UAH Commencement

UAH Commencement

Fall 2014 Commencement

The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) Fall 2014 Commencement will take place Sunday, December 14, 2014 at the Von Braun Center in the Propst Arena.

The ceremony will include students who have completed degree requirements in the Summer semester, as well as those who have applied for graduation and will complete all degree requirements for the Fall semester. Doctoral, Masters, and Bachelors degrees will be presented.

Commencement Speaker

Joe Ritch

Joe Ritch is chairman of the board for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), a corporation owned by the U.S. government that provides electricity for 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states, including North Alabama.

Mr. Ritch is well known also throughout the region for his high profile work as chairman of the Tennessee Valley Base Realignment and Closing Commission, and that group’s highly successful efforts to relocate federal agencies and commands to Redstone Arsenal.

He has an equally active career as an attorney in Sirote's Huntsville office, where he co-chairs the Privacy & Data Security and Government Contracting Practice Groups.

A graduate of The University of Alabama in Huntsville, Mr. Ritch also received law degrees from the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University and New York University.

He has been a long-time supporter of UAH and was chosen as a member of the inaugural class of the UAH Alumni of Achievement in 2002 in addition to being named “Outstanding Alumni” in 1982. Ritch also has served on the UAH Foundation Board, and the UAH Eminent Scholars Foundation as president, and is a lifetime member of the UAH President’s Council.

He is the founder of the UAH ice hockey program and served as the volunteer coach for numerous years, leading the Chargers to three national championships as a club team. He was named to the Charger Hall of Honor for his contributions to the university’s athletic program.

Mr. Ritch served as a member of the University of Alabama Board of Trustees from 2005-2011 and was named trustee emeritus in 2011.

His awards include: Distinguished Service Award from the Huntsville-Madison County Chamber of Commerce, where he also served on the chamber’s board of directors; Dr. Wernher von Braun Memorial Community Service Award in 2011; Department of the U.S. Army Commander’s Award for Public Service; induction into the North Alabama Business Hall of Fame in 2011; the Redstone “Good Neighbor” award in 2010; and induction into the Huntsville Madison County Athletic Hall of Fame.

Activities and memberships include: founding member of the Committee of 100 in Huntsville; Alabama’s Military Stability Commission; Redstone Community Advisory Board; the Business Council of Alabama; the Huntsville-Madison County Bar Association; Alabama Bar Association and American Bar Association.


Schedule of Events

1:00 p.m. Students check-in East Hall
1:00 p.m. Doors open for guests Propst Arena
2:00 p.m. Ceremony begins Propst Arena

Note: If there is an event at the same time as Commencement, please arrive 15-20 minutes before doors open.

Candidate Instructions


No tickets are required for guests. Please notify family and friends that the doors will open exactly one hour prior to the scheduled ceremony time. Guests, family members and spouses are not permitted in the assembly or robing areas and should go directly to the arena.

Commencement Guide


Candidates will need to arrive at the Von Braun Center one hour prior to the scheduled ceremony time. See the Von Braun Center Propst Arena Layout Map for student seating locations.

Line-Up and Procession

Students should report to their college line-up area in the Von Braun Center East Hall no later than one hour prior to the ceremony. You will receive a line-up card indicating your number in line and be instructed by University staff about when and where to line up. Your line-up card is the key to get you across the stage.

Participation in Commencement

Fall Commencement - Students who have completed degree requirements in the Summer semester, as well as those who have applied for graduation and will complete all degree requirements for the Fall semester. Spring Commencement - Students who have applied for graduation and will complete all degree requirements for the Spring semester.

Doctoral candidates must notify Graduates Studies in order to participate in the ceremony.

What to Bring to Commencement

Degree candidates should purchase their caps and gowns from the UAH Campus Bookstore prior to the ceremony and must bring them, along with their tassels, to Commencement. Students should not bring purses, cell phones, etc., into the Von Braun Center. Personal items may not be left in the assembly or robing areas during the ceremony.

Academic Regalia

Commencement is an occasion marking a special time in a student's academic career. Appropriate attire for the occasion is a black academic gown and mortarboard with no personal accessories or messages. Undergraduate student members of academic honor societies may wear the insignia or honor cord of that academic honor society. Flowers, personal jewelry, pins or cords from social fraternities and sororities are not to be worn on academic robes. All graduates participating in the ceremony must wear their academic regalia.

Caps and Gowns

Caps and gowns may be purchased at Grad Finale or in the UAH Campus Bookstore Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Doctoral candidates should pre-order your cap and gown at least one month prior to the ceremony.

Tassel Colors

  Liberal Arts - White

  Science - Gold

  Engineering - Orange

  Nursing - Apricot

  Business - Drab

  Doctoral - Old Gold