Date: Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Time: Commencement starts at 7 p.m. Doors open for guests at 6 p.m. It will also be live-streamed on Facebook.

Where: Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC)
123 Vivian Street, Durham, NC 27701
Driving Directions 


Parking fees are in effect until 7 p.m. Please visit the DPAC website for nearby parking options, including cost and acceptable payment methods.


Students may request a maximum of six tickets for the commencement ceremony. Each guest requires a ticket, including children. The only exception are infants that don't require a seat. Students will use their caps and gowns as their “tickets” to enter DPAC.

Cap, Gown, and Ticket Pick-Up

To participate in the ceremony, graduating students must wear a commencement cap and gown. Students should not use borrowed or previous years' caps or gowns. 

Curriculum students should visit the Admissions, Registration, and Records Office in Wynn 10-201 to confirm eligibility and receive instructions for commencement regalia pick-up. Adult High School (AHS) and High School Equivalency (HSE) students should first see O'Keishe L. Wright in White 1-108. Pick-up ended May 10.

Bring with You

Each graduate is advised to bring a bottle of water and a small snack (e.g. granola bar), as the wait time can be long and the line-up area can get warm.

Other personal items (e.g. handbags, totes, etc.) should be left with a guest as all bags must be checked before entering the venue.

Commencement Timeline

Student Rehearsal, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Please arrive by 11:15 a.m., so the rehearsal may begin on time. Students will receive instructions about the processional, recessional, and stage decorum for the commencement ceremony. All participating students, faculty marshals, student marshals, and key staff should attend. Platform guests may also attend. Rehearsal takes place in the DPAC theatre. Everyone should enter through the side door near the Johnson Lexus President’s Club and be prepared to have his and her bags searched.

Graduate Check-In and Line-Up, 5 p.m.

After again entering through the side door near the Johnson Lexus President’s Club and having your bags searched, students should report to the Orchestra Lobby (2nd floor), check-in at the appropriate table, and then line-up with the other graduates.

Doors Open for Guests, 6 p.m.

Guests will enter DPAC through the main entrance, have tickets scanned and bags searched, and then immediately proceed to the theatre in order to find a seat.

Processional Line-Up, 6:30 p.m.

All students and faculty participating in the commencement ceremony must be in place to prepare for the commencement at this time. Please note, all full-time and continuing part-time faculty are encouraged to participate in the processional. Faculty who are not processing and all staff are invited to be seated with all other guests as space permits.

Commencement, 7 – 8:30 p.m.

Invited guests, students, faculty, and staff are all cordially invited to attend Durham Tech’s commencement ceremony. The focus of the ceremony is the achievements of students from curriculum (college) and College and Career Readiness (HSE, Adult High School, Gateway) programs. Since this is a formal occasion, students and faculty who march in the processional are required to wear academic regalia (or have it in hand) in order to be admitted to the theatre. Other faculty and staff must show their Durham Tech badges to enter DPAC. Students, faculty, and staff should enter through the side door near the Johnson Lexus President’s Club and be prepared to have their bags checked. Business formal attire is appropriate for all.

Disability Accommodations

Graduating students with documented disabilities who need to request accommodations for the duration of the ceremony (e.g. interpreters for persons with hearing impairments or alternate print materials for persons with visual impairments, etc.) should contact the Disability Services Coordinator at 919-536-7208, ext. 1409 to make arrangements. The College may not be able to properly accommodate last minute requests.

Guests of graduates with seating and mobility concerns or who need wheelchair access and/or hearing amplification can make a request directly to DPAC.

Honors Recognition

Students graduating with high cumulative grade point averages in program courses will be recognized as honor students. Honors are calculated according to the cumulative GPA of the student's courses in the program of study not by the total cumulative GPA of all classes taken at Durham Tech.

There are two potential ways that an honor student is recognized at commencement. First, in the commencement program, all students who graduate with a program GPA of 3.25 or higher are indicated on the graduation program with an asterisk showing that they are Cum Laude (honors) graduates. Second, all those students who have a program GPA of 3.75 or higher receive honor cords indicating Magna Cum Laude (high honors), which should be worn over the gown during the commencement ceremony. Students graduating from a college associate degree program or a college diploma program with a program GPA of 4.0 indicating Summa Cum Laude (highest honors) will receive an honor medallion, which will be worn over the gown during the commencement ceremony.

Cultural or Religious Accommodations

Students with questions or requests involving the commencement ceremony that are related to religious or cultural concerns should make these requests in a timely fashion to allow adequate time for the college to respond appropriately. For more information, call 919-536-7207, ext. 1406.

Graduate Photos

PhotoSpecialties, Inc., will be present at the commencement ceremony and will take a picture of every student as he and she receives his and her diploma and exits the stage. Every student will be photographed, but there is no obligation to purchase these photos. Students interested in receiving proofs of their photos will have the opportunity to provide contact information when they pick up their caps and gowns.

Class Rings

To purchase personalized items such as announcements, rings, frames, etc., visit and pay online. Class rings will be available for sale from Jostens when you pick up your graduation cap and gown in the Dean's Office, Wynn Center, room 10-211.