Winter 2021 commencement at Illinois State University will be celebrated with degree-conferral ceremonies and the beloved Redbird Stage Crossing for graduates. The University will award approximately 956 baccalaureate degrees and 240 graduate degrees. 

“Graduates and guests so enjoyed the individualized and personal feel of Redbird Stage Crossing in spring 2021 that it compelled us to find a fit for this new tradition in the array of commencement celebrations,” said Associate Dean of Students Jill Benson.  

Graduates can choose to take part in either a ceremony or a Redbird Stage Crossing, or both.  

Degree-conferral ceremonies  
Each in-person commencement ceremony will last approximately one hour and take place in Redbird Arena on December 11. Each ceremony includes the graduate processional, degree conferral, a symbolic tassel move for undergraduate students, and remarks by President Terri Goss Kinzy. Cap and gown regalia must be ordered by November 4. Information is available at  

Redbird Stage Crossing 
The Redbird Stage Crossing will be a brief, individualized experience in the Brown Ballroom of the Bone Student Center. Graduates must register for a stage appointment to occur December 9-11. Those graduates taking part will have their name read as they cross the stage, receive a diploma cover from a University representative, and have the opportunity to have six guests attend the Crossing. More information is available at

Doctoral hood ceremony 
In conjunction with the Graduate School, Graduation Services will also launch a new tradition. Doctoral graduates can take part in a Doctoral Hooding Ceremony. More information is available from the Graduate School. 

Those with questions can contact Graduation Services at or (309) 438-2836.