Independence Commencement

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Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023, 10 a.m.

Community of Christ Auditorium
1001 W. Walnut, Independence, MO 64050

For further assistance, please contact
Pam Worlund,, Ph: 641.784.5114

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Access Commencement Photos

Relive your favorite moments from commencement by checking out all of our albums from the weekend. Download your individual graduation portraits from The Grad Team or view our albums on our Flickr account.

To Walk You Through Preparing for Your Graceland Graduation in Independence, Missouri


Visit to purchase your graduation needs:

Deadline to order is November 15th, 2023

  • Stationery/announcements
  • Diploma frame
  • Class ring
  • Cap and gown 

School of Nursing Graduates

Order your commemorative nursing cap and pins here.

After graduation, need “OFFICIAL” transcripts?

Order official transcript through

Please note that transcripts will only be released when your Graceland financial balance is zero.

Want to be a part of Graceland forever? Order your alumni brick!

You can choose to be a part of Graceland forever by purchasing a brick for yourself or a loved one to be placed in the Alumni Brick Plaza at either the Lamoni or Independence campus locations.

Order your alumni brick.

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Instructions for Commencement and Nursing Recognition Ceremony

  • Health & Safety

    We follow CDC COVID guidelines for the state of Missouri and for Jackson County.

    • Guests who are running a fever or showing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should remain at home.
    • Please check back closer to the event for the most current health related requirements.
  • Commencement

    SATURDAY, DEC. 16, 2023, 10 a.m.

    Main Chamber, Community of Christ Auditorium
    1001 W. Walnut, Independence, MO 64050

    Candidates for graduation should arrive no later than 8:30 a.m. Please enter the Community of Christ Auditorium through the west entrance, and take the stairs to the lowest level. All candidates for graduation must check in at the Registrar’s table in the hallway across from the assembly room to receive their card to be presented when crossing the stage. Check-in at the Registrar table must be completed by 9 a.m. Candidates will then proceed to the assembly room.

    The Student Marshals will begin giving instructions promptly at 9:30 a.m. in the assembly room, lower level of the Community of Christ Auditorium. PLEASE BE PROMPT. At 9:45 a.m., the Student Marshals will lead you into the main chamber for final lineup. Men should watch for cues for removing and replacing mortarboards. All candidates will sit and rise with the Student Marshals. Seating of the candidates for graduation is reserved, and the number of seats in each row is carefully counted to ensure all candidates have a seat. Please follow the instructions from the Student Marshals to finish each row before starting a new row. Disregarding these instructions could cause a miscount and result in someone else losing a seat. There is no reserved seating for guests.

    Proper attire will include business professional dress with the appropriate graduation regalia: caps, tams and gowns. Graduate candidates will carry their hood to the stage where they will be hooded by faculty or administration during the ceremony. Extra decoration on gowns is not allowed with the exception of approved honor cords or sashes and the nursing pin. Tasteful, appropriate decoration on mortarboards is allowed, but profanity (even implied) will not be permitted. Mortarboard decoration should not impede the view of other attendees.

    Graduates should rise and be seated as directed during the ceremony. You will sit with others being awarded the same degree, but it is not necessary to sit in any particular order. All candidates will be asked to rise for the conferring of degrees. You will then move as directed and hand your card to the individual reading names before you cross the stage. You will receive your empty diploma cover and return to your seat. When exiting the stage, take care not to catch your sleeve on the handrail and watch your step. If you have not yet received your actual diploma, it will be mailed once graduation requirements have been audited.

    Following the ceremony, please exit the main chamber by following the Student Marshals.

    Photographs and video – A professional photographer will be taking photos of each graduate as they cross the stage and during the handshake. The photographer will send information directly to you by email for your convenience in ordering. We will also video stream the commencement ceremony.

  • Nursing Recognition Ceremony

    Friday, Dec. 15, 2023, 7 p.m.

    Pinning of BSN Graduates. Pi Eta Chapter – Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing Induction Ceremony. By invitation only.

    Please RSVP to if you plan to attend. Please indicate the program you completed/will be completing and number of individuals in your party.

    Place: Community of Christ Temple, 201 S. River Blvd., Independence, MO 64050
    Phone: 816.833.1000

    Parking Map

    Professional Photographs

    A professional photographer will take portrait shots of you during the ceremony.

    Appropriate Ceremony Attire

    BSN-RN’s – Graceland lab jacket over conservative business attire. Men and women, wear dress slacks/skirt, button down shirt/blouse/sweater and comfortable business professional low heel shoes.

    RN-BSN’s – Wear business professional attire. Men and women, wear dress slacks/skirt, button down shirt/blouse/sweater and comfortable business professional low heel shoes.

    Nursing Recognition Ceremony begins at 7 p.m.

    Please note – The Community of Christ staff asks for reverence and proper attire to be observed in this place often used for worship services.

    Graceland University School of Nursing
    1401 W. Truman Road,
    Independence, MO
    816.833.0524 ext. 4679 (for questions or inquiries)

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Independence Commencement FAQs

For additional questions or more detailed information, please contact the Independence bookstore by phone at 800.833.0524, or visit their My Graceland page at

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President’s Reception

Immediately following commencement until 1:30 p.m.

Join us in celebrating the graduating class of 2023 on Graceland’s Independence Campus located at 1401 W. Truman Road, Independence, MO.

Enjoy light refreshments, check out the Spirit Shop and enjoy photos with family, friends, and faculty. There will also be a special gift for our graduates.

Family and friends are welcome!

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Independence Lodging

Area lodging information for out-of-town graduates & guests 

Graceland’s Independence campus has contracted with Drury Inn and Suites and Stoney Creek to give our graduates and their families special rates and amenities while they are visiting.

Drury Inn and Suites – Independence
I-70 & Little Blue Parkway
20300 E. 42nd Street S., Blue Springs, MO 64015

  • Ask for the Graceland rate when booking.

Drury Inn and Suites (5 stories) is a Midwest, family-owned hotel chain which provides outstanding accommodations and is highly rated by visiting students. This rate is good for a standard double queen or standard king. The hotel has many amenities: free deluxe hot breakfast buffet, free hot food buffet and cold drinks each night from 5:30-7:00 p.m.; free wireless internet; one free hour of long distance calls each night; indoor/outdoor pool & whirlpool; business center; fitness center; guest laundry; and a microwave and refrigerator in all rooms. The Independence Center shopping mall is nearby as are theaters, restaurants, Barnes & Noble, and Starbucks. Approximately five miles from Graceland University.

Reserve your Drury Inn rooms on their website using our corporate number #322085. Your negotiated rates will automatically populate based on the specific hotel chosen and the dates of stay. You may also call 1.800.325.0720 and provide our Graceland University corporate code.

Stoney Creek Hotel – Independence
I-70 & I-470
18011 Bass Pro Dr., Independence, MO 64055

Nestled within the falls of Crackerneck Creek, you can enjoy the beautiful nature views and many recreation opportunities along the one mile walking path surrounded by a small lake. Located minutes away from Graceland University, its central setting makes it easy to visit the campus then experience world-famous barbecue and world-class arts and entertainment. Approximately nine miles from Graceland University.

To secure rooms at the Graceland rate, use this website link. It will take you directly to our rate. No need to type any promo code, etc.