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Welcome to Clarke University! Together, we will cultivate new ways of delivering the Clarke experience supporting each other and our community. We stand as One Clarke, One Community.

Spring 2021 Return to Campus Information
COVID-19 Communication

Clarke University Commencement

Class of 2020 and 2021

As we prepare for this year’s Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 15, we would like to share important information to assist you in planning for this momentous day.  Although COVID-19 has continued to affect our community, Clarke University is committed to providing a safe celebration of your academic achievements. The following changes to our standard Clarke Commencement festivities are being made to ensure the health and safety of everyone involved and in attendance.

  • We will not have a Baccalaureate and Hooding Ceremony, that is there will only be one formal ceremony of Commencement.
  • To accommodate graduates, limited guests, Clarke faculty, and staff volunteers, in a safe capacity, the Commencement ceremony will be held at the Five Flags Center located at 405 Main St in Dubuque, Iowa.
  • We will not hold a Commencement practice the Friday before the ceremony. Thus, it is essential that graduates are on time for line-up and important announcements (see schedule below).
  • Masks will be required for all in attendance.
  • No Concessions will be sold.
  • For your convenience, the bookstore will sell limited Clarke merchandise on site at Five Flags.

Wristbands for graduates and guest seating will be required. Again, for the health and safety of all in attendance, we must limit the number of guests per graduate. This year, each graduate attending will be given a wristband for entry, along with four (4) wristbands for family members and/or guests. The wristbands will be provided to the 2021 candidates at the time of gown pick-up (typically the week of Commencement). 2020 graduates attending will receive their wristbands by mail.  Unfortunately, due to health and safety regulations and the inclusion of graduates from both the classes of 2020 and 2021, additional wristbands will not be available for this event.

The schedule for Commencement includes:

Saturday, May 15:

10:30 a.m.                    Doors open at Five Flags Center for candidate and guest arrival.
Main Street doors are for Staff, Faculty, and Candidates
Locust Street doors are for guests, trustees, and stage party

11:00 a.m.                    Students line up on main level of Five Flags

11:55 a.m.                    Student procession begins

All guests should be seated by 11:50 a.m. to ensure a seat prior to the procession. Those guests arriving after 11:50 a.m. will be seated after the procession has ended.

12:00 p.m.                    Commencement Ceremony Begins.

Graduates will be directed out of the Five Flags Center following Commencement.

Some Additional Important Notes:

  • Caps/gowns and accompanying commencement wristbands for guests of the 2021 graduates will be available for distribution the week of graduation in the Campus Store. An email will be sent to the student’s Clarke email when they are available for pickup. Graduates from 2020, who ordered, had these items mailed to their homes last spring.  Wristbands for the 2020 graduates attending will be mailed to the address provided in the RSVP survey.
  • Proper dress is expected for the graduation ceremonies.  No decorations or flowers are worn with the gown or on mortar boards.  The following accessories are acceptable: Honors and Legacy cords, received with gown; Scholars Program medals, received at Honors Banquet; and Sigma Theta Tau cords, received through nursing program.
  • Candidates for the Clarke Legacy Program should complete the legacy profile form, found at www.clarke.edu/commencement, by April 15.  This program recognizes students who are children, grandchildren, siblings, or spouse of Clarke alumni, by providing the candidates with a legacy cord and the alumni with a legacy button, all to be worn during the ceremony. These cords and buttons will be provided to the candidates at the time of gown pickup. Graduates from 2020 had these items mailed to their homes last spring. Replacements will not be available.
  • Special needs seating arrangements are by reservation only.  Guests who utilize special needs seating may have one other adult with them.  Please contact Carrie Kirk by April 15th if you would like reserved special needs seating, at 563-588-6406. Space is limited.
  • Guests who are unable to attend the ceremonies may view the Commencement ceremony live on the web: www.clarke.edu/commencement
  • Parking is available in the 5th Street parking lot at no cost, the city parking ramp at no cost, and the street meter parking at a cost.  Clarke University will not be responsible for parking violations.

We look forward to helping make this a most memorable occasion for you and your family.