• Home
  • »
  • COM Commencement FAQ

The 2019 Commencement for the Touro University California College of Osteopathic Medicine (TUCOM), which includes Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) and Master of Science in Medical Health Sciences (MSMHS) students, will be held on Monday, May 20th, at 10:30 am in The Grove amphitheater on the Touro University California campus.  The following information is being offered to clarify the commencement process for graduates.

If you are a DO student who has a question that is not addressed in this document, please contact Ms. Arielle Vale (Arielle.vale@tu.edu) and Dr. Tmenini (Teresita.menini@tu.edu).  

If you are a Master's student with a question that is not addressed in this document, please contact either Ms. Donna Fyfe (donna.fyfe@tu.edu) or Dr. Alan Miller (alan.miller@tu.edu).

What is the difference between an announcement and an invitation? How do I get them?

An announcement simply tells someone that you are graduating; an invitation tells them you are graduating and invites them to the ceremony.  Generally speaking, graduates will send invitations to close family members and friends while invitations will be sent to everyone else.

You may order your announcements and invitations from any vendor you choose, but TUC has arranged special pricing through Jostens.  Once on the Jostens website, click “graduation announcements”, select your package, then follow the prompts.  At a certain point in the process, you will be4 asked to designate announcement or invitation.

Are tickets required for guest attendance at commencement?

No, tickets are not required to attend commencement. 

Will there be a professional photographer at commencement?

Yes. A professional photographer has been hired by the University to take class and individual photos. Class photos will be taken before the ceremony begins. Individual photos will be taken while graduates are on stage.  Information regarding how to order these photos will be provided to you on the day of your commencement and will subsequently be posted on the commencement website.

Some of my guests are arriving from out of the area. What accommodations are available?

There are a number of hotel options within the city of Vallejo and surrounding cities.  A select list of options in Vallejo may be found by visiting our lodging accommodations page.  If your guests choose to stay outside of Vallejo, they should be advised to plan for traffic delays when driving to campus.

Are all graduates required to wear regalia for commencement? If yes, how do I order regalia?

Yes. All graduates are required to wear appropriate graduation "regalia" for the commencement ceremony. DO graduates will be wearing a robe, cap, and Doctoral hood. MSMHS graduates will be wearing a robe, cap, and Masters hood.

Rental regalia is provided to all graduates at University expense.  You may order your regalia by visiting the Josten's website (click on "Graduation Caps & Gowns, then follow the instructions provided).  Graduates will not be permitted to participate in commencement without appropriate regalia.   The deadline for ordering regalia is March 18th, 2019.  Any graduate who misses the ordering deadline will be required to order regalia at their own expense.  Please remember that you cannot walk with your class if you are not wearing regalia.  Please do not miss the March 18th deadline for ordering your regalia.

At the conclusion of my undergraduate commencement, we were instructed to move our tassels from the right side of our caps to the left side. Will we be doing the same thing at the conclusion of this commencement ceremony?

No. As students in graduate programs, your tassels should be placed (and remain) on the left side of your cap.

From whom do I pick up my regalia? To whom will I return it after the ceremony?

All regalia is shipped to campus.  You can pick it up in the Registrar's Office (690 Walnut Avenue, Suite 200) according to the following schedule:

  • Friday, May 10th, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm
  • Monday, May 13th through Wednesday, May 15th, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
  • Thursday, May 16th, 8:00 am to 12:00 Noon

Regalia not picked up prior to 12:00 Noon on May 16th will be loaded up, transported to Lander Hall, and unavailable for pick-up until the day of your ceremony.  You may also send someone to pick it up on your behalf but that person will need a note granting your approval and will need to sign for your regalia.  

Regalia will be accepted for return in the Farragut Inn for one hour following the ceremony.  Regalia not returned within this time period must be returned directly to the Office of the Registrar, at 690 Walnut Avenue, Suite 200, during the following week.  Doctoral graduates must return their cap, robe, and hood but may keep their tassel.  Master’s students must return their robes and hoods but may keep their cap and tassel. 

Please note: Regalia comes folded in plastic bags and will be wrinkled. If this is a concern for you, plan on picking up your regalia sometime during the dates provided above. Irons/Steamers will NOT be provided the morning of the ceremony.

Regalia will be accepted for return in the Farragut Inn for one hour following the ceremony.  Regalia not returned within this time period must be returned directly to the Office of the Registrar, at 690 Walnut Avenue, Suite 200, during the following week.  Doctoral graduates must return caps, robes, and hoods but may keep the tassel.  Master’s graduates must return robes and hoods but may keep the cap and tassel. 

Your regalia must be returned before your diploma will be mailed.  It is your responsibility to verify that the Registrar has your correct mailing address prior to commencement.

What are the requirements for graduating with honors? How will I (and my guests) know that I have graduated with honors?

For honors status, students must earn a GPA of 3.75 or higher. To determine if your college/program bestows honors status, consult your student handbook or dean/program director.

What time will the commencement ceremony begin? What time will it end?

The commencement ceremony will begin promptly at 10:30 a.m.  We anticipate that the ceremony will last approximately 1.5 hours. Please note, however, that despite our best efforts, the ceremony may run long. Scheduling of post-commencement activities should be planned accordingly.

By what time should I plan to arrive for the commencement ceremony? To which location should I report?

Graduates are required to report to the staging area in Lander Hall by no later than 8:30 a.m. This will allow time for class photos, last minute instructions, line-up, and other necessary items. Signage will be in place to direct you to the proper location.

Only graduates and faculty will be permitted in Lander Hall. All guests should be directed to proceed to their seats within the Grove amphitheater. Guests will be allowed to enter the amphitheater at 9:30 a.m.

Please note: Graduates are advised to leave all valuables, including phones, purses or hand bags, at home.  Touro University California is not liable for lost/missing/stolen items.

By what time should my guests plan to arrive?

Guests will be permitted to enter the Grove amphitheater at 9:30 am.  Guests should plan to be in their seats by no later than 10:00 a.m. At 10:00 a.m., guests will no longer be permitted to reserve seats and any guest with a ticket can, at that time, take any open seat. The procession will begin at 10:30 a.m. sharp.

What parking arrangements have been made for Commencement? 

General guest parking will be available in four different lots on Mare Island and signage will be placed directing guests to each lot: 

  • Lots 1 and 2 are located at the intersection of Nimitz Avenue and Connolly Street and may be accessed via Nimitz Avenue.
  • Lot 3 is located North of 690 Walnut Avenue (next to the Student Affairs building)
  • Lot 4 is located behind the Vallejo City Unified School District building at 655 Walnut Avenue
    • Both lots 3 and 4 will be accessed via Walnut Avenue.  

Shuttle bus service will be running between all four lots and the main campus beginning approximately one hour before your ceremony start time and ending one hour after the ceremony end time. 

Is reserved parking available for disabled guests? 

Reserved parking for guests with disabled person parking placards or license plates is available in front of the Farragut Inn (1750 Club Drive).  Limited disabled parking is also available near the lower entrance to the Grove Amphitheatre. 

Guests with limited mobility who do not have disabled person parking placards or license plates may be dropped off at either location; the driver will then need to proceed to one of the four general guest parking lots referenced above. 

Where will graduate parking be located? 

Graduates will proceed to the main campus and will park in the lots located on the lower campus (Lander Hall, Administration and Faculty Buildings 1 & 2).  Do not park in the lot to the North of the Library as that lot is not owned nor controlled by the University. 

What security arrangements have been made for the commencement ceremony? 

Officers from the Vallejo Police Department will be on campus during each ceremony.  Additional arrangements have been made but will not be published. 

What are some general recommendations for graduates to follow before the ceremony to ensure an enjoyable experience? 

  • Stay hydrated!  Water and electrolytes are a must.  Caffeine, alcohol, and the sun don’t mix!
  • Wear sunscreen and reapply as needed.  You may want to bring a personal fan.
  • You may wish to bring bug spray.  Though campus will be treated for mosquitos, there are no guarantees that some won’t be lurking to share your experience!
  • Avoid high heels in favor of flats or wedges.  If heels are a must, save them for class photos,  then change into more appropriate footwear.
  • Leave personal items in your car or at home.  If something must be carried, plan to wear clothing with pockets under your robes.
  • Use the restroom before the procession starts!  Though it is possible, there is no comfortable way to leave your seating area during the ceremony; don’t be “that person!”

What venue accommodations are available for guests with disabilities and/or limited mobility?

Limited, restricted seating for disabled guests/guests with limited mobility will be available in a small, tented area in the Grove amphitheater and in the ballroom area of the Farragut Inn. 

How will graduates be lined up? How will graduates get from the staging area in Lander Hall to the Grove?

At approximately 9:45 a.m., an announcement will be made and graduates will be lined up alphabetically by last name, according to program and honors. Graduates will be issued an index card with their alpha number, full name and, if applicable, the name of their Guest Hooder.  At 10:15 a.m., graduates will move from the staging area in Lander Hall, up the stairs to just outside of the Grove amphitheater.  The processional will begin promptly at 10:30 a.m. DO graduates will carry their doctoral hoods draped over their left arms as they walk into the Grove; MSMHS graduates will wear their Master's hoods.

Additional details regarding the processional and seating locations will be provided on the day of commencement.

What is the process by which we will enter the stage to obtain our diploma covers and be hooded?

As directed, graduates will rise one row at a time, then proceed as directed to their right, around the faculty and Guest Hooder seating area, where they will be matched with their Guest Hooders (if applicable).  As directed, graduates will proceed onto the stage, hand their index card to the Reader, then progress across the stage, first to the hooding station, then to the diploma/hand shake/picture stations. Graduates and Guest Hooders (if applicable) will then return to their seats as directed.  A more detailed email will be sent prior to commencement.    

Please note: Diploma covers are issued during the ceremony rather than actual diplomas, which will be mailed to each graduate within two to six weeks following the ceremony. If you would like to personally pick up your diploma, you must make prior arrangements with the Office of the Registrar.

I will be entering the Armed Services upon graduation. Will a commissioning ceremony be included with commencement?

Touro University California applauds the decision of those graduates who have chosen to enter the United States Armed Forces. Graduates who will be entering military service are encouraged to wear their full dress uniform under their commencement robe.  Graduates will carry their dress uniform head piece with them.  At a designated point in the commencement ceremony, military graduates will be asked to rise in place, remove their commencement robes, don their dress uniform head piece, and the commissioning oath will be administered.    

What will we do at the conclusion of the ceremony? Is there a recessional?

At the conclusion of the ceremony, the platform party and faculty in regalia, followed by graduates, will recess, as directed, up the stairs and to the left of the Farragut Inn, where they may meet with family and friends for photos.  Guests are asked to remain in their seats until all graduates and faculty have exited the Grove.     

Following the recessional, graduates will be required to return their graduation regalia to the return station located in the Farragut Inn.  Regalia not returned during the one hour period immediately following the ceremony must be returned on the Touro campus the following week, directly to the Registrar at 690 Walnut Avenue, Suite 200.  Graduates are free to leave following the return of the regalia (robe, hood, and, if applicable, cap). Your diploma will not be mailed until your rental regalia has been returned.

Following return of the rental regalia, each graduate will also be provided with a packet of important information from the Alumni Relations and Financial Aid offices.

Is there an Alumni Association? How do I join?

Yes, the Touro University Alumni Association (TUCAA) was officially established in August, 2010 after adoption of the By-Laws by the Alumni Association Board of Directors in August, 2010. Touro University California is proud to consider all graduates members of the Touro University California Alumni Association (TUCAA) and invites all Alumni to become active members of TUCAA and to take full advantage of the professional development opportunities and special events planned for Touro Alumni.

If you have questions about the benefits associated with TUCAA membership, contact: Brigida Perez, Director of Alumni Relations, by phone at 707-638-5282 or via email at brigida.perez@tu.edu.    

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 Web Page.