diverse students celebrating graduation from school

Graduation ceremonies are a time of honor and celebration. This procedure manual will outline requirements, appropriate dress, and final checks prior to the graduation rehearsal. Your full cooperation will make this a memorable experience for the student, family, faculty and staff of the Public Schools of Robeson County.

Graduation Rehearsal Etiquette

  • Graduates should remain in line at all times and quiet to not interrupt the ceremony.
  • Diplomas are awarded in alphabetical order and student’s graduate according to last name.
  • Junior Marshals are to wear their sash and escort the graduating class to the appropriate seating area as practiced.
  • Remain standing until the last student in your row has a designated chair and no empty seats are left.
  • As the senior walks across the graduation stage and receives the diploma cover with your left hand as to shake hands with staff and distinguished guest(s) with the right hand.
  • After all graduating seniors have received their diploma covers; the Principal will declare you graduates of The Public Schools of Robeson County. All seniors will turn their tassel on the graduation cap from right to left.

All Public Schools of Robeson County graduating seniors are required to wear full regalia including a gown, cap, and tassel (cords, sashes, stoles, or medallions are reserved for honor graduates and honors distinction). If a proven hardship impedes your ability to supply the regalia reach out to your School Counselor or School Social Worker regarding orders for your school.

Schools have gowns distinguished by school colors and are to be neatly pressed with a cool iron or steamed using an alternative method such as a steam shower to assist the wrinkles in falling out. The collars of the gown for women should be sown; safety pinned or taped in place using the items received in the gown package. It is highly recommended to try the gown on a few days prior to graduation to ensure an acceptable fit and to allow the gown to naturally hang to allow wrinkles to form out of the appearance of the gown. 

Graduates who do not wear appropriate attire will be removed from the lines and will not be allowed to participate in Commencement activities. 

Attire for all graduates during commencement activities
(Includes Senior Awards Night and Graduation Ceremony)


  1. Simple black dress pants or lightweight dress under graduation robes. Your dress should be shorter than the length of your gown so that it does not show when your gown is on but in accordance to student dress code.
  2. Black shoes or black sandals. No tennis shoes, flip-flops (shower shoes) or boots.
  3. Minimal jewelry
  4. No purse or handbags, cameras, etc. Leave these items with family members.


  1. White dress shirt and dark tie.
  2. Dark dress pants blue or black. No blue jeans allowed.
  3. Dark dress shoes and dark socks. You may not wear tennis shoes, boots, or sandals. 

All caps should be parallel to the ground and worn straight on head. Women should plan hairstyles in advance to accommodate that the top of the cap’s position is flat with the floor.
No decorations should be allowed at any time on the caps! 

The tassel provided with the gown at the time of purchase is to ONLY be worn on the right side of the cap by all seniors. All tassels from other vendors are prohibited.

Cords, Stoles & Medallions
Honor graduates can wear cords that have been provided by the school ONLY. 

White cord: Cum Laude
Burgundy cord: Magna Cum Laude
Yellow cord: Summa Cum Laude
Red White & Blue cord: National JROTC
Purple & Silver Cord: National Technical Honors Society
Light Blue: Career & College Ready (Workeys)
White Collar: National Honors Society **Purnell Swett has a Blue Collar ONLY for 2021
Gold Stole: National Beta Club
Medallion: NC Scholars Endorsement
Gold Tassel & Gold Sash: Phi Theta Kappa (Robeson Community College- Collegiate Honor Society)
National Art Honor Society
National FFA Organization 

Schools are provided with an average of tickets per graduate based on seating capacity and graduation totals. This total can fluctuate yearly and ensures space for every graduate. There will be fewer seats than the listed building capacity to accommodate faculty and staff.

Commencement Practice
Pay close attention to instructions during the commencement practice so that we can make the rehearsal go smoothly. During practice, your name will be read to ensure correct pronunciation. Graduation tickets will be distributed during graduation rehearsal. Commencement practice is mandatory.

Tickets are general admission and are not assigned to specific sections, rows, or seats. Seating is available on a first come, first serve basis.

At the request of the Public Schools of Robeson County, all graduation guests will go through a security checkpoint prior to entering the auditorium. We encourage you to keep all bags and gifts in your car for faster entry times. Make accommodations to leave early to get through security prior to the ceremony start time.

Code of Conduct
Formal ceremonies are a time to acknowledge our graduates’ hard work. We encourage families and guests to be respectful of the other families and guests who want to share this day with our graduates. The following items are not permitted into the graduation ceremony: balloons, flowers, confetti, silly string, sound makers, signs, posters or items that can be thrown inside the auditorium. Remain seated until all seniors and dignitaries have exited the auditorium.

Please respect the dignity deserved for all seniors on this occasion by remaining quiet during the ceremony. Every parent wants to hear the name of his or her graduate. 

Participation in graduation is not a guaranteed right, it is a privilege. The Principal reserves the right to refuse student participation in any graduation event if conduct at school is not maintained at a high level of excellence.