UAH Commencement

Fall 2018 Commencement

The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) Fall 2018 Commencement will take place Thursday, December 6, 2018 at the Von Braun Center in the Propst Arena.

The ceremonies will include students who have completed degree requirements in the Fall semester. Doctoral, Masters, and Bachelors degrees will be presented.

  • 10:00 a.m. Ceremony: Colleges of Engineering; Science
  • 2:30 p.m. Ceremony: Colleges of Arts, Humanities & Social Science; Business; Education; Nursing; Professional & Continuing Studies

Graduating students for the 10:00 a.m. ceremony may begin checking in at the East Hall at 8:30 a.m. Graduating students for the 2:30 p.m. ceremony may begin checking in at the East Hall at 1:00 p.m. The arena will open at 8:30 a.m. for guests for the 10:00 a.m. ceremony. The arena will open at 1:00 p.m. for guests for the 2:30 p.m. ceremony.

VBC Rules and Regulations

Fall 2018 Commencement Speaker: Dr. Jan Davis

UAH Commencement Speaker: Dr. Jan Davis

After growing up in Huntsville, Alabama, Dr. Jan Davis graduated from Georgia Tech with a BS Applied Biology in Biomechanics and from Auburn University with a BSME. She also earned MS and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH).

Dr. Davis began her National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) career at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) as an aerospace engineer. After supporting major NASA programs and projects, including the Hubble Space Telescope and the Chandra X-ray Observatory, she became a team lead and lead engineer for the redesign of the Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Booster External Tank attach ring after the Challenger accident. In 1987, Dr. Davis was selected to join the Astronaut corps at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

She spent more than 670 hours in space as a mission specialist over the course of her three Space Shuttle flights: STS-47 (1992), STS-60 (1994), and STS-85 (1997). During these flights, she orbited the Earth 325 times. In 1998, she became the Director of the Human Exploration and Development of Space Independent Assurance Office for NASA Headquarters. Dr. Davis returned to MSFC and served as the Director of the Flight Projects Directorate at the Marshall Center until August 2003. Prior to retiring from NASA in 2005, Dr. Davis was the Director of Safety and Mission Assurance at MSFC leading up to the successful Return to Flight of the Space Shuttle in 2005.

She is currently the Program Manager for the Bastion Technologies, Inc. contract for Safety and Mission Assurance at the NASA MSFC in Huntsville, Alabama. Prior to that, she was Vice President and Deputy General Manager for Jacobs’ engineering, scientific, and technical support contract at MSFC.

Dr. Davis was elected to the Alabama Aviation Hall of Fame and the Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame. In 2002, she was given the Presidential Rank of Meritorious Executive, and she has received NASA’s Exceptional Service Medal, Space Medal, and Outstanding Leadership Medal. In 2012, she received Auburn University’s Lifetime Achievement Award and in May 2013, she received the Christine Richard Girl Scouts Lifetime Achievement Award. She is a UAH Alumni of Achievement awardee, an Auburn Distinguished Engineer, and a member of the Georgia Tech Engineering Hall of Fame. In addition, she is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

She has served on numerous non-profit boards and panels, and currently serves on the board of the United States Association of Space Explorers, and was nominated by Mayor Tommy Battle to serve on the board of the Huntsville Iceplex. In her spare time, she and her Labrador retriever mix dog are Therapy Partners in the community, and they serve with the Partners Achieving Literacy (PAL) program at Whitesburg Elementary School in Huntsville. One of her favorite things to do is to encourage and inspire young people to enter technical fields, especially young women.


Schedule of Events 10:00 a.m. Ceremony

8:30 a.m. Students check-in East Hall
8:30 a.m. Doors open for guests Propst Arena
10:00 a.m. Ceremony begins Propst Arena

Schedule of Events 2:30 p.m. Ceremony

1:00 p.m. Students check-in East Hall
1:00 p.m. Doors open for guests Propst Arena
2:30 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.

The Von Braun Center is committed to creating a safe, comfortable and enjoyable experience for all guests. All patrons entering the Von Braun Center during an event are subject to screening, which varies from event-to-event. Screenings range from visual inspection and bag search to screenings by a magnetometer (metal detector) and/or pat-down search conducted by security personnel. The purpose of the inspection is to detect prohibited items. For more information about prohibited items, please visit the VBC website

Commencement Guide

Download PDF


Candidates will need to arrive at the Von Braun Center one and a half hours 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.

Commencement in 2 minutes! Student perspective

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. Please refer to Guest Searches in the Commencement Guide for more information on prohibited items. 

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 Countdown to Cap and Gown 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

  Arts, Humanities, & Social Sciences - White

  Business - Drab

  Education - Light Blue

  Engineering - Orange

  Nursing - Apricot

  Science - Gold

  Professional Studies - Black

  Doctoral - Old Gold

Future Commencement Dates

Spring 2019 Commencement: Thursday, May 2, 2019
Fall 2019 Commencement: Monday, December 16, 2019
Spring 2020 Commencement: Thursday, April 30, 2020
Additional dates can be found at this link.