Florida Commencement

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Ceremony & Reception:

Hilton Miami Airport
5101 Blue Lagoon Drive
Miami, Florida 33126
Tel: 305-262-1000
*Please contact the hotel to reserve rooms. The hotel will be charging a parking fee.

Florida-based and online undergraduate students, as well as Master of Education students are welcome at the Florida event.

Ceremony Details

  • 8:30am-12:30 pm: Robing areas open
  • 9:00am: Photographer available for pre-ceremony photos
  • 10:30am: Procession lineup
  • 11:00am: Commencement Ceremony

Commencement Reception: Immediately following ceremony

Criteria for Participation

Please note that Commencement is a ceremony that celebrates your academic achievements, not certification of graduation. You must satisfy all of your degree requirements before you officially graduate and receive your diploma and transcript.

To be eligible to participate in commencement, one of two conditions must be met:
1.You have officially graduated and received your diploma, but have not participated in a past commencement
2.You are officially registered in the final term/session to complete your academic degree requirements by the end of the Summer Term/Session I or II ( August 24, 2014)

Your financial obligation can only be processed through the Business Office in Cincinnati, Ohio. Please contact Lisa Schnapp, the student account manager, 800-861-6400 x1187 | lisa.schnapp@myunion.edu.

NOTE: If you have an outstanding financial obligation exceeding $1000.00, please contact Miles Scott in the Business Office in our Cincinnati headquarters at 513-487-1291, or by selecting Option 1 when calling the Business Office at 1-800-861-6400 x1095. The Business Office can arrange a payment plan to fulfill your financial requirement. A financial hold will not prohibit your approval to participate in the commencement ceremony. However, you must have your financial obligations to the University satisfied before obtaining official graduation status, receiving your diploma and academic transcripts. All eligible students and recent graduates will receive a packet of information including a Petition to Participate form and a timetable. Once your dean has approved you for commencement, you may order your regalia, invitations, class rings, diploma frames, etc. (online through a secure site hosted by Herff Jones).


Cap and gowns are required to participate in the ceremony. Once you have been approved to participate in the ceremony (based on your eligibility and dean’s sign off), you will be given access to the Herff Jones web site where you can order your regalia. The regalia for undergraduates is called a ‘keeper,’ which allows you to own the regalia for less cost than renting. The price is about $30 for the set. It will be shipped to the Florida Center where you can pick it up on specified dates (to be arranged shortly). You can also purchase a ‘gratitude stole’ with UI&U colors and seal to wear during the ceremony and then give to those who supported you through your academic journey. There are also invitations, announcements, and rings to be personalized and purchased on the Herff Jones site.


Each commencer is allowed seven (7) guests who can attend the ceremony and reception free of charge. Tickets will be issued once your attendance is confirmed.


Portia Simpson Miller, Prime Minister of Jamaica | Union Institute & University alumna (B.A. 1997)

The Most Honorable Portia Simpson Miller, Jamaica’s Prime Minister, and the first Jamaican woman to serve in that capacity, will deliver the keynote address at the 2014 Commencement Ceremony in Florida. Prime Minister Simpson Miller is currently in her second term. Before first taking office in 2006, her illustrious career included serving as Minister of Labor, Welfare and Sport; Minister of Tourism and Sport; and Minister of Local Government, Community Development and Sport. She was recently inducted into the prestigious International Women’s Forum Hall of Fame, joining the ranks of hall-of-famers including Rosa Parks, Nancy Pelosi, and Margaret Thatcher.


A professional photographer will be at the Florida Academic Center on June 19, 10-5:30 pm to take formal commencement portraits. You will be able to view your proofs instantly. Payment is due at time of the shoot–cash, check, Visa or MasterCard only.

The photographer will also be present at the ceremony to take photos of you and your family prior to and after the ceremony; the photographer will also take a photo of you as you cross the stage and receive your certificate. Proofs will be available at www.jacquelinemariephotos.com/store for online viewing. Should you choose to purchase photos, you will work directly with the photographer.

Request for Special Services for Persons with Disabilities

Requests for special accommodations for disabilities (ADA) must be submitted no less than 30 days prior to the event. However, if the necessary accommodation is a reader or a signer, a 60-day minimum notice is required. The request will be reviewed, verified with the requester regarding the necessary accommodation, and then final arrangements made. Accommodations cannot be guaranteed if the request is made in less than the stated minimum timeframe.

To arrange for necessary accommodations, contact the Union Institute & University ADA Coordinator
802-828-8840 | 800-336-6794 | adacoordinator@myunion.edu

For More Information or Questions

Contact: Angela Byles
800-294-8884 x2108