Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

M.S.W. Graduation Information Memo

        All Participants in the Graduate School of Social Service Diploma Ceremony,
               Thursday, May 22, 2014

From:     Susan Egan

Date:     April 2014

The following is a set of detailed instructions relative to the Diploma Ceremony for our School.  Please read carefully and keep this memorandum for future reference.

Students will receive their diplomas the day of the ceremony if they are May graduates, if there are no incomplete grades, and no balance due with the Bursar.  February graduates who have not picked up their diplomas will receive them that afternoon as well.  August 9th graduates will receive their diplomas in September through the mail, or they can be picked up from the Registrar’s Office.  Please be assured, however, that every student does receive an identical envelope at the ceremony so no one but you is aware of these differences.  If you are not attending the event, please let me know as it helps us organize diplomas more efficiently.


There will be a party for all graduates at Lincoln Center on Friday, May 16th in the Pope Auditorium from 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. The cost is $20/person.  Guests are of course welcome. Sign-up in Room 726-C.  Westchester’s party is on Wednesday, May 7th from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Westchester campus. Further information will be posted on the bulletin board. Westchester students are welcome to attend the Lincoln Center Party and Lincoln Center students are welcome to join the Westchester celebration.


Each graduate receives four (4) invitations and four (4) admission tickets.  If you do not need that many, please do not take them.  We do not anticipate having any extra tickets.  It is impossible to keep a list of who needs extras.  Trading amongst yourselves seems to work best.  Please do not offer or accept money for tickets.

The ceremony is Thursday, May 22nd at 2:30 p.m.  Seating for guests is by general admission.  Guests should use the main entrance of Avery Fisher Hall. Doors will open at 2:00 p.m.  Avery Fisher Hall is wheelchair accessible and ushers will assist guests who require special seating.  If a guest needs special assistance they should plan to be there a little early.  There will be a Fordham GSS staff member in the Lobby of Avery Fisher Hall if problems arise.


Information about picking up your academic attire was on you order form and repeated here:


Wednesday, May 7, 2014 - 4:00pm to 7:00pm
(Orders not picked up on May 7th will be sent to Lincoln Center)


Saturday, May 10, 2014 - 11:00am to 1:00pm
Friday, May 16, 2014 - 4:00pm to 6:00pm
Thursday, May 22, 2014 - 11:30am to 12:30pm

(NOTE: We plan to start lining you up at 1:00pm.  PLEASE DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE!!)

It is advised to pick up your attire prior to the ceremony so that you can correct any problems with your order.  If you did not order a Cap & Gown by April 4th, attend one of the distribution dates. A limited number of extras will be available, and an $8 late fee must be paid in cash. You can have someone else pick up your attire if you give them your receipt. If you are a religious observer and would like me to pick up your attire, please bring me your receipt. If you are not robed you cannot march in the procession nor can you sit with your classmates.  You will also not receive your diploma that day.


MSW Graduates

Students will be lining up for the processional at the Lincoln Center campus 113 W. 60th Street (entrance Columbus Avenue) at 1:00pm. Faculty marshals and student volunteers will be available to direct you. Bring your reader card with you.  On it clearly write  your name.  This is what I use to announce you when you receive your diploma.  If your name is often mispronounced, please write it phonetically where indicated on the reader card. The cards will be collected from you when you are in line.  The diplomas come to us in alphabetical order so it is important that you stay in that order.  Not doing so will cause confusion.

At 2:00 p.m. the head marshal will begin to lead you to the front entrance of Avery Fisher Hall.  If you have any disability that would make the standing prior to the ceremony or the walk to Avery Fisher Hall difficult, please contact me at (212) 636-6605.      

PhD Graduates & BASW Graduates

Report at 2:00 p.m. to the West Green Room on the third floor of Avery Fisher Hall.  Enter through the Stage Door at 132 West 65th Street.

Faculty, Speakers & Honored Guests

Report at 2:00 p.m. to the West Green Room on the third floor of Avery Fisher Hall.  Enter through the Stage Door at 132 West 65th Street.

It is recommended that anything you do not want to wear or carry under your gown be given to one of your guests.


MSW Students    

When the processional music begins, the head Marshal, Dr. Cathy Berkman, will lead the line of MSW graduates down the Aisle of the First Row (A) and will direct her group into that row.  Each group, led by their faculty marshal, will fill in the seats.  Please do not leave any seats empty.

Deans, Faculty, Speakers, PhD Graduates, BASW Students & Honored Guests

Dean Turner will arrange the group in appropriate order before the beginning of the procession.  Dean Egan will lead this group to the Orchestra Door 4 at 2:15pm.


PhD graduates will receive their diplomas first.  Dr. Hanson will ask you to leave your seats on the stage and move to the front of the stage to your left.  Dean Egan will direct you.  As your names are called, please walk toward Dean McPhee to receive your diploma, walk across the stage to have a picture taken, and back to your seat.  Then Dean Egan will ask Dr. Berkman to direct the procession of MSW graduates to the Stage. Graduates will enter the Stage by way of the staircase to the Right (facing the stage).  As the names are called, the graduates will walk across the stage to Dean McPhee who will present the diploma.  Following the presentation, the graduates will return by way of the stairway at the other end of the stage, stop to have a picture taken, and return to their seats.

If one of your relatives is a Fordham University Alumni, and would like to present your diploma to you, arrangements can be made to do so.  Write that person's name, department graduated from, and their relationship to you in the phonetic spelling section of your reader card (under your name).  Lincoln Center students should call me to inform me of this, (212) 636-6605 and Westchester students should call Dean Heyman (914) 367-3030 and we will discuss further with you how this works.

A photographer will take three pictures of each graduate – before going on stage, when the diploma is received and another as you leave the stage.  Fordham e-mail addresses have been provided to the photographer (Gradimages) and you will be e-mailed at your Fordham e-mail address shortly after the ceremony with directions on how to access the pictures.  How to order pictures will be included, and all transactions will be done between you and the photographer.

BASW graduates will already have received their diplomas at their college ceremonies.  After the MSW diplomas have been awarded the BASW students are acknowledged by name and asked to stand from their seats on stage for a round of applause.


Dean McPhee will lead the group from the Stage for the recessional up Aisle 4.  All graduates will march out immediately after the Stage party using Aisle 5 starting with the last row of graduates.  Please do not stop to greet your family or friends in the Auditorium since this is a fire hazard. You also must return to the White Box Studio to return your Cap & Gown.  THE CEREMONY WILL LAST 2 – 2 ½ HOURS.  IF YOU OR YOUR GUESTS CANNOT STAY FOR THE FULL CEREMONY, PLEASE DO NOT PLAN TO ATTEND.  LEAVING DURING THE CEREMONY IS DISRUPTIVE AND UNFAIR TO YOUR COLLEAGUES.

In rare cases a student may be given the wrong diploma or an empty envelope even when everything is in order.  If that should happen, please return to the Stage and see me immediately after the ceremony.   Any printing errors can be resolved with the Registrar.


There is a reception for graduates and their guests on the Plaza of the Lowenstein building after the ceremony.  Light refreshments will be served.  Plan to return your academic attire and then go to the Plaza.  Tell your guests to meet you there rather than outside Avery Fisher Hall.


As we have a time limit, please proceed directly to the 60th Street entrance of Fordham to return your academic attire.  Herff Jones, Inc. collects them swiftly.  Herff Jones, Inc. does not return to Fordham after that afternoon, so please do not take the attire home with you and please do not return it to us at the School.


The following are neighborhood hotels - Fordham University is not affiliated with any hotel, nor do they recommend any one particular hotel.

The Hudson Hotel at 356 West 58th Street
Telephone number: (212) 554-6000

Holiday Inn Midtown at 440 West 57th Street
Telephone number (800) 445-8667

Hotel Lucerne at 201 West 79th Street
 Telephone number:  (800) 492-8122

Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel at 851 Eighth Avenue
Telephone number: (800) 426-4656

Empire Hotel at 44 West 63rd Street
Telephone number: (212) 581-5290


The following are neighborhood Parking Garages:

    1.    Alfred Car Park – 161 West 61st Street, Between Columbus & Amsterdam

    2.    Prior Parking - West 61st Street, Between Columbus & Broadway

    3.    MSG Allie Garage - 425 West 59th Street, Between 9th & 10th Avenues

    4.    Central Parking – 345 West 58th Street, Between Columbus & Broadway

    5.    Lincoln Center - 150 West 65th Street, & 150 West 66th Streets
           Enter on 65th or 66th Streets, Between Broadway & Amsterdam



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