March 23, 2020 COVID-19 Update

In normal times, Mercyhurst North East would celebrate the achievements of its graduating students with a host of ceremonies and events in early May. Unfortunately, these are not normal times. 

Given the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, and the resulting limitations on both large gatherings and travel, we are not able to hold commencement for the Class of 2020 as originally planned. 

We understand that this is a huge disappointment to students and their families. Please know that we fully intend to honor our graduates with a commencement ceremony when it’s once again safe for us to gather in person. We continue to explore possible dates and locations and will announce new plans once they are finalized. For more information on Graduation 2020, please refer to this letter from Provost Leanne Roberts, Ph.D.

For information on graduation ceremonies at our main campus in Erie, please visit the Graduation webpage.

Commencement Information

Caps and Gowns

Graduates must fill out this order form by March 9 in order to receive a cap and gown package. Please be as accurate as possible to ensure your cap and gown fit as they should. 


Lifetouch true photographer will take your picture as you exit the stage with your diploma.

Everyone will be photographed. Your photos will be available online 10 days after graduation. Complimentary proofs will be mailed to graduates. You are under no obligation to purchase these photos; however, the Lifetouch photographer will be given access to the floor to capture each graduate for the families.


Monday – Friday, 8:00am – 6:00pm EST

Graduation Attire

Graduates can make sure they look their best at graduation (and in the photos and videos of the event) by following these guidelines.


  • Wear a dress, skirt, or pants with a pocket
  • Consider plain black flats or low heels like those you’d wear to a business interview. You will be walking a lot, including processing across the brick and pavement on campus, and they'll be easier on your feet than higher heels
  • Keep your jewelry simple
  • Do not wear a suit jacket under academic attire
  • Do not wear corsage on your robe


  • Wear dark dress pants (black, gray or navy)
  • Solid-colored long-sleeve shirt
  • Dark dress shoes and dark socks
  • Tie
  • Do not wear a suit coat under academic attire

Graduation Awards and Honors

Individual Program Awards

These awards are presented to a student in each of the two-year associate degree programs at MNE. Selections are based on overall achievement, judged on scholarship, and for the potential they demonstrate as future leaders of their professions.

The Letoinne Barnett Memorial Award 

The Letoinne Barnett Memorial Award is given to a graduate of the Booker T. Washington campus who most exemplifies the “Carpe Diem Spirit” exhibited by Letoinne. He worked diligently to make a difference in his life and the lives of others through the educational opportunities at the Booker T. Washington Campus. The recipient of this award has attained a minimum 3.0 GPA while balancing the many needs of family, school, and work. In addition, the recipient possesses a strong sense of self, family, and community.

Robert S. Miller Award

This award is the highest award presented by Mercyhurst North East to an adult student. It is given in recognition of the dedication, perseverance, and sacrifice necessary to achieve outstanding academic performance while managing responsibilities to family, work, and the community. The recipient exemplifies to traditional-aged students that learning is a lifelong process. This award is named for Robert S. Miller, friend and supporter of Mercyhurst North East.

Redemptorist Fathers Award

This award is given to the graduate who has given unselfishly of his/her time, energy, talent, and loyalty to Mercyhurst North East. The recipient of this award, involved in numerous activities of the college, has shown that he/she possesses a high degree of leadership skills.

The Sister Catherine McAuley Award

This award is the highest academic honor given by the University. It is presented in recognition of an associate degree candidate who has attained the highest Grade Point Average in the graduating class. All courses must be taken at Mercyhurst University or MNE.

Medal of Honor

This prestigious honor is the highest award presented by Mercyhurst North East to the graduating student who has had the most positive impact on the life of our campus community. The recipient of this award has exhibited outstanding scholarship achievement, personal integrity, and leadership skills.

Graduation Honors

Graduation honors are given to students whose exceptional academic, service and leadership performances are deemed worthy of recognition.

Blue & Green Honor Cords

The cords are presented to students who have a cumulative Grade Point Average of 3.7 or higher.  These students are presented these cords before graduation and are announced at the ceremony as “graduation with distinction”.

Red, White, & Blue Cords 

These cords are presented to students who are members of our Armed services before graduation.

Black & Platinum Cords 

These cords are presented before graduation to students inducted into the National Society of Leadership and Success.

Program Award Pins 

These pins are presented to individual program award winners at the Awards Dinner.  The pin should be worn on the graduation gown lapel.

Graduation FAQs

Will I still receive my degree on time? 

Degrees will still be granted on time.

Will I receive my degree certificate on graduation day?

Degree certificates will be available during the summer. 

When will graduation winners be announced?

Graduation award winners and other honorees will be announced as normally scheduled, in the beginning of May.

Contact Us

Courtney Phelps
Coordinator of Academic Operations
Office of Academic Affairs