Commencement 2023 Procession at Central State University


To all our graduates, congratulations on achieving your academic goals! Your success is a shining example of the legacy of teaching and learning by our esteemed faculty and staff. It brings us immense joy to invite our guests to join in celebrating the remarkable accomplishments of the graduating class of 2024 at the Central State University Commencement. The ceremony will be broadcast live on Facebook via @CentralState87.

Important dates

Honors College Convocation

Thursday, May 9 | 5:30 p.m.
Paul Robeson Cultural and Performing Arts Center Auditorium

Honors College members who complete the required curriculum for the Honors College will be recognized at the Honors College Convocation.

    Baccalaureate Ceremony

    Friday, May 10 | 5 p.m.
    Paul Robeson Cultural and Performing Arts Center Auditorium

    Dr. D’Angelo Taylor
    , Vice President for Hope, Unity and Belonging
    Belmont University, Nashville, Tennessee 

    Dr. D’Angelo Taylor

    Dr. D’Angelo Taylor serves as the inaugural Vice President for Hope, Unity and Belonging (HUB) at Belmont University. In this role, he serves as the architect of the newly created HUB-Belmont’s Office of Hope, Unity and Belonging. As part of this work, Dr. Taylor leads the university’s diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging initiatives in support of its strategic emphasis to embrace hope and inclusive excellence to reweave the social fabric.

    Prior to accepting this role at Belmont University, Dr. Taylor was the Vice President for Student Affairs at Central State University. In that role, he was tasked with creating a premier student experience at Ohio’s only public HBCU. Dr. Taylor also served as the Associate Director of the Multicultural Center at the University of Southern Indiana. In that role, he worked to build partnerships with multiple entities at University of Southern Indiana and within the Evansville Tri-State Community.

    Dr. Taylor has a passion to assist students to become all they can be and more. He is also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

    Baccalaureate Reception

    Friday, May 10 | 6:30 p.m.
    University Student Center Ballroom

    Commencement Rehearsal

    Friday, May 10 | 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
    Paul Robeson Cultural and Performing Arts Center Auditorium

    Commencement Ceremony

    Saturday, May 11 | 9 a.m.
    William Patrick McPherson Memorial Stadium
    Tickets not required.

    McPherson Stadium opens at 8 a.m. All seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. 


    Dr. Donovan Livingston, Director of College Thriving, Teaching Assistant Professor of Music at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

    donovan livingston headshot
    Dr. Donovan Livingston

    Dr. Donovan Livingston is an award-winning educator, spoken word poet, and public speaker. In 2016, his Harvard Graduate School of Education convocation address, "Lift Off" went viral, reaching over 13 million views and prompting Hillary Clinton to praise, “It’s young graduates like (Livingston) who make it clear that America’s best days are still ahead."

    Since his pivotal speech, Livingston has been featured on CNN, NPR, BBC, Good Morning America, and in news outlets across Europe, Australia, India, and South Africa. His convocation address was published as a book by Spiegel & Grau in 2017.

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    two central state university graduating seniors with cords and honors designations at commencement

    Gold Cord Honors

    Gold Cord Honors are awarded to graduating seniors with a 3.5-4.0 cumulative GPA. Any D or F grades make the student ineligible.

    Pickup times and locations for cords 

    • 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, May 8, Registrar's Office, Norman E. Ward Sr. Center
    • 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, May 9, Registrar's Office, Ward Center
    • 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, May 10, Registrar's Office, Ward Center

    Academic distinctions

    Graduating seniors who meet the following criteria will receive recognition of it on their transcripts: 

    • Summa Cum Laude — 3.9 or higher cumulative GPA for all work completed
    • Magna Cum Laude — 3.75-3.89 cumulative GPA for all work completed
    • Cum Laude — 3.60-3.74 cumulative GPA for all work completed

    For those who cannot attend the Honors College Convocation, the following pick-up times are available. If a student is unable to make the event or the pickup times, they will be mailed their awards.

    • 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, May 9, Honors College
    • 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, May 10, Honors College

    Regalia information

    Regalia must be ordered by March 19 by visiting The Central State University Bookstore will take orders from March 20 through April 5.

    The University will mail the gold cords, diploma covers, and medallions to the graduates who cannot attend the Commencement Ceremony.

    If you have questions, please contact the Central State University Bookstore at 937-376-6123.

    Accessibility accommodations for family and guests

    Accessible parking

    We understand that finding accessible parking can be challenging at times. Please note that accessible parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis, and a valid permanent or temporary handicap tag/placard or license plate from any state is required. We want to ensure that everyone has equal access to the parking spaces they need, but unfortunately, we cannot guarantee reserved parking.

    We recommend arriving early to increase the chances of finding a spot. 

    Accessible seating

    McPherson Stadium provides easy access for guests with permanent or temporary disabilities. Guests who experience limited mobility or difficulty walking long distances should consider bringing a wheelchair or other mobility device.

    accessibility accommodations signs for people using wheelchairs, those with visual impairments, a pregnant person, and a person using a cane

    Accessible seating is located at the entry level in front of the bleachers on the press box side of the stadium. Please limit the accessible seating area to one companion per person so that we can accommodate everyone.

    If you need assistance finding seating, please see one of our volunteer ushers or security staff inside the stadium. No prior arrangements are necessary.

    Note: For the Commencement Ceremony, wheelchairs will not be provided by the University.

    Interpreter services

    A sign language interpreter using American Sign Language (ASL) will be available during the ceremony. If you are unable to see the interpreter from your seat, please find a volunteer usher or security staff to assist you in finding a new seat. No prior arrangements are necessary. 

    Service animals

    Service animals are permitted on campus. Anyone attending the ceremony with a service animal is expected to keep the animal under control at all times. 


    Restrooms are available in Charles S. Smith Hall College of Business, Madison W. Beacom/Gaston F. Lewis Gymnasium, and McPherson Stadium. 

    Chemical sensitivity 

    While the University cannot guarantee a chemical-free environment, please avoid wearing strongly scented products due to possible chemical sensitivity of others.


    • Dayton International Airport, Dayton, Ohio, is located approximately 35 minutes from Central State University.
    • Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, Hebron, Kentucky, is located approximately one hour and 15 minutes from Central State University.
    • John Glenn International Airport, Columbus, Ohio, is located approximately one hour and 30 minutes from Central State University.


    Guests have several options for hotels in the area.

    COVID-19 precautions

    While masks are no longer required at Commencement-related activities, we request that guests remain considerate of one another.