas will be sent to the graduate after grades are finalized and records are complete.

Graduation Programs

Paper programs will be printed and those will be mailed to you with your diploma in mid-June. During the ceremony, you will be able to use a PDF version of the program on your phone, available via the Millikin website.

Honors Cords (cum laude, magna cum laude and summa cum laude honors)

For those students who qualify for honors cords (GPA calculated from fall 2020 grades), those cords will be in your cap/gown/tassel packet when you pick it up. Graduate students do not wear honors cords.

Graduation items for purchase

Diploma frames for purchase are available at the Millikin Bookstore on Millikin’s campus or on the Herff Jones website. You may contact the Bookstore at 217.424.6221 for more information. There are other Millikin items you might be interested in purchasing either online at or at the Campus Bookstore. The Herff Jones website offers a wide array of Millikin memorabilia for sale, as well as a custom Millikin University stole that you may wear at the ceremonies.

When and where is Millikin’s 2021 Graduation Ceremony?

Sunday, May 16th, 2021 at 9:30 am and 2:30 pm in Kirkland Fine Arts Center on Millikin’s campus

Which graduates will participate in which ceremony?

Graduates from the College of Arts & Sciences and the Tabor School of Business will participate in the ceremony beginning at 9:30 am. Graduates from the College of Fine Arts and College of Professional Studies will participate in the ceremony beginning at 2:30 pm.

What time may guests arrive?

Doors will open at 8:30 am for the 9:30 am ceremony and 1:30 pm for the 2:30 pm ceremony.

How many guests are graduates allowed to bring to the ceremony?

Each graduate may bring up to two (2) guests (16 years of age or older).

Do guests need to register?

Yes. Each graduate is required to register each guest at the following link no later than midnight Monday, May 10th, 2021: 

Will guests need a ticket to get into the ceremony?

Guests will receive a Commencement Guest Pass email a few days prior to the ceremony. They are asked to print the email and bring it with them to the ceremony for entrance. The email will be sent to the email address provided by the student on the Guest Registration Form.

Do guests have to be vaccinated to attend?

Each guest is required either to be fully vaccinated or to receive a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours prior to the graduation ceremony.

Do attendees have to wear a mask at graduation?

Yes, masks will be worn by all attendees throughout the ceremony.

Do masks have to be worn outside of the ceremony?

All people on Millikin’s campus are asked to wear masks and socially distance themselves everywhere on campus, inside or outside of buildings.

Where should guests park?

For the 9:30 am ceremony, recommended parking lots include: M8, M9 and M10. (Lot M11 will not be available due to Westminster Church service.) For the 2:30 pm ceremony, recommended parking lots include: M8, M9, M10 or M11. See map to identify lot locations: Parking lots are for parking cars only; no tailgating will be permitted.

How will guests be seated?

Guests will check in at the front doors and will be seated on the right or left side of the auditorium or in the balcony. Each set of two guests will be seated together and will be socially distanced from other guests.

Are guest seats assigned?

No, guests will be seated in a socially distant fashion at the discretion of University staff. Guests will be asked to begin sitting in the middle of the row and will be seated outward as more guests arrive.

Will guests be allowed to leave the auditorium after they’ve been seated?

No, once seated, all in attendance will need to stay in their seats as to avoid passing each other.

How will guests exit the auditorium after the ceremony is over?

Guests will be dismissed by rows and will be asked to use the exit door closest to them (right or left).

Will a recording of the ceremony be available?

Both graduation ceremonies will be live-streamed on Millikin’s Facebook page as well as on Millikin’s website at

I have questions. Whom do I ask?

Questions about Commencement may be submitted to