As previously announced by President Collins, Loras College has delayed graduation ceremonies from May 2020 to October 2020. More specific details concerning events held to celebrate our graduates, including Baccalaureate Mass and Commencement, may be found on this page. Should events beyond our control force us to delay even further, we have selected December 5 and 6 as the next opportunity to come together to celebrate our graduates.


Thursday, October 8, 2020
Graduating seniors, faculty, and staff are invited to the following three events:
Social at 6:00 p.m., The Pub
Senior Dinner, 7:00 p.m., Marie Graber Ballroom, Alumni Campus Center (RSVP required).
Social from 8:00-9:00 p.m., The Pub

Friday, October 9, 2020
Commencement practice, 9:00 a.m., Athletic & Wellness Center

Baccalaureate Mass, 10:30 a.m., Church of the Nativity. Students and faculty gather in front of Christ the King Chapel at 10:15 a.m., for procession to Church of the Nativity. In the event of rain, faculty & students will simply go to their seats (which will be the front, middle reserved rows) by 10:20 a.m., to prevent congestion in the back of church.

  • Informal lunch, 11:30 a.m., location TBD.
  • Master’s-level graduate reception, 11:45 a.m. – by invitation only.
  • Commencement Ceremony 1:30 p.m., Athletic & Wellness Center. Doors open for guests at 12:30 p.m. Faculty and students gather in lower level Athletic & Wellness Center in full commencement apparel by 1:00 p.m.

Baccalaureate Mass will take place on Friday, October 9, 2020 at 10:30 a.m. at the Church of the Nativity, 1225 Alta Vista Street, Dubuque, IA. The doors to the church will open at 9:30 a.m.  Music for this Mass is provided by the Loras College choirs, Wind Ensemble, and Spiritual Life division staff and students. Following are the instructions for faculty and students and those in the academic procession from Christ the King Chapel to the Church of the Nativity for Baccalaureate Mass:

  • Graduates will gather in front of Christ the King Chapel (Alta Vista Street) at 10:15 a.m. and begin lining up.
  • Faculty will line up on Alta Vista Street at 10:15 a.m.  In the event of rain, faculty & students will simply go to their seats (which will be the front, middle reserved rows) by 10:20 a.m., to prevent congestion in the back of church.  
  • Faculty and Graduates will begin academic procession to Nativity at 10:20 a.m. sharp.
  • Faculty and Graduates will process directly into church to the pews saved for them. The Liturgical Procession for the Mass will start from the back of Church at 10:30 am.  Graduates will recess out of the church after the conclusion of Baccalaureate Mass.

More details will be posted as soon as possible.

Commencement exercises for the Class of 2020 will be held on Friday, October 9, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. in the Athletic & Wellness Center on the Loras College campus. For the comfort of our guests, the ceremony may also be viewed in the Alumni Campus Center/Marie Graber Ballroom (no ticket required).

On the day of commencement, students report to the lower level of the Athletic & Wellness Center by 1:00 p.m. to line up for the procession. Students wear full commencement apparel and have assigned seating. A seating chart/directions for lining up will be available to graduates prior to commencement practice.

Doors will open for guests in the Athletic & Wellness Center at 12:30 p.m. Families/friends are welcome to sit in available bleacher seats or in designated areas on the main floor; main floor seating will be reserved for graduates, faculty and staff, and honored guests participating in the ceremony. Guests will find a reserved areas for handicap-accessible seating on the main concourse behind the top row of bleachers or on the main floor. Your comfort is important to us, so if you use an assistive device such as a walker or wheelchair, please feel free to bring it to the ceremony.

The Commencement Ceremony will be a ticketed event. Each graduate will be issued five (5) tickets to be used for family/friend admission to the ceremony. For compliance with Dubuque Fire Code capacity regulations, we will collect tickets at the door. Exceptions to the ticket policy will be babies who are held on laps during the ceremony. A ticket will allow admission into the Athletic & Wellness Center, where seating will be on a first-come basis. The sale of Commencement tickets is prohibited. Guests who have not been able to secure a ticket are welcome to view the Commencement ceremony in the Miller Academic Resource Center.

All parking lots on the Loras College campus will be open and parking is free. Safety Officers will be on hand to distribute campus maps and provide directions. Free parking is also available on Alta Vista Street and Loras Boulevard, except where posted as prohibited. The Athletic & Wellness Center parking lot will be reserved for our guests in need of handicap-accessible parking, with a convenient drop off area on Loras Parkway (accessed by taking Alta Vista Street to Kirkwood Street to Cox Street to Loras Parkway).

If you are traveling to Dubuque and plan to stay overnight in the Dubuque area, we recommend that you call early to reserve a hotel room. For information on local hotels and attractions, please feel free to take advantage of our partnership with Best Western Dubuque or visit Explore Dubuque or Visit Galena websites for additional local options.

Commencement practice will be held on Friday, October 9, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. in the Athletic & Wellness Center. A seating chart/directions for lining up will be available to graduates prior to commencement practice. Rehearsal will last approximately 45 minutes.

Lifetouch Photography will photograph each graduate as he/she crosses the stage. A second picture will be taken as the student leaves the stage.  The proofs and an order form will be emailed to the graduate.  No pre-ordering or pre-payment is necessary. After Commencement, picture proofs may be viewed at:

Loras College Barnes and Noble Bookstore will be open on Friday, October 9, 2020 from 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. The bookstore carries Loras logo apparel, official Loras College rings, and other college memorabilia. Contact the Loras College Barnes and Noble Bookstore at 563.588.7130 or visit online at

Standard Loras graduation announcements may be purchased in bundles of ten (10) through the Loras College Bookstore in the Academic Resource Center. Contact the Bookstore at 563.588.7130 for more information.

Commencement apparel (cap, gown and medallion or hood if Graduate student) were mailed to graduates’ home addresses. Commencement apparel does not need to be returned.  Should the cap or gown need to be replaced prior to graduation, a charge of $75.00 will be assessed. We are unable to replace medallions due to limited quantity. Tickets for the Commencement ceremony will also be distributed.

Graduating seniors’ email accounts, network space and personal web pages will stay active until November 1, 2020. An email communication containing details regarding laptop returns was sent to graduating students on May 6, 2020. View a copy of the communication sent to graduating students.

Students will receive a diploma cover during the ceremony.  Diplomas will be mailed to students’ addresses indicated on the Application for Graduation form approximately four to six weeks after grades are due. If the diploma is to be sent to a different address, please contact the Registrar’s Office at or 563.588.7106.

Note: Participation in the commencement ceremony DOES NOT signify graduation from Loras College. Diplomas will be held for students who do not complete the academic requirements for graduation or who have an outstanding balance due to the college.

Financial planning exit counseling will be conducted during the spring 2020 semester to help educate students about their loans and loan repayment. For students who are unable to attend a live session online (there will be multiple options), instructions will be emailed and notifications will be mailed to home addresses. Please watch for a message from Zachery Gries inviting you to educational sessions, and if you have questions make sure to connect with him.  Thank you.

To be eligible to participate in commencement a student must:

  1. Complete all degree requirements no later than December 2020 as stated in the Loras College Undergraduate Bulletin.
  2. Submit a completed Application for Graduation Form to the Registrar’s Office no later than October 15, 2019. Students applying for graduation after this date may not be eligible to participate in commencement but will graduate in absentia.
  3. Pay account balance in full.